◊ THE CLASSES: Row & Intensity ◊
WHAT YOU NEED
We originally reviewed Hive Fit Co for their signature Row class when they first got started, but we’ve been keeping tabs on this little studio and watching them add intensity to their class schedule. Literally, they’ve added a class called Intensity. And since we loved our experience so much the first time and it became one of our go-to studios in YEG, it only seemed the right thing to do to give you the low-down of this new class. Hive is a small studio snuggled in the middle of Downtown Edmonton, overlooking Jasper Avenue. We’ll be real with you guys for a minute; this place has the aesthetics of our dreams. Wood, cement, white, gold – we’ll attempt to keep our interior design preferences aside, but we loved it as soon as we stepped foot in the door last time, and it has not stopped impressing. The staff, as always, are incredibly welcoming and informative about the studio, the location is bananas perfect and we instantly felt like we fit in here. They provide classes that cater to a variety of tastes and they’re a big contributor to Edmonton’s booming fitness community. Also, they’re the only cats in town that offer rowing classes, so that’s boss.
We’re super into the location of Hive Fit Co. Right in the Center of downtown Edmonton, this studio is located on the corner of our favorite downtown street (104 St) above Corso32, a chic Italian eatery that has us salivating for tagliatelle. Such a spot-on location requires you to partake in some of Edmonton’s best eateries after a sweat session, like down the road to Credo (our personal favorite) for a coffee, Mercer Tavern for a drink, or Blue Plate Diner for a bite to eat. The only times street parking is not free is during weekday daytime and Saturday classes. Before 9 am and after 6 pm, street parking is free downtown Edmonton. We were able to snag street parking on 104th for a dollar an hour (jealous, Toronto?). There’s also an Impark right behind the studio that’s $3 after 6 pm and on weekends if street parking ain’t happening. The studio is also across the street from the LRT’s Bay Enterprise Station and there are multiple bus routes that stop along Jasper Avenue.
The class schedule at Hive Fit Co varies quite a bit from day to day. Since the last time we visited Hive, they’ve really spiced up their class schedule. Last time, we noted that Mondays were the leanest (usually 2 classes mid-morning), and they’ve since picked up their weekday schedule to offer 7-10 classes from 6am to ~9pm daily, while weekends offer 4-5 classes starting at 9am. So ummmm, guess who just went from 4.5 pineapples to 5!?!? Heyo!!
The class line-up includes four categories; Row, Spin, Yoga and, now, Intensity. The Row classes include three different versions; Row, Endurance Row and Row & Flow. Row offers killer full-body variety with rowing and body weight exercises off the machines, while Endurance Row is high intensity cardio on the row machines the entire time, and Row & Flow is a half n’ half class of 30 minutes of high intensity rowing followed by 30 minutes of a yoga flow class. Spin classes are all one style and are 45-minutes of ride together, music focused, intense cardio. The Yoga classes include two styles; Flex & Flow, a unique take on a traditional flow class that incorporates weights for additional strength training, and Revive and Restore, pretty much the only non-intense class on their roster that focuses on slowing down and stretching deep into your muscles in a hot candlelit room. This would be a great beginner class, but may be the only one. Hive’s new offering, and the reason we decided to re-visit this review, is Intensity. Intensity is offered three times a week and is a PERFECT cross-train for cardio enthusiasts as it’s structured to be a full body strength workout that incorporates weights into your routine.
Class prices at Hive are pretty comparable to other studios we’ve been to in YEG, even across the different categories like yoga and spin. The discounts aren’t as substantial as you commit to more classes, especially compared to Yoga Central for example, but $20 seems to be the benchmark drop-in rate in YEG. Considering the equipment used in the spin and rowing classes, in particular, and the level of intensity of the class, this is great value for your hard earned dollas. Memberships don’t appear to include a whole lot of extras though, other than access to 7 classes a week and they only really make sense if attending class more than 3 times a week, which is a pretty substantial commitment. If you’re willing to commit longer, the auto-renewal membership is the best bang for your buck, dropping per class rates to less than $13.50 if attending 3 times a week. if that’s not realistic, and 1-2 classes is more your jam, then stick with class passes.
