May 18, 2016

Surf Set Fitness: What to Expect

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to try out a private Surf Set class at Illume Hot Yoga here in Calgary. My friend, and fellow "Blog Squad" member, Alison, organized the class for ten of us. I remember seeing the episode about Surf Set on Shark Tank a few years ago and ever since then, I've always wanted to try it out! I've never surfed or done stand-up paddle boarding, but I'm always up for trying out new things.
Surf Set Fitness What to Expect
In case you aren't familiar with Surf Set, it was founded back in 2011 by professional hockey player, Mike Hartwick, after he spent his summers during off-season, surfing in California. He quickly realized that surfing resulted in his most toned and lean body ever, and he was unable to achieve these same results with any other type of workout. Hating to leave the ocean behind, he designed a way to mimic the workout he got while surfing. Surf Set Fitness was born.

Illume Hot Yoga where we took the class, offers Surf Set classes, as well as hot and warm yoga classes. The owner of the studio is Telara, and she also taught our class. We all arrived at the studio 15 minutes prior to our class to sign forms, give us a tour of the studio, and to go over the basics of our class.

The studio is stunning. The moment you walk in the door, you enter a peaceful oasis. There is a spot to take off your shoes, along with a little sitting area. Down the hall, you find two studios - one for Surf Set and one for Yoga. Further down, there is a change room. All of the wood used in the woodwork and decoration in the studio was commissioned from local artists utilizing reclaimed wood.
Surf Set Fitness A Review
The Surf Set class caps out at ten participants, and the boards are arranged in staggering order facing the front of the studio, and not in a circle like I envisioned! I was so nervous that we'd all be staring at each other for the whole class. There also weren't any mirrors which I really liked as it meant you could just focus on you and the board, nothing else. At the front of the room, a compilation of surf related videos was projected on the wall which I really enjoyed and just added to the overall ambiance of the experience. Telara taught on a board from the front corner of the room.
Surf Set Fitness What to Expect
Surf Set Fitness What to Expect
Surf Set Fitness What to Expect
I really wasn't sure what to expect from the class. Our class was a "blend" class, consisting of a warm-up, a lower-body strength set, cardio, an upper-body strength set, more cardio, core and balance work, and then a cool-down. We did exercises such as burpees (way more fun on a surf board, let me tell you!), planks, pushups, lunges, squats, tricep dips, downward dog, swimming & paddling, and balancing on one foot! My heart rate was up from the get-go and I was dripping sweat early on. It was hard, but not in an "in your face way". It was so different, and so fun, that you almost didn't notice you were working out.

The class is only 45 minutes long, and it's great to achieve such an efficient, total-body workout in less than an hour. We all agreed that class just flew by, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who wished it couldn't have gone on a bit longer. That's just how much fun we were having!
Surf Set Fitness What to Expect
Surf Set Fitness What to Expect
Surf Set Fitness What to Expect
The surf boards mimic the movement it would make in the water, and there are bungee cords that determine the level of difficulty your board is set at. All of our boards were set to "easy", but to increase the intensity of the board workout, you can release the bungee cords. Laughing is encouraged in class, which is good because there was a lot of that going on. You can't help but lose your balance at times or even fall off the board completely. It's tough, and even humbling at times, but honestly, it was the most fun I've ever had in a fitness class!

Surf Set Fitness YYC
{Thanks to Ange and Chase This Skirt for providing the Blog Squad with these awesome custom tanks! }

There are lots of fitness studios that offer this class now, which I think is great because everyone needs to try this at least once! Illume Hot Yoga even has a fantastic introductory rate to try out Surf Set for one month unlimited for just $40! Unfortunately, I live far, far south from the studio and wouldn't be able to make use of this offer, but I'm on the look out for a studio closer to me to get in a few more surf sessions!

Thanks again to Illume Hot Yoga for the private class and working our butts off!

Check out the links below to see what the other girls thought of the class!

Have you ever done a Surf Set class?

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