Interview with Nadine Hogan, Co-founder of Wheelhouse Cycle

Co-founder of Wheelhouse Cycle Nadine Hogan answers our questions about her fitness journey, love for spinning and how to become a spiritual gangster.

Ottawa Life: How did your fitness story begin?

Nadine Hogan: My fitness story began in childhood – I was constantly playing sports and loved it. Every weekend was busy with practices and games and when I left that world for university I quickly learned the benefits that a good sweat made to my physical and mental health. With afterschool sports out of the picture, I had to learn what I actually liked doing (lifting weights, hiking, climbing, group fitness, yoga) as opposed to what I didn’t like (elliptical machines and treadmills). I liked finding new and dynamic ways to sweat and strengthen my body. I was always up for trying new things and I’ve pretty much tried it all. I don’t always stick with what I try, but before I decide I will give it a good trail period.

What is Wheelhouse?

Wheelhouse Cycle is a boutique spin studio that opened in Wellington West (1279 Wellington St) in 2015. We’ve now grown to two studios (our second is in Centretown at 455 Bank St) with the same premise as when we first opened our doors – to build a community of riders that share similar values and goals and want a supportive, motivating place to go sweat out their day.  Our ride vibe literally states: WE RIDE TOGETHER. WE VIBE TOGETHER. OUR COMMUNITY IS CREATIVE, CURIOUS AND CONNECTED. OUR PEOPLE VALUE FIERCE WORKOUTS AND FIERCER FRIENDSHIPS. OUR STUDIO ATTRACTS A COLLECTIVE OF LIKE-MINDED HUMANS WHO VALUE GOOD TIMES AND MAJOR SWEAT. OUR RIDE IS FOR EVERYONE AND EVERY BODY. THAT’S OUR WHEELHOUSE. FIND YOURS.

Why spinning?

It just made sense. It checked all of our boxes, if you will. My business partner, Heather, and I both loved it and loved the vibe of a spin studio as it offered something so different from all other types of workouts and gyms we’d tried. There was also nothing in Ottawa quite like what we wanted to build.

There’s something so different about getting on a bike in a dark room with the music blasting and your feet moving to the beat. You’ve clipped in as a lone rider but before you know it you are moving in rhythm with the entire room. Sweat is dripping from everyone, and the instructor is a blend of a motivational speaker, trainer, and a performer. It’s the best distraction from any stressful day I’ve ever had. I clip in. I lose myself for a little bit and I leave feeling like I could accomplish anything.

For the newbies, what can someone expect for their first spin class?

Expect to feel a little intimidated before you step inside the studio doors, but then expect to meet the nicest damn humans you’ve ever met. Everyone remembers their first ride, and there are new riders walking through the doors every day. So no matter how out of shape or how out of place you feel, you’ll find someone who feels or felt the exact same way. And you’ll also find someone who will make you feel welcome, help you set up your bike, and teach you how to survive that first ride feeling like you can come back stronger the next time.

On your website it talks about booking spin classes with instructors who have the same “Ride Vibe” as you, what is yours?

My ride vibe is ‘Spiritual Gangster’. I come from a yoga background so I definitely infuse some of that into my rides. We don’t do yoga, but every time I hop on that bike I practice yoga. How? My mindset. How I talk to my riders.  How I motivate and how I firmly believe that whatever you accomplish in that room will translate to your life outside the WH doors.

Any tips on how to keep a fitness New Years Resolution?

I don’t think fitness should be your New Years Resolution. I think it’s too much pressure and takes the fun out of something that would last a lifetime if you gave yourself a chance to find something you actually like. I spent years thinking I HAD to work out a certain way, count calories, step on a scale, etc etc. It took a long time to learn I didn’t HAVE to do anything if I didn’t like it. There are so many ways we can move our bodies and help destress and re-energize ourselves. What’s most important is figuring out what works best for you.  Try everything for a trail period and figure out if you like it and why. Do things that make you happy and feel better about yourself, and stop doing the things that make you miserable. BOOM. VOILA. Your New Years Resolution!

Besides spinning, what is your favourite way to get your sweat on?

I love so many different things it’s hard to list them all. I love being outdoors. I love the water. I love yoga and I love lifting heavy weights. It all depends on the season (I’m a fair-weather player!) and my mood. I’ve done a half IronMan but I’ve also been just as happy canoeing around a lake for an hour. For me, it’s not so much one thing, I am most happy when I move my body doing things I love. I also crave routine and committing to something so that’s why setting a big goal (like doing the Wheelhouse 20 in 30 challenge or registering for a half-marathon) keeps me motivated and helps me get outside my comfort zone – both physically and mentally.