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Showing posts with label Toronto Gyms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toronto Gyms. Show all posts

Fitness Trends in Toronto, 2016

Toronto's gyms are changing. In 2016 we saw some dramatic changes so far this year.

Old School Exercises like Push-ups, Chin-ups, and Jumping Jacks are In.

But Crossfit is now out and no longer popular.


Archery Lessons are in.

But those grueling Zumba classes are out.


Indoor and outdoor obstacle courses are in. (This includes Pursuit OCR, which offers up a jungle gym slash obstacle course adults can race through. There is also the Battlefrog Obstacle Race.)

Boring single use exercise machines at the gym are out.


Fitness Tracking T-shirts are in and getting the techies excited.

Fitbits are now out. So much for that fad.


Bodyweight exercises like Yoga, Push-ups, and TRX Suspension Training (shown below) are in.

Indoor Cycling and Spin Classes are out. Who wants to pay to bicycle indoors without actually going anywhere?


High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is in.

Pole Dancing Classes are out. That was so two years ago...


Tight Rope Walking is in. You can even buy a tight rope walking kit that attaches between two trees. Fun to do with friends.

Those idiotic Bosu balls are out.

Is Canada's Wonderland cheaper than a Toronto Gym?

Okay, stay with me on this one...

How much does it cost you to get a 1 month membership at a Toronto gym?

Well lets look at a few big box store style gyms around Toronto...

Extreme Fitness... Cost? ~ $70 to $100 per month.

Recently got bought out by GoodLife Fitness, is referred to as an Extreme Ripoff by a BlogTo.com review. They try to sucker people in with 1 month free deals or "$8 per month" deals that later turn out to have hidden fees, even though they claim there is no hidden fees. They also claim there is no annual contract, which is bogus because everyone who signs up at their gym is automatically put on the annual contract (it is in the fine print). Learn more about this by reading Extreme Fitness, Extreme Ripoff. For fun try contacting Extreme Fitness and try to get them to tell you their normal monthly rate over the phone and discover how evasive they are about answering that question. Extreme Fitness also has a notorious reputation for overcharging people, double charging people, and refusing to stop charging you even after you cancel your gym membership. They routinely overcharge customers on purpose.

GoodLife Fitness... Cost? $63.92 + HST per month.

Spoke to the nice lady on the phone and she quoted me the above price. However having read reviews and some of the info on the GoodLife website, that price is the bare minimum. GoodLife likes to add extra fees for everything you can think of. Towel service. Access to the pool. Access to tennis courts. Day Care services for your kids if you bring them to the gym with you. GoodLife is all about gouging you with the extra fees. With tax included the total is $72.23 per month.

Next lets look at an organization that should be cheaper because in theory they're supposed to be a non-profit.

YMCA... Cost? $48 to $58 + HST per month.

The YMCA of Greater Toronto operates 8 locations with a range of different facilities, some with both gyms and pools. The prices vary on what is available at the location. The price is above is the normal Adult rate for people 22 years old or older. Unlike other gyms however the YMCA also offers family rates with prices varying between $81 to $97. Thus if you are a couple and have kids, you can truly save a bundle. We should note that the YMCA also charges a signup fee when you become a member.

And finally lets look at something that isn't even a gym...

Canada's Wonderland... Cost? $89.99 for a season pass + $45 for all season parking.

And yes, you read it correctly. Canada's Wonderland is arguably cheaper to use as your own personal gym if you don't mind driving there and paying for parking. The $89.99 is the normal rate for an adult season pass. (It is fairly easy to get a discount however as they do promo codes on a regular basis.) The season pass gets you roughly 4 months of access to the park, the splashworks pool, all the rides, etc. Certain things which are optional are clearly going to cost extra, oh and you should really bring food with you because the food prices inside Canada's Wonderland are ridiculously expensive.

Thus a person could theoretically go there, exercise, go on rides, stand in long line ups regularly, go swimming, completely avoid the fattening / overpriced food, and ultimately only pay $89.99 +$45 + HST = $152.54 for the 4 month stay.

