First impression: GoodLife Fitness for women

Well, I’ve been to GoodLife Fitness for women (Sargent location, inside Superstore) three times now, which means it’s time for a review.

To start, the signup process with the wagjag voucher went smoothly although they did ask a tad too many questions for my liking (even the trainer who was signing me up complained a little). Still, I can understand slightly why they’d want to know what meds you’re on etc. in case you pass out. Special consideration might need to be taken into consideration when building a workout plan. We set some “goals” for my month there, namely that I wanted to get up off the couch and live a healthy lifestyle mainly. Bonus points for toning the bod.

My favourite part is the weight training section because there no men around! Strange as that sounds, I just feel infinitely more comfortable around the space and equipment without a male presence–who knew that it bothered me that much to begin with? They’ve got a quick and easy 20 minute training circuit on nine machines that pretty much work out your entire bod.

There are lots of mirrors to check on form and two mat areas for matwork/stretching–a must-have in my case where warming up/cooling down are a big part of the routine, and I also tend to pull out a stability ball around the mat area for various exercises. The club’s a good size and there are plenty of weight machine options, so I never felt crowded or like I was waiting.

Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the classes. I am a fitness class kind of gal but for whatever reasons my personal/bus schedule and these workout classes are not meshing AT ALL. And the one time I did set aside time for a class? It was 15 minutes late (the class beforehand ran super late)–ouch. Needless to say, everyone in the class was pretty annoyed. I took the cardio sport 30 min aerobic place, which basically kept me bouncing on my toes almost non-stop. I was sweaty and my heart was pounding by the end, so it did the job. The teacher was super fit as the entire class was kind of slugging it out by the end of it. I’d like to try another class. Most of them are 30 mins, some are 45 mins so it’s nice if you want a quick in and out experience or if you want break up an hour session with some guided instruction. There are several options on the class schedule and I’m looking forward to trying out some more.

Hop on one of many elliptical machines for a full-body, low impact workout at GoodLife Fitness.

Aside from weights and classes, there are rows of treadmills, bikes and ellipticals facing a row of TVs. This gets a thumbs down in my books as the more “modern” option is to have TVs installed on each individual machine (like at YMCA) so you can customize what you’re watching. I did a couple of 15-20 min runs on the elliptical until I got bored out of my skull.

The club has lots of amenities, including childcare, a registered dietitian, massages, tanning beds, a sauna (where is it?!) and pro shop. The change rooms are also nice and clean, which is also a good sign.

I wish I could comment on membership fees but the website doesn’t list them clearly, just intro offers like 14 days for $14 or three free visits. I’m sure I’ll get pestered with phone calls after my pass expires.

That being said it’s a pretty good little facility that doesn’t feel intimidating or scary. You can set up and keep track of your workouts on cards, hire a personal trainer and check the calendar for regular little events held at the club, like “girlfriend mingle” where you make plans to meet with friends there I presume.

As I have a few more weeks here I will be sure to update further as I try more classes.

In the meantime, here’s a link to teambuy where you can purchase a 10-class fitness pass to Lure Dance Fitness, 460 Main St. You can use the pass to take pilates, yoga or dance classes. Sadly, there are only three classes on the schedule, which makes it not so great if you required greater flexibility.

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YMCA visits complete & lots of spring exercise deals!

My apologies for not updating, but it’s been a stressful week trying to get a move organized. I felt so stressed one night in fact, that I passed on checking out the pool Thursday night at the YMCA in favour of chilling out on the couch with a movie. We’ve all been there.

Getting fit for summer in the great outdoors with a fitness boot camp

I did make it for one more session at the YMCA last week before my pass expired on Friday. I felt sore the next day (always a good sign!) My TV screen on my elliptical was broken and again, there were some neighbourly exercisers that didn’t know how to put on deodorant. But I’ll let that all slide because the facility itself is excellent and I’m glad I used my two-week pass there through CBC’s Live Right Now challenge. I made it for four visits, which isn’t too bad. I would have loved to try the pool.

With bosu freeing up my Tuesday nights (I’ve got a birthday gathering filling in that vacant night already), I’m really going to have to push to make sure I get some weekly workouts in there. How do busy parents fit in exercise?

