Fitness Roadtest: GROUNDUP – HerCanberra


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While I’ve dabbled in yoga, Pilates, and barre, I’ve always considered myself more of a gym girl.

Maybe it was the fact that I had to shell out $30 a class. Perhaps it was that I often felt out of place in traditional yoga studios. What I know for certain is that it always seemed a little out of step with my personal fitness goals.

There’s a new studio opening today called GROUNDUP that’s changing all of that—and I’ve been looking forward to it for a while. In truth, I work for the company behind the brand, so I was keener than most about its arrival.

GROUNDUP offers reformer and mat Pilates, hot and flow yoga, and barre, all under one roof. What I love most about it is that it takes a more athletic approach to its classes, considering how it relates to your training in the gym, as well as your rest days.

I’ve been lucky enough to have been going to classes for the past week, and I can safely say that GROUNDUP doesn’t disappoint.

The studio itself is beautiful, and a departure from what you might expect from a boutique studio. There’s plenty of light, herringbone timber flooring, a serious dose of terrazzo in the spacious change rooms, and a cool monochrome colour palette.

Then there are the classes. Personally, I’ve been most excited about reformer Pilates.

While I know that Pilates is great for stability and core strength, I was intrigued by the idea of an athletic reformer class that targeted areas like my legs, glutes, and even upper body.

Before you progress into the “regular” reformer classes, GROUNDUP has a class that they call Reformer 101.

The idea is to do a couple of these classes to get yourself acquainted with the reformers and the movements and gain a little confidence before you move on. I liked this idea, as I’ve always harboured a secret fear of ending up in one of those awful videos where the person tumbles off in a tangle of straps, ropes, and strings.

Clearly, I needn’t have worried. To start, the instructor and Studio Manager Allie gave us a short workshop in how to use the reformer. The version at GROUNDUP is a little different from other studios as the foot bar isn’t fixed, so we learnt how to move it into different positions that we’d use during the class.

Next, we moved into a warmup, and then into the workout itself.

Even though it was an introductory class, I was genuinely surprised at how challenged I felt in some of the movements—particularly in poses that I thought I’d be strong in, like planks, tricep pushdowns, and lunges.

If you’re a bit of a seasoned reformer Pilates attendee, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. As a novice, this was a revelation.

It’s a different kind of sensation than you get in a gym workout—almost as though it’s hitting deeper in your muscles. As someone who’s forever trying to grow my glutes, I was pleasantly surprised at how sore they were the next day, as were my quads, arms, and core.

I also gave hot flow yoga a spin, and loved it. I’ve done some hot yoga classes before and wasn’t a fan of how serious and intense they were. The class at GROUNDUP was challenging and a serious workout, but I loved the way Allie seemed to really focus on strength and make the class fun and engaging.

Ashleigh doing yoga at GROUNDUP.

After the hot flow yoga class, I showered and got ready in the luxe changerooms. This isn’t the kind of place where you’re rushing your routine, trying to leave as soon as possible. I lingered under the giant showerhead and took my time putting on my makeup in perfectly lit mirrors, admiring the brushed brass accents and terrazzo tiles.

To be frank, I’ve been getting a little bored with my regular gym workouts, and while I don’t think I’ll be replacing them completely anytime soon, it’s nice to have found a new addition to my fitness routine. I plan on introducing one or two reformer classes a week on my training days, and I can’t wait to try out a Mellow Yoga class on my rest days.

Ashleigh during a Mellow Yoga class at GROUNDUP.

As a hiit republic and Club Lime member, I also like the idea of having one single membership. Members can upgrade to include all three offerings (GROUNDUP, hiit republic and Club Lime) under one membership—and HerCanberra readers get extended discount pricing.

Use the code HCGROUNDUP to get access to all three offerings for $54.90 (usually $59.90) if you join before midnight on Wednesday 14 July at



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