WORK YOUR BOD (AND YOUR BRAIN) AT THE HOTTEST NEW FITNESS STUDIOS TAKING OVER THE 6IX
by ANDREA KARR
IF YOU’RE STUCK in a rut and crave a change of pace or place to reinvigorate your health goals, book a class at one of these stunning new locales in the heart of Toronto.
You may end up boxing, spinning or planking your way to better fitness, or simply taking a moment to sit down and breathe (for once!). Whatever you choose, it could be just the thing you need to get your mind and body back on track.
Known for its muscle shake-inducing workouts, Studio Lagree has branched out to Toronto’s east end with a new location at 672 Queen Street East. It’s the perfect fitness destination for anyone looking for a no-impact strength session (like a mix of Pilates and bodybuilding) that targets every muscle with slow, controlled movements and fast transitions. If you’re a newbie, or simply want to perfect your technique, try Intro to the Lagree Method for a slower-paced class that’s offered exclusively at the Queen East studio. The east end location is also the first in the GTA to have the M3S MegaFormer, the latest generation of MegaFormer (like a fancy Pilates reformer) that allows a greater variety of movements and challenge levels.
It’s not just a spin club, it’s a way of life. New to Greektown, Loft Cycle Club (452 Danforth Avenue) is an airy 4,000-square-foot lifestyle hub with a 41-bike spin studio, 18-person sculpt room, coffee-and-smoothie café and shop with essential oils, jewellery and fitness gear. Alternate between satisfying your cardio craving with the signature spin class and honing your strength with one of three mat classes: Build (which features high-intensity circuits that strengthen muscles and improve posture), Burn (uses light weights and focuses on core strength) and Balance (blends stretching and mobility exercises). The studio also offers “Mom & Babe” sessions where you can bring your mini me to your workout and rehab your pelvic floor.
Located in a 130-year-old building just south of Chinatown, Drop Boxing (161 Spadina Avenue) is an urban oasis of concrete, white-washed walls, neon lights and thumping music. But the best thing about it? Unlike most boxing studios, the 50-minute classes target body parts by day of the week so you and can plan your weekly routine accordingly. Monday is legs and booty, Tuesday is chest, back and abs, Wednesday is shoulders and arms, Thursday is booty and abs and Friday through Sunday classes work the full body. Plus, every day you’ll get the benefit of pummelling out your stress. The studio uses aqua punching bags for a real feel with minimal impact and also offers personal training and in-house rehab services.
Mental health should be just as much of a priority as the strength of your heart or the shape of your glutes. That’s why MINDSET Brain Gym (62 Cumberland Street) provides guided meditation classes that act like a workout for the most important organ in your body: your brain. Stop by the Yorkville location (the first Mindset location in Canada) to sip kombucha, browse through the bookshop and attend a drop-in class in stress relief, relaxation, self-compassion or the manifestation of intentions. If you’re a bit competitive, try “Focus,” a session designed to boost productivity and improve concentration. It includes the rental of a Muse headband, which uses EEG technology to measure and record brainwaves so you can track your focus levels.