Compared to 4 months at the Toronto gyms mentioned above you would be spending:

Extreme Fitness... $280 to $400 for 4 months.
GoodLife Fitness... $288.92 for 4 months.
YMCA... $216.96 to $262.16 for 4 months.

So Canada's Wonderland is cheaper than all the above examples, you will clearly have more fun there, and it is ultimately the more frugal choice (even with the all season parking pass).

Want to know what is even cheaper?

Toronto Parks and Beaches... Cost? Zero $s per year.

Parking is free. Swimming is free. Ice cream is extra. All the sand and beautiful skies you could want. Many of Toronto's parks have many unusual amenities.

Unusual Amenities

The Toronto Archery Range at E. T. Seton Park.
Sunnybrook Stables at Sunnybrook Park (where you can take horse riding lessons for a reasonable fee).
Riverdale Farm Petting Zoo and Dog Park.
High Park Petting Zoo and Fishing Pond (and Swimming Pools, Tennis Courts, and more).
Mountain-bike Trails / Hiking Trails at Don Valley Brick Works Park.
Allan Gardens Conservatory and Dog Park.
Centennial Park Conservatory.
Centennial Park Ski and Snowboarding.
Earl Bales Park Ski and Snowboarding.

Toronto Parks also are home to beaches, pools, skateboard parks, mountain-bike / hiking trails, ice skating/hockey rinks, tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, football/soccer/rugby fields, wading pools, water parks and more.

And the vast majority of Toronto Parks services are free.

Oh and lastly Toronto Parks and Recreation operates 81 community centres which have gyms and a wide variety of fitness options. If you live in Toronto then you probably live near one of them. Just register as a member and then just go.

Lastly universities often operate gyms which also open to the community, for a comparatively small fee. So if you live near Ryerson, U of T or York University those are also great options.

Gym Personal Trainers and Why I Don't Like Them

Many years ago, long before I became a personal trainer myself, I signed up for a gym membership here in Toronto and got a complimentary session with one of the gym's personal trainers. (This happened twice on separate occasions when I signed up for different gym memberships, revealing to me that gym personal trainers have a lot of flaws.)

Former Mayor Rob Ford with Personal Trainer.
Sometimes trainers are hired for their physique, not their skills.
Now I want to point a few things out before I get into this...

Gym Personal Trainers are low paid, often un-certified, and seem to just make it up as they go along. Having spoken to multiple gym personal trainers I have determined a number of things.

They are often paid as little as $17 to $19 per hour (minus taxes/etc), but the gym charges $60 to $120 per hour for their services. This is compared to normal personal trainers which often charge between $30 to $120 per hour - but they make that full amount, minus taxes/etc.

Take into account that personal trainers at the gym are often un-certified and give shoddy advice, and you would probably wonder if you are overpaying for their services.

From my experience with gym personal trainers, they do the following:

#1. They don't really write much down.

A complimentary session is more of a sales pitch and not a very good one. They ask you your weight, your height, calculate your BMI, and they use a machine or some other method to give you an estimate of your Body Fat Percentage (BFP). This process is basically designed for them to waste time as they try to make it look like they know what they are doing. They may also ask if you want to lose weight and if so, how much. Often at this point they will get out a calculator because they lack the mental skills to perform the simple task of subtracting one number from another. Beyond your BMI, BFP and finding out how much weight you want to lose, they don't write anything else down because their primary goal during a complimentary session is to get you to sign up for more sessions.

A real personal trainer should have a notebook, tablet or similar device - and be recording goals, setting a timeline / schedule, taking note of what types of exercise to focus on, etc. Details matter and unless you have an eidetic memory like I do, then you need to write those details down. (Note - I write these things down anyway, more as a matter of record keeping for the client than as personal notes for myself. I like keeping records of everything.)

#2. They barely even mentioned food.

I found this to be bizarre. 90% of weight loss is eating habits, and it is a big factor to weightlifters / bodybuilders as well, because if they are not getting their protein and veggies, then they cannot bulk up as quickly as they could be. People who are not eating properly are really just delaying their goals or preventing their goals from happening at all. (Especially if the gym visitor goes out for a cheeseburger after their workout every time.)

