Steps from the SkyTrain, limbs reach toward the clouds and footsteps simulate thunderstorms? rumbles. Inside Urban Fitness Club, exercisers perform these ancient yoga poses and Latin-inspired dance moves as they admire downtown?s nature and architecture. As fun and buoyant as a bounce castle filled with helium, motivating instructors impart these moves during classes for students of all skill levels and body types. Boot camps, one of the club?s specialties, challenge cadets with a series of bodyweight exercises such as planks and burpees, which may be interspersed with cardio challenges such as step-ups and jump-rope drills. The club was named one of the three best boot camps in 2013 and 2014 by "The Georgia Straight Best of Vancouver." The brand new Urban Fitness Club in South Granville is located on the corner of Granville and 6th Ave., and boasts more than 1,500 sq. ft. of training area with ample free or metered parking nearby.
Members at Curves, a fitness centre designed exclusively for women, rotate around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that are designed to work with female bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. Circuit coaches are always nearby to help manage participants' machine manoeuvring and muscle making. For 30 minutes, limbering ladies move around a circuit that positions machines inward, encouraging casual conversation while worker-outers release up to 500 units of caloric energy into the fatigued atmosphere. The hydraulic machines use the exerciser's own body weight to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean bodies perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like they can.
When she came to Canada from Peru, Maria Anduanet couldn't fit her favourite dance clubs in her luggage. Rather than sink into homesickness, however, she threw herself into learning and teaching Zumba. She became licensed in several styles of the dance workout, from traditional Zumba to Aqua Zumba and Zumbatomic for children.
Today, her classes radiate the same celebratory energy that she remembers from her nights out in South America. During the hour-long classes, she and her fellow instructors lead lively spins, steps, and shimmies to the tune of Latin music, rather than to the boring opera songs that most gyms play. The team also hosts Zumba parties for different events, such as birthdays and corporate gatherings. No matter the class setting, they emphasize that you don't need dance experience to benefit from the routines—having a good time remains the top priority.
Equipment: TechnoGym, PRECOR, Matrix
Students should bring: Bottle of Water, Towel
Average class length: 30-60 minutes
Number of Staff: 11?25 people
Class location: Indoors only
Registration required: No
Good for beginners: Yes
Guests allowed: Yes
Parking: Parking garage
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of BTS routines.
Gold's Gym BC boasts a few futuristic amenities, such as TechnoGym, PreCor, and Matrix machines. Off the main gym floor, guests can take a dip or swim laps in the full-size pool, or recover weary muscles at the juice bar and hot tub. Though the facilities and equipment are a big draw, the general manger Leon says that the knowledgeable staff is the gym's biggest asset. They help motivate exercisers and lead them around common pitfalls, such as becoming bored with their daily fitness routine.
At Weightbusters Fitness, students gain control of their fitness and health with an arsenal of group classes. Experienced instructors guide the diverse array of classes, which range from flexibility-boosting flow yoga to high-intensity total-body conditioning. As clients sweat to their full potential under the watchful eye of a personal trainer, nutritional coaches help pupils fuel their bodies with healthy, sustainable food choices. The group environment unites friends and aspiring athletes with fun, engaging Zumba or Pilates workouts, and collective training sessions further encourage camaraderie.
Luis Moncayo’s mother—a dancer inspired by her Caribbean-Colombian upbringing—influenced his career on the dance floor. He came to Vancouver to study further and toured throughout British Columbia as a choreographer of Colombian and Andean dance; he funnels this experience and passion into Zumba classes. His students can burn upwards of 700 calories an hour just by dancing along to his Latin-inspired choreography in sessions held five days a week at various Vancouver-area studios.