I’ve got a boot camp voucher through teambuy.ca, a gym pass (near my new place if I get it!) through dealfind and some classes to take advantage of on my passport to prana card and lots of great classes to try out through the Lifestyle Pass. I will keep you posted on what comes next starting this Thursday!

In the meantime, there’s a last chance deal through WagJag for fitness classes at Total Spirit Fitness. I’m not familiar with this studio at all, (Marquis Dance Academy location at 20 Island Shore Blvd., Unit 3) but it seems like it’s located in Island Lakes suburbia. There are classes offered Mon-Sat both during daytime and evening in classes like yoga, zumba, power tone etc. The deal is for 10 classes for $39 (reg. $100) and there is no expiry date on the voucher, which is pretty rare.

My boot camp knowledge is nil, but I know there seems to be a lot of deals out there so I’ll mention them.

SwarmJam is offering a 10-class fitness pass to 10 high intensity boot camp classes through Aspire Fitness (3501 McGillivray Blvd | Winnipeg, MB | R3Y1G5 | 204.832.0328) for $39-$29 (reg. $150) depending on how many people buy. The class name is pretty self-explanatory. This deal expires in two days and the voucher expires in March 2012.

Teambuy.ca is also offering a deal on boot camp classes (‘Tis the season!) from Phitt Chicks Fitness Boot Camps (450 Lilac Street, 204 218-3024). This one is close to where I live so I’m tempted to buy it, but I’ve got another boot camp voucher that I haven’t cashed in  yet. The deal here is 10 sessions for $32 (reg. $125).

It seems like boot camps are hotter than hot and perfect for getting your bod into shape for swimsuit season. So tell me, have you gone the boot camp route? Is it awesome? I’m terrified (but still willing to give it a go) for some reason!

I know I missed a couple of other deals that popped up last week, so I promise to stay on top of that more. The lesson to be learned? Affordability shouldn’t be a barrier to fitness with all these great deals around. And like I’ve mentioned before, even the YMCA offers reduced memberships for those on low incomes.

Three visits to YMCA downtown

Take a spin at the YMCA downtown.

Whew, long time no post! That’s because I’ve been busy sweating up a storm at YMCA downtown. I’m currently taking advantage of a free two-week trial as part of CBC’s Live Right Now promotion.

To sign up, all you have to do is print out your profile page (register on cbc.ca), present it to your Y location of choice and the YMCA staff hand over an application form to fill out. The card printer was broken when I went, but they were good about lending me a temporary card so that I could use the lockers.

My first visit was last Friday, where I did some work with weights. Navigating the massive three-floor gym & change room was a bit intimidating at first, but at least there’s lots to look at and it gives you a pretty awesome idea about all the activities available at this location.

Visit #1: I did my usual three laps of brisk walking around the track to get my heart rate up. It overlooks the rows of equipment on the second floor and the uber busy gym full of adolescent boys playing basketball. Next, I ventured into the male-dominated weights area (I think I was the only female there at the time!) and found a set of 5 lb weights, nice. I tucked myself into a little corner under the stairs where I found my old faithful, the bosu, and did a short series of exercises that left me quite sore the next day (my own fault for not stretching properly!) It was all fine and good, if a little cramped, except some of the people pumping iron around me were a little odd (ie. one guy making LOUD grunting noises  every time he lifted the barbell, and another guy who didn’t understand the concept of deodorant). As a car owner, I had to cut my workout short and rush back to the car before my parking expired, one downside to visiting the downtown Y…unless the Y offers free parking somewhere and I’m oblivious. Enlighten me!

Visit #2: Despite my extreme lack of motivation from “springing forward,” I bit the bullet and opted for some stretching and cardio on one of the elliptical machines last Sunday. They were really clean, modern and easy to use. I *LOVE* that most of them had a personal tv set attached to each machine. The time seemed to fly by as I indulged in Slice, CBC’s doc zone and the Food Network. The treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, arc trainers etc. are all clumped together, which is a little uncomfortable at first (if you’re sensitive about personal space!), but once you get into your own zone it’s all good from there. When I was stretching before & after, I noticed there is a large supply of exercise balls, bosus and tubing that looked like they were in good condition. I think the gym could use a wee bit more space for stretching and some more mats, since it seems to be a popular area.

