Best Gyms for Strength, Cardio and Specialty Fitness Classes

Whether you’re looking for personal attention or just want to get ‘er done on your own, BC has a range of stellar fitness facilities that will help you achieve your goals

The best fitness centres offer a variety of classes, equipment and services for every body type and fitness level

Are you looking for the basics, like cardio and strength training equipment and varied group fitness classes?

Or are you after specialty sessions (like martial arts or brand-new trends) and additional services (like personal training, saunas or a pool)?

However tall your order, these gyms have got your match.

Denman Fitness

Known for its community spirit and first-rate fitness classes, Denman Fitness has been running (and grapevining) since 1994 – no small feat in the fickle fitness biz.

Voted the Courier’s “Best Fitness Club in Vancouver” in 2011, Denman fitness offers a wide range of programs and services at its 18,000-square-foot facility, from basics like strength and cardio equipment and aerobics, to yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, and cycling classes, to bonuses like Zumba, squash courts, a jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and pool, and unique programs like Super Sandbag Training.

Robert Lee YMCA

The YMCA of Greater Vancouver was founded in 1886. The existing structure was built in 1940 and underwent a massive renovation in 2010. The resulting new Robert Lee YMCA encompasses a whopping 92,000 square feet that offer a number of community spaces and services in addition to fitness offerings.

Highlights include a UV-filtered infinity pool, three fitness studios with over 60 fitness classes (including the usual suspects – spin, yoga, Pilates, aerobics – as well as Capoeira and Zumba), 9,000 square feet of strength and cardio equipment, a gymnasium, and two squash/racquetball courts.

Ron Zalko Total Body Fitness and Yoga

What’s with the disco balls and club beats? Ron Zalko, celebrity trainer and Ironman Canada founder says the idea is to have fun when you work out, so he’s created a lively discotheque-like atmosphere in the large fitness studio at his 20,000-square-foot facility, Ron Zalko Total Body Fitness and Yoga, which has twice been voted the number one fitness club in Vancouver.

Some of Vancouver’s hottest bodies flock to the stellar classes (spin, yoga, Pilates, dance sculpt, kickboxing, karate, Krav Maga, and the original Ron Zalko Workout), and the hard bodies and visiting celebs can be seen strutting their stuff among the Hammer Strength equipment.

Studeo 55

Vancouver’s only boutique health club, Studeo 55 offers over 30 aerobics, yoga, MMA and CrossFit classes in a swanky setting – and it’s about to get swankier when it moves into its new facility in March 2012.

Specializing in personal training and group fitness, Studeo 55 ensures you always have a someone to keep you accountable, whether it’s a class instructor leading yoga in the pagoda, Balates (a ballet-Pilates fusion) in the dance hall, Urban Detox in the weight room, kickboxing in the bag room, or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the MMA studio, or a personal trainer encouraging you to squeeze out just a few more reps on the squat rack.

Steve Nash Sports Club Vancouver

Superstar basketballer Steve Nash and partners opened the first Steve Nash Sports Club in 2007, and purchased Fitness World in 2009, bringing its current number to 17 clubs.

But it’s the downtown Vancouver flagship location that’s caught our attention with its 38,500 square feet and 3 floors of strength equipment, studios, and extras like digital lockers, juice bar, and sauna and steam rooms.

Join in on one of the conditioning or dance classes in the group exercise studio, yoga or Pilates in the zen studio, or a cycling class in the spin studio.

Navigate your way through the nice selection of strength equipment, or employ the help of a personal trainer.