A real personal trainer has to be part coach and part nutritionist. If they are not advising you on food matters, at least offering to give you advice (regardless of whether you accept it), then they are really only doing half of their job.

#3. 20 Minutes on the Treadmill.

Both times that I had complimentary sessions years ago the gym personal trainers stuck me on a treadmill and left me there for 20 minutes while they went to read email, play on their cellphone, and basically do nothing for 20 minutes. The one trainer actually did this THRICE during the same session. 20 minutes on the treadmill followed by 15 minutes on the rowing machine, followed by another 10 minutes on an elliptical. He basically wasted 45 minutes of the 1 hour session goofing off on his cellphone while I did all the work.

A real personal trainer shouldn't be wasting your time watching you do 10, 15 or 20 minutes of the same activity while they do little or no work. If you are paying $60 per hour for example, and you just spent 45 minutes on a treadmill/etc, then you just spent $45 on having the trainer stand there and play on their cellphone. The other 15 minutes of your personal training session better have some pretty valuable advice otherwise you just got ripped off.

#4. Not Correcting Your Technique.

If you watch gym personal trainers you will notice their clients struggling to perform an exercise (a Burpee for example) and the trainer does nothing to help the client correct their technique. Nothing. Zip.

A real personal trainer should be helping you use correct form so you don't hurt yourself / develop a sports injury. Serious sports injuries are even grounds for a lawsuit if it causes permanent damage.

#5. Bosu Balls and other Fads.

I hate Bosu Balls. I just plain refuse to use them. That doesn't mean people cannot use them, but having been on the receiving end I will tell you that some gym personal trainers have a tendency to overuse these devices. The purpose of a Bosu Ball is to build balance muscles, mostly in the legs and core. However they are mostly useless for the vast majority of people's goals of losing weight or gaining muscle. Unless you are dancer, a gymnast or someone wanting to increase your balance, then there is no reason for you to be using a Bosu Ball. In my experience Bosu Balls are the result of a fad that really took off and some gym personal trainers are "one trick wonder gadgeteers" who are obsessed with one gadget and have all of their clients use the same gadget, regardless of what the client's goals are.

A real personal trainer custom tailors their sessions to the client's needs and goals, and uses whatever tools available that suit those goals. They don't force ridiculous gadgets on clients because it is the latest fad.

#6. Exhausted and Demotivated.

Anyone can make you exhausted. Trying playing tag with a five year old and you will get a pretty good cardio. A personal trainer who sticks you on an elliptical for 20 minutes, weights for 20 minutes and a bosu ball for 20 minutes will have tired you out. Will you have learned anything? Nope. Will you be motivated to do that over again next time? Nope. You don't really need a personal trainer to make yourself exhausted and demotivated, you can do that pretty well by yourself.

A real personal trainer gauges your exhaustion levels and schedules breaks into your training session and uses that time to feed you advice about proper form, attaining better results, nutrition, etc. They should also be using their time to say things that are encouraging so you feel like you've accomplished something when you are done and feel motivated to do it again.

Conclusions

Having bore witness to the kind of amateur nonsense that gym personal trainers do, I have to conclude that they are really just there to make money and have very little interest in helping clients achieve their goals. They waste your time and your money and give a bad rep to personal trainers.

Often gym personal trainers are simply people who are in good shape who needed a "job". It isn't a career to them. Just another job that they will quit when they find something better.

Happy Exercising!

The Culture of Gym Music in Toronto

I have only ever gone to gyms in Toronto so I don't know if they differ around the world, but I assume that what passes for "gym music" at Toronto gyms is probably pretty homogenous across most of Canada and the USA.

Which is to say it is "upbeat dance music", which in Toronto means you would normally hear this kind of music at a dance club downtown and not anywhere else - except for apparently, Toronto gyms.

Listening to the same dance music over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over can get pretty annoying however.

Gyms however simply don't care about the quality of their music, their primary goal is to make your credit card bill bigger by overbilling you multiple times per month, charging for extra services, and charging you one extra month on the day you cancel your gym membership*.

