The top 8 fitness bootcamps for women in Toronto
The top fitness bootcamps for women in Toronto meld some serious conditioning with a female-friendly atmosphere. Though there's not much of a military influence in modern-day fitness boot camps (unless you count, say, the O Course's fatigue-wearing drill instructor), the fitness industry's hung on to the term to describe anything that jams tons of all-over training into a brief time frame, with a focus on quick results (and an added bonus of camaraderie and team-building with your fellow bootcampers).
Toronto has tons of great co-ed bootcamp options, but women-only fitness programs take up a solid slice of the fitness landscape. If you're hoping to work out with other like-minded ladies, there's a range of bootcamps out there that will teach you some new kickboxing or yoga movies, boost your endurance, build muscle, and transform you into a lean, mean fightin' machine. And don't be put off by all the hot-pink branding and swirly fonts - these camps mean serious business.
Here are my picks for top fitness bootcamps for women in Toronto.
Build My Body Beautiful
Good things come in threes at Build My Body Beautiful. At their trio of downtown locations, they offer three boot camps: a fat loss-oriented "Build & Burn" program based on cardio and resistance training, a high-cardio kickboxing boot camp, and a "Fit & Firm" class created to tone the body through cardio, plymetrics and weight training. If you're not sure which is for you, they'll let you take a trial class for free. Instructors will keep you guessing week in and week out, and participants report a friendly, social vibe.
Buns of Steel Boot Camp
Based out of the Riverdale Presbyterian Church on the Danforth, this boot camp holds six weekly one-hour classes, ranging from the "COR-DIO" (core/cardio) workout to boxing-inspired courses and circuit training. This is a good one if you're looking for a social group (and a little accountability) - participants say they'll hold potlucks and events, and frequently encourage one another to go to class on days when they're tempted to slack. (Aww.)
The Fit Chicks hold a series of four, eight and 12-week programs in seven locations around Toronto. The classes, have a fun, supportive and friendly vibe - but the workouts are no walk in the park. High-intensity interval workouts are the norm here, mixing short bursts of cardio and strength. The scaleable nature of the workouts mean they're suitable for both pros and beginners - basically, you'll get out whatever you put in.
Sandra Jean Fitness
Trainer Sandra Jean has found a cult audience for her women-only Girlz Gone Fit program, which holds four- and eight-week sessions in North York. The workouts run the gamut from core strengthening to agility drills and high-intensity interval training. (There's also yoga camp and "lift camp", which focuses on resistance training using free weights.)
Go Girl Boot Camp
Personal trainer Dan Go (get it?) whips women into shape with a series of boot camps around the GTA. Go Girl's programs place a heavy emphasis on fat loss, with exercises designed to boost metabolism (as the weirdly spammy website explains), though fans say toning benefits become apparent quickly. The camps run for one month at a time, and you can take part in up to six classes a week.
Fly Girl Fitness
Fly Girl, which currently has two locations on the east side (near Coxwell and Woodbine stations), offers two-class or three-class per week options, depending on your schedule and goals. The classes feature a mix of activities to keep your body guessing, but their health-focused, holistic gym is focused far more on overall health and personal betterment than turning you into a killing machine.
Flirty Girl Fitness
Yes, they also offer "Coyote Ugly" weekend workshops. But King West's Flirty Girl also does some hardcore training in the form of their Bikini Bootcamp classes. Weight and cardio circuits promote all-over toning and weight loss - look for them to bring in weights, resistance bands and balls to keep the workouts fresh.
This women-only gym on Church St. offers all kinds of courses, from kettlebell to TRX; their recurring bootcamp classes will throw a variety of obstacles and drills your way for that basic-training-style experience. (If you're looking to whip yourself into shape in a short timeframe, they also offer an eight-week bridal bootcamp program.
Did O miss any? Leave your favourite bootcamp program geared toward women in the comments.