sweating it out in the six - workout reviews

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

last month I decided to take a break from my la fitness membership to check out some different studios around toronto. I used to work out solely at barre studios but it gets a bit expensive so I began shopping around. and with so many different types of workouts popping up all over the city, it felt like a good time to revisit this topic. there's still a ton of gyms and studios I wanna visit but below is just a snippet to give you an idea if you've ever been curious about these :) hope it helps! 

barre belle
let me start by saying this is definitely the hardest barre class I've ever attended LOL and I've been to most of them - barre beautiful, barre3, barreworks, wicked barre, and a few others. before coming here, I thought I was "pretty fit" but now I'm kind of doubting everything. I tried "barre belle fit" (beginners) and "ass & abs" (intermediate) and got a major sweaty workout in from both - the burn was real!! each class uses a wide variation of equipment (pictured below) which is nice, because you don't spend alot of time at the barre. the instructors were all so friendly and encouraging, and the playlist is fire. like literally the best playlist I've heard in a barre studio. all the moves went precisely to the beat of the music and transitioned smoothly. the studio requires you to wear toe sox/grip socks in class, and a cold towel is handed out post-class to wipe down. I can't wait to come back here and work my way up to "barre x" (ok but does that not sound scary as f*k lmao) 

stotts pilates
I took my first reformer class here in this quiet little studio after seeing so much hype of reformer pilates on social media. I first took an intro class that was honestly, too easy and too slow for me. I didn't get my sweat on at all. I tried a second one that was supposed to be more intermediate and then I tried another variety of classes, but I never felt like I was getting a workout. I know so many people who rave about the refomer so I guess I just need to try another studio that has more challenging classes. I don't doubt that the reformer can provide a challenging workout but I don't recommend this studio if that's what you're looking for. I will say though that the instructors were super friendly and interactive with correcting posture and making sure you have the right breathing technique. this studio is equipped with showers and towels. 

fit factory 
fit factory provides boot camp style classes with a variation of boxing/strength training and athletic conditioning. I tried out a 45 minute HIIT training class in their new "skill room" and it honestly felt like the longest 45 minutes of life LOL it was extremely difficult and intimidating as a first timer not knowing what to expect. however, the instructor was very encouraging and pushed us all to exceed our limits, and working in teams made it easy to socialize and meet people. it definitely makes you feel like you're in a community and makes you want to come back. however, I found that it was hard to keep up or know what to do next during active recovery (you choose your own workout) and there are several stations that you switch between, meaning you have to remember what to do at each one. the music was also too loud to the point I couldn't hear what the instructor was saying when we transitioned stations. overall, this is just not a workout type that I think I enjoy but if you like a workout that is semi structured and semi autonomous with lots of teammate work, this one's for you! 
hers kickboxing
I have always been a fan of kickboxing because I definitely have anger management issues and its a great way to let off steam without *actually* hurting anyone LOL to be clear, I enjoy kickboxing with a punching bag, not one on one with real people, so that criteria already eliminates alot of kickboxing studios. I also prefer to work out in women-only environments if I can, so when I found hers kickboxing, it was an instant match made in heaven! the studios are equipped with kickboxing bags (his name is "bob") and give you a whole body workout. I love the variety of classes they have (my fav is taboxing, super sculpt and cardio chisel) but I wish they were offered at better times in the day (cardio chisel is only available twice a week, once at 9:30am and once at 4:30pm). the sequences are easy to follow and the workouts include an equal amount of cardio and weight training. some classes involve kettlebells and/or free weights and gloves are available to rent for $2 (first time is free). the instructors are helpful and will demonstrate the sequence for you, but I do wish they would go around and correct our form and give tips on how to stand/punch/kick better because I've seen a few girls have the worst form but nobody corrected them. I feel like there's a higher chance of getting injured or getting a less effective workout overall when someone has bad form so hopefully the teachers get more involved in the future! I also wish there were showers here, but they do give you a cold towel post-class to wipe down.
women's fitness clubs of canada
as the name suggests, this is a womens only gym - I like that the space isnt too big and that they have different membership options (part time memberships where you're allowed to come in x amount of times bi-weekly vs. full time memberships with unlimited visits bi-weekly). there's several locations and they're never too packed, and they also have a ton of classes. I also like the fact that the free weights section is always empty because most girls dont lift LOL there are personal trainers at an extra fee, no towel service, but there are large changerooms with showers and a sauna. 

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