Beyoncé made me do it. Who am I kidding. The Spice Girls opener had me hook, line and sinker. Vive Active’s brand new reformer pilates studio in Neutral Bay has state of the art equipment, spa-like facilities and a serious thing for neon lights. However, it’s the soundtrack of my first 50 minute Total reformer class that seals the deal. When Beyoncé is in the room, there’s no stopping you. Throw in a little bit of Britney and some Christina Aguilera and 50 minutes have gone by in a flash. I’m sweaty, my legs are shaking, but hey I’m still smiling and when it comes to a workout, that is a real win.
Vive Active Neutral Bay is the third outpost of John and Louise Keats’ reformer studios. The other studios in Brookvale and Double Bay have dedicated local followings and already the lower North Shore crowd is lapping up this new hotspot just off Military Road.
For those of us who find reformers en masse a little bit intimidating, Vive Active runs a free 20 minute intro class to walk through the ins and outs of the machine. From the handholds and carriage to the rails and foot bar, classes use just about every part of the reformer, depending on the program. There’s also hand weights, stretch rod, foam roller, a pilates ring and ball, and a box, attached as a set to each reformer. You won’t use everything every class but it’s all there ready to go so there’s no mad rush to get your gear and even better, no wasted time putting the gear away. All you need to do is book in and turn up.
There’s 24 reformers to choose from but with all four walls covered in mirrors, there’s no ‘front of the class’. Wherever you end up, it’s more about following the instructions at your own pace than following a routine. You’ll feel the burn of the workout and the music sets the beat, but the focus is on form rather than getting our heart rate soaring. Mirrors on the ceiling might be intimidating to some but they’re there so you can check your form even while you’re lying down on the carriage. Not long since opening day, my midweek lunchtime is full so our instructor roams the floor, keeping us moving through exercises without a break. The program is a seamless combo of entire body and isolated muscle work that won’t drain you mentally but will whip you into shape.
If you’re looking for some extra help, the studio is the first fitness studio in Australia to offer Emsculpt NEO, via Vive Sculpt sessions, where you’ll focus on toning muscle groups and non-invasive fat reduction. They’re also offering Emsella technology for pelvic health.
Vive Active Neutral Bay
3-5 Young Street, Neutral Bay