The workout: Pure Barre
The concept: Tiny movements and contractions – often while holding onto a barre – are thought to lengthen and lean muscles. Unlike other barre classes, Pure Barre incorporates a “tuck”– a sort of squeezing of the core and thighs that I’m still not 100% I’m doing right simply because I couldn’t monopolize the instructor anymore than I tried to during class – that’s said to get results faster.
The review: If you’ve read any of my articles, you’ll know I’m not a dancer. But I love barre classes because I feel like they complement my typically cardio-centric workout routine. Pure Barre was different than any barre class I’ve tried and I think it’s because of the “tuck.” Half way through the class, my glutes, hamstrings and quads were in joyful spasms. I’ve already booked my next visit.

The workout: Spokehaus
The concept:
Spin class meets nightclub meets arm workout.
The review: Like dancing, spin and I aren’t exactly besties. I can run for hours and strength train until I can barely stand. But put me on a bike and my legs ache 30 seconds in. (I also get easily distracted during spin – thinking about what to make for dinner; if Frank Underwood is really that evil and why I’ve spent $400 on Whole Food lunches the past month). Spokehaus changed all that. My instructor was more energetic than an entire class of fourth graders. Plus, concentrating on moving to the beat and doing bicep curls made the 45-minute class pass in what seemed like minutes.

The workout: XBody at Lucid Health & Fitness Toronto
The concept: Electrical impulses contract muscles deep down in the body to give you a greater burn in a quarter of the time.
The review: I did this class at 7:30 a.m., so I was half asleep–until about five seconds into my workout. From that point on, I was sweating as much as I do throughout an entire spin class. Here’s how it works: the moves will be familiar to you – your tried-and-tested cardio- and strength-training intervals like burpees and pushups. But you’re wearing a bodysuit of sorts (think more superhero than Beyoncé) that contains electrodes and is hooked up to a machine that sends electrical impulses. It’s purported that these impulses activate deeper muscles. All I know is that it was fast (yay!) and I could barely walk the next day.

Video: First look at the new Burt’s Bees Lipsticks
9 healthy eating habits that can change your life
Harvard researchers know the secret to happiness