The Sweat Lab, Calgary | 4.5

THE CLASS: TSL Barre ◊


PINEAPPLE SCORE
4.5 PINEAPLLES

WHAT YOU NEED

Water bottle

Bare feet are fine, grippy socks also welcome

A breathable tee or tank and form-fitting pants or shorts

OVERALL REVIEW

The Sweat Lab (or TSL) is an absolutely awesome hub for lean, mean muscle hotties. Well priced, a diverse schedule full of killer classes, and a spacious ski-lodge feel, this studio is a must visit for the Calgary fitness fam. On our latest trip back to our hometown, we were recommended TSL from a friend who raves about their spin + barre fusion classes which is a niche combo they’ve carved out for themselves. Trendy, clean, and continually evolving, TSL was on the front foot of the barre and spin trend when they opened their doors three years ago. Their success continues today with packed classes, a loyal community, and plans to open a second studio in Vancouver later this year. Given how sore we were in ass muscles we didn’t even know we had, this studio is worth the trip to Aspen even if it’s not on your typical route.

1 PINEAPPLE LOCATION 

288 St Moritz Dr SW, Calgary, AB

The Sweat Lab’s flagship location is tucked away in the suburbs of Aspen in Calgary’s SW, with a second location set to open in the fall in North Vancouver. As Calgary is a city so heavily dependent on driving, it’s a bit unfair to strip away a piece of the pineapple score because it’s difficult to get to without a car. That said, the studio is a ~15-minute walk from the nearest C-Train station on 69th and is a 20-minute drive from the downtown core, so it’s not bad to get to whatever your means. We also have a soft spot for this location because TSL is in a neighbourhood we used to live in #heartemoji. Located in the “Shoppes of Montreux” business centre just off 85th St SW, it’s definitely a destination for sweaty pursuits as the studio is surrounded by other family athletic centers, such as a Leap Studios (a children’s dance studio), and Master Rim’s Taekwondo gym. Parking is free and easy and if you allow yourself the treat, the European café Ladybug down the road is a MUST – if and only if you have the waffles. Work for the waffle.

1 PINEAPPLE CLASS SCHEDULE + PRICE

TSL’s class schedule is jam PACKED. They focus on 4 styles of fitness classes {barre, spin, circuit and yoga} and they specialize in mixing and matching styles so you can get the best of both worlds such as spin + yoga and spin + barre. With 5 spin classes offered, 4 barre, 2 circuit and 4 yoga classes, there is literally something for everyone, every experience level and every sweat preference. Class lengths have a great range also with some being as short as 40-minutes for a quick burn, full-body workout in the TSL Circuit 40, to a number of 75-minute classes like Spin + Yoga or a deliciously long and calming Warm Yin class. We tried one of TSL’s best known classes, TSL Barre, which is a 50-minute, high-energy workout that combines Pilates, yoga and ballet. No previous dance experience required, this class alternates between muscle isolation movements and fat blasting cardio intervals, and is designed to improve posture, flexibility, balance, and cardiovascular endurance.

Classes run daily with the most options Monday-Friday, Saturday only offers ~5 classes and they usually wrap by 10:45am; no rest for the toned. During the week, classes start as early as 6am and end at 8:30pm Tuesdays and Thursday. Word of caution, this place is a hot commodity and classes fill up, so get to class a minimum of 5 minutes beforehand, otherwise your spot may be given away to a feisty wait lister. Classes also start promptly on time and they don’t allow late entries. See below for a quick scan of their classes or here for more detail on each style.

Spin Classes:

  • Spin + yoga (75 minutes – all levels)
  • Spin circuit (75 minutes – intermediate)
  • Spin + warm barre fusion (65 minutes total, 30 min of each – intermediate)
  • Spin + barre (65 minutes – intermediate)
  • Spin (50 minutes – all levels) 

Barre Classes:

  • TSL Barre (50 minutes – all levels)
  • Barre + core (60 minutes – all levels)
  • Warm barre fusion (60 minutes – all levels)
  • Barre 10 (50 minutes – beginners) 

Circuit Classes:

  • TSL circuit 50 (50 minutes – intermediate)
  • TSL circuit 40 (40 minutes – all levels) 

Yoga Classes:

  • Lab yin warm (75 minutes – 30 and 35% humidity)
  • Lab flow yoga (50 minutes – all levels)
  • Lab restorative yoga (45 minutes – all levels)
  • Lab renew flow and restore yoga (75 minutes – all levels)

Class prices are pretty comparable to similar barre studios. Sitting in the middle at $23 for a drop-in is compared to $25 at Barre Body Studio in Calgary and & $21 for Pop Physique in Toronto. Interestingly, class prices are the same even for spin classes or the 75-minute spin/yoga classes. The best deal is easily the 20-class pass, which drops per class rates to $17 pre tax. Memberships are a bit higher and only make sense if you plan on taking more than 3 classes per week, otherwise it’s a better deal to stick with class passes. Again though, considering the diverse class schedule, this is a studio we would personally consider a membership for, since the variety maximizes value and keeps your body guessing by switching up your workouts. For all classes, amenities like towels, toiletries and showers are included and for memberships, spin shoes are also included.

