Pop-up workouts may be the future of Toronto’s fitness scene

ActifyCity’s unconventional business approach to Toronto’s fitness and wellness scene offers a pop-up community focused workout, that also includes meditation, massages, local vendors and networking opportunities.

“We wanted to create an experience where it didn’t matter where you were from, what you look like, what you do, you could find the space and time where we all come together and share this experience,” said Bryan Clyde Jones, founder of ActifyCity during a phone interview.

The company runs events where people pay up to $120 per ticket for three hours of sweat, mindfulness and opportunities to try or buy local products. Since February, the company has hosted five pop-up events in Toronto.

“Since we don’t have a lot of overhead costs because we don’t own a location, we just pop up when there’s a full moon, that saves a lot of money. Not only that, as the classes get bigger and there’s more exposure and hype, that will generate more sales,” said Clyde Jones during an interview.  He hopes that the implementation of more workouts and treatments will bring in more customers.

ActifyCity’s events follow the moon cycle, occurring only a few times throughout the year. Between events, Clyde Jones is continuing his practice as a yoga instructor and massage therapist.

Their last event, ActifyTO Unlocked, took place in The Attic in downtown Toronto last Wednesday. Those who purchased tickets experienced a warm-up and stretch class, a high-intensity interval training workout, a meditation class and a Reiki massage.

Technology played a unique and very important role during the event. Participants went through the entire evening wearing LED noise isolating headphones.

We wanted to focus this technology to the wellness community because we saw an opportunity,” said Clyde Jones during the event. “We all know the person who comes in late, grunts, does weird noises; all these distractions pull you away from the focus.”

While wearing the headphones, the participant can only hear the music, the instructor and themselves.

“I was a little hesitant about the experience at first, but when I came and put those headphones on for the first time, it was absolutely mind blowing,” said Danny Dulay, a chiropractor and instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp who participated at the event on Wednesday. “It centred me and I was able to focus. It was an experience that I have never had. For me this technology is a game changer.”

ActifyCity makes a point to keep their event surrounded in secrecy. Participants are informed of very little, with the location only being released three hours prior to the start.

Recently Toronto has seen a spike in popularity for clothing and food pop-ups, but this is one of the first fitness companies to use this model.

“It’s different every time, and we don’t tell anyone what’s going on. When you don’t give people that control, it’s kind of terrifying but it builds excitement,” said Clyde Jones at the event. “There’s beauty in the fact that you don’t know what workout you’re going to do, you don’t know where it’s going to be, you don’t know who your instructors are going to be, you don’t know anything.”

“The secret location just makes everything that much more special and fun,” said Dulay during the event.

According to the company, people are drawn to Actify because other fitness companies are not creating a community that people are looking for.

“I don’t like going to gyms because it gets so boring. You go in, you sweat, you leave and you repeat,” said Martha Kryvonis, a student at York University. “I would really love to see more community and wellness-oriented places in the city.”

“The networking is great, Actify is actively seeking to participate with people who are like-minded, people who are also entrepreneurs and tries to build a network,” said Angela Furfaro, a transformation and strength coach who ran the warm-up portion of the event. For me, I’ve been loving to come and connect with the people. I see it growing and growing and every time it is different.”

This way of doing business creates constant growth, because we don’t limit ourselves by saying this is Actify and this is what we do, said Clyde Jones at the event.

The next ActifyTO Unlocked event will be hosted on Nov. 23. ActifyCity also plans to create events that are dog friendly and student oriented.

 

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