Things are heating up at The Sweat Shoppe


Toluca Lake indoor cycling studio leaves you drenched

By Gail E. Moss

How do you revolutionize the fitness business? With heat, sweat and detoxifying indoor cycling classes. And The Sweat Shoppe, at 10620 Riverside Dr., is the only place you can find all those ingredients.

However, with new locations in the works, owners Mimi Benz and Jason Squire don’t plan on keeping it that way forever. Meanwhile, their Toluca Lake facility features many amenities including showers, lockers and a boutique.

“Fitness has always been a big part of my life,” says Benz. In fact she met her husband (Squire) in a cycling class. Then, as a mom with her third baby on the way, she hit upon the idea of a hot cycling class. “I was trying to lose weight after our first child,” she explained. As indoor cycling teachers, they opened shop with the heated classes quickly and totally replacing the non-heated ones.

Surely this type of training is only for the already fit? “Not so,” she explains. “It’s life changing. We can help anyone liberate their inner athlete.” They focus on individual needs with clients ranging from triathletes to folks with asthma, allergies and MS.

New clients are carefully advised by in-house trained teachers and the space is closely monitored. They have sophisticated ventilation and heating systems, and each person receives a new rider call before they start. “We are very cognizant that heat increases heart rate,” Benz advises.

The instructors focus on creating a great community and do not discourage anyone from participating. “We have cooler microclimates in the room and we encourage modification when you need it,” she continued. Dehydration prevention is stressed, and they offer dehydration-prevention powders as well as other drinks to help keep you sweating safely.

“Cleanse is a word we use a lot around here. People have been using sweat to detox for centuries, from Native American sweat lodges to saunas,” she explained. And now she and Squire offer a 30-day program of healthy cleansing and eating that integrates nutrition with fitness. It’s an addition that their loyal customers have been asking for.

The couple have researched and studied the benefits of heat. “Heat is used like a training tool similar to altitude training,” Benz said. “Heat training works the mental as much as the physical, forcing you to remain focused on the mind-body connection.”

If that’s not enough, a Pilates class led by Benz herself is coming soon. “We put our blood, sweat and tears into The Sweat Shoppe,” the proud owner revealed.  “We tripled our size from our first location.” They wanted a place where anyone could go and feel comfortable while being the best they could be.

Community-minded, Benz is a board member of the Toluca Lak

e Chamber of Commerce.

Visit or call (818) 287-3997 to get started.

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