* That actually happened to me with Extreme Fitness. I cancelled my credit card because I had heard they overcharge people for months and months after your membership was cancelled because they CAN and then claim that the person never cancelled their membership / claim it was a billing error / refuse to refund the monies owed to the customer. So after cancelling my card I called them up and cancelled my membership, and the woman on the phone tried to charge my credit card for an extra month while I was on the phone - and was very rude to me after she discovered I had cancelled my credit card and thwarted her attempt to deliberately overcharge me. Also I should note that according to CBC's Marketplace, Extreme Fitness is not the only company that routinely does these things. The whole gym industry does it, which is why the last time I got a gym membership it was for Ryerson University - which is non-profit and has no goal to overcharge people. I still paid with cash however, so word to the wise - if you get a gym membership in Toronto, always pay with cash.

Anyway, back to my primary topic - gym music.

Because gym music is so appalling many people end up bringing their smart phone or mp3 player and listening to their own music instead. Which begs the question, if the music is so bad and people are listening to their own, why not just get rid of the music and replace it with relative peace and quiet? Would it be because then we would have to listen to people grunting on the machines, chatting to each other, gulping down water, idiots dispensing health advice, the one vegan guy who is always trying to convince people to become vegans, etc...?

In which case maybe what gym goers really need is tranquil background noises, that aren't music at all. The sound of a thunderstorm for example. Or tranquil chirping of birds. Whatever. Just so its not the same upbeat dance music over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Because clearly that junk isn't helping anyone and everyone clearly prefers to listen to their own music anyway.

Everyone has different musical tastes. The percentage of people who actually enjoy listening to dance music all the time is probably a pretty small percentage of Toronto's diverse population.

Musical taste is often directly correlated between social status (meaning wealth) and socio-economic and ethnic background. At least according to a study published in 2015 in the Canadian Review of Sociology, and written by a professor from UBC. The study involved nearly 1,600 telephone interviews with adults in Vancouver and Toronto, who were asked about their likes and dislikes of 21 musical genres.

The study determined that poorer, less-educated people tended to like country, disco, easy listening, golden oldies, heavy metal and rap. Meanwhile, their wealthier and often better-educated counterparts preferred genres such as classical, blues, jazz, opera, choral, pop, reggae, rock, world and musical theatre.

So a more specific genre like "dance pop", the kind of which is played in gyms really only appeals to one group of people - wealthy or well off young white people between the ages of 20 and 29. Which for a gym, really shows what their target audience is - young people with money.

And gym music targets women - specifically young white women with money, who are often single (but that doesn't mean you should talk to them!!!) and insecure about their bodies.

Men in contrast are less worried about their bodies. A man having a "little extra weight" is considered to be a cultural norm by society. Women with a beer gut however, that is considered to be outright scary.

There is also a solid argument that the culture of gym music is even racist, because it is so specifically geared towards white women who are insecure about their bodies, have money, and feel that they have to look attractive physically in order to attract a man (which should never happen at the gym by the way, because the man in question will likely be a horrible person who is only attracted to physical looks).

If you know of a gym in Toronto that DOES NOT play horrible dance pop music please post a comment about it in the comments below. With any luck it will be a boxing gym or something similar, as the sound of grunting and people hitting punching bags is normal there - music at such a location would be considered idiotic.

Also if you are one of those people who actually likes gym music I invite you to listen to the Flo Rida song "Right Round" 100 times or until you finally agree with me. (I heard that song roughly every 30 minutes whenever I was at Extreme Fitness. It is an abomination of an old 80s song.)

ADVICE

  • Bring your own music to the gym.
  • Better yet, skip the gym treadmill and go jogging outside.
  • Love your music, love yourself.
  • Try new genres of music sometimes. It won't hurt to broaden your horizons.
  • Try new exercises regularly. It doesn't hurt to try new things in general.
  • Try new sports that are outdoors. Extra fresh air never hurt you.

Personal Note - While writing this post I did a search of my mp3 collection for the word "love" and then made a playlist of songs with love in the title. The first song on the list is 10cc's "I'm not in love". YouTube video below if you are curious.


Do you have to be super fit to get the benefits of cycling?

Spring is almost here and it is time to get the old bicycle out!

Over 13.5 million Canadians commuted to work in 2011*. Many of them drove cars to work.

