5 Must-try Fall Fitness Classes in Vancouver

Don’t let your summer bod disappear with the season. Just like the leaves are a’changing, so too should your workout

Credit: Paul Joseph

Five Vancouver fitness classes that will keep you looking and feeling fine

As summer turns to fall, it’s time to start thinking about moving your workout indoors. And although Vancouver is known for its outdoor activities, like conquering the Grouse Grind or squeezing in laps at one of our seaside pools, our physically active culture extends into some cutting-edge, super-fun fitness classes that offer a variety of ways to keep you in peak form year-round.

Dancefit at the YWCA

Do you love to dance? Even if you have two left feet, you’ll feel like a superstar at Johanna Ward’s DanceFit class at the YWCA Health + Fitness Centre. With her panache for choosing the most awesome music and creating a never-ending supply of easy-to-follow choreography, Ward has gained a fiercely loyal following over nearly 20 years of teaching. “I love instructing so much because it’s amazing to help people come out of their shells and find the joy of movement,” she says. “We have such a good time together. It’s so much more than just a workout.”

535 Hornby Street, Vancouver


What to wear: INNER FIRE

In keeping with Ward’s fun-loving DanceFit class, show up splashed in positive intentions with Inner Fire’s duds for urban yogis. Founder Leah Emmott, a Vancouver-based yoga teacher, dreamt up the clever line while sidelined after a medical emergency, like the hand-printed “A Bun Dance” tank ($29.95) and the colourful “Aurora” leggings (pictured right, $79.95), made from recycled water bottles.


Barre Fitness

Yaletown’s Barre Fitness was the first ballet barre-based workout in Canada, founded by professional dancer, personal trainer and fitness instructor Ella Jotie and entrepreneurial fitness enthusiast Michele Murgel. The two worked with physiotherapists to bring their choreographed total body-sculpting workout – which incorporates dance conditioning, sports conditioning, Pilates and flexibility training – to Canada’s West Coast.

1038 Mainland Street, Vancouver


What to wear: LOTUSACTIVA

Head to the dance barre ballet-beautiful and pretty in pink with Vancouver-based fitness line Lotusactiva. The Kamin Tank (pictured right, $52) has cross-over straps that can be worn multiple ways.




Kundalini Yoga at Semperviva

No fewer than 100 exuberant yogis congregate at Semperviva owner Gloria Latham’s Kundalini yoga class, a hard-to-define blend of high-energy rave, southern gospel choir, utter relaxation and pure unadulterated joy. “Kundalini is such a powerful practice for releasing tension and finding joy,” says Latham of the unique form of yoga she calls a “systematic approach to awakening your full potential through poses, meditation, breathing exercises and mantra.” The petite Grecian beauty, whose signature waist-length hair dances with the crowd as they move in unison, says, “If we can dance, sing and sweat out our tension, we can finally relax.”

Various locations in Vancouver, check online for Gloria’s schedule


What to wear: KARMA

Things get sweaty with the pulse of bodies at Kundalini, so look for minimal coverage and moisture-wicking fabric like the Kelly Bandeau (pictured right, $49) from Vancouver-designed Karma yoga apparel with medium/high-support and convertible straps. Throw on the asymmetric, draped Cielo Tee ($48) overtop to exit class in style.


Urban Detox at Studeo55

Celebs flock to swanky Studeo55, designed by Box Interior Designs (MARKET by Jean-Georges and Glowbal’s Black + Blue are also clients), for their carefully curated fitness menu offering yoga, indoor cycling, circuit training, cardio boxing and CrossFit in over 16,000 beautifully lit square feet. The 60-minute Urban Detox circuit class takes over an entire floor of the boutique fitness studio, with a live DJ, up to 45 participants rotating through 45 different stations (think hallway sprints, burpees, planks and lunges), and at least two of their experienced athletic trainers offering hands-on encouragement and coaching.

#202-865 Hornby Street, Vancouver


What to wear: LULULEMON

The company that started a stretchy-pants revolution keeps on innovating and making our butts look good, whether in Trikonasana or doing triceps extensions at Urban Detox. Reach for the moisture-wicking, anti-stink fabric featured in Lululemon’s Swiftly Tech Racerback tank ($48) for women and Metal Vent Tech Short Sleeve top ($64) for men.


Surf + Sand at Steve Nash Sports Club

There’s no need for California dreaming when you can hit the proverbial waves at Steve Nash Sports Clubs’ exclusive Surf + Sand class. The circuit-style workout uses the RipSurfer X from SurfSET Fitness, a standard-size surfboard mounted on a trio of inflated rubber discs, and SandBells, tear-resistant neoprene sacks filled with sand. Mimicking surfing movements and incorporating resistance exercises using SandBells gripped in one hand, instructor Derek Ralphs (downtown location) leads the pack in a totally rad combination of dynamic core stability and functional strength.

Available at the downtown location, 610 Granville Street; Cambie location, #299-555 West 12th Avenue and Brentwood location, 4199 Lougheed Highway, check website as schedules vary


What to wear: STRONGBODY

Strongbody’s luxury activewear is manufactured just minutes away from founders Meghan Conyers and Quincy Samycia’s design headquarters in downtown Vancouver. The men’s best-selling Performance Short ($104) makes a fitting pair for Surf + Sand as their breathable, durable, fast drying, pill resistance is thanks to ChitoSante, an environmentally-friendly treatment made from shrimp and crab shells.