Recently, I’ve been trying to mix up my workouts and add in different classes to keep things interesting. Life as a gym rat eventually becomes tedious, so after getting a taste of what City Surf Fitness was like at the Katy Trail 5K, I asked a friend of mine to join me for a class. We decided to go for the circuit class since it sounded like something we were both looking for: strength, stability, cardio and of course a surf board.
After luckily finding a parking spot in Uptown during rush hour, I was accosted by the delicious smell of iFratelli pizza as I walked toward the studio. I definitely had to summon some will power to not ditch the workout right then and there. How does anyone get anything done with the smell of pizzas following you everywhere!?
Sneak peak into the circuit class. Everyone is doing something different at each station.
Anyway, before walking in, I peered through the window and saw a class mid session and was slightly confused about what to do. I didn’t realize the space was so small there wasn’t really a front desk nor much of a waiting area. As more people arrived, it turns out it’s absolutely normal to wait outside a few minutes before the next class. I suppose when Uptown rent is so high, you gotta make due.
City Surf Fitness is large enough to hold maybe 15 people, at least for this class. The majority of surfers were women. Out of the lot there was only one guy. Despite that, the dude looked like he was getting one heck of a workout. There were about 10 boards laying out ready for my class to begin and with classes back to back, the set up feels a little rushed. Either way, my friend and I were greeted by our instructor Mitch who was extremely nice and got us signed up.
The first session is free and the introductory package is $25 for two weeks of unlimited classes. Definitely sounds like a fantastic introductory offer.
Since the space is small, it was a little humid in the room, thanks to the previous class working their butts off. Our class requires us to be barefoot so we stuffed our belongings in some lockers and chose a board – anxiously anticipating for whatever comes next. Wasn’t a fan of putting my feet on the floor, but hey…whatcha gonna do, right? (I did make a mental note to scrub the bottom of my feet extra hard when I got home).
Mitch explained that we would be rotating to each station/board and doing a different workout for 30 seconds each. In between each station, we would do 30 second pulsing squats, walking planks, or alternating lunges. There were 15 stations in total, 10 of which were on boards that balance on top of 3 bosu balls each (hence where the balancing comes in) and we would go through the whole circuit twice.
The class was much more intense than I expected and I loved it. It’s a class I wouldn’t particularly recommend to someone who is just starting to work out. I would say someone at a more intermediate level or at least has been working out for a while would like it . You’re working out your entire body. From arms, shoulders, butt, legs, and core, you are doing everything. There’s only one break in between the two full circuit, so you’ll definitely be sweating like crazy. I thought it was great for strength, cardio and working on balance and stability.
At first, after Mitch rattled off 15 different movements we were suppose to do, I was a little scared. How the hell was I suppose to remember all of that? But it worked out. I would either watch the person after me out of the corner of my eye or Mitch could catch the “wtf am I supposed to do next” look on my face and guide me. He had a great radar for that “wtf look” and was fantastic, fun, and encouraging. I thought he did a great job checking on everyone and making sure they were comfortable.
One of my favorite moves on the board!
The 30 second spurts also made things go by super fast. Almost a little too fast. This 50 minute session went by so quickly. By the time we were done with our session, the next class was already encroaching and I felt rushed to get out of there and out of the way. I ended up putting my shoes on outside on a bench while trying to recoup. I think it would’ve been nice if there was a little more time between classes. I totally get that the circuit is fast-paced, but a few extra minutes explaining the class, showing some modifications on the board for a more challenging exercise, maybe some stretching, or a chance to talk to the instructor would’ve made it feel less rushed. The problem with the rush, in my opinion is making sure everyone’s form is correct to prevent injury. You kind of have to know what you’re doing in order to really take advantage, but it isn’t hard to catch on. Regardless, it was a great first experience and something I am interested in trying again.
While the introductory offer is pretty sweet, the pricing for membership is steep. A 3 month membership is $300, so this isn’t the place for to supplementally mix in with your current gym membership. This is the kind of membership where you would spend the majority of your week at, attending 4-5 classes. I also think it’s a temporary membership. You could pause your gym membership while you get your buddha boarding on for a few months and then switch back. You also have the option to drop in for $20 a class if a membership is not the route you want to go, but still want to mix it up. City Surf offers about 10 different classes according to their schedule.
Another helpful tip I would say to the interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a day and time you want to take your free class and they will hook you up. For future classes, sign up online for the class you want. Don’t bother calling. There doesn’t seem to be a receptionist. The instructors can sign you up, but no one is manning the phones when they are teaching. There are few spots and they get taken up quickly. My friend and I were lucky enough when we just showed up to have a spot in the class. I’m a fan of the workouts and intend on buying the intro pass, so stay tuned for future reviews, photos, and even video. I can’t wait to tell you all about it.