* Statistics marked with an Asterisk are from Statistics Canada.

According to Statistics Canada, they took various forms of transportation including cars, public transit, ferries and bicycles. Public transit users are made up of about 12% of the population which jumped up 1% from the 2006 census when it was 11% of the Canadian population.

Cycling accounts for just over 200,000 commuters in Canada. Victoria, B.C. has the most cyclists of all the major cities in Canada. Clearly Canadians are increasingly warming up to the idea of cycling as an alternative to driving to work. And why shouldn't they, there is documented evidence that cycling can improve your physical health, your mental health as well as helping the environment and providing a relatively cheap and easy way to get to work.

Given all the benefits it makes you wonder if out-of-shape people would be more likely to cycle to work if they were physically fit?

After all, it stands to reason people who are out-of-shape and not proud of their bodies might be loathe to bicycle to work if they feel they are not physically up to the challenge. It thus becomes a bit of a Catch-22 that if a person is overweight, how can they lose weight via bicycling if they feel defeated before they have even started.

First, let's see what cycling in Toronto looks like on a statistical level. There has been a small increase in cycling in Toronto over a 10 year period (1999 to 2009) of about 6% of Torontonians who commute to work via bicycle. Particularly from 2001 to 2006, the number of Torontonians cycling to work increased by 30%. The biggest increase was in female riders and the demographic that increased the most was female riders aged 45 - 54 and male riders aged 55 - 64. This demographic might be due to a higher number of middle-aged / older Torontonians getting into cycling for its health benefits - possibly with other unknown factors contributing to the rise.

Though cycling is on the rise in Toronto, the city still lags behind all major cities in Canada. 1.2% of commuters in Toronto cycled to work in 2011*. When compared to Victoria's 5.6% of commuters who bicycle to work, Toronto's 1.2% seems tiny in comparison. Clearly Toronto has lots of work to do if Toronto is to become a more bicycle friendly city.

Granted Victoria only has a population of 78,000 people (2006 census) while Toronto has 2.5 million. So Toronto has 30,000 cyclists who commute to work to Victoria's approx. 4,368 cyclists who commute to work.

Next, let's find out what kinds of health benefits we can experience with cycling.

Cycling can improve your general health and fitness, everyone know that, but lets take a moment to bust a myth about pollution inhalation. Cycling to work reduces the amount of pollution you intake on your commute. Contrary to popular belief, cyclists inhale less pollution than motorists do. You would think it would be the opposite, but according to 'An Overview of Cycling Research', a document compiled by Dr. Chris Cavacuiti which examines a plethora of studies on the topic, cyclists inhale less pollution than motorists do. So even though motorists are in the "safety" of the cars, they still inhale more fine and ultrafine particulate matter than cyclists do - possible because motorists are often stuck in traffic for longer periods of time, and they may also be inhaling fumes from their own vehicle. The exact cause of why motorists inhale more pollution has not been determined as of yet, but what is known is that they are definitely inhaling more of it.

On the exercise level studies have shown that active transportation - exercise that is part of the daily routine of getting to work as opposed to exercise that is structured activity (i.e. going to the gym) is more sustainable over time. This means people get into the routine of bicycling to work and this routine becomes customary, whereas people who visit the gym sometimes lose focus and stop going to the gym.

Many gym-goers also use stationary bicycles while at the gym, but the health benefits of cycling inside an air conditioned gym vs cycling in the great outdoors isn't so much a matter of which is better from a health perspective, but which is better for people to stay motivated to keep doing it. Cyclists who cycle outdoors report that they love cycling and would never willingly give it up. Gym goers on stationary bicycles are more ambivalent on the topic and report becoming "bored easily".

Mental health can be improved by cycling as well. A meta-analysis discovered that exercise can be used as a treatment for depression. Exercise can also contribute to reducing the risk of sleep disorders and eating disorders. There are other benefits to cycling including increased sense of community, decreased congestion, and reducing the effects of Alzheimer's and dementia.

Cycling is also a great way to build endurance - which has a variety of side benefits for many other activities (including activities in bed).

