Group Fitness Review #1

When it comes to exercise, and more specifically group fitness, you can easily become overwhelmed with all of the various options and specialized classes offered throughout Toronto.  Although I work in the industry, I too like to check out different classes to learn new moves, hear new songs, and see what works and doesn’t for other instructors.  I decided it was a good idea to check out some group fitness classes and share my findings with all of you! Hopefully it can help you better decide what your next group fitness adventure will be!

Surfset Fitness:  A friend of mine took this class and said it was a MUST try! They are currently offering $10 morning classes so I figured, why not! I had no idea what I was getting myself into but loved it.  It is a challenge.  Picture a BOSU ball turned upside down.  Now imagine that feeling but in surfboard form.  My first class took me by surprise.  I was not expecting to have to modify as many things as I did to get the feel of the board.  It is a full body class but they do have a variety of classes.  Some focus on balance, some cardio based, others strength based.  I tried the Blend class which is a combination of all three.  The biggest component of this class is focus.  You can’t worry about who else is in the room and what they are doing.  It is all about you and your board.  At first I was concerned with how I compared to the rest of the participants but I quickly realized that I needed to channel my focus inwardly and find my own balance and strength to accomplish the movements in the class.  I would highly recommend this class for people who have experience with basic movements (lunge, squat, push-ups, plank).  In order to have success in this class, you must be able to properly master these moves on the ground before graduating up to the board.  Modifications can always be made and this class is a challenge for anyone who attends.  
*Side note, I will be teaching there soon! I was inspired to step out of my comfort zone and train to become an instructor!

Studio Lagree Of all of the fitness classes I attended to review in the last short while, I walked into Studio Lagree with the least amount of knowledge.  I knew it was a pilates style class but was pretty nervous going in.  They said to sit in the middle so that you would be able to watch people around you for help.  Sitting in the middle of a class you really don’t know much about is a little scary! It is an advanced class in my opinion.  It targeted every inch of my core; some places I didn’t even know existed! It was a great workout but someone coming in would require experience.  If you aren’t aware of how to properly move and activate your core, this class could potentially cause injury and you wouldn’t get the full benefit of it.  I really enjoyed it once the warmup was over and my nerves left.  This is more of an advanced class, so not for everyone in my opinion.  

Greco Fitness:  Originally based out of Ottawa, this is the first location in Toronto.  Being the big Blue Jays fan that I am, I absolutely LOVE that it is literally across the street from the Rogers Centre, on Blue Jays Way.  It is HIIT style training and you move through a variety of stations targeting various muscle groups.  Bring a friend because you are split up in pairs among the stations.  That way, when you want to quit, your friend will be there to keep you going to the end of the interval.  This class can be challenging for the most seasoned exerciser or the first timer at the gym.  A variety of equipment is used but because the movements are more traditional than the two class formats mentioned above, modifications can be more easily made for someone with an injury or a more novice exerciser.  They also have a smoothie bar for post workout fuel – the peanut butter one is my FAV! Look closely at the schedule and you will see I am leading a running workout combining running with body weight movements to change up your workout routine every Thursday at 5pm! See you later this week! 

Regardless of which format of exercise we choose, it is important to remember that it is good to mix things up.  Strength training is great, mobility and flexibility work is too.  Improving your cardiovascular strength is never a bad thing either!  When we do the same things over and over, our bodies get used to it.  Change is good! Let me know if you have tried any of the above mentioned classes and what you thought.  Think there is another workout in the city I should check out? Let me know!

Be fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.

Rachel

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