Top 3 Spin Studios Vancouver – Spin Society

dav

This week, I share my final favorite spin studio in Vancouver. Spin Society opened up their first studio a few years ago on Granville St. in downtown. After a successful couple of years, they launched their second location just a few weeks ago. Everyone at the space is so incredibly welcoming and friendly and their master trainer Lucy is one of the most passionate instructors I’ve ever met. The studio’s founder Dominik Desbois shares the story behind Spin Society.

What inspired you to start Spin Society?

I am an engineer, my background is in bridge engineering. I went to McGill to get my engineering degree. I worked as an engineer for six years and was not satisfied with where my life was going. I stopped and thought about everything as a whole and thought that I needed to serve a bigger purpose. The whole computer 12-hours a day thing was not for me so I decided to go back to school. I went to do my MBA and it’s during that time that I met my wife, who’s a spin addict. She was spinning every single night and just couldn’t get enough of it. So I started researching the subject and thinking about what makes it addictive. At the end of the day, what makes it addictive is the people. You can throw a bunch of bikes in a room and play loud music, anybody can do that. You can throw money at it, build it but unless you have the right people, it won’t work. That’s the part that intrigued me. I’m a builder so how do I build a team that will give people that feeling of “I can’t get enough”, so that’s what drives what we do. From the very start of Spin Society was how do I put together people, because I definitely have my shortcomings when it comes to marketing, that I’m not good at, but I think I have an ability to get people together and work as a team. How do I assemble a team so that we can thrive as a business and I think that’s what we’ve done.

dav

What would you say separates you from other spin studios in the city?

It was tough because when I opened Spin Society, I thought I would be the only one because when I wrote my business plan and the financing and all that stuff, it was a few years before we opened our doors. And then we opened our doors and four other spin studios were popping up. I think through time, was has made us different is the wide-range of people that we can bring together. There’s a really cool feeling at Spin Society when somebody walks through the door, there’s an energy where they feel like they belong right away. We’re a no judgement, no ego zone, you work as hard as you want to and if it takes you a little longer to get to where you want to, it’s fine. At the end of the day, it’s almost like we’ve created a space that’s all about transformation and giving you the opportunity and permission to laugh, to cry, to yell to be angry. Our trainers are amazing, I couldn’t be prouder of our team. All of our instructors are phenomenal at what they do. They will break you down with music to a point where they can inject a lot of positivity. The whole team is super upbeat and positive. It’s a people business.

mde

What are some of the classes that people can take and what kind of experience can people get when they come to Spin Society?

We pride ourselves on the Spin Society method. We work really hard with all of our instructors and our master instructor Lucy. She spends countless hours making sure that everyone is consistent. We want people’s identities to shine but we want everybody to operate within a box that we’ve created, that is Spin Society. One of the big key things here is that no matter what class you take, you’ll get that consistency. The only thing that changes is the music. Besides the music, the very challenging workout, every instructor teaches the same way and uses the same language. You’ll get your ass kicked and if you’re into that, then you’ll get that no matter who you take on the schedule. And besides that, we have a really nice approach to customer service, where we really value the relationships we build. We try to get to know the people that come in by name. We like to cater to everything that you need to make this experience the best that we can.

hdr

Spin Society opened up a second location in North Vancouver. There seems to be a big demand for fitness studios out there, can you share your experience with opening up this second studio?

We just opened on December 12th, we really built a unique vibe and space and interior design there. There’s crazy demand on the north shore because people who are over there are just tired of that bridge. You want to be able to stay on the north shore and be able to go to the good restaurants and good fitness studios. There’s no real reason to come downtown anymore and there’s a very young crowd moving in. North Van’s ready for it but it’s going to take time to build. As much as I’d like to think that we’ve built something really cool here, the fitness names don’t quite creep all the way past the bridge yet so it’s just starting from the bottom. Building the classes and the community and letting people know that we’re there.

hdr

Where would you like to see Spin Society within the next five years?

