◊ THE CLASSES: RIDEHard, FLOWHard, HIITHard ◊
WHAT TO BRING
- Water Bottle
- Clean indoor shoes (for HIIT)
- Everything else, they got
XTherapy is a newcomer to the Edmonton fitness scene, and it’s got a lot going for it. This clean, bright, modern studio draws you in and their cross-training strategy (spin, HIIT, and yoga) keeps you coming back. What stood out to us the most though, is the vibe that ooozes from the instructors and staff. They consider everyone who walks through the doors as ‘Warriors’, and they take on a sudo-therapist/cheerleader role, constantly dishing out positive talk and motivational speeches. We’re dishing out full fruits for this one – here’s why.
Located in the heart of downtown, XTherapy is easy to get to for just about anyone. You can’t miss it either, with their crisp, bold branding standing out from their surrounding older buildings. Being right off Jasper Avenue, access is ideal for the transit folk with buses and trains nearby and for drivers, street parking is available and there’s a parkade across the street.
CLASS SCHEDULE + PRICE
XTherapy offers three core classes; WeRIDEHard, WeFLOWHard, and WeHIITHard. See what they did there?! Variations like RIDE + RESTORE ZEN (spin with extra stretching) and themed rides for spin exist (“The Carters”), but the class schedule is predominantly made up of the three main. Classes are anywhere from 35 minutes (lunch hour class – LOVE THIS), to 60 minutes and start at 6:00am during the week, with the last class usually at 6:45pm – which isn’t that late. We get that this is downtown, but for travellers or people who happen to still be in the area, it’s an early wrap up. On weekends, classes don’t start until 9am and they shut things down early on Saturdays. Sign-up online to reserve your spot ahead of time and, especially for spin, arrive at-least 15 minutes prior to class to give you time to properly set-up.
They’re pretty great for a studio that offers so much variety. XTherapy’s drop-in rate is the same for yoga vs spin, and prices are in-line with other studios in YEG (similar concept is Hive with a drop-in of $20). They have a Happy Hour Friday class where they discount the classes by 50% – which is great if you’re rolling on a budget. With spin, HIIT and yoga all in one studio, though, it’s appealing to commit to a class pass. The memberships make sense if you plan on going more than 2x/week, otherwise the class passes are the best deal. *See end of post for a special deal for Fit-City family – that’s you*
- First Class is free
- Single Class: $21
- Single Class Happy Hour Fridays: $10.50
- 10 Class Pass: $190 ($19 per class)
- Month to Month Unlimited: $185
- 3 Month Unlimited: $510
- 5 Class Monthly – Auto Renew: $85.00 ($17 per class)
XTherapy is new, fresh, concrete and white. The lobby is open with a gigantic lounge area and programmable lockers to store your things. The walls are covered with inspirational quotes and tons of character – so like, checking all the boxes for the gram. Change rooms offer plenty of space and privacy, and they have a lot of extra amenities like blow-dryers, hair ties and complimentary product. There are three studios in total, one for each genre and they all have slightly different vibes to accommodate the workouts. The cycle studio is a nice size with ~25 bikes and the room is badass and super dark. Like, All. Black. Everything. The yoga studio is long and narrow with enough room for a single row of mats so it’s nice and intimate and the HIIT studio is open, concrete and all about the workout.
With it being such a shiny and new studio, XTherapy has definitely drawn a crowd of fitness fanatics. Our classes were filled with super fit, experienced athletes from 20’s-50+ however the vibe that the instructors and staff generate, still makes for an incredibly welcoming and warm space for all levels of fitness. The vibe could almost be a bit much for some, as it’s very “ra ra” you-got-this, dont-let-anything-hold-you-back type of mantra, but we get what they’re going for.
- Programmable lockers
- Water station
- Three showers in ladies, two in men and one handicap shower
- Hair dryer, elastics, bobby pins, dry shampoo, hairspray, professional hair products
- Water for purchase
- Yoga mats and spin shoes included
XTherapy owner, Kelly Jawhari, wanted to create a fitness studio that was more about the relationship with your mind to fitness than just fitness itself. His goal was to create a space where people could successfully push through mental blocks and pain points, and come out the other side with a more positive outlook. For this reason, the instructors at XTherapy are called “Therapists”. It’s an interesting take, and we understand the inspiration behind it, however we could also understand how this could ruffle some fathers to actual trained therapists that go to school for many moons. Their roster of instructors are young (in age), diverse in their backgrounds and body types (which is refreshing – not everyone is 110lbs and a model on the side) and they’ve all subscribed to the life-coach mentality that acts as a backbone to their teaching approach.
