'Mind, Body and Bike'

By STEPHEN REGENOLD

A red laser flits on my knee. Bike pedals spin. Larry Foss, founder of The Fix Studio in Minneapolis, adjusts a camera and aims a light at my leg. “Kick it up a notch,” he shouts. It is a Saturday morning, quiet in the city’s downtown warehouse district. But upstairs at Fix, where Foss and his wife, Sophie St-Jacques, opened shop in 2008, rock music rings from speakers mounted on the walls.

As exercise studios go, Fix does not fit an established mold. The facility, a loft-like space with high ceilings and varnished floors, contains curtained massage rooms, a treadmill, yoga mats, fans, and bike trainers aligned in front of computer screens. There are rubber gloves in a box. Cotton balls in a jar are ready to swathe blood after Foss pricks your finger in a threshold test. “They have a very holistic approach to fitness,” said Bob Trench, 51, an amateur bike racer and Fix client.

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Chalked sign at Fix Studio

From joint alignment to bike shoes, Foss and St-Jacques — who have respectively coached and competed for years in pro-level athletics — attempt to focus on the entire system that makes up an athlete, from nutrition to fitness regimen to gear.

Their tools range from high-tech to tried-and-true, yoga poses to a virtual-realty race course displayed on a computer screen. Services, which are purchased a la carte, include running-gait analysis tests, video-based bike-position fitting, blood-lactate threshold tests, indoor cycling training classes, nutrition plans, therapeutic massage, stretching classes, and race-strategy techniques.

“They have a great understanding of all endurance sports,” said Carolyn Bramante, a Minneapolis biathlete who competed in the 2006 Olympic Games. She began working with Fix (www.thefixstudio.com) for massage, stretching and nutrition consultations while preparing for Olympic trials last winter.

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Onscreen assessment of bike fit

Experience is a distinguisher at Fix. St-Jacques, who grew up in Montreal, raced professionally for years, including as a member of the Canadian Olympic National Cycling Team. Foss has certifications from USA Cycling to coach. For a decade, he traveled with Olympic athletes and professional road-cycling teams as an exercise-massage therapist and in management positions.

Foss saw athletes from his teams win gold, silver and bronze medals at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. The couple, married a year ago, work long hours in the 3,000-square-foot studio. Foss said his career is his life. “I have a hard time separating the two.”

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