◊ THE CLASSES: Row & Intensity ◊
WHAT TO BRING
- Indoor shoes
- Water bottle
We originally reviewed Hive Fit Co for their signature Row class when they first opened, but we’ve been keeping tabs on this little gem of studio watching them add intensity to their schedule (literally, they added a class called Intensity) so we wanted to give you the low-down of this new addition. Hive is a small studio snuggled in the middle of downtown Edmonton and has the aesthetics of our dreams. Wood, cement, white, gold – we’ll attempt to keep our interior design preferences aside, but we love the vibe here. The instructors are ridiculously welcoming, prices are affordable, and they have a class schedule now that caters to a variety of tastes with four different styles. What continues to set Hive Fit Co apart from other boutique fitness options in YEG though, is they’re the only cats in town that offer rowing classes – which are stupid hard. We explain.
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 for a coffee (our personal fav), 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 9am and after 6pm, street parking is free in downtown Edmonton. We were able to snag street parking on 104th for a dollar an hour (jealous, Toronto?). There’s also an Impark behind the studio that’s $3 after 6pm 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 line-up includes four styles; Row, Spin, Yoga and, now, Intensity. Since rowing is what they’re most known for they have three Row classes; Row, Endurance Row and Row & Flow. Row is a killer full-body class that jumps between rowing and body weight exercises off the machines, while Endurance Row is high intensity cardio class on the rowers the entire time, and Row & Flow is a half n’ half class of 30 minutes of rowing followed by 30 minutes of yoga. 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 in a hot candlelit room. Hive’s new class, Intensity, is the PERFECT cross-train for cardio enthusiasts as it’s a full body strength workout that incorporates weights into your routine.
The schedule is really consistent with 2-3 classes starting before 7am during the work week (which is perfect for that area of downtown and people popping into class before work), a 45 minute lunch time class, and usually 4 classes in the evening finishing by 8:00pm. Weekends have 4-5 classes starting at 9am and run late into the evening on Sunday with Revive & Restore on Sunday nights at 7:00pm – which is bloody perfect.
Prices have increased recently to $22 for a drop-in which sets them a bit higher than some of their competitors in YEG. That said, considering the amenities offered and the equipment used in the spin and rowing classes in particular, it’s still great value. In addition to drop-in rates, they have a lot of price options so it’s worth paying attention to make sure you’re getting what makes the most sense for you. They have class packs, memberships, and auto-renews which seem v similar to memberships. All classes come with full access to their facilities, towel service, yoga mats and clip-in shoes for spin so memberships don’t really add any extras. If you’re going to commit regularly, the auto-renews seem to be the best value structured as 2x, 3x and 7x per week, but if just want to go when you can, then grab the 20 Class Pass to chip away at that drops individual classes to $16.
- Drop-in: $22
- 5 Class Pass: $95 ($19 pc)
- 10 Class Pass: $180 ($18 pc)
- 20 Class Pass: $320 ($16 pc)
- 30 Day Journey Pass: $95
- 1 Month Membership: $200
- 3 Month Membership: $510
- 6 Month Membership: $900
- Auto Renew Membership: 2x per week $125, 3x per week $160, 7x per week $185
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.
When entering the studio from street level, you go up a flight of stairs into the main reception area that’s beautifully set up and quite simple. The yoga and row room is at the front of the studio and it’s large and industrial, providing plenty of space for both the water rowers and yoga mats. With ~20 of us in our Row class, nobody was on top of each other even though we were moving around a lot. On that, 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? PS. we’d love to come back for the candlelight yoga in this space, because it would be B.E.A.UTIFUL.
Behind the reception area is a gorgeous lounge and lockers (with locks). Off to the 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 is especially equipped with everything you could possibly need to get ready after class. One small note of improvement we would recommend, is getting a curtain for inside the men’s room door. If the men’s door is open, you could receive quite the…view. 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.
The crowd at Hive definitely leans towards the young 20-30 professionals wearing lulu head to toe who clearly work out a lot, however, everyone is SUPER nice about it. We also saw a refreshing variety of fitness levels, sizes and a handful of men so that was nice.
- All equipment provided for each class (mats, bands, towels, shoes for spin)
- Water available for purchase
- Locks included
- Change rooms with showers, washrooms and complimentary products and extras (shampoo, hair dryers, hair ties, bobby pins, razors, etc.)
- Retail boutique with Hive Fit Co. clothing
Abbey Cimolai – Row
“I’m like Jillian Michaels, but cuter”
As a personal trainer, Educator at lululemon West Edmonton, and instructor at Hive for the Row and Endurance Row classes, this one is a busy bee. Our favourite thing about Abbey is how motivational she is. She has an infectious smile and told us after class that she secretly 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 good crash course on rowing (as rowing newbies, we needed a lot of help) and she spent time moving around the room and cheering on everyone individually, which was a nice touch. Lastly, the music selection was ON POINT with 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 says the number one reason she teaches fitness classes is bc… she enjoys it. Period. And that’s our favourite kind of instructor. She has a passion for fitness and thrives on introducing people to her world by making sure they leave with a positive feeling every time. Alethea’s knowledge in body mechanics and strength training is obvious, and she has a clear method of communication that allowed everyone in the class to follow the intended movements and instructions without confusion. She visited each person in the class and gave advice on technique and occasionally challenged the regulars to push themselves harder (begrudgingly, myself included). I especially loved when she came over to me, held my toes, commiserated on our sore runner’s quads, but then proceeded to give me heavier weights. Keep pushing us kindly, Alethea.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
We’re rating this one Way Hard, which is exactly what we expected. I mean, what even is rowing? (My legs, glutes, shoulders and core are currently screaming). Hive offers the first of their kind in Edmonton; a 45-minute rowing class that’s 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 was cleverly structured like the mantra Abbey chanted to us the whole time: legs – core – arms – arms – core – legs. We started by getting warmed up on the water rower and then we got into our first of three sets. During the first row set, we began isolating the movements using arms only and keeping the legs strong and stable. After that, we got off the rower and did a short arm workout that included planks, tricep push-ups, bicep curls and shoulder presses. For set two, we were back on the rower, this time isolating our legs. Then it was off the rower for a leg (and booty) burn which included lunges, squats and lots of pulsing. For the third and final blast on the rower we did a long sprint with a lot of cheering from the class and Abbey alike. Then we jumped back onto our mats and worked our core with v-ups, Russian twists and more pain. After all of this (and not knowing if we could stand) Abbey led us through a round of stretches to cool us down. While we’re rating this Way Hard, the class was completely doable for someone just starting out as Abbey offered variations for the less experienced rower.
Also rating this class Way Hard but it’s worth noting 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. The minimal breaks kept 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 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.
To try Hive, see their schedule here.