Visit #3: I decided to challenge myself and take a spin class (an instructor-led workout on a stationary bike where you pedal standing up/sitting down at various intensities) for my first time ever yesterday. I’ve heard they are murder and have always shied away from the sweaty, cardio-heavy workout, but this blog is all about exploring different fitness avenues. The Y staff were really friendly about pointing me in the direction of the class and suggested I chat to the teacher before starting. The instructor went through proper bike set up before cranking up the music to this invigorating workout. I’m used to taking classes in a separate studio at the gym, but here, it’s held in the main equipment area. There were definitely a lot of curious exercisers watching our class as we went. I took it easy on the tension at first, unsure of my personal cardio stamina. I lasted the whole class (a number of people clock out before the finish) and toward the end started really cranking up the intensity to match the teacher’s pace. She followed up with me again after the class to see what I thought, which was awesome. I quite enjoyed it (even though my rear is super sore today!) and would go again just to mix it up! I highly recommend trying it for some variety and if you want to sculpt your pins for the not-so-far-away shorts & swimsuit season.

Overall? Loving the Y so far! I’d like to try the pool this weekend. There is so much to do and membership is only $39 a month for adults. I’m also told the rate can be reduced if you’re a low income-earner, making it an excellent affordable fitness option in Winnipeg.

Leisure guide & discounted yoga/pilates pass

Registration for summer leisure programs starts Mon, Mar 14, 9 am.

Good news! I signed up for the YMCA downtown on Friday for my two week trial pass. It’s getting late, so I’ll save my impressions on that experience for my next post.

For this post, I want to just send two quick reminders:

1) TeamBuy.ca is offering a discounted 10-class package to Yoga, Pilates & More for $35 (Reg. $130). I’ve actually been there before (it’s in the south end of the city) for a $5 drop-in class open house and from what I remember, it’s actually quite cute. The first time drop-in rate is only $5, so take advantage of that if you want to test the waters.

The studio itself is not super massive, but it’s very clean, mod and the yoga teacher had a nice demeanor to her. I do remember there being some new age-y music in the class, which I had trouble not laughing at during savasana at the end. Anyway, if you’re out in this neck of the woods I’d recommend this studio. What I love about the schedule is there are other classes available, like Zumba and bosu to offer some variety. One downside is the schedule heavily favours 9-5ers…there aren’t any daytime/early am options if that fits in with your schedule better, so keep that in mind.

2) Leisure guide registration starts tomorrow! I typically sign up for one class in fall and one in winter. Since I am moving to a new neighbourhood soon and pursuing this blog, I won’t be registering tomorrow. That being said, the Leisure Guide is one of my favourite resources for fitness activities. The registration fees are affordable (my bosu class is typically under $70 for 10 classes, that’s less than $10 a visit!)

I would defo take a browse through the online catalogue (if you haven’t already) and pick something new…think of it as spring cleaning your workout routine. Some people find scheduling a regular class restricting. I find it assuring that I have this block of time reserved for exercise, so I KNOW it will get done. Tuesday is my last bosu/cardio class of the winter session and I made it for 10/10 classes. I haven’t done that for awhile! The kettle bell fitness course interests me as it’s supposed to be the hot new fitness toy. My bosu/cardio class is up for sign-up again, but I typically start tennis clinic on Tuesdays come May, so that’s it for that class.

Let me know what course you signed up for in the comments!

 

WagJag yoga classes & free YMCA pass

All set to try out YMCA Downtown through CBC's Live Right Now program

Unlike other group buying sites, WagJag appears to let their deals run for a number of days. There’s one for 10 yoga classes for $49 (Reg $130) at Winnipeg Yoga Shala that ends in a few days. It’s a studio I am unfamiliar with but am curious about trying. Has anyone ever been there? They’ve got a unique “MySore” program that encourages individual practice with teacher assistance and supervision.

If you’re hesitant to part with $49 off the hop, check the studio out for a mere $5 first class. There are new student specials (not sure if they literally mean student of a university or if they are calling members students…) that are pretty decent: $50 for one month unlimited (including MySore) and $150 for three months for the MySore program (Reg $375). Unfortunately, the $5 first time class does not apply to the MySore program–one month is $135.

My goal for March was to work out a dozen times this month. I failed last week by only going once (blaming a particularly annoying visit from Aunt Flo for that).