I don’t like the franchise model for what I do because I’m really particular about what I wanna build and the energy in every studio so I’d like to keep control of that. But I would love to keep growing it as much as I can. I’m a builder so once I finished building the studio and it’s functioning, I want to be completely hands off and trust the people to just do a really good job and want to move onto the next build. I’m already looking at the third and negotiating the space for the third studio, so when that’s done I’ll probably move onto the fourth. I’ll stop when someone tells me to stop or when the market tells me to stop. 

For more information on Spin Society, go here.

Top 3 Spin Studios Vancouver – Eastwood Cycle

Eastwood Lifestyle - WebIMG_3486

Eastwood Cycle is unlike any spin studio I’ve ever been to. As soon as you step into the Hastings St. flagship, you’re immediately transported into an oasis of tranquility and wellbeing. Their beautifully designed studio brings decoration elements from Morocco to create a colourful and warm environment. The spin studio itself is without a doubt one of the largest I’ve seen, providing a lot of space for bikes and also for pre or post-workout stretching.

Jillian Sheridan started the space with her husband two and a half years ago. She took a few minutes at the studio last week to answer some of my questions about the space.

What inspired you to start off this space?

I had never personally really found a studio, prior to opening Eastwood that I had been to and had felt that I was part of the community right away. I always felt that I was either not a part of the community or a number and no one would ever notice when I would come or go. That was something that I was always searching for; a really strong community. Then my husband and I found spin and fell in love with it. We were looking to do something different and while we were on vacation in Sayulita, Mexico, we did some brainstorming (we do our best work on the beach!) and decided that if there’s something we want and can’t find, then we should just create it. So we decided to take a leap of faith.

Eastwood Lifestyle - WebIMG_3475

What makes Eastwood Cycle stand out from other spin studios?

Our experience and the space for sure. That was really important to us, we wanted to create a space where people would come and want to stay. People can hang out and enjoy the time while they’re here. The design as well because for us it’s not just about the ride itself, but everything from the minute you walk into the studio. We call our front desk staff the “Experience team”. We’re all about the little touch points.

What are some of the different classes that you offer?

The ride is also huge for us, so we’ve created the Icon class and the Athlete class. We found that when we opened, we had this massive demographic that wanted different types of classes. The Icon is more rhythm-focused and structured to the beat of the music and incorporates weights. Whereas the Athlete class, that my husband created, is more in the saddle. It’s great for people training for the road, it’s intervals, hill climbs and usually does not incorporate weights. A lot of our regulars will take both classes and as a result are getting a different experience when they ride each time. It also attracts different people from all walks of life.

Eastwood Lifestyle - WebIMG_3494

In addition to providing spin classes, you also have a variety of products that people can buy when they come to the studio, can you expand more on that?

I do all of our retail. For us we’re not spin, we’re not fitness, this is a lifestyle, it’s about what makes you feel good, what you’re doing and what you’re wearing. All of the products that are here are an extension of who we are. It’s the biggest compliment when you see someone wearing your logo on their chest. The retail for us has been pretty special. We use a couple of different brands out of LA and we also have RYU, who are local. We also have custom yoga mats that were designed for us by a company called Yeti Yoga. We started ordering from them when they had a small Etsy shop and now they’re on Shopbop. They do a bunch of custom designs for us and are out of Portland.

What is new for Eastwood in 2017?

We’re doing a lot with the GranFondo this year. It’s a ride from Vancouver to Whistler. There is about 5000 people that take part in it and we’ll be holding a bunch of different training rides for them. We’ll also have our bikes at the finish line so that cyclists can spin out the lactic acid after their ride. That’s been a huge project that we’ve been working on. In the spring, we’ll be turning downtown into our true flagship that will hold all of our concepts – Eastwood Cycle, Eastwood Boxing and Eastwood Meditate. So when we opened Eastwood, we always wanted to house different concepts, that’s why we chose a name that was more of a place that you were going to and wasn’t necessarily associated with one specific workout. So we’ll be doing a rebirth of Eastwood, which is exciting. We’ve been waiting to open box since day one. It’ll be great to refresh the studio and open up new concepts. Once those are up and running, we’ll also be doing boutique studios.