There are many benefits to cycling but unfortunately there are also risks. The risks include death and injuries and such incidents are reported in the news media. However fatality rates for cyclists are much lower in Canada than pedestrians and drivers/passengers. So you are more likely to get hit by a car and killed while walking across the street than you are to be killed while cycling.

Over a 20 year period between 1988 and 2008 fatality rates have decreased in general for cyclists. Overall, when taking a risk benefit analysis on cycling, most people find that the benefits greatly outweigh the risks by 20 to 1.

So do you need to have a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger circa 1985 to start cycling or bicycle to work? Obviously not. You certainly do not need to be Arnold to start to get the benefits of cycling. The best thing to do is to just start - and if it is possible to bicycle to work where you live, why not do so? Of course it may be hard at first, your lungs will burn and so will your thighs, but keep at it and it will get easier over time.

Before long you will be reaping the health benefits of cycling and you will be wishing you had started cycling to work sooner.

Indoor Archery Ranges in Toronto

Q

"Is there any indoor archery ranges in Toronto?"

A

This is a frequently asked question. The answer is "Yes, there are, but it is complicated and difficult to get into them."

The reason why it is complicated/difficult is because of the following reasons.

#1. The Hart House Archery Range (University of Toronto) is full. No new members allowed except for 1 day during Frosh Week in September each year and 1 day at the start of January each year. So unless you are an U of T student or alumni, don't bother.

#2. The Ryerson Archery Club is also full. The club is brand new as of Jan. 2015, and they're already full. Ryerson students come first of course, but even so the club is officially full. So unless you are a Ryerson student and willing to wait until September maybe then they will allow in new members.

#3. Casa Loma used to have an archery range and taught longbow lessons once upon a time, but they have since shut it down due to liability concerns. So you are not going to find any help there.

#4. The Toronto School of Archery has 3 locations in Etobicoke (only on Mondays and Thursdays), East York (only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and Beaches (which is full and not accepting new members). The "ranges" are in the basement of a church, a community centre, etc, and only operate between 6 PM and 9 PM. Which severely limits your options if you are busy on weekday evenings.

#5. The JCCC (Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre) does have a gym they use as an archery range - but it is only for people who sign up to study Kyudo (Japanese archery using yumi bows). Kyudo is highly ceremonial and is basically the archery equivalent of Japanese tea ceremony. So unless you are a patient type of person who loves all things zen then you are probably not going to enjoy Kyudo.

#6. Archery District is not a real archery range but I am listing it anyway. It is a facility for people into Archery Tag™, and costs $24 + HST per person for 1 hour of usage. You use the bows and equipment provided and no outside equipment is allowed. During that hour you play with up to 20 people games of Archery Tag™, wherein you shoot each other with boffer arrows. I have been to Archery District twice myself so far and it is a lot of fun, but for people who enjoy accuracy, shooting long distances, just want to practice then you need to find a different place to practice. So unless you want to practice shooting at moving targets you need to find a different place to practice.

#7. Archery Camps / Day Camps is another option if you are looking for a place for your kids to practice. There are a number of day camps and archery camps in or near Toronto which offer archery (either indoor or outdoors). ArcheryToronto.ca maintains a list of archery camps and day camps. However unless you are a kid in the right age group this isn't going to help you.

"So where can I practice indoors then?"

After reading all of the above you are probably feeling a bit disheartened and wondering if you will ever be able to find an indoor archery range in Toronto that is open 7 days per week, is indoors, and will let in anyone as a member.

But do not despair I am working on just that.

For the past year almost I have been building a Waiting List for an Indoor Archery Range - which I am tentatively calling Toronto's Indoor Archery Gymnasium (TIAG). To get on the waiting list please email cardiotrek@gmail.com and give your name, email address, phone number and whether you want a monthly or annual membership.

This indoor archery range will be located in the Leaside / Davisville area of Toronto and work on a gym membership basis. Monthly membership will be $100 and annual membership will be $800. Once the Toronto's Indoor Archery Gymnasium is up and running smoothly the rates will come down, but at present the only way to make such an indoor archery range financially viable is to charge the rates mentioned above in order to get a space large enough for multiple shooting lanes.

