About a month ago we asked our West Island Blog Facebook community to share their top West Island gym and fitness center recommendations. Dozens of suggestions came in – some for gyms that I had never heard of, and others for places that I was familiar with. Always eager to try a new workout, I decided that I would check out some of the top recommendations.
This is WIB Editor and Chief Blogger Rhonda Massad’s home away from home. You can find her here most weekday mornings at 8:00 AM. She comes all the way from Saint-Anne’s to workout with the amazing Sherry Shaban. If you have ever seen a glamorous shot of Rhonda attending one of the many community events that she covers for the blog, you’ve probably noticed that she is in fantastic shape. A mother of three and grandmother to three, proudly into her 50’s – she looks phenomenal. And it’s all thanks to Sherry. An Osteopath and Certified Athletic Therapist, Sherry has trained Rhonda around her injuries and gotten her into the best shape of her life. So, of course, I had to see what all the fuss was about. I joined Rhonda for one of her early morning classes and it did not disappoint. Full disclosure – I have never liked CrossFit. I’m more of a Zumba and HIIT girl, but Sherry’s class was set to a pace that was both challenging and motivational. She also offers a “Transformation Tribe” program designed for women, using bodyweight exercises. A big plus is that when you sign up for the TRIBE workouts, you can stream them from home. So even if you can’t make it to the gym, you can follow along with Sherry.
Why you’ll love it: Remote classes and meal plan.
Location: 112 Jacques Bizard Blvd, L’Île-Bizard, Quebec H9C 2T6
Free Trial: One week
2F45 West Island
I was lucky enough to win a 2-month membership here last spring. I have to tell you, I’m a little biased with this one because the workouts and trainers are absolutely amazing. I trained here about 4-6 times per week for almost 2 months and I never completed the same workout twice. F45 stands for Functional 45 and it is exactly that – 45 minutes of heart-pounding, muscle activating, high-intensity interval training designed around a circuit of stations that will make you sweat, curse (maybe that’s just me), and love every minute of it. The F45 concept alternates between strength and cardio days, keeping members motivated and challenged. There are always two trainers on the floor, and you can follow along with the screens that display the exercises at each station. For an additional fee, you can purchase a ‘LionHeart’ Heart Rate Monitor system so you can track the live results of your efforts. Beyond the amazing workouts, Aussie owner Liza Cox has brought together a dedicated team of trainers that have built a true fitness family.
Why you’ll love it: Amazing community, innovative workouts.
Location: 3880 Boul Saint-Jean, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC H9G 1X2
Free Trial: One week
The first thing you notice when you walk into Kettlebell Club is people training in their socks. According to owner Louka Kurcer, this is because most athletic shoes have cushy soles that can throw off the center of balance. I learned this and many other technical tidbits while speaking with Louka. This guy is the TRUTH – if you are looking for someone who is extremely knowledgeable on the ins-and-outs of movement, body mechanics, core work…and of course kettlebell training, you’ve found your place. Louka made me squat in a way I’d never tried before, he also gave me a core stabilizing exercise that I felt deeeeeep in my core…all the way to my pelvic floor. Ladies – this could be that post-baby workout you’ve been looking for. After meeting Louka, I went on to visit most of the gyms that are reviewed in this post and whenever I brought up his name, everyone not only knew him but spoke extremely highly of him. He is very respected amongst his peers, which says a lot in this cut-throat industry. Located near HWY 20 on Sources, this west island gym is not as central as some of the other locations but worth the drive.
Why you’ll love it: Thorough explanation, great trainer technique.
Location: 1856B Sources Blvd, Pointe-Claire, Quebec H9R 5B1
Free Trial: One free strategy session with a coach
I’ve heard so many great things about this place, and after finally trying it out, I understand why. My workout at OT was one of the best ones I’ve had in a long time. Upon arriving, Samantha from the front desk gave me a tour of the facility and explained the Orange Theory concept. It is based on tracking your own individual heart rate with the aid of a heart rate monitor (extra charge) to gauge the intensity that you are training at and determine where you land in the 5 OT zones. During a class, members focus on the challenging but doable zone (zone 3 or the “blue zone”), the uncomfortable zone (zone 4 or the “orange zone”) and the all-out effort (zone 5 or the “red zone”). There is always a certified coach on the floor that leads the workout and helps guide and push you through the zones. Lucky me got coach Pamela during my session. She was absolutely fantastic at keeping me on track and adapting some exercises around my injuries. Even with the adapted exercises, I managed to burn 612 calories during my hour-long workout. That’s a whole meal!