Screen Shot 2017-02-06 at 12.06.24 PM

What can people expect with Eastwood Boxing and Eastwood Meditate?

People can expect a different experience for each workout. Boxing will be done with dim lights, loud music and all bags. We’re building it so that each separate room that you walk into, you will have a different experience in terms of lighting, smells, noise and even how you enter. Meditation will be a totally different experience as well. You can get the vibe from our Instagram account, with the colours and quotes, so it has been a fun project and something we’ve been researching and waiting to launch for so long, so it’s fun to finally be able to talk about it and see it come to fruition.

For more information on Eastwood, go here. Check back next week for my 3rd spin studio recommendation in Vancouver!

Top 3 Spin Studios Vancouver – RIDE

dav

This past year, spin has become one of my favorite activities. I love outdoor cycling and love great tunes, so I’ve thrown myself into spinning and have loved every minute of it. One of the things I love most about this activity, is finding out great new studios and instructors to spin with whenever I travel. Since I’m spending a little while in Vancouver, I thought I would explore some of the city’s greatest studios and share my top 3 with you.

RIDE was the first studio I tried out when I arrived in Vancouver. I was immediately drawn to their sleek looking space. In addition to their Vancouver location, they have just opened up a brand new studio in Toronto. The studio’s founder Ashley explains below the idea behind RIDE and what sets them apart in the city.

What made you want to open up RIDE? What is your mission at RIDE? 

I created RIDE because of my love for music, sweat, and community. RIDE brings all of these together. Every time I take class I get to let go of the outside world. I love how the music guides your body and takes you into a different state of mind (if you let it…).

hdr

What is your mission at RIDE? 

To create a sacred space where RIDERS can let go and push themselves mentally and physically. A workout that takes their day from ordinary too extraordinary and to build a community of like minded people.

What separates this spin studio from others?

Every studio has their own vibe and product. RIDE’s not easy. It’s a challenge for even the best of RIDERS. My partners and I have been RIDING for over 10 years and we still feel challenged. We love the MUSIC and we love to PUSH one another to be better and stronger.

hdr

How important is the communal aspect to RIDE?

Community is everything. Without our riders we would have never been able to accomplish what we have today. As soon as you step into the studio you can feel the comradery, you see an incredible pack of sweaty like-minded people working together, inspiring one another, riding in unison to the beat of the music. That right there is our COMMUNITY. We sometimes refer to it as “CHURCH” a space where we all believe in one thing and belong to something together.

Tell me a little more about the gear and clothing that you guys sell?

We currently partner with Lululemon and we have a collaboration with Toronto based KOTN dropping shortly. We also sell custom RIDE gear. We are currently setting up our e-comm so stay tuned for online sales.

hdr

For more information on RIDE, go here. Check back next week for my 2nd spin studio recommendation in Vancouver!

SPINCO

13

People in Toronto LOVE their spin studios. Spinning has become the latest trend to hit the 6ix. Though a little behind American cities like Los Angeles and New York, the spin craze has hit the city hard since the beginning of 2016. The latest and greatest studio to open up on the city is SPINCO, located at Yonge and Eglington.

16

Originally from Kelowna, the brand new Toronto studio is their second location and they are planning on opening up a third in November in Victoria, BC. As for what separates SPINCO from other spin studios, their founder Michelle August explains “SPINCO’S experience is one of a kind, from the moment you walk through our doors to the last sweat dripping pedal stroke. Magic happens in that room and we see it leak into our riders and into our community, once the momentum starts it’s impossible to stop,” she says, while adding, “Our instructors go through an extensive training over the course of a number of months. We want every rider to have the confidence in all of our instructors, to have the ability to take any class knowing they are going to get a killer workout, knowing there instructor is filled with fire and ready to push them through there 50mins of work… It’s basically a party on a bike.” 