So far 30 people have signed up for the Waiting List, but we need 50 people to sign up in order to open an indoor range. 50 people x $800 = $40,000. That is how much we need to lease, renovate, and maintain a space, and as the membership grows each year we will lower the annual rates in order to encourage more members to sign up for the annual membership.

Range hours will likely be:
Sunday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM

The range will also be hiring staff to supervise the range + archery instructors - people who have experience teaching longbows, recurves (traditional and Olympic), compound bows and shortbows / horsebows.

The range will be designed to be friendly to hunters, competitive shooters and recreational archers. Everyone will be welcome. The photos shown on this page are photos showing how other archery ranges are designed. The Toronto Indoor Archery Gymnasium will be designed using a mixture of styles. We will also be making an effort to make sure the space is wheel chair accessible (several of the other ranges mentioned above are not wheel chair accessible).

"What if I am looking for a crossbow range in Toronto?

Lastly the Toronto's Indoor Archery Gymnasium will include space for people who are into crossbows - making it the only crossbow range in Toronto. So if you are looking for a crossbow range in Toronto, please email cardiotrek@gmail.com to add your name to the Waiting List.

All Year Fitness in Toronto

Bikini season is almost over and as scary as that sounds, WINTER IS COMING...

Which means many of you are going to start looking for ways to exercise indoors - preferably for cheap. However you are in luck because Toronto is ripe with fitness classes, big box gyms, skating rinks and parks with trails. Now that the freakishly hot weather of Summer is starting to dwindle it is time to start exploring your other fitness options for staying lean and fit.

If you are looking for a gym in downtown Toronto there is only a few I actually recommend - and they're all owned by either Ryerson or the University of Toronto. Ryerson has the RAC and the MAC (and I had a membership with both of them this summer so I could use their weightlifting rooms and their pool). The University of Toronto likewise has a number of equally good pools and gyms you can use. Which one is better? Honestly, just get the one closest to you.

And if there isn't an university gym or pool near you then I recommend the Toronto YMCA.


I do not recommend ANY of the big box gyms in Toronto because their goal is to get your credit card / bank info and then rape you every month with extra charges, cancellation fees, and refusing to stop taking money from your account even after you cancel your gym membership. (I had an Extreme Fitness membership once and the only way I could get them to stop charging my credit card was to phone the credit card company and cancel the card.) If you do get a gym membership from a big box gym my recommendation is that you pay in cash every month.

Ryerson, the University of Toronto and the Toronto YMCA offer a number of programs that can get you exercising indoors easily enough. Everything from martial arts (tae kwon do, karate, etc) to generic fitness, spin, yoga and pilates classes.

That means that there is basically something for everyone - including Bruce Lee fans.


Outside of gyms and pools, spin classes, etc your next option is to TRY SOMETHING NEW.

In which case there are a variety of places and people to give you some interesting options.

#1. Join a bicycle club - Ride around with other bicycle fanatics on tripped out bicycles.

The Toronto High Park Bicycle Club - torontohpbc.ca

The Toronto Morning Glory Bicycle Club - mgridetoronto.com

The D'Ornellas Cycling Club - dornellascyclingclub.ca

This is not a complete list. When I googled bicycle club toronto I wasn't expecting to find so many... There is pretty much a bicycle club for every age group and neighbourhood in Toronto.

#2. Take up Archery or a similar sport.

Yes you can get archery lessons from me, but there are other sports you might consider as well. For example Javelin throwing.

#3. Take up Boxing or a martial art.

There are a number of boxing gyms in Toronto that you might consider. Remember that boxing is a sport however, not a martial art, and thus is very different. For martial arts you don't even need to take martials arts classes to study martial arts - although it is strongly recommended that you do if you want to get really good at it. Private practice and watching youtube videos will only get you so far.

For boxing gyms check out Sully's, Toronto Newsgirls (a women only boxing gym), and the Cabbagetown Boxing Club. There are many more too.

#4. Take up a winter sport like ice skating.

As the winter gets closer this will become more available as an option. There are several indoor ice rinks however so you can go ice skating even in the summer. (Or take up rollerblading during the summer, which is somewhat similar.)