- Drop-in: $20
- 5 Class Pass: $90 ($19 pc)
- 10 Class Pass: $170 ($17 pc)
- 20 Class Pass: $320 ($16 pc)
- 1 Month Membership: $200
- 3 Month Membership: $500
- 6 Month Membership: $850
- Auto Renewal Membership: $160
- Students receive a discount
So, as mentioned, we’re OBSESSED with the design aesthetic of the studio. Overall, it’s clean and industrial and apparently that makes us feel all the feels. Side note – the large yoga and row room has the most flattering mirrors we’ve ever stood in front of. They make you look tall and slim and strong and it felt important to mention. It is, guys, it is.
When entering the studio from street level, you go up a flight of stairs into the lobby area. It’s beautifully set up and quite simple. There’s space to leave your outdoor shoes at the top of the stairs, and to the right of the reception area is the yoga and row room. Large and industrial, the room provides plenty of space to perform multiple exercises both on the water rowers and yoga mats. The water-rowers are truly beautiful beasts. Unlike gym rowers, the water rower uses water resistance to give the feeling of rowing out on the water – cool, no? Equipment aside, we would love to come back for the candlelight yoga in this space, because it would be B.E.A.UTIFUL. There’s also a lot of space for a full class in this room. With ~20 of us in our Row class, nobody was on top of each other even though we were moving around a lot. Behind the reception area is a gorgeous sitting area and lockers (with locks) for everyone. Off to the right side of the sitting area is the spin room that pumps out loud music and hard work everyday. The change rooms are in the back, and the women’s especially is equipped with everything you could possibly need to get full ready after class. One small note of improvement we would recommend to Hive is getting a curtain for just inside the men’s room door. From the lobby and seating area, if the men’s door is open, you could receive quite the…view. It’s also worth noting that it can be mildly terrifying changing and hoping that someone doesn’t open the door when you’re at your worst, and more than a little awkward standing inside the change room waiting for a fellow gent to re-dress so you can leave without showing him off to the studio at large.
Finally for vibe, we’ll talk crowd. As you may assume, the types of peoples that frequent Hive definitely leans towards the young, already-super-fit, cool type, and you’d be right in that assumption. However, everyone is SUPER nice and not intimidating about it and we saw a refreshing variety of fitness levels and ages for both of our classes.
- All class equipment provided for each class type (mats, bands, towels, even shoes for spin)
- Water available for purchase
- Locks included
- The women’s change room has 3 showers, 2 sinks and two washroom stalls. The men’s has two showers, one washroom stall. Both have some complimentary product (shampoo, etc.) and the women’s room also has hair dryers, hair ties, bobby pins and razors.
- Shop that features Hive Fit Co. clothing
Bre Baker is the lady with the vision. Hive Fit Co is just over a year old, and we got a bit of a story about it’s beginning. Bre worked at Lululemon, and had a dream to start something that encourages, inspires and empowers every single person who walks through the doors. We found out that lots of the staff are also Lululemon educators, and as Bre’s dream became real, it also became the home away from home for this tight-knit group. We learned that the entire group wanted to support Bre and her vision – and they pretty much all followed her along to be instructors, employees, or just avid class attendees. Girl, you’re crushing it.
Abbey Cimolai – Row
“I’m like Jillian Michaels but cuter”
Abbey started in January, and man are we glad she did! Just like us, when Abbey started, she was new to row. She’s a busy bee; personal trainer, Educator at Lululemon West Edmonton, and when at Hive, she teaches Row and Endurance Row. Our favourite thing about Abbey is how truly motivational she is. She has an infectious smile and told us secretly after class that she loves seeing people get angry at her – she’s here to kick your butt and if you’re angry with her, she’s winning (preach, Abbey!). Abbey gave a really great crash course on rowing when we arrived (we are rowing newbies and needed a lot of help), so she set us up to be the rowing pros we were born to be. We also noticed that Abbey spent time moving around the room and cheering on the class individually, which was a nice touch. Lastly, the music selection was ON POINT with some old school hip-hop to keep us motivated and pushing through.
