January seems to be the month of renewal. The time many of us do a check and balance of ourselves physically, mentally and financially. If you’re like me, you’d rather be hibernating and binge watching Netflix for a few months but we know we need to keep moving otherwise all the comfort food is going to settle in places we’ll regret come bikini season. I’m definitely feeling a little sluggish these days. I’m seeking something, ANYTHING, that will give me back some energy.
So, I checked into Surfset Toronto – the new fitness studio located in the Yonge & Eglinton area (locations also in the US) and it’s been in the back of my mind to try ever since it had opened in the fall.
What is it?
Work outs that are inspired by surfing. Different fitness training levels offering a variety of low impact work outs incorporating yoga moves, body conditioning, interval training, as well as targeted bodyweight and resistance circuit training.
How it works?
Getting the balance right is key but it requires the focus and mindful breathing of yoga and the use of core and leg strength to stay on top of the board. Surfboards are supported with stability balls and take the movement range similar to a real surfboard. Positioning and determination keeps your mind in the moment.
What class did I join?
For first timers it’s probably wise to start with the Balance class that combines basic surf techniques like paddling and balanced footing along with yoga poses like Downward Dog and Warrior Poses 1 and 2. Planking and lunges also made me very aware of my body’s natural inclination to engage tummy muscles and legs. The class was about 45 minutes long and I admit it went pretty quickly.
What was I thinking about?
Other than trying not to laugh at myself (nervous reaction) my mind was always on keeping the balance which meant I wasn’t worried too much about what the stomach muscles were doing. It may be a good thing because I’m sure I did more planks and crunches than I would at a straight forward class! Because your muscles are constantly engaged naturally to keep you balanced means you’re probably working them more efficiently. Instructor kept an eye on everyone in the class to make sure we were holding positions right and giving pointers on how to keep on top of the surfboard. When we did paddling moves I tried to imagine me in Hawaii….only I think I was hoping there was a pop up Tiki Bar and a Mai Tai waiting as a reward at the end of the class. Kidding!
After the work out?
My friend Carrie-Anne and I went for a ramen lunch a couple doors over and about 4 hours later, we’re both starting to feel the workout where it should be noticeable – core, legs, butt, shoulders, arms. It turned out to be a full body work out!
Who’s this for?
Anyone who wants to have fun working out…and momentarily escape the brutal cold winter to step into a coastal mind zone. The beginner class level is perfect to get your footing. Move on up when you’re ready. SurfSweat is way more fun than other forms of sweating.
What you want to know…
You’ll want to give this a try… it’s gonna put you in a good mood! There are no more than 12 boards in the room when we were there but they could possibly accommodate about 15 tops from what I can see, so classes are small that way the instructor can keep an eye on everyone. Trainers are all fitness experts in various disciplines. If you’re curious to try out a class, Surfset Toronto will host a weekend Open House January 17 & 18 offering free classes. Link to www.surfsettoronto.com for more details.