9

SPINCO is all about building a community of riders and cycle enthusiast in the city and have already partnered up with a local favorite Peace Collective on a cool collaboration. “By joining forces we think we can make a major impact in some lives of underprivileged children. Aside from our clothing, our main focus as partners will be our ‘Spin-It-Forward’ classes, happening every Monday night at 6:30pm. Spin-It-Forward is a class by donation with 100% of the proceeds in support of the Peace Foundation. Peace Foundation supports the Boys and girls Clubs of Canada in providing weekly access to recreational sports to Canadian children,” explains Michelle.

22

In addition to great cycle classes, riders will also be able to fuel up pre and post-class with some healthy juices, smoothies and bowls made from local companies.

So next time you’re looking to get your cycle fix, try out the new SPINCO studio!

Want to know more? Check them out here.

Top 3 Summer Workouts – SPOKEHAÜS

PAM_0693Opened just a few months ago, Spokehaüs has without a doubt become one of my favorite places to sweat in the city. Located on Dan Leckie Way, this modern and cool cycle studio has built a great community of spin enthusiats in just a few months.

PAM_0666The classes and instructors always offer fresh and cool new playlists to ride along to. Not one class is the same but no matter what class you take, you always end up sweating your butt off. It’s probably one of the only places in the city that will get me up on a Saturday or Sunday morning just because of how great I feel once I leave the studio.

PAM_0682In addition to regular classes, the studio is doing more and more events. They had their first ever HIGHRIDE a few weeks ago, a special riding event with glow sticks, candy and serious beats. They’ll be doing these kinds of events once a month, so stay tuned for future HIGHRIDES!

The 45 minutes of riding will go by in a flash and will have you feeling great all day!

PAM_0597Great gear and a proper riding hairstyle are two musts for me when I ride. The last thing I want is hair in my face when I’m sweating profusely.

PAM_0608Notes from the hairstylist:

A Spinning Topknot
“Take your topknot to a new level. I added two dutch braids, tied Mel’s hair into a high ponytail and instead of leaving it loose, I put it into a topknot so that it wouldn’t be in her way while she’s giving it her all in class. Putting all of your hair up helps with not having so many knots, tangle, and keeps the frizz down too 😉 I also just wrapped the ends of her dutch braids around the topknot to make it look pretty. Why not have pretty hair while you workout?!”

Photos: Pam Lau
Hair: Cabello by Carolina
Makeup: Michelle Gardin

What I’m wearing: Nike Pro Hypercool Frequency Women’s Training Capris (get them here), Nike Pro Hypercool Frequency Women’s Training Tank Top (get it here), Garneau Women’s Multi Air Flex Cycling Shoes (get them here).

SPOKEHAÜS

spokehaus-toronto-kaylarocca-fitness-cycle -1693

Opened less than a month ago, Toronto’s brand new cycle studio SPOKEHAÜS brings some much needed energy and variety to Toronto’s spin scene.

This bright and airy modern spin studio is located right in downtown Toronto. The space is small but makes the most of its size. You will find a full changing room for both men and women equipped with showers, mirrors, sinks and great beauty & hair products for post-workout. The space is also equipped with lockers and cubbyholes for boots and additional personal items.

FullSizeRender(10)

FullSizeRender(11)

FullSizeRender(9)

FullSizeRender(7)

FullSizeRender(8)

The studio itself is lined with brand new state of the art SCHWINN bikes. There are 35 bikes in the space (which makes it just a tad crammed, especially when comes time for arm exercises and stretching) set up like a typical spin studio. Big candles are also lit on the podium where the instructor rides.

FullSizeRender(12)

spokehaus-toronto-kaylarocca-fitness-cycle -1661

Classes are taught by a handful of instructors, all of whom offer a completely different style and selection of music. SPOKEHAÜS has 9 different instructors currently teaching classes at the studio. Classes are offered in the morning, at lunch and in the evening. Up to 5 classes are taught every day and each class lasts 45mins.

