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The Fitness Test: CircuitFIT

Each week, Leyla explores a different class in Toronto and gives you a breakdown of what’s awesome and what’s not. 

Studio: CircuitFIT – 542 Mount Pleasant Road

Instructor: Alex Savva/Patrick Thomas

Description: Picture a big box gym. Now imagine it as a multivitamin. CircuitFIT is eight machines, a handful of equipment and half-an hour-of your life – all you need, according to founder Alex Savva. The introductory one-on-one session starts with an overall assessment of diet, lifestyle, medical conditions, fitness goals, body measurements – everything but your favorite colour, followed by brief explanation of 14 stations that make up the circuit. After that it’s go-time, literally. A green light in the ceiling indicates the start of the first station: Heavy bag (boxing). Savva explains that all the exercises in the circuit target integrated muscle movements. So while you’re punching out your warm-up, you’re working your arms as well as an unsuspecting core. Fifty seconds later the green light turns off and a red light turns on. This is your 10-second reprieve between stations. Repeat this sequence for tricep cable extensions, bicep cable curls, leg presses, elliptical, TRX straps, Bosu squats, water rower, machine shoulder/back/chest presses, captains chair, step-ups and ab-curls. Do it all over again and PRESTO! Your workout is complete.

Reason I signed up: If you’ve ever been to a 105-minute yoga class you’ll know how appealing the idea of a 30-minute total body workout can be.

Price: $70/monthly pay as you go. Free introductory session. Package savings available.

Level of difficulty from 1 (newbie) to 5 (hardcore): Personally, the class was a 3.5. But that’s not saying much since, despite being very regimented, CircuitFIT is a very personalized workout. You want a challenge? Add more weight and push harder. You don’t? Don’t. Clients range from elite athletes to octogenarians, says Savva. The workout is customized accordingly. The universal principle: Form.   

Why you should (or shouldn’t) try it: This isn’t so much a class as it is a program. After the introductory class, CircuitFIT is more or less self-serve. A monthly membership means unlimited access to the facility as well as the encyclopedic knowledge of Savva and/or Thomas. If you’re looking for routine and efficiency, you found it. The circuit changes weekly in regards to time spent at each station (50, 30, or 20 seconds) but other than that, you know exactly what to expect. So, if you’re a variety-is-the-spice-of-life kinda gal, it might be a bit bland.

Overall assessment: If a big box gym made sweet beautiful love to a home gym, nine months later you’d have CircuitFIT.

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