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Best of Toronto

The Best Specialty Fitness Clubs in Toronto

Posted by Natalia Manzocco / December 4, 2013

Specialty Fitness TorontoThe best specialty fitness clubs in Toronto offer way more than a couple of treadmills in a windowless room. These gyms take a boutique approach, offering small, intensely focused classes with plenty of attention from instructors -- basically, it's the next best thing to having a personal trainer.

They're also the first places you can test out up-and-coming fitness trends, if you're looking for a crazy new routine or machine that will work muscles you didn't even know you had. The per-class price tends to be a bit higher than at your average gym, but the perks mean you definitely get what you pay for -- provided you're willing to break a sweat.

Here are the best specialty fitness clubs in Toronto.

See also:

The best fitness clubs in Toronto
The best CrossFit gyms in Toronto
The best yoga studios in Toronto

TRX TrainStation

TRX TrainStation

TRX TrainStation's fast-paced, suspension-based workouts earned the tucked-away, Downsview Park-area gym top honours in our poll. TRX workouts are rising in popularity around Toronto, popping up on the roster of several boutique gyms, but TrainStation's exclusive focus on the ropes-based system sets it apart. Participants are led through high-intensity exercises, which force you to work against your own body weight, in 30-second intervals -- though not for the faint of heart, fans say these workouts are a blast. More »

Ferris 360

Ferris 360

Ferris 360's focus on circuit training and interval workouts has earned the Yonge and Davisville gym plenty of dedicated fans. Classes focus on a combination of cardio, strength, core and flexibility, using treadmills, rowers, stationary bikes and climbing machines alongside weight training. It sounds intense, but all fitness levels, from beginner to advanced, are welcome. More »

Barreworks

Barreworks

Who wouldn't want the flexibility and grace of a dancer? The ballet barre-focused workouts at Barreworks, already wildly popular in New York and L.A., ammassed a dedicated following when a Canadian studio arrived at Queen and Spadina. (The chain has now expanded to Yonge and Eglinton). Their dance-influenced class offerings let you focus on sculpting, cardio, flexibility, or a little of everything; they also feature spin and spin/barre combo classes. More »

The Extension Room

The Extension Room

Owner and instructor Jennifer Nichols is a dancer with over 20 years of experience, but don't let that scare you -- her barre and ballet-inspired fitness classes are aimed primarily at non-dancers (who make up two-thirds of her clientele). The curriculum is broken down into beginner, sculpting, core and arms, flexibility, cardio and full-body workout classes, so you can tailor your workout to your fitness goals. More »

The Monkey Vault

The Monkey Vault

Parkour training can turn the whole world into your own personal jungle gym (as far as the cops will allow). The Monkey Vault, founded by Toronto parkour fixture Dan "Pkdanno" Iaboni, earned a following at its Geary Ave. location for its parkour and street acrobatics training courses, featuring an impact-friendly gymnastics floor, a DIY foam pit, and plenty of things to climb on and leap from. They'll soon be setting up shop in their new home at Keele and St. Clair. More »

Fuel Training Club

Fuel Training Club

Fuel divides its classes into three categories -- strength, conditioning, and fitness 101 -- and stocks plenty of unusual gear like curved treadmills to make those goals happen. Whatever your aims, classes are capped at 14 people, ensuring you get plenty of supervision and encouragement. More »

Studio Lagree

Studio Lagree

The Forest Hill gym is the first of its kind in Canada to offer the Lagree Method, a cardio-heavy take on Pilates meant to build strength. The innovative exercises revolve around machines which, according to our reviewer, "resemble medieval torture devices" -- and it may feel like torture, even for seasoned pros, until your core and lower body get used to the burn. More »

Discussion

19 Comments

wow / December 4, 2013 at 03:28 pm
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Or you could save your money - Squat, deadlift, bench press, pull up with some cardio run/bike/swim/skate.

Research (See Caulfield - The Cure for Everything) proves that doing those alone with increasing intensity over a long period leads to real results. Well exercise with a proper diet. But I guess its more fashionable to spend $100+ bucks a month and show off your lululemons.
loper replying to a comment from wow / December 4, 2013 at 04:39 pm
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You could also eat at home, work from home, watch movies from home and make coffee at home too. In fact, why go out at all? Think how much you'll have on not having to buy shampoo or deodorant.
js / December 4, 2013 at 04:43 pm
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Could not agree more with Movemeant being on this list. Matt has been a Toronto fitness personality for a long time. His drive and dedication to his classes is not duplicated, I promise you that. Sunday morning rides are what I work all week for!
Joe / December 4, 2013 at 08:25 pm
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you could easily argue that squat, deadlift, bench press, are isolation exercises and really offer very little in the way of functional strength.

