Must-Try Fitness Studios in Vancouver: Movement 108

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Vancouver is filled with so many unique fitness studios. Movement 108 stands out in the city because of its unique approach to group classes and while also providing a very intimate and friendly setting. In addition to their indoor gym classes, they also offer outdoor group classes, a refreshing option for those looking to switch up their workout routine. The space’s founder Aaron de Jong shares the inspiration and philosophy behind Movement 108.

What inspired you to start Movement 108?

The idea that exercise is this mandated portion of our day that can’t be social, interactive or educational really bothered me.  I came from working in the personal training world of ‘punching the clock’ and wanted to create my own space where meeting and connecting with people and moving your body really well could all happen under one roof.

How does the Movement 108 philosophy differ from other fitness studios or workout spots in Vancouver?

We are grounded in movement and strength training.  Often coined as ‘sneaky workouts’.  I’d say that the majority of exercise classes focus on high repetition and high heart rate activities that sacrifice form in the long run.  To get strong, you’ve got to strength train, we can’t just keep going to the same classes or hit the treadmill for longer.  There is a place for everything in the healthy workout schedule but we like to play the piece of moving really well in progressions and strength training really well to feel strong in your body.

What are some of the classes and services that you offer?

We love using bodyweight, Kettlebells and TRX as our tools in our functional training.  Our classes consist of Combo classes which incorporate all those tools, Kettlebell classes which are more strength focused and Metabolic classes which focus on strength and conditioning (high heart rate!).  Those are our mainstays on the schedule and we round out the balance with our stretch recovery classes, run group, hiking group and Strength and strength classes.

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Photo by Britney Gill

How important is community at Movement 108?

It’s hugely important.  More and more in our full lives do we want to connect socially during our sweat times.  It’s the only way to cram it all in!  We love it when people who have made 108 their exercise base integrate themselves into the community.  It all starts from us as instructors connecting and grounding into relationships with one another and then opening that space and opportunity up to anyone that walks in the doors.

Where would you like to see Movement 108 in 5 years time?

That’s a tough one to imagine.  Really our goal is to make basic, consistent movement a mainstay in our communities lives.  That starts by us being consistent in our space and not always jumping to the ‘next thing’.  That being said the idea of a second location within the city has got us thinking.  

For more info on Movement 108, go here.

How I Survive Summer Workouts

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Who here actually drinks the recommended 2-3L of water per day? Who here drinks even more when they work out? I am totally guilty of not drinking enough water, especially when I work out. This summer, I’ve been making a huge effort to drink more water every day. It is really the only way I can survive my summer workouts.

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The benefits of drinking water are pretty extensive. Some of them include: increased energy, flushing out toxins, improving skin complexion, boosting the immune system, relieving headaches and fatigue, preventing cramps and sprains, and the list goes on.

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With the heatwave currently in effect in Toronto, drinking water is primordial, not only if you work out but if you spend any time whatsoever outdoors.

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Every morning when I leave the house, I always pack 1-2 Boxed Water with me to make sure I drink at least 1L while I’m working. I also usually bring 1-2 more boxes with me when I work out. If I’m running, I’ll make sure to drink before I leave for a run, during the run and also immediately after. I really see a difference between the days I drink a lot of water and those where I do not. I used to run without drinking a lot of water and I’ve noticed that not only did it affect my speed and endurance but it also affected how I felt afterwards. Same goes for any type of gym workout. Drinking water is so key!

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Boxed Water is available for purchase at Loblaws and Sobeys across Canada.

Photos by: @thehogtowntable

Hair by: Cabello by Carolina

This post was written in collaboration with Boxed Water but all opinions are my own.

Equinox Yorkville

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Early last month, Equinox opened the doors to its brand new club located in Yorkville in Toronto.

For those who are unfamiliar with Equinox, they operate 78 upscale full-service clubs in North America and around the world. Equinox has so much more to offer than a regular gym. They offer their own branded programs, services and products as well as studio classes, personal training, spa services, apparel and a food/juice bar. When you join an Equinox club, you join a lifestyle and have access to topnotch services.

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I had the opportunity to check out the new facility last week and try one of their most popular classes with Julian Ho called “Ropes & Rowers“.

The first thing you’ll notice when you walk into the Avenue. Rd club is how modern, sophisticated and beautiful everything looks. They kept the aesthetic and design similar to their club located on Bay St. with marble and steel but the space is a whole lot bigger. Their facilities are sleek, minimalist and tastefully decorated. You don’t feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the different areas of the club, unlike so many other facilities.

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At the Yorkville location, you will find two big studios for group classes, a big room filled with brand new state-of-the-art fitness machines and equipment, a pilates studio, a yoga studio, a cycling studio as well as a space designated for personal training. You will also find a spa adjacent to the women’s luxurious and spacious locker room as well as a steam room.

