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Fitness Clubs

energyXchange

Posted by Dayna Winter / Posted on March 11, 2011

EnergyXchangeenergyXchange has the makings of an intimidating fitness club experience. Except that it's not. A slick interior, matchy-matchy trainers' uniforms and a Flash-heavy website are typically strong warning signs. But here, the staff is friendly and encouraging, and the muffins are free.

EnergyXchangeI'm not the gym type. Although I've held barely-used memberships on and off since high school, the experience has always had an anxiety-inducing effect. My workout motivation already suffers from laziness. The added social awkwardness ensures that I have plenty of excuses to skip the gym altogether. Sure, my skinny jean-wearing potential is suffering. It's a price I'm usually willing to pay to avoid sweating in an oversized band tee alongside Fitness Barbie and Bodybuilder Ken flirting to a soundtrack of Z103 club anthems.

EnergyXchangeThe alternatives, however, can be pricey. At up to twenty bucks a pop, yoga studios demand more of a financial commitment than my thighs are actually worth. And sometimes I crave a cardio workout that the zen practice can't provide. I can see why I've been sucked into fitness clubs more than once. But, while gyms like Goodlife and Extreme Fitness offer a better bang-to-buck ratio on the surface, energyXchange owner Marea Taylor asks me to reconsider.

EnergyXchangeWe look at my old routine - 45 minutes on the elliptical machine, 3 times a week - and weigh the benefits. "You have to confuse your muscles," she insists, "You won't see any results if you do the same thing every time." It's true - I don't see any results. At energyXchange, members are encouraged to switch it up.

EnergyXchangeA packed schedule of yoga, gravity, pilates and TRX classes keep it fresh. While pricier than most gyms, plans can be built around patrons' frequency of visit. I still worry about my own motivation. Marea and her team have me covered, though. "We'll actually call our members," she quips. This "remote personal trainer" service is just the encouragement I could use.

EnergyXchangeMarea opened the business as a reaction to poor customer service she experienced while working for other clubs in the city. Aveda products in the washrooms, free nutrition workshops, no-commitment memberships, complimentary "industrial" muffins for 7am classes, an in-house RMT, and a chill-out patio all address the gaps in the usual gym experience.

EnergyXchangeIn addition to familiar group classes in yoga and pilates, energyXchange keeps on top of fitness trends. Marea demonstrates TRX - straps affixed to the ceiling that use body weight as resistance - and the Powerplate. This little wonder, invented by astronauts and used by the pros, is a vibrating plate that promises to build bone density and improve circulation. I am skeptical and immediately think of the ludicrous vibrating belt machines of the 1950s. But even remaining stable while holding a static bicep curl proves challenging. And, just 25 minutes will do the trick.

EnergyXchangeenergyXchange is not just about building chick-magnet abs or looking fab in a push-up sports bra. The self-proclaimed "un-gym" is about fun and safe fitness for the mind and body in a supportive environment. "The hour you spend here will affect the rest of your life," Marea tells me, of the studio's beyond-physical results. I'm convinced. The location is still a bit of a barrier (excuses, again), but once the concept moves westward, I'm an un-gym convert.

EnergyXchangePhotos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

38 Comments

Me / March 11, 2011 at 01:42 pm
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I live in the Broadview Lofts.
Matt / March 11, 2011 at 01:54 pm
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Muffins, pampering, following fitness trends. Sounds like the perfect place to achieve little results, and they even agree! I don't get it.
AVOID / March 11, 2011 at 02:40 pm
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This place is associated with PhysioMed. Which is one of the most shadiest clinics around, as they are partnered with Premier Fitness.

Premier has a long history of improper insurance billing schemes, fraudulent memberships billing, etc.

STAY AWAY
john / March 11, 2011 at 02:50 pm
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Why criticize yoga studios for being $20 a visit, when this very gym you are reviewing, according to their website, ALSO charges $20 a visit for yoga?

At $30-$50 PER WEEK for memberships (year long commitment required, of course), this place does not seem especially "un-gym" to me at all. (prices again taken from their website, since this "review" didn't mention any).
agentsmith / March 11, 2011 at 02:56 pm
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Where's all the weights and/or machines? Or did you just not take a photo of any of them?

I see they have a whole shitload of products to sell you at the front desk, though.
Alex / March 11, 2011 at 03:06 pm
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"no-commitment memberships"...it would seem their own website would contradict ya there. As somebody else commented, the memberships are $30-$48 per WEEK!

I am not going to defend traditional gyms, but my gym is about $15 a week with zero restrictions of any kind (all the classes you want) and facilities are just as nice.

In other words, it's way easy to offer "free" muffins if you're charging two to three times what everybody else is for memberships.

