Sweat It Out: SPINCO Toronto

Work | Sweat | Achieve

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A couple weeks back I was invited to check out a class at Toronto’s newest cycling studio, SPINCO. SPINCO, a studio with locations in Kelowna and Victoria, has opened it’s doors at 2577 Yonge Street, across the street from Barreworks and a few blocks North of Eglinton.

The outdoor facade of the studio is very simple, and the space is narrow and long. When you enter the studio you walk by a wall of merchandise including a limited collection of tanks, sweaters, and hoodies by the Peace Collective declaring that Canadians Spin Better, and we know that’s the truth. And then you’ll find yourself at the registration desk.

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The staff were friendly and welcoming. The bikes use LOOK clips, which is different from most (all?) boutique spin studios here in TO which use SPD or have a combination of the two for the pedal clips, but the good news is they provide the shoes in your class fee.

SPINCO offers a class style that is “full body” and includes intervals of weight training with weights and body weight while riding the bike. It is important to note that while this form of indoor cycling is all the rage right now in both Canada and the United States, it is controversial in the indoor cycling industry and for a few reasons (rider safety, rider biomechanics, integrity of cycling) is spoken against by the Indoor Cycling Association. The music was a motivating combination of top 40, and pumped at the perfect level to be inspired without blasting out your ear drums.

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Photo by SPINCO

The studio space has a mirrored wall and creative lights on the ceiling which can be turned on in various combinations which was done throughout the class. There was also a strobe light that was turned on at random internals. Branded towels were provided on the bikes upon arrival and bikes were cleaned by staff following the ride.

SPINCO has some of the best bikes in the city, the Schwinn AC Performance Plus with Carbon Blue. The ride is so smooth with a real to the road feeling. The bikes have a variety of built in hand positions in the handlebars, two water bottle holders (which in this class were used to hold the 1, 2, or 3 lbs weights), as well as fore-aft adjustable in both the seat and handlebars for the perfect fit for each rider.

The studio also contains showers and washrooms within the change room and common self locking lockers in the hallway.

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Photo by SPINCO

Prices at SPINCO are slightly above the Toronto market price with a single class being purchased for $25, however class passes fall back into the range of $22-$17 per class depending on the packages.

This space is great and if full body rides are your thing, I definitely suggest you check them out. Plus the first class is free until October 31st!

Gear Review: Schwinn Indoor Cycling Class Tamer

schwinn 2Developed by Schwinn’s world class trainers, the Class Tamer™ is everything you would expect from these leaders and more. Very simple to use it has many features that will turn your great class into a fantastic one.

The Details:

schwinn3The Class Tamer™, available on ITunes for free, is  an all encompassing music player for group exercise professionals.  The Class Tamer™ is incredibly easy to use as you create and save ride playlists by accessing your songs, and playlists directly from your iTunes account. It allows you to add, in large and easy to read font, up to four scrollable notes to each song, creating a great paper free place for you to add and save your cues, music tags and beats per minute (BPM) to specific songs.

The Class Tamer™ also includes an easy-to-read song timer, displaying time elapsed, time remaining, and prompting for next song. What I love the most is that it has options to allow for cross-fading (blending songs together which eliminates dead space), as well as  the ability to modify the tempo of songs during a ride with a quick slide of your finger.

You’ll also find a stopwatch that operates independently from the song timer and can be used while music is playing (perfect for intervals) and 10 creative sound effects to help add excitement to your classes (think the sound of a cracking whip to indicate the work phase of your HIIT training).

schwinnMy Experience:

Syncing my first class using the Class Tamer™ was very simple, took no more time then usual and I loved being able to do it from the palm of my hand. I accessed the songs I already owned in ITunes and began planning right away. There are so many great features, but I’m most excited about the ability to add notes to songs (eliminating all my index cards of class profiles) and the ability to cross-fade from my IPhone (I hate dead space during a class playlist).  As an indoor cycling coach who is frequently planning and creating new profiles, this will undoubtedly save me time and add some extra fun to my class.

A Concern:

The BPM which you see in my top left box here is blank because this is not provided by the app. Instead the BPM needs to be inputted from the metadata (Get Info) of the track you download – also,  the actually BPM will change if you use the slider to change the tempo, while the inputted data will stay the same, so some thing to keep in mind.

My second downfall isn’t really to do with the app itself, but it does require your phone to be near your bike in order to access your notes, timer, sounds etc.  As someone who tries to eliminate all trip-able items, having this extra wire is a slight concern as I like to coach from both on and off my bike. But also because at two of my current studios the music device is not located near the bike (I don’t like it this way, but it’s how the gym was built). So while this app will improve how indoor cycling instructors coach, you do need the infrastructure to help make it work.

Conclusion:

If you teach indoor cycling, boot camps, HIIT classes or any other group training – you need this app! Yup, it’s that simple.

SpinRave Playlist: August 2013

One of my favourite new classes to teach this summer has very quickly become my SpinRave. Through Barreworks and Oakley Active Canada we have offered four sold out classes – and usually sold out weeks in advance – so I think that means you like them too! 😉

_MG_2468Black lights, glow sticks, and a whole lot of sweaty Cardio Party fun is the basis of this 60 minute ride. I’m often asked for my playlists, but especially after this hoppin’ ride. So here it is! Throw it on your Ipod and take yourself out for a high energy spin._MG_2538
Song Title. Artist
1. Cheers (Drink to That). Paulette ClickMix Remix
2. Sweet Nothing (feat. Florence Welch). Calvin Harris
3. Get Lucky. D’Macy ClickMix Remix
4. Can’t Hold Us (feat. Ray Dalton). Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
5. Royals. Lorde
6. Lights (Bassnectar Remix). Ellie Goulding
7. Like a G6 (Disco Fries Remix). Far East Movement, The Cataracs & Dev
8. Lazy Eye (Jason Bentley Remix). Silversun Pickups
9. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’. Michael Jackson
10. Safe and Sound Remix EP. Capital Cities
11. Run the World. Paulette ClickMix Remix
12. What I Wouldn’t Do. Serena Ryder
13. Three Little Birds (Stephen Marley and Jason Bentley Remix). Bob Marley & the Wailers
14. Follow the Sun. Xavier Rudd

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What songs have you loved to sweat to this summer? Add them in the comments below!

Wondering when the next SpinRave will be? Be sure to follow me on Twitter to hear about it first!