February 2020: Now that the dust has settled after yet another round of New Year’s resolutions, we’ve listened to your feedback, and we’ve made a few changes to our list of the best gyms in Montreal. We’ve updated Club Sportif MAA’s entry to reflect its temporary new location while its historic home on Peel street undergoes extensive renovations and removed the now-defunct Saint-Jude health spa while adding four new gyms that have got our hearts’ pumping.
The best gyms in Montreal have got it all, whether it’s intense full-body training sessions and group classes for good spirited vibes, guidance through yoga and meditation or just a solid (and inexpensive) all-rounder. Some of them sport facilities that rival the best Montreal spas and at times include the best Montreal pools. We’ll admit finding the right gym to workout at can be difficult, though; we’ve visited enough to know some aren’t worth a membership, so this guide aims to cover all fitness needs. Somewhere among this collection of the city’s best yoga lofts, CrossFit warehouses, Olympic-sized pools and luxury wellness studios? There’s a spot that’s right for you.
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Best gyms in Montreal
Trendy and central with three locations in the city—Old Montreal, Downtown and Westmount—this spin studio attracts urbanites on the go with its variety of classes, great scheduling and high-energy instructors. The cycle classes are of a soulful variety, with an instructor keeping the vibes up while guiding you through different resistances. As for what truly sets it apart from other cycling spots, the music selection’s great and specialty shoes are provided to riders. If spinning isn’t your thing, opt for a b.body class with choices that range from barre to Pilates and more.
As it goes with all things in Westmount, this health club’s a chic and high-class address to work out in. It’s known for its state-of-the-art equipment and pristine fixtures, all of which turn the obligation of going to the gym into a luxury experience. They have a roster of wonderful classes on offer, and a generous membership that includes special touches. It’s always about the little things, isn’t it? Chill towels to cool you down after workouts? Personal lockers? Couple that with top of the line weight and cardio equipment, and this gym easily becomes a second home.
Known among yoga addicts for its impeccable construction and challenging (see: inspiring) instructors, ensō is arguably the city’s most premium spot when it comes to innovative yoga and hot barre classes. All yoga classes take place in a heated studio space and the studio as a whole commit and strive to giving the best experiences possible. Find a higher plane of spirituality by following their methods and sweat out all your toxins while you’re at it.
Train Hard and box even harder in one of Montreal’s most loved boxing studios. Owned by former professional Canadian Kickboxing Champion Herby Whyne, this gym in the southwest is situated on the trendy Notre Dame street. Take your pick of classes—kickboxing, Muay Thai, crazy skipping, boot camp—and consider the boxing classes for kids if you got ‘em. Hard Knox also offers personal training and a weight room, but whatever your fancy, we definitely recommend for you to take a class taught by Herby himself.
Indoor rock climbing is an activity people all over the world love to partake in, but Allez Up brings a unique spin to things: The positive ambiance of this reclaimed factory helps to accommodate both beginners and experts with different sized walls for different levels. Top that with great music to listen to as you scale surfaces, especially during the summer season when their silos are opened for 125-foot-high climbs. Kids also get a kick out of coming here, and there’s a yoga studio for some post-climb Zen and stretching.
This longstanding Dorval institution isn’t joking with a name like that. Boasting an impressive 70,000 square foot facility, Monster Gym is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Their onsite facilities include steam baths, dry saunas, hundreds of cardio and resistance training machines, a boxing ring, an indoor running track and a highly specialized staff. It might not be for the faint of heart, but if you’re serious about your fitness, Monster Gym definitely has the seriousness to match.
If you’ve never tried parkour, skip faceplanting in public parks and visit Le Spot to get started. Created by experienced coaches, this adult playground has a fine-tuned parkour curriculum that encourages students of all levels with an innovative setup for exercise. Other than a great workout, Parkour is full of benefits to discipline, fear management, mental clarity and confidence. With its fast and innovative movements that require you to think on your feet (no pun intended), this fun activity brings out the kid in everyone—the kids love it too, by the way.
