Fitness is about so much more than just making #gainz here in Vancouver. For one, community is at the forefront — your studio basically becomes a second home, and as for the team there, they become your crew. We know you know fitness is a lifestyle in this city, so it’s important you find the tribe that’s right for you whether its yogis, cyclists, bootcampers, or CrossFitters. Here are some of our favourite gyms and studios around town.
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.
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 Fairview Slopes studio prides itself, 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!
Canada’s original barre workout is now in five YVR locations. Owners Ella and Michele have set the bar(re) high with their take on the ballet barre-based fitness trend. An energising fusion of the kind of movements that make those ballerinas so darn strong, also expect Pilates-style exercises, light weights, and plenty of restorative stretching. Tell your body to get ready for uncontrollable shaking in those legs — you’ll definitely be feeling that classic barre burn.
Welcome to their music-pumping, heart-thumping playground. Spin Society has boutique studios in the heart of downtown on Granville St. and the North Shore with another on the way in Mt. Pleasant, as well as a new concept called Hustle moving into the same space. 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.
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!
Clubbing is so last century. When we fancy a sweaty dance party, we make our way down to Strathcona-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 contagious and the workout is a full-body blast. You’ll never look at a rowing machine in the same way again.
Work out, hang out, take out. This 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, a shop selling boho-chic accessories and athleisure wear 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, and circuits. Unique additions like ‘The Class’, curated to build a lean, strong body whilst cleansing the spirit, ensure TurF has a lock on the Vancouver fitness scene.
All City Athletics
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.
If your wallet doesn’t quite stretch to seeing a personal trainer five days a week, then we recommend paying a visit to Groundwork Athletics instead. With an average of about four to eight people per class, you get all the benefits of one-on-one training without the hefty price tag. They offer a variety of different class formats, but we recommend the ‘All Strength’. The clue is in the title — this class is about getting strong. One hour of pure, unadulterated weightlifting with an emphasis on form and power.
Phew. All that heavy-lifting and heart-pumping cardio has got us 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 setar 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.
Dance for fun and fitness at this Vancouver studio. They have special themed classes like their one dedicated to the one and only, Beyoncé. During this class you will bring out your inner Sasha Fierce by learning original routines set to some of her greatest hits. Over the course of a six-week workshop, you will have three combos mastered that are upbeat, fun, and sexy. And if you prefer some old-school hits from the early 2000s, then you have to sign up for their Throwback class, where they play all the feel-good jams you grew up to.
Stop by this popular studio for barre-inspired hybrid workouts to break a sweat. They have a variety of workout classes all with the core in mind. Sign up for their balanced barre, strength yoga, HIIT, or ‘Bums & Barre’ classes to test your balance and and put your core strength to the test.
Pure Vibe Fitness Studio
Step up your fitness game on West Broadway with this high-impact 20-minute workout of epic proportions. The classes combine HIIT fitness with whole-body vibration so you get the most intense workout in half the time. Their classes will help jump-start weight loss, burn more fat, and further improve your balance and flexibility.
This fitness joint on West Hastings is the ultimate triple-threat — they have boxing, meditation, and cycling all under one roof. Eastwood’s high-intensity boxing classes are a great cardio and conditioning session. Meanwhile, their meditation workshops will help stimulate your mind and help you learn how to fully unwind. Last but not least, hop onto a bike and get all the benefits of cycling through their challenging rides.
**Updated by Meagan Gill, September 2018