Ropes & Rowers” is a high intensity 1hr class given by Equinox star trainer Julian Ho. This interval training class is a full body circuit featuring the WaterRower and battling ropes. It is also one of Equinox’s most popular classes, so I asked Julian Ho why that is.

R&R’s rise to popularity is due to it’s simplicity, efficiency, and motivating nature. The format is unlike traditional group fitness in that it uses various programming parameters. In other words, a participant experiences 4 variations of classes in one. This hybrid form of training is reflective of circuit training found in MMA conditioning and High Performance Sport training. The use of the rowers and ropes in particular have never been brought into the main studios of group fitness until now. Also, the quantitative nature makes R&R more motivating. People enjoy knowing the numbers because it sets expectations and thus allows participants to fulfill their own intensity needs and desires,” he explains.

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This was my first ever R&R and definitely a class I would recommend taking. So who is this class best suited for? Julian explains:

I believe this class should be taken by 3 types of individuals for different reasons:

1. Those individuals who have athletic backgrounds looking to enhance their conditioning and overall performance in their sport.

2. Those individuals who do not have athletic backgrounds looking to develop athleticism for long term health benefits, broaden their exercise experiences, and try something fresh, fun, and challenging.  

3.Those individuals who have had team sports experience looking to reap the benefits of high performance group training and feel the camaraderie and team-building nature that R&R prides itself on providing.”

There are many reasons why Equinox differs from other clubs, explains Julian.

Equinox is not just a club, it is an experience. Once you walk into an Equinox facility, you feel the energy of the staff, the thriving nature of its members, and the powerful and beautiful ambiance. Equinox’s approach is holistic. It upholds a philosophy that supports the synergy between Movement, Nutrition, and Regeneration. When thinking more deeply on what Equinox is, it truly is a lifestyle and therefore a mindset,” he adds.

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I couldn’t think of a better way to cap off my experience at Equinox last week than with one of their yummy peanut butter smoothies from their juice bar. The perfect post-workout treat!

For more information on the new Equinox facility located at 55 Avenue Road in Toronto, please go here.

Team Bench

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The more I workout, the more I get excited about having fun and unique active wear. I was particularly stoked when I received this rad new #TeamBench personalized monogrammed hoodie with my initials on it. The perfect thing to throw on before or after a workout. It’s super comfy, just the right length and also in a color that you can rock with any outfit at the gym, while I run, bike, etc.

Bench Canada has a great line of active wear for women that comprises in tees, shorts, capris, leggings and pants. The hoodie is a great addition to some of my other favorite things I bring with me when I work out – water bottle, tote bag, customized training shoes, healthy snacks, etc. What are some of your go-to items when you work out?

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Photos by @Offner

Bench Canada Trifun Overhead (get it here)

Nike Free TR 5 iD Women’s Training Shoe (get it here)

Nike Toronto water bottle 

Nike gym tote bag

Anine Bing Skinny Jeans Double Zipper Black (get them here)

Nike Pro Bra

Yesterday I had the lovely opportunity to attend the exclusive Nike Pro Bra Collection launch event taking place in Toronto at the NTC Studio located at 548 Richmond Street West. After years of testing, Nike has finally developed a sports bra using a new 360 degrees fit system that you can get in 5 styles and 25 sizes. Until July 31st, you can book an appointment with one of Nike’s Fit-System Concierge who will help you find your perfect Nike Pro Bra size. At the same time, you can also get a complimentary intimate NTC Session at their amazing new studio.

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photo 4 (5)Last night I was able to do just that! Not only was it super fun to try out these new bras and all the colorful Nike Pro gear, but little did I know, I would also be working out with a Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath (yea, they had forgotten to mention I’d be working out for 45 minutes, oops!). Luckily, the fine folks from Bolt Fresh Bar (my favorite place to go for snacks, smoothies & breakfast!!) were there for some post-workout treats!

photo 2 (29)Last night’s event was a great place to meet wonderful ladies from all walks of life who also have a love for working out and Nike. Over the past couple of years, running has really become important in my life, never thought I would say this, but I can honestly say that I enjoy my runs. Though not always easy, they always feel so rewarding in the end. Each time I run and feel like I can’t run any longer, I try to remind myself, that I run because I am lucky and grateful that I can! And if you’re also someone that works out, you know that it’s always exciting to try out new gear. I’m very stoked to be able to work out in this new Nike Pro Bra!

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If you’re interested in dropping by the NTC Studio for a NTC Session and a Nike Pro Bra fitting, go here: www.548richmond.com.

A big thank you to So Sasha for the invite, Eva Redpath for kicking my butt and all the lovely ladies from Nike present last night. Great times!

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