Back to the gym for me! For my Try It: Fitness series I am always on the lookout for different styles of workouts. I love finding something unique and new, not just another bootcamp. So when I heard of a gym that’s workouts were said to be a mix between CrossFit and F45, I knew I had to check it out. 

Enter Bolt Health and Fitness. Bolt Health and Fitness is a newly opened gym (just from January this year) that seems to have a main focus on group fitness and fitness assessments. Reading through their website, the classes sounded like a solid workout with focuses on global movements and building a solid exercise foundation. Both these things sounds great and got me quite excited. What got me even more excited was when Ceri, Bolt Health and Fitness Owner and Head Coach, offered me the opportunity to try not one, but two different Bolt classes! How awesome is that! So in this Try It, I will be reviewing both a Both-Strength and a Bolt-Con (Conditioning) class and giving my overall impression.

Editor’s note: Majority of the time I was told, new clients go through a fitness assessment and consultation before starting classes. Hence, they would have been to Bolt Fitness at least once if not twice before starting classes and been told a little bit more of how the class is structured and what to expect. I didn’t go through this process which lead to a bit of confusion on my first day, and probably not the best start (aka I didn’t know that I would solely be responsible for my own warm up before the group class as they don’t lead group warm ups. And not know what my 1RM lifts are.). I will try and write to the best of my ability about the class itself, and not the parts of confusion that would be cleared up had I been through the initial process.

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The normal progression at Bolt Health and Fitness for a new client. I started at Step 6.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming!

The first class I experienced was a Bolt-Strong class on a Wednesday morning at 9:30am. (In my opinion, mid-morning classes are some of the best times to go as a newbie as they are usually a little bit quieter.) Bolt-Strong is described on their website as “our strength based session. This incorporates compound exercises that are set out in a progressive and periodised program to deliver the most effective results.” This is a pretty accurate, as much of the focus of the class was on those big compound movements.

One of the best features right off the bat of Bolt is the fitness tracking. Each person is given a clipboard with that periods strength workouts (each period is a few weeks long) to record their weights and reps. As the Strength classes are offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday’s, each day’s workout is different but the following week the same workout is repeated so clients are able to keep progressing with their weights. I absolutely love this! (See my post on how much I love fitness tracking!) It was also evident that all my other classmates used their fitness tracking to the best of its ability, as everyone was pushing themselves and no one was slacking in the weights department.

After getting partnered up for the workout (more effective use of space for the medium sized gym), the workout was explain. Four supersets, each with a 9 minute time limit to get through 3 sets of 8-12 reps. (This was as close as it got to an F45 style workout, which isn’t that close.) Pretty simple and straightforward, and after getting into the workout, evenly paced as 9 minutes was usually more than enough to complete three sets and even sometimes a fourth. We started on deadlifts (barbell and Kettlebell) and then moved through incline bench press, push ups, bent over rows, banded rows, and then onto a cardio/core superset at the end. The cardio/core superset at the end was my favourite as it really made me feel that I ended the workout on a high. It was the perfect push and I definitely felt that I ended dripping in sweat. Overall, I quite enjoyed the style of class and my fellow classmates were really lovely and supportive.

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The Squat Racks At Bolt Health and Fitness

Onto class number two: Bolt-Con!

On the following Sunday, I was back for more! Needless to say, the second time at a gym always feels a little bit better and less confusing. The conditioning class, unlike the strength, had the workout written up on the whiteboard and today’s was AMRAP! (As Many Rounds As Possible, a favourite style of mine. Again, AMRAP is a style used in CrossFit but it is also used in other styles of gyms. Again similar, but different.) With a quick demo of each of the exercises and an explanation of how the workout would be broken down (5 exercises for three 10 minute rounds, then one 10 minute core AMRAP) it was time to get moving. I love AMRAP, especially as a conditioning workout, as it gives me a chance to be competitive with myself. I am constantly trying to beat my own score and push myself to keep form while going as fast as possible. I have never done three 10 minute AMRAPS back to back (I’ve done 4 seven minutes rounds, which was tough!) but it did provide a great workout and I was sore for two days afterwards from all the squats we did. Very much a workout I would go back for, though maybe with a few less lunges… Again though, I think the shining star of the workout was the last AMRAP. Three core exercises, back to back for 10 minutes. So tough but so good! (Maybe that’s the stereotypical gym female in me talking but I do love my core exercises!) I ended the workout tired but happy, which is a great sign.

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All the Cardio Machines. (Including my first time on a ski machine!) 

Bolt Health and Fitness offers some great classes that are designed to continually push their clients to the next level. I loved the fitness tracking and the fact that the focus of each class is on building a solid exercise foundation. Classes are also offered at super convenient times and have a cap of 16 clients per class, both which are a huge pluses in my mind. While I may not agree that it’s quite a mix of CrossFit and F45, I do think it is its own brand of great workouts and worth checking out.

You can sign up for classes through their website here or check out their Facebook page for more information.

What workout should I try next?

Happy working out!

-SB

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