One of the indoor rinks is at the Ryerson MAC. So with a Ryerson gym membership you get access to weights, cardio equipment, pool, squash courts, and even an ice rink.



#5. Ball Room Dancing / Latin Dancing

Believe it or not you can burn a lot of calories and build good decent muscle tone in your legs through dancing - regardless of whether you are doing a waltz or a salsa. I am not suggesting you should take up ballet, but a healthy awareness of different dance styles and which ones you enjoy will certainly keep you busy. One site you might check out is ballroomdancingtoronto.com, which offers dance classes in Tango, Waltz, Fox Trot, Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, Salsa, Hustle, Merengue, Swing and more.



Save $$$ on your gym membership

With summer officially here, many people want to step up their fitness level by joining a gym. But gym memberships are expensive and many gyms abuse your credit card / bank info and keep charging you after you cancel your membership. So how do you save money but still get access to a gym?

Here are some good ways to get a gym membership without burning a hole in your pocket.

Campus Gyms

University and college fitness centres are often much cheaper than a regular gym and they won't rip you off by overcharging your credit card like a big box gym will. If you're an university or college student, you probably already have access to a gym on campus that you might not have realized is available. Admission might already be included in your student tuition, or you might qualify for a hefty discount. If you are a former student then graduates can also qualify for an alumni discount, so don't be afraid to ask.

Ask your Employer

Some companies offer fitness benefits - such as discounts on gym memberships or fitness equipment, exercise classes, or they might even have facilities in your office building. Take advantage of these employee discounts and freebies.

Negotiate with a Local Gym

Some gyms are willing to negotiate a better rate if you can prove that there's a cheaper, comparable gym elsewhere. Do your research by checking out your local gyms to compare membership fees, contract length, early termination penalties, hours of operation, types of equipment and classes available, as well as the little things like locker and towel fees.

Always Pay Cash

Never give a big box gym like Extreme Fitness, GoodLife Fitness, etc your credit card or bank information. No matter what discount offer they might give tempt you with. Just tell them you prefer to pay with cash and if they insist on getting your credit card or bank info then start walking for the door.

Ask for a discount

If you are a student, a senior, a family of 2 or more, or a foreign visitor then ask for a discount rate. eg. If you are just visiting Toronto for 6 months, ask for truncated rate on the regular 12 month contract. A shorter term contract will save you money in the long run and you won't be locked into a contract - and remember, pay cash even on a contract.

Don't pay for what you don't use

Gyms often offer a wide range of amenities, such as dance classes, martial arts, pools, saunas, hot tubs, massages, towel service, personal trainers, and more. The more that a gym offers the more expensive the membership will be. However if you don't need all that go to a gym that has only what you need and see the huge price difference.

Try the gym before you buy

Get the free membership for 1 day, 3 days or 7 days - whatever the gym is offering. If after the trial period you don't like the gym and / or feel it is overcharging then you can always buy fitness equipment for yourself and train at home.

Use the gym as an add-on to your routine

Your gym should not be your only means of exercise. It should compliment your jogging, cycling, rollerblading, home exercises / weightlifting, yoga, sports and whatever else you do. Thus if you only go to the gym once every two weeks you can save a bundle by only getting one-day passes at your local gym - and only paying for the days you use. If you start to go there more often - like every day or 3 times per week, then get the monthly membership.

Using Playground Equipment as your Personal Gym

Tired of paying gyms to exercise there?

Playground equipment is free.

Better yet some parks now have playground equipment designed for adults who want to exercise. Use them! Or encourage your local politicians here in Toronto to support adding more adult exercise equipment.

I think someone should create a charity dedicated towards collecting money to add more adult exercise equipment to Toronto parks and recreation areas. And if successful, the charity could expand to the rest of Ontario and Canada so people can all benefit from such exercise equipment.

The photos below are just a sample of what you can do.
















YMCA free one week gym and pool membership

Want to use the YMCA facilities in Toronto free for a week?

Go to http://my.ymcagta.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=487

Print the document, fill it out, take it to the membership desk of your local Toronto YMCA and get a free week.

Offer expires June 30, 2013, so if you want to take advantage of this act quickly. :)


Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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