Energia Athletics has expanded over the years to be more than just a running shop offering spinning, kettlebell and yoga. It's latest location at Pape and Danforth includes all of the above as well as a retail store and Crossfit training.
I am impressed by the scale of knowledge and diverse workout options offered in a seemingly innocuous storefront on Pape. The move for Energia was a signal of its growth over the years, and a much-needed larger space for owners Jon Dunhill and Lea Amaral.
Their background in fitness is as diverse as the class offerings. Dunhill and Amaral have impressive credentials in athletics, from running the Boston Marathon, to certified yoga and Pilates instructors, spin certified and Crossfit trainers.
The expansion earlier this year saw the addition of a third studio called the Garage Gym and a Crossfit affiliation. "We believe that the mix we offer of high intensity, strength training, functional fitness, flexibility and breath work, core fitness training and endurance training is the right way to achieve your fitness goals," Dunhill tells me.
With three floors, Energia offers everything a fitness enthusiast needs. One noticeable difference in Energia is the lack of a reception area, which has been replaced with a full retail store carrying a wide selection of workout gear with brands like Pearl Izumi, Lole, Spiritual Gangster and hYOUman.
Above the retail space is the very spacious and well-organized Spin class. A large-screen mimics the sense of riding on the road, and the equipment is state of the art.
On this particular day, I'm interested in a Yin yoga class. I was impressed with the layout of the room - a spacious place where the mats are arranged so you aren't cramped beside another person. A beautiful arched window at the front of the room lets in natural light throughout the class.
Overall, what I loved the most was the easy nature of the staff and clientele at Energia. There are no wayward glances from other students silently judging each other's posture. The infrared solar panels and an Iyengar rope wall are a great bonus.
There's a full spa experience in the bathroom, with very clean showers (things I notice), you even get spa slippers, and Yoga mats are provided for you without the mat fees that most yoga studios charge.
Energia is unpretentious and well-suited for people who want an environment that offers both relaxation in a yoga setting, and the hard cardio of Crossfit and Spinning.
An unlimited membership at Energia allows you to mix and match your training. Take in a Pilates class, Ashtanga or sweat it out at Crossfit or Spin. Energia's clients have the flexibility to take in as many classes as they want. Classes start at $10, while monthly passes start at $125 and up.
In addition to retail goods, Energia has built and maintained a running community from the store. They offer free open group runs where anyone can drop in and run with a group on Tuesday evening or Saturday mornings. For beginners, Energia hosts free running clinics, as well as marathon training groups.
Photos by Jesse Milns.