I had the chance to check out a class with the founder of the space Christine Tessaro as well as with Derek Friday. Both had unique ways of teaching and breaking down the class. Depending on the class and instructor, you will do a variety of drills through choreographed movements that will result in a full-body cardio workout. The classes will work out your core, legs, butt, arms and heart.

It’s hard not to compare the classes I’ve taken at SPOKEHAÜS with classes I’ve taken in Los Angeles at SoulCycle and Cycle House (which are my two favorites!) and other spin studios across North America. I think SPOKEHAÜS has all the ingredients needed to become a successful studio.

IMG_5198

Everyone at the studio is incredibly friendly and welcoming. They will provide you with shoes (if you don’t already have your own) and will help you set up your bike. It’s the perfect place to workout, whether you’re new at the sport or a seasoned veteran. You will sweat up a storm, I guarantee it!

For more info on SPOKEHAÜS, go here. They are located at 70 Dan Leckie Way, Toronto.

What I’m wearing: Industry Active The Elevate Bra (more info here), Industry Active Streamline Compression Pant (more info here).

A Little Lux

Spent a fun evening at Spin last night, Toronto’s hip ping pong club with the Fresita Canada (Chilian sparkling wine with fresh strawberries?! Yum!) crew for their A Little Lux girls night. I was lucky to be joined by two of my best gals for the eve. To recap the evening in three words: Ping Pong x Wine x Girlfriends!

HAILO graciously shuttled everyone to and from the event. Though I had downloaded the app a while ago and heard lot’s about HAILO, it was my first time actually using their cab service. Honestly, I was so impressed by the system! Not only did my cab to and from the event come pick me up within 1 minute, it’s also hassle-free! Since everything automatically passes through your credit card, there’s no printing out receipts, faulty interact machines, angry cab drivers, change, any of that stuff. A receipt from your trip gets emailed right to you within minutes of your trip. Really impressed with this system!

I was really excited to be back at Spin. I shot one of my shows there last year and have also had the opportunity to visit some of their other locations such as their first club in NYC as well as their club at the Standard Hotel in downtown LA.

Fresita welcomed my girlfriends and I with a bunch of yummy snacks (hello cheese!) and drinks. We got a bit of time to warm up before the night’s event.

During the night,  they were holding a ping pong round the table tournament. I had participated in it before in NYC but had never gotten really far. Playing ping pong always brings me back to my childhood. As a kid, I played ping pong after family dinners almost every weekend at my grandma’s house. She had bought a new ping pong table in her basement for our enjoyment. Though my ping pong skills are less than acceptable, playing is always a good time!

I got a bit of practice time in at the beginning of the evening but I don’t think I’ll be taking up a career in ping pong any time soon! I was terrible at the round the table. That said, with great tunes, a little wine and some of my best gals, it was hard not to have a great time!

Thanks to everyone for having us! I’ll be back soon!!

photo 1 (21)

photo 3 (2)

photo

 

 

SoCal Adventure Pt 2

It was long overdue, my SoCal Adventure Pt 2 post. Apologies for the delay! It’s been a busy two weeks since I got back from vacation. We shot a bunch of pilots, commercials, etc. at work for the upcoming season so I was spending a lot of time working on that.

For the second half of my most recent California trip with Offner, we decided to stay in Marina Del Rey. It was the first time we were using Airbnb to find a room in someone’s apartment. We’ve done the individual apartment before on numerous occasions but it was a little scarier scoping out places to share with people. We got super lucky and found an amazing little studio fully equipped with a private bathroom and small kitchenette in a lovely woman’s home right at the limit of Marina Del Rey and Venice. We had a beautiful balcony that overlooked the little housing complex that had a beautiful pool and garden. This is where we ate our breakfast every morning. It was such a relaxing place to stay! Offner and I were like two kids in the swimming pool; playing games, doing contests, synchronized swimming, etc!

