As the mornings continue to get colder, I find myself having the same internal battle more and more frequently: To stay or not to stay? (in my warm comfy bed, that is). "The gym is only seven floors away," I say to myself. "It can’t be that bad."
Determined not to fall into hibernation mode in October, I set out to find a new workout to spice up my usual routine. I mean, hey, the only way I can keep treating myself to mid-day PSLs (Pumpkin Spice Lattes) and nightly Mallomars is to work off all those extra calories.
So when I found Epic Hybrid Training online, its unique program immediately sparked my curiosity. Each day is dedicated to a different type of workout targeting various parts of the body. And from its online videos, it looked more like a torture chamber than a typical gym. I needed to see what this place was all about.
When my co-worker and I arrived at the Epic Hybrid Training facility, we were greeted by the owner, Alex, who also led the night’s workout. It was a Wednesday — the day Alex dedicates to his Spartan-Inspired Workout: a full-body workout that challenges stability, agility, strength, and range of movement.
Getting Down and Dirty
We noticed that our classmates were taking off their shoes, something that seemed rather strange to me at first. I was hesitant, but a gym member assured me that being barefoot would benefit us in the workout. Before we knew it, we were standing on the mat in a circle and the warm-up had begun. I was a little surprised that everyone knew what they were doing except my colleague and I, but we caught on quickly.
The main part of the class was made up of eight workout stations to be completed with a partner. Alex went through each of the stations, some with names I couldn’t even begin to dream up, and their matching moves. He explained how to do each one and showed us how to make modifications depending on skill level. The countdown clock began, and soon we found ourselves doing "monkey bar hangs and switches," "dead man’s drags," "farmer skips" and a whole lot more. Everyone spent the same amount of time at each station before moving to the next, no matter what skill level.
One of the biggest things I took away from this class was the sense of teamwork. Everyone was extremely welcoming throughout the entire workout. Many gym members went out of their way to offer advice and words of encouragement. Alex says this kind of camaraderie is what makes his gym stand out among the others, saying it’s almost an “extended family” to its members.
I would say this class would be most appropriate for those who want to be challenged. I’m not going to lie, the workout was exhausting. Not only did we do a round at each eight stations, but we did it three times in a row. After the first round, I was sweating so much that I had a hard time gripping kettle bells and holding onto the training ropes.
You also have to be ready to jump in and go with the flow with little instruction. It’s not required, but I would say some knowledge of basic exercises will definitely be beneficial in this type of class.
With that said, I would definitely go back to try another class at Epic Hybrid. Their program keeps the workout interesting, and being around such an enthusiastic group of people was also a nice change from my usual lonely treadmill runs. Even when I thought my body couldn’t be pushed any further, I could hear Alex cheering us on. And, in the end, that struggle is exactly what made the workout even more gratifying. Not to mention that according to Alex, you can burn around one thousand calories, which made the soreness I felt in the days to follow totally worth it.
Maybe now I can up my PSL intake …