VI Fitness—a workout mainstay with a dozen locations peppering Vancouver Island—splits its real estate between coed and women’s only gyms. Coed locations line the floors with a wide variety of strength and stability equipment, free weights, and cardio machines; women’s locations host a similar array of gear but in designs tailored specifically for women. The two gym models are otherwise similar, hosting yoga classes and group exercise courses such as VI Fitness’s signature indoor cycling—which guides stationary bikers over simulated terrains, from rolling hills to the cratered surface of the moon’s intricate highway system.
Alternatively, each gym’s team of personal trainers creates customized regimens for patrons with the help of the Polar BodyAge system that measures individual fitness levels. The sessions also motivate athletes and ensure they use proper technique, significantly reducing the risk of injury, overexertion, or the embarrassment of accidentally bench-pressing a treadmill. The on-site child minding watches over exercisers’ little ones while secure rental lockers keep personal effects locked up.
At Cadence Fitness, guests can tone their bodies in core workouts, sultry pole-dance spins, and aerial circus arts without leaving the building. However, the women-only studio isn't a training spot for acrobats?its expert staff invites ladies of all backgrounds and body types to their classes. Owner Amie set out to create a safe and compassionate haven where guests can experiment with movement, whether they are spinning six feet from the ground aboard a lyra or stretching into atmospheric yoga's midair splits. Her programs have been featured on Shaw TV's "The Daily" for their accessibility and benefits, which include having enough strength and balance to tightrope walk while tearing phonebooks in half. Amie and her team also host workshops, parties, and teacher-training seminars, inspiring groups to shed their insecurities and twirl toward empowerment.
Each day, Bikram Yoga Westshore's certified instructors vaporize stress with deep breaths, warm personalities, and 105 degrees of therapeutic heat. Every 90-minute class revolves around 26 Hatha poses designed to help clients develop lean, lithe physiques. In addition to fostering strength and balance, the poses raise pulses for 20–25 minutes during a cardio workout that builds stamina.
Heat melts tension in muscles, fostering deeper, safer stretches, and induces sweating that works to rid bodies of toxins. Nonporous, hypoallergenic, floor panels ward off germs to prevent sneezes, and optional towel service keeps students dry and comfortable. Fresh air constantly circulates through the room from the heated ceiling to ensure that muscles remain oxygenated throughout the workout. After class, yogis can retire to the showers for an extra dose of relaxation, or search the studio's boutique for a yoga mat or spare parts to fix a broken nirvana.
The sounds of free weights clinking and exercise balls bouncing up and down reverberate off of the mirrored walls in a bustling 1,500-square-foot studio space brimming with state-of-the-art strength-training equipment. Here, certified athletic therapists and injury-prevention and rehabilitation specialists work with clients of all fitness abilities to achieve their goals of toning their bodies, recovering from a physical ailment, or having an actual reason to wear a sweatband. During boot camps, they'll guide small groups through total-body workouts, as well as teach clients how to manage any preexisting injuries or prevent them from happening in the first place.
Moving in a straight line across Taboo Fitness’s studio space that’s studded with floor-to-ceiling poles might seem difficult, but that’s just because the instructors haven’t started teaching any moves yet. Minutes into class, instructors with nicknames such as JRock, B, and Ash encourage students to perform twirls, lifts, and slides, strengthening limbs to the rhythm of upbeat music. They supplement the pole-dance workout with burlesque-inspired cardio classes such as Pussycat Dolls—titled after the pop stars—or Quick and Dirty, which is named after Clint Eastwood’s burlesque routine.
Sophin Sarin’s passion for fitness ignited when he started playing sports in middle school, and his desire to share it with others has not wavered since. He founded Twork It Out Fitness to help his clients fit into healthier lifestyles through hard work and discipline. His 35-minute boot-camp classes require resolve, as students power through interval-training workouts that build muscle and strengthen the cardiovascular system. As with any sustained period of intense exercise, metabolism stays stoked afterward, burning more calories in a 48-hour period without having to train yourself to sleep-jog. Classes meet six days a week, with morning and evening sessions to convenience an array of schedules.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's centre, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.