Hardcore Circuit Classes Are The Bomb

Top level circuit classes are a solid alternative to personal training.

Running ShoesFIT FOR LESS | Anyone addicted to personal training can rattle off the benefits: great personal trainers keep you motivated and driving hard toward a level of fitness that always feels just out of reach; PTs teach proper strength training techniques, then push you like you would never push yourself to perform exercises correctly and with intent; ongoing work with a trainer means your abs will ripple but your tush will not (or not much anyway), that whatever health conditions, body image issues or training goals brought you there in the first place will be studiously addressed. So personal training is a good thing, and if you have been doing it, you probably don’t want to stop even when it starts to feel like the black dog of recession is nipping at your wallet. But there is a less expensive alternative for those who are already decently fit. A number of Vancouver’s best personal training studios offer what we like to call Super Circuit classes. Definitely not for the physically faint of heart, these one-hour drop-in sessions cost from $17 to $25.

Our 4 Favourite Butt Kickers
  1. Innovative Fitness has a great Saturday circuit at all locations. Sessions include serious “trainer-led” warm-ups, cool downs and stretching, something not found at all studios. Sandwiched between these activities are 30 one-minute stations for strength and endurance work.
  2. Level 10 Fitness has a different format from the other studios listed. Their class comprises five to seven mini circuits consisting of a series of multi-joint exercises repeated for a minimum of three sets each. The workout, cardio heavy with repeating strength drills, is hardcore, and endurance builds quickly.
  3. Amazing Personal Training Studio offers that rare thing, a Sunday morning power circuit. It’s a grind in a good way: think basic circuit exercises turned up a notch or two in terms of difficulty of execution (you are welcome to dial everything back on your own, of course,  and the instructor will gladly provide alternative moves). Call 604-714-5961 for particulars.
  4. Studeo 55 has a disco(ish) look and vibe (along with an instructor, a DJ is on hand to keep you motivated and moving), so you might think the place is more about style than substance, but it’s not. They train serious “Athletes,” and their circuit classes are just the way we like them: gruelling.

Photo: iStockphoto

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