Did they pay for this "article"?
Rena / March 11, 2011 at 03:08 pm
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I just joined Trainer's Fitness at Bathurst/Bloor this year, and am really enjoying it. It's $50/month with a one year commitment and there's lots of machines and free fitness classes most evenings and weekends.

Honestly, the intimidation that everyone seems to feel when going to the gym is silly. I used to feel that way all the time until I told myself to suck it up and no one cares.

If someone who is clearly more overweight or unfit than you starts using the treadmill next to you, do you automatically judge them and try to make them uncomfortable? No, so why do we think that muscle-y people working out in the weight room will look down on us for trying to improve ourselves?

I think feeling intimidated is way more in our own heads than a product of the environment we're in.

Rena / March 11, 2011 at 03:13 pm
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Yeah, seems stupidly pricey. I joined Trainer's Fitness at Bathurst/Bloor- $12/week with a one-year commitment and I'm really enjoying it. Plenty of equipment and lots of free classes.

I think that most of the feeling of intimidation from gyms is in our own heads- the fear that people are judging you all the time. Which is stupid, cause if you don't care what other people are doing there then why would they care about you? I don't think that feeling has too much to do with what gym you go to, at least in my experience.
Rena / March 11, 2011 at 03:16 pm
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Oops, sorry for posting twice! And now a third time, I guess...
DO NOT ENTER replying to a comment from Rena / March 11, 2011 at 03:22 pm
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Dont apologize.
The more negative publicity this place gets, the better.

PhysioMed is a scam.

donkey kong / March 11, 2011 at 05:31 pm
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Any chance that a rub/tug from Jilly's is incorporated into the membership?

Maybe some skiing?
j / March 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm
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I don't think it is for everyone...but if you like doing yoga regularly (i.e are planning on attending more than 1-2 per week) then $30 per week is not bad for unlimited yoga. Large gyms do offer yoga classes but they can be less frequent and are often taught at a beginner level. i've been doing a trial package through a "web deal" at energyxchange and I've been impressed with the instructors/classes.

they have other classes (pilates, bootcamp, gravity small group classes) which I've also really enjoyed---but the bottom line is if you are not "into" yoga...probably not worth it...
Kay / March 12, 2011 at 10:27 pm
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Holy Haters! Has anyone of you been there. lol? Place is actually really nice, and EVERYONE is super friendly. Seriously worth a visit, you will be impressed (and maybe not be so harsh?). I have taken lots of classes here and I can honestly say they seem like they genuinely care about your feelings and results. Last 100 times I went to my old gym (that will remain nameless) I was ignored, maybe thats what you get for a cheap gym membership? Can't comment on Physio med, but aren't they all independently owned?
Kay / March 12, 2011 at 10:28 pm
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Holy Haters! Has anyone of you been there. lol? Place is actually really nice, and EVERYONE is super friendly. Seriously worth a visit, you will be impressed (and maybe not be so harsh?). I have taken lots of classes here and I can honestly say they seem like they genuinely care about your feelings and results. Last 100 times I went to my old gym (that will remain nameless) I was ignored, maybe thats what you get for a cheap gym membership? Can't comment on Physio med, but aren't they all independently owned?
Kay / March 12, 2011 at 10:29 pm
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Holy Haters! Has anyone of you been there. lol? Place is actually really nice, and EVERYONE is super friendly. Seriously worth a visit, you will be impressed (and maybe not be so harsh?). I have taken lots of classes here and I can honestly say they seem like they genuinely care about your feelings and results. Last 100 times I went to my old gym (that will remain nameless) I was ignored, maybe thats what you get for a cheap gym membership? Can't comment on Physio med, but aren't they all independently owned?
Kay / March 12, 2011 at 10:49 pm
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Holy Haters! Has anyone of you been there. lol? Place is actually really nice, and EVERYONE is super friendly. Seriously worth a visit, you will be impressed (and maybe not be so harsh?). I have taken lots of classes here and I can honestly say they seem like they genuinely care about your feelings and results. Last 100 times I went to my old gym (that will remain nameless) I was ignored, maybe thats what you get for a cheap gym membership? Can't comment on Physio med, but aren't they all independently owned?
Kay / March 12, 2011 at 11:16 pm
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Sorry for the multiple post... little over eager to defend their honour! I would just like to reiterate to please try it before you judge it! It really is a great place! (X4!!!!)
Syl / March 13, 2011 at 02:01 pm
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This kind of reaction is rather upsetting, considering how I doubt if any of you have even been to the studio. If you knew much about physioMed at all, then you would know that they are independently owned. Therefore, it's mind boggling that you would give such a negative warning regarding an establishment, you have yet to experience.
Are we all so critical and narrow minded in this day and age, that we honestly find it valid to criticize when we really know nothing of something? These comments are just appalling.
I encourage each of you to at least visit a place before you share your negativity with the world.
As for the Jilly's comment. Let's all show a little more maturity please!
unimpressed replying to a comment from donkey kong / March 13, 2011 at 02:01 pm
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grow up!
Peace Out replying to a comment from donkey kong / March 13, 2011 at 03:46 pm
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To compare RMTs to hookers is pretty lame. On behalf of all Massage therapists out there that have spent a fortune for certification and want the very best for our clients, we beg you to keep your vile posts to yourself. Thought I would get some credible info, but I know your type. The fat, ugly computer geek who only gets touched when its paid for...sad life.
Mrs. Bohead / March 13, 2011 at 05:01 pm
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I personally have been to Energy Exchange numerous times and find the staff very friendly. All of the teachers are knowledgable and helpful as well. For people who love classes this place is great. There are a number of different yoga classes and pilates classes as well as a boot camp, a power plate and TRX equipment. This is not your average gym where you come in and work out on your own. It designed to have teachers/trainers to help you stay motivated and do the work outs correctly to gain the most benefit. For those of you that think you will not get a challening work out I dare you to come for a class or two.
AVOID replying to a comment from Syl / March 13, 2011 at 05:49 pm
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My wife is a physiotherapist and worked at physiomed in hamilton.
She quit immediately when she learnt of their fraudulent billing practices and reported them to the college of physiotherapists.

