Do you smell that? Fitness is in the air — or at least it’s in the air in Canton. Runners are dodging each other on the waterfront, pups have taken over the park’s walking trails, and a gym testing a new fitness program in the Baltimore community has swung it’s doors wide open to Baltimore. Venture over to Conkling and Highlandtown and get outfitted with a heart rate monitor from dedicated trainers at Peak Performance Training. I went recently to try out two workouts with Peak (full disclosure, I am a friend of the trainers) and gather some intel on this new fitness trend. Here are four things you should know about Peak Performance Training.
1. Digital Performance Tracking Really Tames Your Workout Boredom
Monotonous movements can really squash a workout high. That’s why it’s wonderful that Peak Performance Training is outfitted with TVs on both sides of its workout space. Instead of playing staticky TV shows, though, Peak displays real-time information about your workout based on the heart rate monitor that is strapped to your sternum. This means you get to view your heart rate percentage as well as the calories you are burning throughout the class relative to the rest of your classmates. Colors change to red when your heart rate is at its max and sit at green when you are basically resting. The results are mesmerizing, and not just for the competitive at heart (like myself). You’re both entertained and driven by your progress. What’s better: after the class you get an email summarizing your workout. My summary from a recent class is below.
2. You’ll Probably Feel Awkward Doing Some of the Movements
The hour-long classes are 50 percent strength-training and 50 percent cardio. Trainers bring participants through short circuits of 3-4 exercises. What this means for the strength-training portion: a lot of variety, and also a lot of new muscle movements to learn. One class you may be doing push presses and burpees during a circuit, the next one you are doing hip bridges and bear hug squats. It makes for a bit of awkwardness, but also a lot of interesting new exercises (and maybe a little humor). The classes are built for all skill levels, so trainers will help if you get stuck with something new. Just come with an open mind and a willingness to look a bit ridiculous your first time through.
3. Rowing is Righteous
The second half of the class is the cardio portion, which is my favorite as a former swimmer and runner. Participants usually start with the line of rowing machines for the cardio circuits. This was my first time working with rowing machines, and the entire-body workout the machines provide definitely kept me entertained. From there, you typically jump on the row of treadmills and do a heavy incline jog or sprint. The top-notch equipment mixed with smart interval training makes for some max heart rates and some wonderful, endorphin-induced exhaustion.
4. With no Contract for Fees (and a Groupon), It’s worth a Shot
Peak Performance’s owners understand they are the new fitness kid in town and need to earn your trust. They also understand what a unfortunate pain contracts are at most gyms. That’s why these guys are going contract-free and providing lots of options for those fitness nerds looking to supplement their existing workouts, or for those looking for a more year-round option to get back in shape.
Here are pricing options for trying out Peak:
- An introductory session is FREE (wahoo!)
- They’re running a pretty stellar Groupon right now: Five fitness classes for $29. That’s a little over $5 for your first 5 classes
- If you’d like to just drop in for a single session now and then, it is $20
- Buy session packs of 10 for $160 or 15 for $210 and you can use them at any point over 3 months
- Just looking for 4 sessions per month? The deal there is $59 each month
- 8 Sessions a month are $89
- Unlimited sessions per month are $119 – but right now (until May 31) if you sign up as an unlimited member, you get 15% off for life
Phew! That’s a lot of options. But it echoes what Peak is trying to do. They’re customizing fitness to whatever you need or prefer. And that feels pretty welcoming.
*Have a new class or workout you’d like us to try? Feel free to comment below or send us a note. We’d love to review it.