specialty studios like these offer great value for people looking to do something other than stare at themselves in the mirror perpetually.

and like loper said, you can talk to someone!
DominicFromWoodbridge / December 4, 2013 at 10:26 pm
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I don't comment on stuff like this too much but this is pretty cool. Thanks for posting.
Norma / December 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm
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If you want to try something unique, you should come to Iyashi Bedrock Spa and try out our Ganbanyoku (Rock Bathing) treatments. Our Japanese stone beds are heated underneath by water to 42C with 63% humidity infused into the room. Super relaxing and detoxing. We are the first Ganbanyoku Spa in North America and the Only one in Canada.
Tiffany / December 5, 2013 at 10:44 am
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Shutup, Norma.
Jim Smith replying to a comment from Joe / December 5, 2013 at 12:39 pm
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You could try and argue that the squat, deadlift and bench press are isolation exercise, but you would be wrong. Isolation involves one joint and limited muscle groups. Compound involves more that one joint and more than one muscle group. Squat, deadlift and bench most certainly involve multiple joints and muscle groups.

These are formal definitions. Not opinion.

But hanging out in a gym isn't for everyone, and one truism with exercise is if you don't like it, you won't stick to it.
Andrei / December 5, 2013 at 08:55 pm
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To Natalia,

Hi, we are a new (just opened a couple of weeks ago) speciality exercise facility in down town Toronto, called New Element Training (www.NewElementTraining.com). Our concept of exercise for health and physical performance is very unique and new to North America. We specialize 100% on strength training with focus on prevention and weakened muscles due to a lack of use. For example, our machines could precisely isolated those weakened muscles and as a result offer not only great strength training effects, but also great therapeutic benefits, such as getting rid of back pain, etc.

I saw your post and thought that our facility definitely deserves to be on that list. If you are in down town core area please drop by for a free introductory session to experience our approach to exercise. We are "medical grade" strength for health facility you will be surprised by our quality.

Oh, before I forget, we follow principles of High Intensity Training, so a full body workout would not take more than 30 mins and you would not do it more than 2x week in order to achieve optimal results. So it is very time efficient as well.

Kind regards,
Andrei
416 792 4546
info@NewElementTraining.com
Natalie / December 8, 2013 at 05:01 pm
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned Fortis Fitness. Sure, it's not as specialized as some of the places on this list, however, they are a very special place. It's home to several top rated powerlifters, strongmen, and overall a great place to train. They have also just expanded and now have lots of squat cages, olympic weightlifting platforms, and in the works is also a prowler strip as well as a rope climb, and a lot more equipment. May not be "specialized" according to this list but it is special to many long time members.
Opensource1111 / December 9, 2013 at 02:28 am
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To each his or her own. I am more inclined to lift weights on my own, but that's not for everybody. Let's not judge others.
ELLE / December 10, 2013 at 08:32 am
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LOL
Burgess / December 15, 2013 at 10:30 am
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Need a satisfaction about your services,Thank you
Jess / December 16, 2013 at 11:04 am
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YESSS! movemeant - congrats Matt! Have been going here for a couple of months now and I can now see what other people have been talking about - it really is the best. Can't really explain what it is - you just have to go and check it out - has changed my life, not to mention I am 11lbs lighter in only 2 months! Thanks BlogTO for your always awesome reco's!
Diana / January 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm
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movemeant - hands down. 10 years now, I have been training with Matt (ok, not the whole time). His spin classes are legendary - even better than Soul Cycle in NYC. If you are looking for a full comprehensive training studio and not pretentious or expensive, then movemeant in Trinity Bellwoods is definitely it! People are pretty wicked too - some of my good friends have come from people I have met in the space that Matt has created.
Molly / March 20, 2014 at 09:37 am
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Union Studio closed last night without warning, so I checked out a Gravity class at movemeant - it really was good. My abs have not been this sore after working out for many years. Not sure what the secret is to this place, but I will see how class #2 goes. Going to check out TRX, haven't tried that yet. This list is great!
Toronto Personal Trainer / April 28, 2014 at 02:20 pm
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Good article thanks for the post. Some people can work out at home by themselves, some people need to be in a team based atmosphere and be accountable to others. I support whatever gets people active and healthy.
Johnny F'n Fitness / July 31, 2014 at 04:03 pm
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I think you missed Ultimate Athletics in Rosedale/Summerhill. Best gym and best classes, hands down. Vlad and Paula are the best.
Emilio Leoni / August 24, 2014 at 08:57 pm
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Laurentian Athletics manufacture institutional sporting goods since
1970 at the Brampton plant.
Recently gym mats have being added to our line all made in house.
Visit our site for products informations.
www.laurentianltd.com
Please call the office @ 905 791 5757.

Emilio Leoni
President

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