Why you’ll love it: Great community feel, lots of cardio mixed with interval training.
Location: 315 Brunswick Blvd Unit 34, Pointe-Claire, Quebec H9R 5M7
Free Trial: First class is free
5Le Gym BBS
Another Ile-Bizard gym, Le Gym BBS (Body By Shelo) is worth the detour. At 4,500 square, this cozy 24-hour West Island gym is perfect for people who are new to working out and want to ease into the process. A wonderful perk is that they have a “mommy and me” time every day from 1:00 pm – 4:00pm. Parents are welcome with their little ones under the age of three. You can also take advantage of the free Wifi while you train. BBS also happens to be the home-base for West Island Zumba Queen Elysa Monk. Catch one of her high intensity, base-pumping, hip-grinding Zumba classes, or come in and try her new STRONG by Zumba class.
Why you’ll love it: 24-hour access and parent-specific workout times.
Location: 395 Rue Cherrier, L’Île-Bizard, QC H9C 2R5
Free Trial: No
610 Count Fitness
I popped into 10-Count’s D.D.O. location in mid-December for a 45-minute circuit kickboxing class. I loved that when I got there trainer Maria took the time to explain the different punching styles, walk me through the stations and then we jumped right into the workout. That’s how it works – no set time you just wait at the start until the next “round” begins. Let me tell you, those 10 stations were FIRE. Like F45, the workouts change daily so if you are the kind of person who gets bored easily, you will love it here. The workout is coupled with a heart-rate monitor (not included in the membership) technology that keeps track of every aspect of your progress along the way, live from TV screens all around the studio. You can also access the information via the 10-Count APP.
Why you’ll love it: No wait or booking times, great hours, two locations.
50 Saint-Charles Blvd Unit 4A, Beaconsfield, Quebec H9W 2X3
3639 Sources Blvd, Dollard-Des Ormeaux, Quebec H9B 2K4
Free Trial: One-time free trial
You know the feeling you get after a great massage at a thermal spa? That deep relaxation and zen feeling? That’s how it feels when you finish a Modo Yoga class. During your practice, you will flow through various poses in a room heated to about 38 degrees Celsius. Don’t panic – I am NOT a fan of the heat and I’ve found the classes totally bearable. If you still aren’t sure about the heat, they offer non-heated classes. With class times varying from 45 to 60 to even 75 minutes, there is something for every fitness level and busy schedule. My personal favourite is the class set to music (sun salutations to some David Bowie? YES!). If you want to come in and try a class, they have community classes on various days for just 5$. They also offer Karma classes which are by donation ($5 suggested donation). The funds collected support local and international not-for-profit organizations.
Why you’ll love it: SO many classes, heated or not. Giving back to the community.
Location: 3669 Sources Blvd, Dollard-Des Ormeaux, Quebec H9B 2K4
Free Trial: No
830 Minute HIT
It was a friend from the train who first told me about this women-only kickboxing circuit in Kirkland. She had seen fantastic results from its efficient 30-minute workout. Based on 2-minute rounds of a 13-station circuit, members box, kickbox, and practice self-defence and core stabilizing movements. Like 10 Count Fitness, there are no set times. You check yourself in and wait for the next 2-minute round to begin your jump-rope warmup. Each station has a picture of the exercises, and there is also a trainer on the floor to help with any questions or adjustments. When I signed up here a few years ago, I benefitted from a promotion that gave me training gloves, wrist wraps and a gym bag.
Why you’ll love it: Quick workout, women-only workout
Location: 3551 – A Saint-Charles Blvd, Kirkland, Quebec H9H 3C4
Free Trial: First class is free
These are but a few of the many West Island gyms and specialized workouts that we can be found in our community. Check them out and get your 2020 off to a healthy start.