On any given week, I typically spend an average of 25 (or more) hours in the gym.
Between coaching kickboxing classes, training clients and training myself, gyms and studios across the city have, quite literally, become my second home over the past year. The gym is the place I go to work, to sweat, to get out of my head and into my body, and help friends and clients overcome even the toughest of workouts. It is, for lack of a better term, my happy place.
With that said, I know that I can be a pretty tough critic. I look at gyms not only from the standpoint of a trainer and a fitness-lover, but as someone who has worked on the business side of it too, as many of my marketing clients operate within the fitness space. I frequently find myself rambling on about member demographics and trends, overhead costs, equipment, structural details and program development. Basically, I tend to ‘nerd-out’ over this stuff (sincerest apologies to friends and co-workers who have been subjected to my frequent, passionate rants), and I like to think I have a pretty good understanding of what makes a gym or studio truly great. So when Rosedale Club asked if I would like to come check out their space, my answer was a resounding yes. I wanted to see for myself (finally) what all the hype was about.
Opened in January, Rosedale Club is an 18,000 square foot facility that, quite simply, cuts no corners when it comes to the finer details that any gym-goer comes to appreciate. As soon as I parked (which is free, by the way) and walked into the club, I couldn’t help but notice the marble flooring, high ceilings, modern finishes and the spacious entryway offering a juice bar and ample seating. Even the change rooms were sprawling and gorgeous, resembling something you might expect to see in a high-end club or hotel, not a gym. Honestly, this was nothing like any commercial gym I had visited in the last while, the lavish layout reminding me of a more modest Equinox, less the $200+/month membership fees.
“All our equipment is actually TechnoGym, have you heard of them?” The GM asked me as we walked through the space. “It’s sourced from Italy, so you rarely see it in North American gyms because it can be so costly to get it over here. But there’s just nothing better on the market, it’s totally innovative and modern.” He wasn’t kidding, each piece of equipment not only looked superior to the Lifetime Fitness models you typically see in local gyms, but they also sync up to an app on member’s phones for a fully customized experience. Stepping onto a sleek treadmill, he began to swipe across the screen, “You connect to the app using the barcode, and your profile is automatically pulled up. Not only does it track, store and send you detailed progress reports, but you can save your Netflix profile, email, social networks, news and entertainment preferences and more so it’s always just a swipe away during your workout. You can also pull up interactive landscapes, or invite other members to the arena function, which allows you to race and compete with each other on a virtual track.” Pretty cool, right? Even the strength training equipment is linked up to the app, meaning you can quite literally track all of your progress each week, without ever lifting a finger (you do have to lift the weights, though).
We walked through the spin room, which also boasted a large screen for virtual landscapes, and into the fitness studio space where they offer a variety of classes (infrared heated yoga, barre, pilates, bootcamps and fusion-style classes) while a trainer was setting up for the next class. “Wait, are classes included in the membership too?” I asked. He smiled, “Absolutely. Our membership is a flat rate of $89/month, and is inclusive to everything aside from personal training, of course. We really wanted our members to be able to experience something superior to any other gym in the city, without charging the premium membership rate you might expect for those amenities.” Given that a hot yoga or bootcamp membership alone can typically run you $100+/month, I was impressed.
Now, let’s get to my favourite part — the strength training amenities. The spacious weight room is entirely open concept, boasting no shortage of free weights, benches, machines, bumper plates and racks. On the other side of the gym, members have access to turf, kettle-bells, a waterrower, boxes, a Curve treadmill (these are the absolute best for sprint intervals), a heavy punching bag, a sled, a tire, TRX and more for explosive intervals and athletic conditioning. If you’re anything like me, a set-up like that is a literal playground for high intensity workouts.
As I moved through my own workout that day, I was thrilled to be free from the crowded vibe that I associate with large gym chains, able to superset movements easily without ever having to wait for space or any equipment. Trainers and members alike moved around the space seamlessly, with occasional flushed-faced nods to each other as we pushed through the end of our workouts. I wrapped up my training sore and satisfied, certain that I would be back (and soon) as I bid the front desk staff goodbye.
There’s no doubt in my mind, the Rosedale Club more than lived up to the hype. If you’re looking for an exceptional training space to elevate your fitness (without the hefty price tag associated with premium gyms or niche fitness studios), check out the Rosedale Club here.