On Wednesday, with some of my fit friends in tow, I headed to Fitwall Leaside, a new fitness studio which utilizes the Fitwall’s Vertical Training System to focus on increasing muscular strength, coordination, balance, and core stability. The Fitwall was designed to incorporate as many muscles in single movements as possible and does so by moving exercises from the horizontal plane to the vertical plane. Think squats and mountain climbers while rock climbing!
Located a few blocks South of Eglinton on Bayview, Fitwall is on the second floor in the heart of Bayview village. You’ll find plenty of street parking available, both for pay at the meters or for free throughout the residential community. Fitwall is a 2,000 square foot studio with shared washrooms with a spa on the same floor, no showers or change rooms, but plenty of bag storage in a visible area of the studio. 10 Fitwall units are spaced with plenty of room to move around the studio. Each unit also contains a TV which can be connected with your heart rate monitor to monitor your exertion rate throughout the 30 minute class. Towels were also provided during and after class.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with this class. I had heard of Fitwall through social media but didn’t really know what we would be doing or exactly how we would be using the wall. To be honest, if you’re interested, the best way is to check it out for yourself (See bottom of my post for an awesome Fitwall deal). We were sweaty and the next day we were all sore.
The 30 minute class is spent performing 30 second intervals of different strength and cardio activities using the Fitwall and its various attachments including a push up bar and resistance tubing attached to your ankles. The instructors model the moves in between and Jenn and Jon were great at clarifying and providing safety cues as required. For a few days after my lats were feeling very sore and it is safe to say the muscles in my back and arms got a workout that they hadn’t had in a while as a result of the vertical direction of training.
The experience of vertical training was definitely new to me and I, like most newbies, found myself holding a continuous “death grip” on the wall. I have been rock climbing once, so the action of gripping the wall led my hands and forearms to be quite sore as the class progressed. Like many new experiences, I don’t doubt that after a few classes, as strength is built in my arms, and I have a better understanding of how the movements are performed that this feeling will go away – similar to a sore butt during a spin class – eventually as your body adjusts parts of the class get easier.
The cost for each class is not easy to find on their website. They sell class packages versus single drop in class options which is an interesting idea. As a fitness professional I like it because in order to notice a change you need to be at it more consistently than a drop in. However I also wonder how many people are turned away by this commitment. Monthly packages start at $100, under $20 a session and although they are sold “monthly” can be carried over If not used.
I had a fun time trying out this new workout. We all experienced a serious sweaty cardio effect from the strength training and intervals and we were all feeling it the next day, especially in our arms and back. If you are looking for something new to not only challenge your strength but coordination and balance, I definitely suggest you grab a monthly package and hit the Fitwall!