Workout Reviews & More


Where to get FIT, have fun and be fabulous in Vancouver? I get asked “Which gym do you go to?” all the time.  According to  StatsCan as of December 2016 Metro Vancouver had over 300 fitness facilities, plus 19 in Abbostford and 48 in Victoria, B.C. Some of the biggest fitness chains being Steve Nash Fitness World with 23 locations and counting. Anytime Fitness, Club 16 Trevor Linden, Goodlife, Curves and OrangeTheory . Vancouver also has 23 community centers who offer gym services, add to the mix yoga-only studio, Pilates studios, Cross-Fit Clubs, Spinning studios, boxing and martial-arts gyms, work place fitness facilities, condo gyms, tennis clubs & golf clubs and  independent personal trainers how does someone decide where to sign up?

For years my fitness routine included two personal trainer session per week and and running about 50 km per week. I was obsessed with logging my miles; rain, snow or scorching heat, I would be out there pounding the pavement. But after completing four half-marathons and a full marathon I now find myself seeking different ways of staying fit. About a year ago I signed up for Class Pass and I’ve discovered never ending variety and constant physical challenge.

Where to get FIT, have fun and be fabulous
Oxygen Yoga & Fitness

The first class I signed up for with the Class Pass app was at Oxygen Yoga & Fitness (564 W Broadway,  Vancouver,  B.C.) Don’t let the name fool you, this is NOT your typical yoga studio. I tried the Hot, Fast and  Furious class and I was instantly hooked. These yoga and fitness classes are conducted in an infrared sauna. The workouts vary from boot camp style classes (with weights), Pilates Fusion, Hot Power Core, Yoga and more. I guarantee Oxygen Yoga & Fitness will challenge you, push you and get you chiseled for the summer.

For addicts like me you can sign up for an unlimited monthly package directly at Oxygen Yoga & Fitness. They have multiple locations throughout the city with more popping up soon! Bring your yoga mat, full length towel, face towel and lots of water!

Where to get FIT, have fun and be fabulous
Kondi Studio Vancouver

My second favorite facility is Kondi Fitness  (100-1462 W. 8th Avenue, Vancouver, B.C.) This boutique studio  specializes in fun and challenging group classes featuring Callanetics, Pilates, TRX resistance workouts for stronger legs and H.I.I.T.  workout guarantees to help you become a faster runner.  When I first walked in I was a bit intimidated; everyone was modelesque (trainers and students alike) but it didn’t take me long to feel welcomed. The instructors/trainers are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable; they take the time to correct your form and push you to your physical limit.  If you’re looking for a real challenge or want to bring your training to the next level, this studio is made for you. The classes are TOUGH, especially the  H.I.I.T. series so bring alot of energy, your water bottle and be prepared to get breathless!

Vancouver saw the biggest snow falls since 1969 this winter; the sidewalks have been slippery and covered in snow for months so instead of my outdoor run I’ve been booking spin classes for my cardio blast. My current favorite spin studio is:

Where to get FIT, have fun and be fabulous
East Wood Cycle Vancouver and North Vancouver

Eastwood Cycle (154 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, B.C.), nestled between Yaletown and Gastown, is a gorgeous 4,500 sq spinning facility.  You can ride to the rhythm of the beats in the Icon Class or train for endurance and strength training in the Athlete Class. I love this studio, especially for my early morning workouts—the beats are super loud and you ride in the dark! The instructors focus on empowerment and motivation to make sure your heart gets pounding!

Where to get FIT, have fun and be fabulous
Pure Barre Vancouver

My latest find on the Class Pass app is Pure Barre (1907 West 4th Ave, Vancouver, B.C.) These 55 minute full- body low-impact workouts concentrate on areas where women tend to struggle the most: with the use of the  ballet  barre, you perform a series of small isometric movements that will lift your seat, and tone your thighs, abs and arms to build long and lean muscles. The vibe at the Kitsilano location is inviting but don’t be fooled by their kindness at reception, these workouts are a BURN! I also recommend you invest in a pair of sticky socks.

