UPDATED DEC 15, 2019
We know you know fitness is a lifestyle in Vancouver, so it’s important you find the tribe that’s right for you — whether its yogis, cyclists, bootcampers, or CrossFitters. Well, search no further! You'll find a welcoming crew and top-notch experience at favourite gyms and studios around town.
Work out, hang out, take out. TurF is a hella-cool, modern-day community centre in Kitsilano. Uber-tasty and healthy eats are served in the cafe with a communal long table at its focus. To the back, you'll find a shop selling boho-chic accessories and athleisure to ensure you look the part. And let’s not forget the bright and airy fitness studio to the front with a jam-packed schedule of favourites like boxing, yoga, TRX, circuits, and unique additions like programming from Toronto's MISFITSTUDIO. And as of February 2020, TurF will open a second, equally stunning location downtown.
SoulCycle is almost synonymous with cycling in today's world, and their outpost in Yaletown does their gold standard, 45-minute signature ride justice. Their themed rides—everything from Throwback Thursday to Man Crush Monday—sync up to the choreography for each workout, and each instructor brings a bit of personality to the experience. And while there might be a bit of a learning curve in nailing down the difference between Second and Third Position, this good-vibe tribe doesn't judge.
Sometimes, the gym just ain’t your thang. We get that. But don’t give up hope on fitness altogether; we want to introduce you to Tight Club. This cooler-than-cool studio in Chinatown is about so much more than just making gains. It’s a lifestyle, a community, and a place to hang with friends… you just happen to get fit at the same time! Don’t get us wrong — this crew will still push you. Sign up for Booty Luv: functional strength, core, and bodyweight and stability exercises with an added focus on your derrière. Warning: you may not be able to walk the next day!
Don’t be fooled by the mega-babe instructors; this team is badass. Each class follows a similar structure with a mix of short (five- to 10-minute) treadmill intervals to get that heart rate racing followed by longer (20–30-minute) conditioning sets to sculpt and tone. The South Granville and Yaletown studios prides themselves, in particular, on its “Callanetics”, or Kondi Cals workout — small, zero-impact movements and pulses similar to Pilates, only more targeted. Combine this with the treadmill intervals and you have a match made in calorie-torching, HIIT heaven!
This fitness joint on West Hastings is the ultimate triple-threat — they have meditation, and cycling all under one roof. Eastwood’s meditation workshops will help stimulate your mind and help you learn how to fully unwind. Meanwhile, you can hop onto a bike and get all the quad-burning benefits of cycling through their challenging rides.
If your technique isn’t right, then there is no point in lifting those weights at all. That’s the ‘quality over quantity’ approach at this South Granville studio, featuring one of the most welcoming and professional teams in town. Great for beginners, the instructor breaks down each and every move so that you nail down the technique. On top of that, workouts are based on time rather than the number of reps so you can make the workout your own. We recommend the Combo+ class — a mixture of kettlebells, TRX, and bodyweight exercises to get you super strong from head to toe.
Welcome to their music-pumping, heart-thumping playground. Spin Society has boutique studios in the heart of downtown on Granville St., the North Shore, and their newest in Mt. Pleasant that shares a space with their strength and functional fitness concept called Hustle. You don’t need to be an expert to clip in at this studio — they provide the towels, shoes, and the guidance needed to get you pedaling to those beats in no time. Post sweat, shower in their spacious facilities with Skoah products as standard. Fancy.
You don’t even need to set foot in this North Vancouver studio to know that it’s gonna be good. Its owner, Christine, is ex-Kondi (that’s a serious credential around here). Like its Kondi roots, the classes are a fitness-elevating union of high-intensity cardio and challenging strength exercises. In particular, we like to hit up their TRX class — move over sit-ups, TRX planks are where it’s at.
This Australian-born bootcamp is actually taking over the world. With more than 1,000 studios worldwide, their signature 45-minute workouts have been whipping people into athlete form from Sydney to Dubai and everywhere in between. And we're lucky enough to have a growing number of Greater Van outposts. Come experience the 36 developed workout experiences that mix HIIT, circuit training, and functional training that incorporate everything from battle ropes and kettlebell swings to box jumps and dumbbell presses.
Clubbing is so last century. When we fancy a sweaty dance party, we make our way down to Gastown-based Club Row. Taking the cycling concept to the next level, you’ll row to the beat in a class full of like-minded endorphin-fuelled individuals. The energy is infectious and the workout is a full-body blast. You’ll never look at a rowing machine in the same way again.
Grab your gloves and head deep into this hip and sultry underground boxing studio based in Gastown. Four group class formats (as well as personal training) will have you swinging hooks like a pro in no time. And, so you know, sometimes they have boxing & beer classes on the schedule. We like their style.
When former First Lady Michelle Obama credits her peak fitness to the Lagree Fitness Method, we listen. Lagree West is Vancouver’s installment, with locations in Gastown, Lower Lonsdale, Mount Pleasant, and Kitsilano. Classes blend Pilates, strength, and circuit training — all set to a slow rhythm on top of a patented Megaformer machine. And with smaller class sizes, expect more attention from the instructors as you strap in to use muscles you didn’t you know had.
It is physically impossible to "half-ass" a workout at Yard Athletics. This downtown training facility takes performance seriously, providing simple, "back-to-the-basics" group strength and conditioning classes, and they come in two flavors! Try The Old Fashioned workout for a high-intensity circuit of full-body moves that will have you training like a true athlete. Or, maybe you and your friends want to give The Quick & Dirty a try, an "hour of power" that's as humbling as it is effective. Barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, truck tire — all in the mystery bag of these expert trainers.
All that heavy-lifting and heart-pumping cardio can make you a little sore. Rejuvenate those muscles at Stretch Vancouver with an invigorating and restorative yoga class. What sets this Chinatown yoga studio apart from the countless other yoga studios in the city is its music classes. Yin with live cello or live sitar performances are so mellow and soothing, you’ll never want to get up off your mat. Leave? Nama-stay here for a little while longer, please.
Equinox is known across North America for its luxe health clubs, and a membership comes with the price tag that you would expect. Yet, if you look past the eucalyptus steam room at the West Georgia Street gym, you'll find that Equinox has some of the best group fitness classes around—over 120 per week—and they certainly help justify the cost. In dedicated yoga, Pilates, cycling, and cardio studios, you'll find classes like the music-driven spin session called Anthem, a treadmill-based workout called Precision Run, and our favourite: an express, 30-minute HIIT class called Firestarter.
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