Fit Date: We Sent Two Single Strangers to Blazing-Fast Cardio HIIT

Welcome to our Fit Date series, a cross between a blind date and a workout review! For each column, we send two intrepid strangers to get sweaty at a fun gym/studio in Toronto, then quiz each of them afterwards on their experience. Let’s meet our latest blind daters.

Chris and Juleigh at Equinox
Chris and Juleigh, pre-workout at Equinox. (Photo: Emily Wraith)


JULEIGH, 27, does market research by day and describes herself as “fun, determined and lively.” Her fitness routine is varied, with a lot of running, yoga and “skipping around the office.” When not working out, she’s into motorcycle rides, exploring the city and patio beers. She’s never done a HIIT class before.

CHRIS, 24, is a property manager who considers himself an upbeat guy. He’s into the outdoors (“Anything in nature to me is fun”), including cottaging, hiking and rock climbing. In addition, his workout regimen is a mix of weight training/cardio, as well as hot yoga and boxing a couple times a week. He’s a HIIT first-timer, too.


Equinox, one of the fanciest gyms in Toronto. Known for its sleek design, group fitness programming and sweet amenities (like Kiehl’s in the locker rooms), the NYC-based club has two locations in the city: Bay Street and Yorkville. Gym membership starts at $181 per month, for access to one location.


We sent Juleigh and Chris to Equinox’s Firestarter class, described as “the next generation of cardio HIIT training, with every second supercharged in a blitz of lightning-fast intervals.” What that means: you’ll follow zippy sequences of moves, incorporating body-weight exercises and a step bench. Don’t expect to stop and catch your breath; this workout claims to pack a day’s worth of cardio into a mere 30 minutes.

He Says…

How would you describe your blind date in three adjectives? Juleigh seemed fun, outgoing and talkative.

How would you describe the Firestarter workout overall? I’ve never done a HIIT class—it was harder than I thought it would be. The class was alright—I didn’t like it much because of all the coordination you needed, and it seemed as though everyone in the class had done it at least a few times before, so Juleigh and I were sort of out of the loop.

How hard was the workout on a scale of 1 (stroll in the park) to 10 (still recovering)? I would rate the difficulty a 5/10. Only because of the coordination part of it.

What was the most challenging part of the workout? It was hard to keep track of the movements. The cycle was difficult to memorize.

What was the most fun part of the workout? It’s fun working out as a group and pushes you to keep up with everyone else.

How did your workout partner do? Juleigh did better than I did in the workout; I was the worst in the class.

What type of person would you recommend this class to? I would recommend this class to someone who doesn’t have the motivation to work out on their own.

Any awkward blind-date moments? It wasn’t awkward—I think the workout part sort of takes the awkwardness out, which is nice. It’s more enjoyable than a dinner date per se because there is something you are both doing together that is stimulating, so there is no room for boring small talk, which I thoroughly despise.

Final verdict: would you be up for date #2 (or is it a friend zone situation)? I think we were a bit too different for each other for another date. However, she was extremely nice and very easy to talk to—which is a bonus these days, and hard to find.

She Says…

How would you describe your blind date in three adjectives? [My first impression:] I thought he was cute. I’d say he was fit and maybe a bit quiet.

How would you describe the Firestarter workout overall? Workout was fun! It was fast and intense. The class consisted of varying intervals that went by quickly and challenged different muscle groups, so you never felt bored or too exhausted to continue. The quick pace and dynamic movements actually distracted me from the fact that I was working out, which is exactly what I look for in fitness.

How hard was the workout on a scale of 1 (stroll in the park) to 10 (still recovering)? Even though the class seemed to go by relatively painlessly, I’d give it a 7. I generally stick to running and yoga, so the intervals were new and challenging for me. I sweat a lot—which could be why my date left me so quickly at the end of the workout. 😉

What was the most challenging part of the workout? Definitely the push-ups! The only arm workout I usually do involves lifting some kind of food or alcoholic beverage to my mouth. But every time Chris looked over, I made sure my push-up form was on point—and it nearly killed me.

What was the most fun part of the workout? The music was great! I also really liked how cardio was infused throughout the class. I’m a fan of jumping jacks—jumping of any kind really.

How did your workout partner do? He seemed to be doing great. He did a better job keeping up with the routine than I did.

What type of person would you recommend this class to? Anyone! The class seemed friendly to all levels. It would be especially great for those in a rush who want a quick but sweaty workout.

Any awkward blind-date moments? I didn’t really chat much with my date. We only had a couple of minutes before the class, and afterwards he was gone faster than a toupee in a hurricane. I don’t think he was all that interested in hanging out.

Final verdict: would you be up for date #2 (or is it a friend zone situation)? If I’m honest…neither.

Are you a Toronto single interested in being featured in an upcoming Fit Date? Click here and introduce yourself.

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