So I know excatly what physiomed is all about.

And yes, I am grouping all physiomeds into the same boat.
That's what happens when you have such a lousy reputation.

Avoid.
aris e / March 14, 2011 at 11:05 am
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I am not sure what all the negative fuss is about.
I AM sure that none of the negative posters have been to energyXchange.
This industry is very competitive and this all sounds like covert competition bashing.

I live a block away.
Have been there @10 times (a beginner to yoga).
I find the staff friendly, professional and courteous.
The facility is stellar and pristine.
The trainers are some of the best in the city.
The prices are on par with other places I looked into.
The members seem to be locals (leslieviller’s/riverdale/riversider’s)…again friendly and not pretentious.
It’s got a great local feel to it.

Why all the bashing?
It’s yoga not liver transplant surgery!!

I would highly recommend this place for yoga.
Akbar / March 14, 2011 at 03:09 pm
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energyXchange = Physiomed
Physiomed = Premier Fitness
premier fitness = fradulent billing

Therefore energyXchange = STAY AWAY

Akbar / March 14, 2011 at 03:10 pm
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energyXchange = Physiomed
Physiomed = Premier Fitness
premier fitness = fradulent billing

Therefore energyXchange = STAY AWAY

Dirk / March 14, 2011 at 04:01 pm
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"Muscle Confusion" is not a scientific principle. It is neither a necessary nor sufficient condition for body transformation or strength training. It is merely a buzz word that sounds good on mid-afternoon infomercials. Any trainer who operates on this philosophy is at best intellectually lazy, or at worst, preying upon prospective client's ignorance. There are good reasons why the fundamentals of strength training persist at the expense of transient fads.
energyXchange team / March 14, 2011 at 04:58 pm
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Hello Everyone,

This is the energyXchange team and we would like to introduce ourselves and say a quick hello! We wanted to let you know how excited we are to be open in the Riverside neighbourhood and we look forward to seeing you all soon.

There is quite the debate going, here on Blog To, and we wanted to put in a few of our thoughts.

energyXchange is built on customer service and focuses on muscle confusion, functional training and whole body health. Once you step into our studio, we take care of everything else! We are very proud to have some of the best teachers in the city and although we offer many Infrared heated Yoga classes throughout the week, we also have a wide variety of other classes such as TRX, Gravity, Pilates, Bootcamp and Running Clinics to name a few. We believe that alternating what you do on a weekly basis keeps boredom at bay, both mentally and physically so we are constantly evolving with new classes, teachers and equipment.

Although we offer memberships (that you may cancel at any time), we also have class packages which allow you to take a class when the urge arises (at a cheaper rate than our drop-in fee). Many of our clients are also members of other reputable gyms or fitness studios. We definitely encourage everyone to go to an establishment that cares about your well-being and offers the support that you need to be fit, happy and healthy.