photo 1

photo 5

While in the area, we spent some time wondering around the Venice boardwalk and legendary skatepark. We are also really fond of the Venice canals, a super quiet and beautiful area in Venice that is removed from all the waterfront chaos. Offner and I walked around picking out our “future” home, going to garage sales and enjoying the pretty sights!

photo 3

photo 4

Our breakfast go-to spots in the area are Deus ex machina in Venice & Urth Caffé (Hello!! Green tea almond milk latte, my favorite!!) in Santa Monica. Deus were actually have a really rad surfboard swap event the second day we were there so we had to stop by. No boards were purchased but it was nice to meet a lot of local vendors, eat yummy food and drool over amazing surfboards!

photo 2

photo 4

We returned to Offner’s favorite fish taco joint in the area called Reel Inn, for some fresh tacos and veggies after an amazingly relaxing day of surfing in Malibu. The water had really warmed up the second week we were there, so surfing was delightful! The waves weren’t breaking too often, so you really had time to sit on your board and relax while you waited for the next set. I honestly think that this little spot is one of my new favorites. Thinking about it just warms my heart and makes me want to go back so badly! There’s nothing quite like riding a nice longboard beach break 🙂

photo 3

We also had the chance to go out on several nights after spending the day either lounging around, surfing, shopping, etc. We tried out The Bungalow in Santa Monica. Though the decoration and overall concept was great, the crowd and atmosphere was disappointing. My top spots that we tried this time were:

The Standard in downtown Los Angeles (there’s a new SPIN Ping Pong club there too!). It was a super hip spot with a dreamy pool and a cute beer garden on rooftop. The view of downtown LA was spectacular. Interestingly mixed crowd as well!

photo 5

photo 3

Hotel Erwin‘s rooftop bar. It has the best view of Venice, hands down! Our friends Lisa from This Beautiful Day and her husband joined us and so did my lovely friend Rosie, who I met last year through instagram. Such a memorable night!

photo 4

photo 5

photo 2

Since we’re big foodies, we also checked out a few new & hip restaurants. My top two were:

Nikita, a brand new ocean-front restaurant right beside Nobu in Malibu. It just opened in July and is already super popular. It was surpringsly easy to get a table on a Friday night. The atmosphere was chic but also laid-back. The food was spectacular (I would have taken photos but I didn’t feel it was appropriate in this kind of environment), the wine was delectable and the service was impeccable! We also really enjoyed their beautiful oceanside patio. The perfect romantic evening!

photo 1

Tar & Roses, a beautiful Spanish-influenced restaurant in Santa Monica. They had incredible tapas and probably one of the best cheeseboards I’ve ever tasted! They had a very big selection of fine cheeses and for $20 for a selection of 5, you can’t beat that. Attention cheese lovers, this next pic might make your mouth water 😉

photo (40)

We also returned to the Melrose Trading Post and visited the beautiful town of Manhattan Beach for the first time. The beach there was so peaceful and uncrowded, it was a perfect place to hang out for an afternoon. Their little downtown area is also super cute and fun to explore!

photo 2

photo 3

This trip wouldn’t have been complete without many lunches, walks, shopping excursions and hangs on Abbot Kinney. Loved the TOMS flagship store & café and the 3 Square Café for an afternoon snack!

Before leaving my dear friend Maggie came up to the Santa Monica area to take pictures of Offner and I on the pier. It was a lot of fun modelling for her and taking pictures with such a stunning scenery! She has lovely photo site that you can check out: http://emwhyphotography.com/. Here’s my favorite photo from our shoot:

photo 3

On the way to the airport in Vegas, we stopped by Calico to visit the ghost town. It’s an $8 admission fee per adult. Though it may sound like a lot to just visit an old mining town, it was pretty neat to see just how well preserved these buildings were. Plus, there’s a beautiful view of the desert from the top. It was definitely a lovely way to end this vacation!

photo 4

All this blog writing and remising is making me miss SoCal SO MUCH! Can’t wait to be back to continue the adventure! I love you California <3