  • Drop-in: $23
  • 5 Class Pass: $95 ($19 per class)
  • 10 Class Pass: $180 ($18 per class)
  • 20 Class Pass: $340 ($17 per class)
  • Unlimited Annual Membership: $150/month
  • Unlimited Monthly Membership: $170/month
  • Intro Promotion – $45 unlimited for 2 weeks
  • Drop-in for students and seniors: $15

1 PINEAPPLE VIBE

Even from the outside, the ski-lodge vibe that befits Aspen is found in the design aesthetic of TSL. Dark wood walls, industrial details and pops of modern white are carefully put together to create a vibe that is modern and hardcore about fitness, yet is still neutral and warm to blend with the surrounding community. The main lobby/foyer is open concept with a space to store outdoor shoes, a Lab café with juices and quick healthy bites, and a shop wall with Spiritual Gangster and TSL branded tanks, tights and accessories. On either side of the wall are large male and female change rooms (equipped with toiletries, showers and washrooms) that lead to the workout zone in the back of the studio. The workout zone consists of locker space, a filtered water station, and two workout rooms; one dark spin room and a second window and mirror filled barre room. Overall, the space is thought through and well laid-out to accommodate a lot of students and it gives everyone enough space to navigate their sweaty bodies through the maze of the studio post-class.  

The crowd at TSL during our time was mostly regulars, however the students ranged from teens to stay at home mom’s to fit grandma’s. Our class was completely full with 30+ students, all women, and a mix of experience levels. Some had a dance background, some had only taken a handful of barre classes, and others had never taken barre at all, yet everyone found their challenge. Given the class was 9:15am on a Friday, most women were stay-at home mum’s or retirees and they all seemed to know each other and the instructor which made for a very chatty and sorority-like class vibe.

AMENITIES

  • Towels
  • Shampoo, conditioner, & body wash in the showers
  • Blowdryer
  • Q-tips, 
  • Lockers
  • Disposable sweat bags
  • Spin shoes provided for $2 (free for the first class)
  • Class equipment provided (mats, balls, weights, etc.)

1 PINEAPPLE INSTRUCTOR

TSL has a massive team with over 28 instructors between all of the different styles. It’s a female powered roster at that; with only 2 brave male spin instructors. The staff are very friendly and were very accommodating during our visit by giving us a full tour of the facilities, checking in after class if we needed towels, and if we liked the class or had any feedback. Well done, guys. 

Raeanne Kinch 

Raeanna introduced herself to us immediately when she didn’t recognize us as regulars in her 9:15am class. She introduced us to the rest of the class also which was super cute and highlighted how much of a community class it usually is. Raeanna’s style was positive, bubbly, and high-energy while being effortlessly fit. She blasted the pop/top 40/hip-hop music, sometimes even a little too much as at times made it hard to hear her, and we had to follow other students in the class. She challenged us for the full 50-minutes and had a close eye on every student to ensure their form was on point. We got such a strong sense that students go to her class just so they can get Raeanne, and we totally get why.

0.5 PINEAPPLE LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY

WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL

We’re rating this class as hard. It didn’t work us hard enough or get us sweaty enough to be considered a way hard but we were continually challenged and felt the burn for the following 3 days, so something was working! We started the Pilates, yoga and ballet melded class in the center of the room with a warm-up and after 5 minutes, we were at the barre. The barre portion of the class utilized a mid size tension ball and mostly focused on glute and leg work with plenty of tendus, battements and pulsing in various versions of squats. The exercises worked our inner and outer thighs, our whole ass, elongated our quads and strengthened our calves. One of the best parts about Raeanne is her encouragement of the shakes. On multiple occasions she would reference how goal worthy and bad ass it is to actually get the shakes and that basically, if you DON’T shake during the leg exercises, you weren’t working hard enough (she was nicer than that.) That was a wonderfully refreshing perspective since when you shake, you feel absolutely ridiculous. The second half of the class was spent on the floor using a ton of different props such as 1-3 lb weights, ankle weights (which was awesome and reminded us of our mums in the 80’s), resistance bands and balls. The floor section focused on our abs, more glute and legwork, and our arms. To wrap the class during our final stretching sequence, scented damp towelettes magically appeared at the end of our mats – I mean…. Overall, it was a full body workout that required us to target specific muscles and concentrate on articulating the movements properly to get the most out of the class. We have no doubt if we did this class on the regular, our legs would be lean as hell but strong AF.

To try this class or anything else on their schedule, see The Sweat Lab’s contact info below.

Web: www.thesweatlab.com
E-mail: info@thesweatlab.com
PHONE: 403.718.0565
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Happy pulsing, Beauties!
 
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