◊ WHO THIS IS FOR ◊
sophisticated, chill bad-asses who work hard
WHAT YOU NEED
Water bottle, clean running shoes, clean workout clothes
Movement U is one of the most diverse studios that we’ve come across in Calgary yet. They offer both slower, low-impact and restorative classes like MOVEMENT RECOVERY and YOGA, complimented by hardcore classes like SPIN, HIIT, MOVMT, and ROW. They appeal to the working professional crowd, given their convenient location and quality classes taught by highly technically trained instructors. They’ve truly mastered the balance of hardcore and chill while keeping the vibe cool and totally accepting.
Read on for the full article of Movement U
MU is located in Bridgeland, right across the 4th Street bridge from downtown. So although tucked away from the immediate core, it’s centrally located and easy to get to whether driving, biking, walking, or scootering (👊🏼). There’s 1-2 hour street parking west of the studio during business hours, but free before 9am or after 6pm. There’s also an underground parkade directly below the studio that’s free for the first 45 minutes and $4.00/hour after that. The parkade charges a flat rate of $2.00 after 5pm and on weekends though, saving you some pocket change for the post-workout, soft serve ice cream you earned from the infamous Lukes Drug Mart. You enjoy that.
MU’s draws the biggest crowds for their HIIT and signature MOVMT classes, but they also offer ROW, SPIN, YOGA, and MOVEMENT RECOVERY. The studio has a ton of variety which is not only great for your wallet since it’s a one-stop sweat shop, but it’s balanced with hardcore, high-energy classes and slower paced, beginner and/or low-impact ones. The YOGA selection includes classes like Yoga Beats, Yin Yoga, and Hip-Hop Yoga. MOVEMENT RECOVERY provides the opportunity to dig into some self-care with a dedicated hour educating on anatomy and proper rolling techniques. The ROW classes, which are one of the only ones offered in the city, are half on the rower/half on the floor. Read on for more on SPIN and MOVMT since we sampled those ourselves.
One of the things that makes this studio incredibly unique is that ALL instructors have (and must have to be hired) a kinesiology or related technical background. So you’re always in good hands for proper form and teaching, watching and being aware of potential injury. Major points.
Most classes are between 50-60 minutes, with MOVMT being a more intense, 45-minute option. They’ve definitely catered the schedule to the 9-5 crowd coming from across the bridge, with early bird classes in a variety of 6am and 7am HIIT, ROW and SPIN classes Monday-Friday. The daytime schedule is light with mid-morning and noon classes and lots of evening options, with at least 5-6 classes each day after 5pm. Come the weekend, you can still treat yourself to an 8am, high-intensity wake-up call. Saturdays and Sundays are packed with a mixed bag of classes offered every hour between 8am and 3pm.
The biggest watch-out: it’s definitely recommended to sign-up for classes ahead of time. People LOVE this place. They will, of course, accept walk-in’s but it’s common for classes to be waitlisted, especially the 6am and 5pm classes.
Movement U is NOT on ClassPass.
All class prices include spin shoes, towel service, lockers with locks, access to complimentary products, and shower amenities. Overall, pricing is in line with similar studios around the city, like The Sweat Lab who charges $23 for a drop-in. They have a convenient, no-commitment monthly membership that makes sense if you’re going to class more than 4x/week, otherwise the 20 Class Pass is the greatest value at $17.50/class. That said, if you’re willing to commit, the 12 Month Auto-Renew Membership is the best deal if you’re going 3x/week. Discounts are available for students and they have some great introductory offers here. See full pricing options below.
- Drop-in: $24.00/class
- 5 Class Pass: $110.00 ($22/class)
- 10 Class Pass: $200.00 ($20/class)
- 20 Class Pass: $350.00 ($17.50/class)
- 1 Month Membership: $209.00/month
- 12 Months (auto-renew): $179.00/month
This is an environment that cares about quality but doesn’t mess around with the hard $hit. The front lobby is gorgeous but simple, it’s masculine but chic, and they have all the amenities akin to a boutique fitness club. Outdoor shoes are to be left at the front door, spin cleats are only to be worn in the spin room, and clean indoor shoes can be worn for ROW and HIIT classes. As you might deduce, they’re big on cleanliness and we ain’t mad. Literally one of their mantras is “Start Clean…End Sweaty!” and one of the best things we’ve seen is their request to “please wear clean clothes, so your team can embrace your energy rather than your odour.” The instructors, staff, and regulars contribute to a vibe that feels approachable, focused, and fun but super chill.
The crowd is truly diverse with an even split of men and women, ages ranging from 20’s to 50’+++s. We chatted with a couple beginners in our classes, but the majority of the class goers are members or consistent fans which only speaks to the quality of the studio and classes. Given that they’re appealing to a group that’s often coming before, after, or as a break from work – it’s definitely a crew of professionals that work hard and show up.
THE CLASS 🍍
WAY HARD | HARD | MIDDLE OF THE ROADSIES | CHILL | HELLA CHILL
movmt with Luke Liem – WAY HARD
As with all Movement U classes they’ve designed MOVMT to be scalable, so there’s no need to be intimidated. After a warm up series we used resistance bands, medicine balls, and weights to hit EVERY SINGLE muscle group. You get to choose your own weights and resistance bands and the class was easily to follow along with. The energy for the entire 45 minutes was next level, right down to the very last mountain climber.
The high intensity MOVMT class is a shorter (45 minutes) and more advanced alternative to HIIT. Both are intended to get you moving in every direction and offer more than your average Joe gym sesh. The soundtrack had my bones rattling from the minute I stepped into the studio, but kept the crew vibing HIGH through the entire class. They play the music LOUD. At first it was a little unsettling, but within a few minutes I was digging it and realized after that it’s probably what got me through the class.
SPIN with keana borras – Hard
I took the Friday noon SPIN class and it. was. busy. I was given clip-in shoes at the front desk and a sweat towel was waiting on my bike. Many people “reserved” their bikes by putting their shoes on the handle bars – which was new etiquette for me, and I was surprised by the number of people that actually CHOSE to be in the first row. The dark spin room is set up like most spin classes with the instructor on a podium front and centre. The high energied Keana flew around the room before class offering assistance to set up bikes properly, and then right at noon sharp, Keana got into it.
The ever-changing firework lights made the class fun and the music was loud. Keana’s playlist included everything from Skrillex, to Fetty Wap, Chance the Rapper, and some Big Sean sprinkled in. The class included a lot of hills and long rides and a short arm/weight section. There were a few hovers, “4 corners”, dips and pumps, but overall there wasn’t a huge focus on choreography, and many in the room decided against it entirely. Keana encouraged us to ride together to the beat and her playlist made it easy, often with songs that weren’t to slow and weren’t too fast, but just right – which is a good analogy for the difficulty level of the class. And since we’re talking music again, the final ride was to a kpop song called “ah-ah” by Teen Top. Look it up. People laughed, many scoffed, but EVERYBODY was feelin’ it by the end.
And that’s that! Click here to visit Movement U for yourself and book in for a class!
Tabs is a freelance brand and marketing strategist, co-host of The After30 Podcast and creator of Fit-City Guide. You can find her in a fitness studio every week, chatting up the instructors and fellow class goers on their experience, and generally being a creep in the background taking photos. When she isn’t writing for Fit-City Guide, Tab is chasing her toddler son, drinking bubbly (likely at the same time), and eating popcorn.