Walk up the stairs leading to Elle Fitness and Social and you’ll notice a few key things that tell you you’re not in for your average workout experience. First, a mural that greets you with the saying “Beyoncé wasn’t built in a day” and an image of the pop culture icon.
The overall interior design is more nightclub (if such a thing actually looked this clean and appealing in daylight) than gym, which is rather apropos of its King Street West location. That means high ceilings, lots of glossy white, violet lighting, extensive accents of fuchsia, glittering chandeliers. Elle Fitness and Social is unapologetically in-your-face glossy and girly. Very much the opposite to the no frills, almost garage-like CrossFit boxes we have seen trending for several years in Toronto. But don’t be fooled into thinking that this means the workouts on offer at this women-only facility are going to be anything on the softer side.
As pink as it may be, Elle’s temple of girly is way more inspiring to sweat it out in than your run-of-the-mill big box gym. The space is expansive: 6,000 square feet for up to three group fitness classes at a time. And it’s the classes on offer that we should be really paying attention to here – because they are intense and very worthwhile.
My first class experience was the signature Bodies by Elle class, which was quite the sweat fest. Comprised of high-intensity boot camp drills and treadmill sprint intervals, it provided “a full 55 minutes of fat melting, muscle sculpting madness.” Vigorous, to say the least. I was definitely feeling it for a few days afterward. I challenge anyone (male or female) to find that one to be a breeze.
With over 100 classes a week, Elle Fitness and Social have a wide array of butt-kicking options from as early as 6:00 a.m. to as late as 8:30 p.m. at night. They also do personal training, burlesque or choreography workshops (you too can move like Bey or Biebs) and the option to book the space to host private dance parties for you and your girlfriends. Or is that squad? (Do people still say squad?)
The décor may or may not be your thing. But really, Elle Fitness and Social knows their audience. This is a clientele that wants a female-focused fitness facility, they want the sparkle, and they want the fun Top 40 tunes and classes like Bikini Boot Camp and Hottie Body Boxing. For many, it will provide the opportunity to train in an environment free of inhibitions and self-consciousness. Elle Fitness and Social is for the woman who wants all of the grit of a serious workout without sacrificing any glitter. You go.
Elle Fitness and Social, 580 King St. W., 2nd floor, 416-920-1400. Drop-in 55 min group classes: $25, 5 classes $110, 10 classes $200, 20 classes $360. Personal training sessions: 8 for $560, 16 for $990.