◊ WHO THIS IS FOR ◊
sophisticated, chill bad-asses willing to surrender to the music for an intense movement experience
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 balls-to-the-wall 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 using the new YYC scooters (personal verdict’s still out🤠). There’s one and two hour street parking west of the studio during business hours, but free before 9am or after 6pm, and 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 down the street. 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 offers 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 and MOVEMENT RECOVERY gives you the opportunity to dig into some much needed 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 and 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 in terms of proper form and teaching, watching and being aware of potential injury. Major points.
In terms of the schedule, most classes are between 50 and 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 to Friday. The daytime schedule is light with mid-morning and noon classes and lots of evening options, with at least 5 or 6 classes each day after 5pm. Come the weekend, you can still treat yourself to a little sleep-in and be in for an 8am, high-intensity wake-up call. Saturday and Sunday 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, their pricing is in line with similar studios around the city, like The Sweat Lab who also charges $23 for a drop-in. They have a convenient, no-commitment monthly membership option that makes sense if you plan on going to class more than 4x/week, otherwise the 20 Class Pass is great value at $16/class. That said, if you’re willing to commit for a year or 6 months, the 6 Month Unlimited and 12 Month Auto-Renew Memberships are the best deals and still pay off 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: $23.00/class
- 5 Class Pass: $100.00 ($20/class)
- 10 Class Pass: $180.00 ($18/class)
- 20 Class Pass: $320.00 ($16/class)
- 1 Month Membership: $199.00/month
- 6 Months Unlimited: $999
- 12 Months (auto-renew): $169.00/month
As soon as you walk through the doors at Movement U, you know you’re in 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. They want you to leave shoes 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 the request on their website 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, and everyone seems very comfortable and confident in the space. Not to say that Movement U doesn’t draw in a few beginners, because we chatted with a couple in our classes actually, but the majority are members or consistent fans which only speak to the quality of the studio and classes they provide. 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 real need to be intimidated (but, like, we’d understand if you are). 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 but err on the side of caution choosing the easiest because, like he did to me, Luke might call you out on your $h!t and toss a thicker one – thanks for that! Being a little un-coordinated at best, I expected to be flailing around like a deer in the headlights but the class was surprisingly 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 way more than your average Joe gym sesh. The soundtrack had my bones rattling from the very minute I stepped foot in the studio, and kept the crew vibing HIGH through the entire class. They play the music LOUD. At first it was a little unsettling (or maybe that was nerves…) 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. Before entering the dark spin room I was given clip-in shoes at the front desk and a sweat towel was waiting graciously for me on my bike. Many people had actually “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, and a row in front and flanking the instructor on either side. The high energied Keana was flying around the room before class offering anyone assistance to set up their bikes properly, and right on-time, at noon sharp, Keana got into it.
The ever-changing firework neon lights made the class particularly fun and the music was loud. Keana’s playlist included everything from Skrillex, to Fetty Wap, a bit of Chance the Rapper, and some Big Sean sprinkled in. There’s no doubt that music in general plays a big role at MU. The class included a lot of hills and long rides, a short weight section on the bike, and some upper body choreography, namely dips and pumps. There were a few moments to hover, and one or two times that we did the “4 corners” but overall there wasn’t a huge stress 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 of everything. 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.