With the recent rise in boutique-style gyms, team workouts have become a popular trend. These smaller, more intimate locations put a focus on more one-on-one interactions and team-building. This idea of partnership when working out is the inspiration for the smartphone app WHISTLE, which was created by Toronto-based founder Laura Davidson. Real Style recently had the chance to learn more about the app and also test out a 30-minute partner workout at Fit Factory Fitness in Toronto.
Lead by elite instructor Geoff Wintonyk, the group was walked through the club rules, which included “Have fun!” as the final rule. However, we soon learned this would be no walk in the park. After Wintonyk assessed the group, we jumped right into the session with a cardio-filled warm-up. This was only a glimpse into how challenging the workout would become.
We were then split into smaller groups of 6-8 and travelled as pairs, through stations set up by Wintonyk. Each station consisted of certain moves ranging from squats to sit-ups to burpees. Within these groups, we were partnered up with a buddy , who would encourage us and also push us to our limits. Some moves were designed to have partners rely on each other. One particularly challenging move involved a two-person plank, where partners were essentially relying on each other’s strength to stay up. The added weights at stations and minimal water breaks truly tested the group’s endurance and ability to stay united.
The workout forced each of the participants to understand the importance of teamwork. Wintonyk incorporated moves that required a full group effort – if one failed, we all failed. As a result, this fitness style inspired the group to encourage each other and to work as a team.
It’s this sense of accountability that was part of the inspiration to create WHISTLE. The app helps individuals of all fitness levels find a workout buddy. According to Davidson, these types of team workouts have had quite the impact on her own fitness journey. “They have lead me to new places with new people, and I am so excited to see where the next experience takes me. My circle of friends is expanding, and I am building a whole new version of myself in the process,” she said to us.
Overall, the workout was a reminder of how enjoyable and energetic a workout can be with a partner or as part of a team. While we used basic equipment and learned to support and rely on our partner to succeed, this was truly gruelling and effective exercise. Far more than just a 30-minute workout, the class proved itself to be a learning experience.