We do appreciate you taking the time to notify us of your past experience with the Physiomed brand. Please accept our sincerest apologies for what other Physiomed Clinic Owners or Directors may have done. Unfortunately we know that we may be perceived guilty by association, however please note that Physiomed Leslieville-Riverside is 100 percent independently owned and operated by energyXchange. Our main goal is to get our clients back to optimal health and given the chance, we believe we will gain your confidence in our company.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to post their thoughts, giving us an opportunity to get some feedback. Part of evolving is taking the good with the bad and we are happy to receive constructive criticism so that we can continue to grow and serve our members the best way we know how. If anyone has any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us, or better yet, drop in to say hello! We can't stress enough how happy we are to be here and get the chance to know you all. We can only hope for the opportunity to meet even more of you soon, and we thank you for your continued support.
peter / March 15, 2011 at 04:33 pm
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I've been going to the Area Fitness and they have honest to true transparency in their no commitment memberships! Staff is always nice, its a smaller boutique gym though so if you don't mind a more intimate and community setting than its the place I recommend.

mrs.neighbourhood / March 16, 2011 at 01:24 am
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I don't get it.
I suppose it's not for anyone with actual fitness goals.

It looks so fluffy.
and a total waste of time for those who actually was to achieve some sort fitness level while attending a gym.

Maxie / March 16, 2011 at 09:20 am
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I have been there on a weekly basis since day one, and I have only good things to say. Have seen the Chiro, she was amazing, have been to a few Gravity classes (there's only 6 of us),so amazing....I believe thats why the membership are a little pricey, you're paying for small group personal training. Yoga classes are candlelit, and actually have great instruction which is a totally different experience from my old gym. Also took a morning class, and left with a warm muffin...nobody seemed to be complaining...who doesn't like a muffin?
AntonioC / March 16, 2011 at 02:11 pm
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Personally, my experience there has been great! I don't get to go as often as I like, but it is not your regular gym. The staff is courteous, polite, friendly and very professional. I can't say enough about them. I would recommend anyone to try it first before making any comments. Keep up the good work and see you again!
Samsur / May 17, 2011 at 12:32 am
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To "akbar" and "avoid", quite simply, you should stay away from the internet as you are clearly not ready or intelligent enough to share your opinions with the world. Get an education, wake up a few more brain cells than the average house plant, then come back.
Gerald / June 14, 2011 at 08:37 am
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I have been going to energyXchange for around a month . . . .love it. The staff is great and love the look and feel of the place. I had never tried yoga before and the instructors here do a great job on showing you how to do the poses correctly (I have since tried it at my regular gym and the instructor there did not help on my form at all!!!)

A lot of the comments I see make it sound like people haven't been in to try it - you are definitely missing out.
Emory / July 27, 2011 at 09:41 am
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Sounds like a lot of comments coming from people who haven't actually experienced the facility. What a pleasant experience to be greeted BY NAME, with quality instruction, a beautiful facility, and a selection of equipment unlike any other gym I have seen. A lot of thought has gone into the development of this facility - and it shows - and even better - they are responsive to feedback. When is the last time anyone at your 'commercial' gym actually knew who you were and encouraged you in your goals? If you're paying $12/month for a gym - good for you - i'm sure you'll get what you pay for !!
HealthyOne replying to a comment from Akbar / November 16, 2011 at 07:19 am
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Physiomed is an independent company, not related to Premier. And each Physiomed is owned and operated by an individual - they are franchises. They have a lot of services to offer.
tai / March 23, 2012 at 04:22 pm
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my friend bought a membership from Physiomed (Yorkdale mall location) 2 weeks ago and did not receive a receipt because the guy said that the person who gives the receipts was not there. he has gone in numerous times to find this woman, but they keep giving him the run-around. as everyone has heard, Physiomed is closing down some of their locations and is supplying a refund WITH a receipt. has anyone gone through the same thing here, or know of anyone? i'm trying to assemble a group together (strength in numbers)...
Social Lockerroom / March 29, 2012 at 01:57 pm
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Stay Motivated. Learn from Others. Connect with other Athletes. Challenge yourself!
www.sociallockerroom.com

It is a perfect site to set fitness goals and meet them through:
-Planning games with your friends and other people in your area (and sync them with your everyday calendar)
-Discover and create groups that match your interest and skills
-Setting goals and have your network challenge you to improve

When you can workout with other people or have challenges in your calendar, you are more likely to stick to them and succeed!

Please check it out! The more people on there the better for finding people in your area with similar interests...and staying motivated!!

Lets all get fit and healthy together!

www.sociallockerroom.com
Twitter:@SLockerroom
Hercules / April 21, 2012 at 03:38 pm
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energyXchange is a community based fitness studio. I have been patronizing the studio for many months and find the staff very helpful and professional. Unlike many gyms they really want you to pursue and achieve your fitness goals. Give them a try. You won't be disappointed.

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