Alethea Michailides – Intensity
I’ve run with Alethea a few times and was super excited to see her in her element. Alethea states that the number one reason she teaches fitness classes is bc… she enjoys it. Period. And that’s our favourite kind of instructor. She has passion for exercise and fitness with others, and thrives on introducing people to her world by making sure they leave with a positive feeling every time. Alethea is knowledgeable in body mechanics and strength training, and has a clear method of communication that allowed everyone in the class to follow the intended movements and instructions without confusion. She would visit each person in the class during instruction and provide technique advice, and occasionally challenge the regulars in the room to push themselves harder (begrudgingly, myself included). I especially loved when she came over to me, held my toes, commented and commiserated on our sore runner’s quads, but then proceeded to give me heavier weights. It’s the little things – keep pushing us kindly, Alethea.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
We’re rating the Row class way hard, which is exactly what we expected. I mean, what even is rowing? (My legs, glutes, shoulders and core are currently screaming, guys). Hive offers the first of their kind in Edmonton, rowing classes that are 45-minutes in length, and have been designed to push you to your limits, using a total of 87% of your muscle mass with every single stroke. Unmistakably high intensity, rowing is also low impact, and produces full body results so it’s a great alternative for those with joint issues or are unable to perform weight-bearing exercises like running or jumping.
The class started out by getting warmed up and rowing it out on the water rower. We thought it was clever that the class broke down sections of the mantra that Abbey chanted to us the whole time: legs – core – arms – arms – core – legs. During the first row set we began isolating the movements, this time using arms only and keeping the legs strong and stable. After this we got off the rower and did a small arm workout: planks, tricep push-ups, bicep curls and shoulder press (accompanied by pulsing for days). For round two we were back on the rower, and this time isolated legs, then it was back off the rower for a leg (and booty) burn which included lunges, squats and lots of pulsing. For the third and last blast on the rower we did a nice long sprint with a lot of cheering from the class and Abbey alike. After the last turn on the rower it was time to jump back onto our mats and work on our cores with some v-ups, Russian twists and yes… pain. After all of this, we didn’t really know if we’d be able to stand, but Abbey led us through a nice round of stretches to cool us down. While we have this rated as way hard, the class was completely doable for someone just starting out, with Abbey offering up a few variation for the less experienced rower.
We’re also rating this class Way Hard, though it’s worth noting that it didn’t HAVE to be. Intensity is structured to be a body strength and cardio class to add to your fitness schedule – it’s for the athlete that needs more in their daily routine. The extra resistance from the weights builds muscle and keeps the joints strong. That being said, don’t expect your average strength based class – this class goes super extra by also incorporating a ton of cardio. It’s really the ideal full body workout. The class is 45 minutes with short breaks and a wide variety of full body exercises that get the heart rate up really quickly. The class flowed SUPER intentionally and our internal dialogue went like this:
ME: “This isn’t bad”
ALSO ME: “I might actually die”
ME AGAIN: “Don’t make me do this anymore”
ALETHEA: “We’re done!
ME: “That was SO fun!”
All the emotions, you guys. The minimal breaks keep everything moving quickly with no time for second thoughts – which we appreciated bc, honestly, I don’t lift heavy items and put them down for fun very often. The exercises can totally be modified for any fitness level and instructors, like Alethea, pay close attention to all participants to make sure you’re A-okay and feeling good.
You guys, six months later and we are STILL totally obsessed with Hive. We’ll be back, again and again.
To try this class or anything else on their schedule, see Hive Fit’s contact info below.
Web: www.hivefitco.ca E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org PHONE: 780.428.8180 Instagram | Facebook