I work out 5-6 days a week, I bored and lose interest quickly so changing up my routine and trying new things workouts keeps me interested and challenged.  What’s your favorite workout or fitness studio and why?

On January 1st you probably set new fitness or weight loss resolutions for yourself! You were determined, inspired and ready to make 2017 different. Fast forward to January 17, the day where most people DITCH their New Year’s resolution… you’ve hit a wall and don’t know where all your “will power” has gone?!

Here are a few tips to help you stay the course and not give up on ditch day!

  • Allow for days off; eat a piece of cake, have a glass of wine and skip the workout.
  • You’re on a journey; physical results can take time, so appreciate the small victories like feeling energized after your workout.
  • Keep going; if you lose ½ lbs a week, by the end of 2017 you will have lost 26 lbs.
  • Don’t compare; comparing yourself to other on social media is a bad! Know where you’ve started, the progress you’ve made and wher you want to go!
  • Go outside; do fun fitness activities in nature like skiing in Whistler, snow shoeing on Grouse Mountain, trail running and hiking.
  • Try something new; ClassPass allows you to try many different types of fitness classes a low monthly cost.
  • Sign up for a race; set fitness goals rather than weight loss goals, start with a 5km race.
  • Remember; why you started!

We all know how, sometimes, it’s extremely difficult to lose weight. Some of us spend hours in the gym or on the road to do cardio workouts, building a solid foundation for the future. Others go the all-encompassing route and enroll in classes such as CrossFit or Intensity Interval Training and other similarly cardio-intensive exercises.

Despite all our efforts, often those stubborn pounds (or kilos) seem to be eternally attached to our bodies. So whether or not we fall under one category, it’s worth noting to consider incorporating individual sports in our fitness regimen; a racket pursuit like tennis.

Tennis can be an exciting way to get in shape and add a little variety to your usual exercise routine. In other words, it helps you lose weight in a fun, skillful kind of way. However, in spite of this, there’s still that cloud of doubt that lingers above the heads of most women. In order for us to get the most out of our training program, we must, of course, do certain things right; or in the case of tennis, play with a purpose.

Even though a full singles match in tennis lasts about an hour or two, it’s still a stop and start kind of game. In a way, it contradicts the whole idea of cardiovascular fitness and aerobic exercises, in which you have to constantly move for a sustained period of time to burn calories and improve your conditioning. To ease some of your worries, Play Your Court points out the many advantages of the sport, especially to females. The aforementioned website has a blog post entitled Top 10 Health Benefits of Playing Tennis for Women, wherein one of the entries focuses on weigh loss. According to the article, tennis – for what it’s worth – is “an excellent full-body workout,” as long as you match it with a proper diet plan.

In addition to all the intangible benefits of playing tennis, there are also the factors of actually picking up a racket and hitting the court. It’s imperative to play with someone who has the same mindset as you, meaning: a person who shares the exact same passion and gusto of losing weight. That way, you can feed off each other’s energy and achieve your fitness goals efficiently. Also, it’s important to meticulously warm up beforehand and cool down afterwards. You have to stretch your muscles in order to help you loosen up and, more importantly, prevent injuries. Lastly, playing tennis involves two or more people, however, if ever you find yourself without a partner, you can always resort to using a ball machine. You’ll be surprised at how it’ll greatly improve your swing and footwork, as well as your cardio.

Altogether, it doesn’t matter if you solely stick to the basics of strength and conditioning training, or include cross training to your regimen, as long as you put in the time and effort, you’ll always be one step closer to your fitness goals. So go out there, sweat it out, and be the best you possible.

Last week, while in San Francisco I got the chance to go to a spin class at Soul Cycle SoMa. The candle lit space is jammed packed with bikes with just enough room between them to squeeze by. The music is rocking loud which instantly hyped me. As I sat on my bike, an attendant came by. “I haven’t seen you here before; can I help you set up your bike?” She asked. She welcomed me and gave me a quick briefing of what to expect during the session. Out of nowhere a tiny muscular lady with a super long blond ponytail jumped in front of me and said “I love your tank top! I’m Jenny, I’ll be guiding your ride, let me know if you have any questions and have fun!” 3-2-1 and we were off.  We climbed, jogged, sprinted, danced and worked our upper body. Before I knew it, I was drenched from head to toe and the 45 minutes class was over!