Welcome to your new home, CrossFit enthusiasts. For beginners and competitive athletes alike, this hip and modern facility in the Mile-Ex encourages its community to adopt a lifestyle that will allow them to reach their full fitness potential without an overbearing hive mind mentality. Find that potential through private training, group classes, Olympic-style weightlifting or their open gym. Curious? Try out a week-long pass! But don’t be surprised if their invigorating classes have you coming back for more.
This one goes out to the gym rats: You might think you’re strong, but after a few classes at OTF, you’d liable to think twice about that. This Griffintown gym’s challenging and adrenaline-inducing specialty HIIT workouts will not only challenge you but are designed make you sweat like never before. The best part? Other than the supportive trainers guiding you through your workouts, the brief time slots filled with intense activities accommodate even the busiest of schedules while the curated exercise is meant to target every limb, muscle and pocket of fat in your body.
Formerly known as Moksha Yoga, Modo’s reputation as a globally loved hot yoga practice is sported around town within several locations both on and off the island. Whichever location you visit, however, two things will always be constant: That Modo’s methods make for a great workout, and their instructors are supremely skilled and supportive. Newcomers can try it for a month at a reduced rate or purchase some passes to use at their convenience, but few are surprised when they find themselves hooked.
Since 1881, Club Sportif MAA has been at the center of Montreal’s luxury fitness and wellbeing world. Today, the MAA is known for its wide variety of classes (HIIT, spinning, yoga, pilates, barre, dance, and more), its luxury club member services (including laundry), and the club’s highly trained roster of instructors. Although the gym’s original, historical home on Peel Street is currently undergoing major renovations, the whole gym has successfully uprooted its operation to a nearby Sherbrooke Street for the duration of the renovations.
This Villeray neighborhood gym is a two-story bastion of no-nonsense fitness right near the De Castelnau metro station. The gym features over 200 machines with personal training consultations, a health bar, a daycare service and a completely separate wing on the second floor reserved entirely for women—all at a pretty reasonable price. The gym also offers over 65 group classes every week with everything from bootcamp spinning sessions and pilates to Tae Bo and belly dancing. Best of all, they’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Now you’ve really got no excuse.
With four locations in the Plateau, Downtown, La-Petite-Patrie and Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, this modern studio is filled with positive, calming vibes and great classes. Work up a sweat with one of their skilled instructors through the barre, yoga or pilates classes they offer. Whatever your fancy, the knowledge and care that goes into each guided lesson makes your workout a worthwhile experience helps to align your mind, body, soul and all that other good stuff.
CEPSUM is an expansive sports and sports education complex run by the Université de Montréal (UdeM). Although extensively used by the UdeM student community, it’s also completely open to the general public. It may run a little pricer than the local YMCA, but its facilities include an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a diving tank, an outdoor field stadium, a hockey arena, a triple-gymnasium, a rock climbing wall, weight training rooms, squash courts, and even a golf practice room. Their classes for children and adults are also certainly worth taking a look at, including everything from racquet sports to martial arts training.
With locations around the city and flexible contract-less memberships, the YMCA is always a happy choice. Their gyms are up-to-date and accommodate different workout schedules and levels, but it’s their range of classes that’s truly the crème de la crème of these gyms’ offerings, whatever location you decide to settle on. Recommendations go in particular to their spinning, kickboxing, toning, yoga and aqua aerobics classes to start.
After undergoing extensive renovations, the Sports Centre housed in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium is back up and running like never before. It’s best known for its extensive aquatics facilities, including a full-size Olympic competition pool in addition to numerous other pools for synchronized swimming, diving, water polo and more. The facility is also home to a cutting-edge gym with 81 weight-training machines and 51 cardio machines, a free-weight section, spinning classrooms and a staff of fitness instructors and kinesiology experts to help you get the most out of your workouts.
Need a good gym on a budget? No problem. This one may be wedged in between the shops in the sub-basement mall of Les Galeries on des Pins and Avenue du Parc, but what’s special about this club—you know, besides its reasonable rates and great selection of personal trainers—is its outdoor pool. Become a member and you’ll automatically have access to the water. Definitely a real treat during those hot summer days.
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