The Alternative Climbing Gym challenges climbers of all abilities with a 30-foot vertical wall in a 1,500-square-foot facility. Expert instructors put students through the paces of ropeless bouldering, the teamwork of belaying, or top-roping, in which a wall scaler ascends with the help of a rope connected to both the climber and the summit. Each climbing variation at the gym enables bodies to build core strength, balance, flexibility, endurance, and stamina while slapping gravity across the face with a glove. All ages of aspiring mountaineers are welcome to use the facility and modern climbing gear, though belaying’s buddy support requires that sturdy helpers be at least 12 years old. Like the moods of adolescent rock faces, the routes change often.
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.
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 Pure Payne Strength and Conditioning, trainers engineer workouts suited for exercisers of all different ages and fitness levels, with a focus on building strength through functional exercises. In addition to personal training and group workouts, the facility also hosts spin classes and boot camps for beginners.
Over the course of his NBA career, Steve Nash developed a fitness vision—one where a place could promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle for all. Within its 18 locations across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, Steve Nash Fitness World & Sports Club strives to fulfill that vision by maximizing each member's experience in a fun and friendly environment.
Featuring a variety of amenities for all those wanting to achieve their fitness goals, each facility boasts state-of-the-art training equipment for clients' cardio and weight-lifting needs. For those who work better in packs, a wide range of fun group fitness classes are offered, including Zumba, yoga, pound, and LaBlast. Experienced certified personal trainers impart their wealth of fitness knowledge and effective exercise programs, but also inform on the latest in health and fitness, in-club events, and several other exciting member services.
It seems like Mark Salgado is constantly in motion—practicing yoga, training in jiu-jitsu, and heading workout sessions at his own studio, Core Focus Training. Armed with a degree in human kinetics and years of coaching experience, Mark captains a staff of certified trainers as they lead personal-training sessions, fitness-rehabilitation programs, and boot camps. Their unconventional 10-week Core Focus course strengthens participants’ cores through fast-paced workouts designed to foster long-term strength, endurance, and agility. The team packs their workout space with functional exercise equipment in lieu of the cardio machines and soft-serve ice-cream dispensers found in most gyms.
Given all the medals they’ve accrued in international competitions, you’d think the instructors at Apex Martial Arts would dedicate more space to a trophy case. Instead, owners Milo and Marcy Hilario opted for 1,200 square feet of open mat space and a roped-in, 18’x18’ boxing ring, ideal for imparting their vast stores of competition-level experience. Named Richmond’s top martial-arts school for three years, Apex teaches through hands-on instruction and attention to technique. Instructors emphasize the proper leverage behind successful jiu-jitsu holds, or personally demonstrate a coy tickle to the trachea or the hip shifts that power a devastating right cross punch. Students stretch and cool down after class, talking shop in a modern lounge appointed with black-leather couches and a flat-screen TV.