Soul Cycle definitely is fitness fun! The inspirational instructors have a knack for bringing the riders together and creating a real sense of community. I was blown away!  The good vibes and energetic instructor Jenny re-ignited my spinning obsession.

When I got home on Thursday I looked into local spin gyms. On Saturday I went to Eastwood Cycle. The setup was very similar, with the instructor surrounded by candlelight on a platform in the front of the dark room.  The class “Icon” was also comparable; a 45 minutes intense class that combines riding to the rhythm and an upper body workout.

These bikes have a display with a speedometer, time worked and calories burned showing on them. I know most people love this feature, but personally I’d rather not know! The numbers tend to distract me, so I threw my towel over top of it.

I had a chance to speak with the instructor after class, and it turns out she used teach at Soul Cycle in LA! She also told me about the introductory special, $100 for 30 days of unlimited classes. I signed up!

With the festivite season upon us, I can use the extra motivation to ensure I make the best of the next 31 days and avoid packing on any holiday pounds. #holidaysweat

PS – If you’re an enthusiast of sweaty activities, I would definitely suggest you try a spin class!

Gym: Sweat Co. Studios  is located at 736 Richards St. Vancouver British Columbia Canada (604) 683-7938

First Class: Wednesday Sweat Circuit Challenge. This class combined circuits of high intense cardio and endurance strength training in the same one hour workout. Fat burning and muscles building all in one! My abs were still hurting when I woke up on Saturday morning. This class was taught by Debbie Jacques.

Second Class: Saturday morning Spin. It had been a while since I’d attended a Spin class, plus I had just moved and couldn’t find my clip in shoes “argh”!  Regardless this class was jam packed with hills and drills and I definitely felt the burn! The ride was lead by Maurren Wilson and she sure gave me my money’s worth!

Facility: This gym is extremely clean, the vibe is calm and friendly. The space is split up into three sections; the personal training & gym equipment is downstairs, the group fitness classes are held in the large room behind the reception area and the Spin room is accessed next door and located on the second floor. The segregation made the experiences feel a bit more intimate and some what exclusive. The brick walls, rustic flooring and beautiful front lobby chandelier makes this smaller boutique gymvery shabby chic! 

Staff: From my first call in to book my class, to being greeted at reception by Kayla to meeting the instructors, everyone at Sweat Co. was extremely friendly and made me feel welcome. Both times while I was paying for my class I was told about the option to purchase discount packages but it wasn’t at all pushy, which I appreciated!

Class Size: The group fitness room can easily hold twenty people, but we were five plus the instructor. The spin room has about twenty five bikes but there was only nine of us. I suspect the wonderful Vancouver weather played a factor in the low turnout.

Cardio & Strength Training: The Circuit Sweat Challenge is definitely going to help you define and tone your muscles. The Spin class was as always a sweat-fest and based on the puddle under my bike, a top calorie burner!

Bookings: Drop-in anytime for the group fitness classes but you need to call in 24 hours ahead to reserve a spot in the Spin classes.

Pricing: Group fitness classes are $18.50 plus taxes, Spin classes are $22.50 plus taxes. There are no initiation fees and discount packages are available. Personal training and Pilates classes are also available. You will be granted unlimited access to the training room for seven days following your personal training session.

Equipment: A water bottle and a towel is highly recommended but you’re not required to bring any other equipment to either of these classes.

Difficulty: The level of intensity you bring to these workouts will ultimately determine how difficult it’s going to be. You will be encourage by the instructors to push yourself. Take it at your won pace or go hard! Both classes are good for beginners or fitness extremists.

Summary: Overall a great facility, two fantastic workouts and nice people. A must try!

Total Diamonds (out of five)

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