On Sunday, the blog squad was invited to Illume Hot Yoga in Calgary to try out a Surf Set Fitness class. This is a class I’ve been dying to try for years now so I jumped at the chance. It was such a fun workout and totally kicked my butt more than I expected it to.
Surfset Fitness was founded by Mike Hartwick, a professional hockey player with a passion for surfing in the offseason. The months of surfing over the summer left Mike with a lean, toned body which inspired him to create a machine that mimics the movement of surfing and start a new fitness obsession. Of course, it’s not the same as riding the waves in the ocean, but you’d be surprised at how great you feel after a quick 45-minute class.
The boards are actual custom built surfboards that act as balance trainers but differ from something like a Bosu because it’s created to mimic the workout of surfing. As someone who’s actually been surfing before, I can attest to how hard of a workout it really is with all the paddling, jumping to your feet, squatting and using your core to stabilize your body as you’re riding the waves.
I really had no idea what to expect going into the class. The only thing I knew about Surfset was that there were yoga based classes which I secretly hoped ours would be. With some good tunes to jam to and a video compilation of surf videos projected onto the wall, our instructor led us through a Surfset Blend class that consisted of high-intensity cardio movements, strength, and balance with a focus on our core. I was surprised to be dripping with sweat within minutes.
We alternated a round of cardio, a round of lower body strength, another round of cardio, a round of upper body strength followed by core and balancing. Some of the exercises we completed on the boards included burpees, squats, lunges, toe touches, knee ups, planks, pushups, tricep dips, v-ups, balance poses and the most deadly booty moves that kill me every time. We even did some paddling and jumped up into a warrior pose, just like you would out on the ocean. It brought back some hardcore memories of riding the waves on my last trip to Hawaii. I couldn’t believe when we reached our cool down because the class flew by so fast. The cool down was the part that made me giggle uncontrollably when I toppled off the board just from lying flat on our backs. Laughing at yourself and having fun is encouraged and it’s always nice to take a class that isn’t all serious business.
I was definitely feeling the workout the next day and know that this would be such a great addition to my workout routine to help build more lean muscle. Red Deer doesn’t currently offer any Surfset classes which means I may need to look into what needs to be done to bring them to one of the studios in town!
The Illume Hot Yoga studio, which just opened this past November, was intimate and gorgeous, featuring repurposed wood bought at one of the farmers markets. They have two rooms, one for Surfset and the second for their hot yoga classes, both of which have a variety of times to fit into your schedule. I was actually surprised to hear that you could get a one-month unlimited pass for Surfset for only $40 ($50 if you wanted hot yoga as well), which is an amazing price. I definitely recommend checking out their classes if you’re in North Calgary.