However, I filled in the paper work for a two-week free trial of the YMCA downtown through CBC’s Live Right Now program after work today. The pool looks great and I can’t wait to try some classes as well! It looks like there are lots of different cardio and weight machine options should I feel like mixing up my routine. Generally, I’m not a machine person but throwing them in the mix here and there works fine. I plan on heading for my first session tomorrow after work and then again sometime on the weekend to make up for last week’s laziness.

Hey, we’re all human so I won’t beat myself too much about skimping on the exercise this month. I’m determined to beat the never-ending winter blahs and this blog is just the motivation I need to make sure I keep to it!

 

 

Sizzling Downtown Gym Deal

Shape up at Urban Wellness Centre in the heart of downtown.

There’s yet another hot group buying site “WagJag” that’s swept into Winnipeg and already they’ve got a fitness deal perfect for urbanites and downtown office dwellers. For $49, buyers can scoop up a two-month pass to Urban Wellness Centre in City Place ($105 value).

I haven’t been to Urban Wellness Centre as of yet, but a quick read-through of the facility sounds like it goes above and beyond your typical gym. Complimentary hair dryers, a steam room, and massage and dietitian services are just some of the impressive features.

Yoga, Guts & Butts and Bosu are just a few of the classes offered, which are packaged into lunch hour-friendly 45 minute workouts. I’m a “class” kind of gal, so I like sessions that are 1 hr. minimum. The classes are also only from Mon-Fri during work hours, so for those reasons, I’m passing on this otherwise attractive deal. If you’re still keen on giving it a whirl without laying down any cash, the first session is free.

Tomorrow’s post: Review of Moksha Yoga on Regent

Upcoming posts:

Lifestyle Pass fitness adventures

Brick House gym boot camp

YMCA workouts through CBC’s Live Right Now Program

Pan-Am Pool: Simply Swimming

Note: I planned to write a post about snowboarding in Asessippi with some lift tickets I received through a Costco deal, but the trip was cancelled after my other half injured his collarbone. This post is on hold until further notice.

Freebie alert: Cross-country skiing/snowshoeing clinic & rentals

To pick up where I left off, thanks to Terry and Marcy for having me on Information Radio on Wednesday morning. It was an early wake up but lots of fun. I love CBC’s “Live Right Now” initiative. It’s so refreshing to see the media using their power to influence people to get up off the couch and get active. I plan to sign up for the free two weeks at the YMCA through the program and blog about it.

Unfortunately, I was feeling a bit ill on Tuesday so the last two days have been about resting up in bed. Not so much about fitness exploration.

In the meantime, this blog has inspired me to start a twitter account as well, where I’ll post mini fitness snippits and deals as often as possible. Please follow me @wpgfitexplorer.

One hot deal that I mentioned on Information Radio is Snow Trek 2011 as part of the city’s Winter in Motion program. Snow Trek takes place this Sunday (Feb 13) at Living Prairie Museum (2795 Ness Ave). Rentals and lessons are all FREE, so if you’ve ever wanted to try out snowshoeing or cross-country skiing (or if you haven’t done it since jr. high like yours truly) under the watchful eye of expert guides, then this is your golden ticket, folks! Cross-country ski lessons take place every 45 mins and guided snowshoe hikes take place every 30 mins. Equipment rental is available for kids and adults. It’s an affordable, family-friendly alternative to your typical fitness grind and an awesome way to beat the winter blahs. The event runs noon-4 pm.

X-country skiing--a great cardio workout in the great outdoors

I went with a group of friends to FortWhyte Alive in early Jan for the first Snow Trek of 2011 and the cross-country program was top notch (minus the bone-chilling wind, but the forecast is much better for this weekend). Great instruction presented in a fun & games way that had the whole group interacting (kids and adults) and racing each other. I cannot recommend this program enough. I’m also told cross-country skiing is one of the most challenging cardio workouts around. I’d agree with that assessment–my sore groin the next day was a testament as to how hard it works your body. Make sure to stretch before and after. If it wasn’t so chilly we would have tried the snowshoeing as well; I’m sure it’s handled just as professionally. Props to Olympia Cycle & Ski for loaning equipment for these clinics.

I have no formal plans as of yet to attend this weekend’s clinic as my ski buddy is currently in Mexico (lucky gal!) I’m sure I can rope somebody into going…

If you do attend, please share your experience. If not, please pass the word on to someone who might enjoy this program. The more we support these kinds of initiatives, the more likely they are to continue in the future.