Mel Matthews – RIDEHard
When we think of a kick ass teacher who not only carries the class but inspired you to push harder; we will now think of Mel. This BC native moved to Edmonton to be a part of the XTherapy family and we’re glad she did. We’re huge fans of tough love, which in a spin class we expect, but Mel took it to the next level. She introduced herself to each student so she could address each of us by name when she thought we needed a little pick me up. She jumped off her bike to grab riders’ towels that dropped and she challenged us by turning our dial (she would physically turn our dials up). Even though we couldn’t always keep up with her, Mel’s constant reminders of us doing this for ourselves and going at the pace our body can handle, made the class fly by.
Sarah Farrell – FLOWHard
After having the most over stimulating spin class, Sarah was the perfect dose of calm we needed. This pint sized wonder-woman walked in the room and the energy instantly changed. She spoke nearly the entire 60 minute class, filling the times she wasn’t guiding us through a movement with positive words to encourage our growth, inside and outside the class. She often demonstrated the movements and alway provided multiple modifications to protect the body from injury and to accommodate varying levels. At the end of class, Sarah made the effort to thank each of the students for coming. Which was a) lovely and b) when we found out she mixed the music herself bc she moonlights as a sick DJ. Want to be her friend yet? Yah, us too.
Erika Barootes – HIITHard
It takes a special kind of human to effectively motivate a group of people at 6:00AM, and Erika takes on the challenge like a champion. Erika has a big reputation in the Edmonton athletics community as being tough as hell, and she lived up to it immediately for our class. You’ll probably begrudge her half way through the class, but she’ll make you bring your 110% every single time. Whether she’s telling you “you’re a runner, not a walker”, or she’s literally upping the tension on your bike during spin, she’s sure to push you to your limit and ensure you’re getting everything you can out of class. Erika has a way of adding personality into every exercise, so you’r always entertained/distracted which is nice. She spent most of the class doing the work with us or giving tips on form and intensity.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
RIDEHard – Way Hard
This low-impact, high-intensity 45 minute class kicked our ass… and we loved it. Starting with a slow climb, we periodically changed positions to target different muscle groups. We moved into sprints with Mel constantly pushing up the dials for more difficulty. We followed it up with a short, but sweet, arm section with weights provided on the back of the bike. We would have loved to see the arm section a bit longer or with more variety to keep our interest peaked and energy high. We loved the heavy bass music as our tempo to match our riding to, which was a focus for most of the class. Our fav part happened in the last 10 minutes, though. While Mel preached about pushing to reach our goals, she lifted the giant lanterns that had been scattered about the room for each of us to blow out. Perfectly timed to the music in the room, it led us to a hard ride to finish the class in total darkness. The whole room felt unified and it inspired us to push even harder when we thought we had nothing left. Mel wound us down with a simple stretch before we left the bikes and provided us each with a cold towel that everyone gladly accepted.
ZENHard – Chill
The small and cozy yoga studio was dimly lit with soft music already playing when people arrived. It was delightful having everything provided for us including mats, blocks, bands, and large body pillows that were in place when we entered the room. Sarah began the class by explaining how we were going to focus on the front of the body, opening up our chest and lungs. The class had brief moments of quick movement like flowing from cobra to downward dog, but the majority was slow moving and restorative focusing on being in stillness and meditation the most. We moved through a maximum of 10 postures through the entire class, slowing down our bodies to hear our breath and give our body 60 minutes of attention it likely doesn’t usually days. We left feeling more open, stretched, and ready to continue our day with a breath of fresh, relaxing air.
HIITHard – Way Hard
We knew we were in for a way hard class, and we can confirm. It was way hard. We attended the 6:00AM HIIT class, which means we signed ourselves up for a class that was bound to challenge us by incorporating cardio, strength and equipment into an hour of movement and sweat. Erika started the class at 6:00AM sharp with a warm-up that legitimately felt like we could have just called it a day at 6:10. We were already TIRED. Following the hardest “warm-up” ever, Erika put us through everything from squats with an overhead press to mountain climbers with a push-up. We were introduced to her “favourite way to dig deeper”, AKA the TABATA, where you go all-out for 20 seconds and get 10 seconds to recover. We can assure you, the 10 seconds goes fast. As much as it was a tough workout, the class flew by and no time was wasted. Not only was the workout diverse with a good combo of cardio and strength, Erika was helping people modify due to injuries or specific training plans. This allowed her be very in-tune with everyone in the room and push us when she knew we could give more, or dial back when we didn’t need to strain ourselves.
Erika left us with “before 7AM, you accomplished more than most people will in a day. Take that with you and know you crushed it before even getting to work.” It stuck with us and we’ll be going back.
Because we were so impressed and we want you to try them too, we’ve partnered with XTherapy to give you 15% off their month-to-month, 3 month, and 5-pack auto renew memberships. Code – FCG15. To purchase, click here.
S + A