Having trained Amy Reid, the current Twin Dragon Canadian women’s flyweight champion, as well as Jason Leava, the USKBA men’s middleweight champion, the coaches at Effective Kickboxing know how to train those of all skill levels and fitness. Their client roster also includes heavy hitters such as Starr Guest, EOFL women's flyweight champion, and Robert Hymans, men's EOFL heavyweight and now the Twin Dragon Kickboxing association's super heavy weight champion. While working with such elite fighters dominates much of their time, instructors also help keep nonfighters in peak physical shape. During high-intensity classes, trainers combine endurance, strength, and flexibility exercises so that participants can burn up to 900 calories per session. Each class features enough kicks and punches to convince shadows to wear mouth guards, and coaches instruct on methods of maintaining balance, precision, and striking power.
Bathed in the gentle glow of subdued, relaxing light, Impressions Day Spa’s talented staff deploys upwards of 20 years of industry experience as they lavish bodies in serenity-inducing services. The spa’s dedication to individualized care is evidenced in the lush private treatment rooms wherein aestheticians tailor treatments such as microdermabrasion and organic airbrush tanning to fit each patron’s skin type and accommodate comfort levels. Bolstering existing beauty remains a spa specialty, but Impressions' team of RMTs also perfects the art of stress erasing through treatments such as Swedish massage, which can help relieve trauma resulting from having a quarter painfully extracted from an ear by a street magician.
Eight CrossFit Level 1–certified trainers unite their backgrounds as professional firefighters, medical personnel, and hockey or snowboarding athletes to form a dedicated gym family, guiding apprentices in their journeys to fitness. Members of the tight-knit team took 3rd place in the 2012 Reebok/CrossFit Canada East Regional Competition, where they clambered onto the event podium to cement their finish by hand-bending a block of molten bronze into a trophy.
During guided classes, they welcome newcomers to the fold by committing each student's name to memory as they tackle intense Workout of the Day routines. CrossFit's catalogue of functional movements—actions relevant to real life and befitting how our anatomy works—include squats, dead-lifts, pull-ups, kettle bell swings, and box jumps among other exercises, all of which can be scaled to individual strength levels. Workouts might even call for the ascension of dangling ropes or heaving loaded sleds across the floor without opening any of the presents heaped on top. Such a reliance on muscle confusion aims to keeps physiques from settling into monotonous reps or hitting a fitness plateau.
Derwin Johnson has donned many belts. After serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, he began studying a variety of martial arts, including muay thai, Shaolin kempo, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He eventually realized that he wanted to share his extensive physical knowledge with others, and left behind the corporate world of glass-encased offices for a realm of punching bags and floor mats. Today, Johnson operates The Sweat Shack, where he combines his love of martial arts with modern fitness techniques to help transform clients’ bodies.
Johnson and his skilled instructors practice a fitness style called muscle confusion, constantly varying their exercise routines so that the body can’t adapt to the workout. This method prompts the muscles to constantly work harder and burn more calories. The team holds classes in seven partner martial-arts gyms, taking advantage of their bags, mats, and pads to add high-intensity, light-contact accessories to each camp.
Erin Mills Fitness allows its members to exercise individually, during group classes, or one-on-one with personal trainers. The facility houses a full circuit of strength training equipment, as well as cardio equipment and ample free weights. In other areas, instructors teach yoga, Pilates, and Zumba classes. Erin Mills Fitness complements its exercise services with registered massage therapy and chiropractic care.
"We are not a gym with personal trainers," explains the staff at Conker Fitness, "we are a personal development facility with a team of attentive, experienced coaches." These coaches?Jeff, Matt, Alicia, Justin, Becky, Lou, and Trista?each have their own specialties and their own way of connecting with clients. They're also the folks who guide the boot camp and small-group training sessions.
Because their focus is "on performance and development, not juice bars and tanning beds," the Conker Fitness team has outfitted their facility with tons of challenging gear: punching bags, sledgehammers, sleds, and monkey bars occupy the two-level gymnasium, along with traditional equipment such as weight machines. As they jog on the lofted level, treadmill runners can gaze over the balcony and reenact the cardio-fitness scenes of Romeo and Juliet. The focus here is on personal progress and results, but there is clearly a lot of thought behind the facility's look and feel. It's well-lit and high-ceilinged, and a decorative red-and-white graffiti motif gives the place a tough, modern feel.