Blood, sweat and fears: Three funky new exercise clubs to survive winter in the big city
Sick of the usual fitness scene but willing to put in some extra work now to prepare for holiday feasting? It appears that there are others in the city who share your concerns: witness the increasing appeal of novel, fun or just straight-up unusual fitness trends. Here are a few that have made the local gym-going radar in 2014.
Hub Climbing: This 905 playground is more than just your average rock climbing gym. The proof? 18,000 square feet of climbing and fitness space available for your flexible, well-toned monkeying around; 200 bouldering programs that go from stupidly easy to horrifyingly difficult; and at the centre of it all, a dragon. Yes, a dragon. It’s a 23-foot-high boulder shaped like a mythical fire-breathing beast, so if that’s not enough to get both your imagination and your climbing muscles going crazy, we don’t know what is (Hub Climbing, 165 McIntosh Dr.).
SurfSet Toronto: An indoor beachside environment located at Yonge and Eglinton is an opportunity to at least imagine yourself out of the snowy wasteland of a Toronto winter. It’s not exactly mai tais and false sunrises, though. Here, it’s an exploration of the SurfSet system, a specialty fitness routine that focuses on improving balance, building muscle and burning fat. Or, you can do all three. The question of whether the plot of Point Break is in your future for participating, though, remains up in the air (SurfSet Toronto, 2481A Yonge St.).
Kangoo Club: Enjoy bouncing? How about getting in shape by literally jumping around, with the aid of some rather specially designed shoes? That’s the idea behind Kangoo Club Toronto, which is certainly turning heads, some mid-bounce. It’s led and founded by Dorina Rigo — the only licensed Kangoo Jumps instructor in Canada — and it’s the simplicity of the exercise that seems to appeal. From posture and balance to cardio to burning fat, this all-ages, all-abilities exercise seems to have something for everybody. And it’s something you can do anywhere, too (Kangoo Club Toronto, 7 Isabella St.).
(L–R) Hub Climbing, SurfSet lets you hang 10 without the sharks, and Kangoo is hop-tastic