The music is hypnotizing. Feet are moving, bodies sweating. The energy of the group is pumping.
For the next 50 minutes, riders pedal through a high-energy, low-impact workout to the beat of music that progresses in sync with the instructor’s booming energy and charisma.
Welcome to a session at Torq Ride, Leslieville's premier fitness boutique dedicated to calorie-torching, endorphin-surging and high-intensity indoor cycling. Its specialized group sessions have become a ritual for spin newbies and the super fit alike.
With a simple online sign-up process, sleek and refined studio and friendly neighbourhood atmosphere, it’s easy to see why it’s a local hub for feel-good vibes. Jump on a bike, hit it hard and you leave feeling like a million bucks — for much less.
A CONSCIOUSLY DESIGNED STUDIO
Clean and modern, Torq is tastefully appointed with a welcoming reception and boutique, spa-like showers and lockers and a state-of-the-art indoor cycling studio. If that’s not welcoming enough, you can often catch the studio’s unofficial mascot — an English bulldog named Hank — basking in the sunlight of Torq’s Queen East window.
The studio features 36 top-of-the-line Stages bikes that not only promote cardiovascular health, but strengthen and tone muscles in your legs, core, and upper body. At 1,900 square-feet, Torq offers enough room to have your own space while still being able to feed off the energy of fellow riders. About 30 classes a week are led by a roster of some of the city's most revered and technique-driven instructors.
Owner Julie Mitchell, an east end local who also runs nearby branding agency Parcel Design, brought the studio to life along with a team of industry consultants. Hitting all the checkmarks for the modern fitness standard — stylish look and feel, incredible sound system and cycling workouts designed for max results — is all part of her vision.
"A lot of time was spent considering what makes for a great indoor cycling workout when designing the space, and determining the right equipment to use,” Mitchell says. “Our instructors put a lot of energy into developing effective workouts, and it was important to ensure that all the elements were in place to boost performance.”
SERIOUS WORKOUTS DESIGNED FOR MAX RESULTS
It’s clear that Torq knows its audience. Classes here are the real deal — serious workouts designed for maximum results.
Classes start with a warm-up before the workout shifts and the group falls into a focused silence. The hypnotic soundtrack reverberates through the room. Despite the cool force of air permeating the studio, you’ll sweat. You’ll feel the burn. Your legs will be jelly. And you’ll have a heck of a time doing it.
Body positions and pedal speeds change with every song to keep the heart rate up. There’s a real motivation to not only have a great workout but push past your comfort zone in a safe and fun environment.
For George Chaker, one of the many friendly faces leading classes at Torq, it’s all about delivering a “complete experience.”
He’s been around fitness in Canada long enough to see fads come and go, and he really believes in the innovative model the studio delivers with its specialized and intimate fitness classes. With over two decades of experience teaching fitness and healthy lifestyle, Chaker has an arsenal of workouts to draw on for his classes.
“I like to be the host of my class so I take time to greet people, especially new people to my class,” Chaker says. “I am a great motivator. I like to help people achieve.”
Chaker, who is also a DJ and house music aficionado, says that music is one of the most important elements of his routine.
“I work really hard and take pride in selecting music that will leave you feeling fulfilled. I look at my classes as a day club. I want you to feel the nightclub experience, minus the late night, the booze and the high heels.”
A WORK-HARD-FEEL-GOOD COMMUNITY
Torq is about building community as much as it is about delivering a killer workout. Laughs and high fives are part of the routine as much as fast tempos. You see, there’s a general lightheartedness and camaraderie that come with the rushing endorphins of a class.
“What connects us, as staff and customers, is a simple love for the feeling you get from a great workout,” Mitchell says. “At Torq, not only do you get the benefit of getting your heart-rate up, you also feel like you are truly part of an authentic, inclusive community.
Unlike other studios that define a specific spin philosophy or have a standard instructor type or music style, Torq lets the individual personalities of its instructors shine.
They push you to your limits, and help you reach your personal goals.
The studio embraces diversity in every way, from body type, musical preferences, level of competitiveness to age and lifestyle. And that’s created fan loyalty.
“Our customers routinely tell us, ‘it just feels good to be here’,” she says. “And that feel-good connection is exactly what we set out to create.”
Use promo code "GOODHOOD" to receive 15% off a 5- or 10-ride series when you book online at torqride.com.
First time or beginner rides at Torq are $15. A single ride is $22 or $15 for students, seniors and EMS workers. $99 for a 5 ride series, $189 for 10, or a 4 for $69 that renews every fourth ride or 30 days (whichever comes sooner).
With every ride, cyclists get a sweat towel, access to water “on tap” and to a locker, plus the post-ride email charting performance numbers. Rides can be booked up to 10 days in advance and you choose and reserve the specific bike you wish to ride on.
Torq Ride is located at 978 Queen St. E (at Carlaw Ave.). Please visit torqride.com for more details and to book your first ride. Follow Torq Ride on Facebook and Instagram for daily motivation and studio updates.