5 Indie Gyms in Mississauga

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Published January 11, 2016 at 5:03 pm


We’re just a day into the New Year and, for some of us; fitness resolutions are top of mind. When the year winds down and holiday indulgence flourishes, so to do promises to get fit and strong when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately for so many of us, fitness goals are hard to attain because working out can become tedious and boring — a chore on an already overwhelming to-do list.  

Fortunately for us, Mississauga is now home to some truly unique fitness facilities that offer patrons much more than dumbbells and treadmills. If you want to learn about professional wrestling, dead lifting, martial arts or bodybuilding, you can check out any of the following gyms. Maybe working out will be much more compelling if you know you get to [safely] body slam someone. 

Here are five indie gyms to check out, in no particular order.

Habitual Fitness 

Habitual Fitness is a something of a boutique gym. It’s independently owned and operated and offers members 11 000 sqft of personal training, nutritional counselling, athletic therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture and a broad range of fitness classes. You can look at their offerings here. We chatted with Silvio Mazzulla about what sets Habitual apart. 

What do you specialize in? We specialize in personal and functional training and boot camp. 

What are your prices? Prices range from $29-$49 a month. The $49 membership is a VIP membership with towel service and a complimentary bottle of water. 

What’s your target demographic? People from 18 to about 70. We have a few regulars who are in their 60s and we attract both genders. 

What sets you apart? We know everyone who comes in here. We don’t know anyone as just a key tag. We’re personable and we get to know everyone. We work closely with our personal trainers and we treat everyone as more of a friend than a member. 

When people visit you for the first time, what can they expect? They can expect great customer service and to feel like they’re at home. We have a welcoming space and an always smiling staff. 

Battle Arts Academy 

If you’re interested in professional wrestling, Battle Arts Academy — owned and operated by former WWE wrestler Anthony Carelli (aka Santino Marella) and his wife Anna — offers some pretty unique services. The gym boasts fitness classes suitable for all ages, MMA training, weight loss programs and professional wrestling training. We chatted with Carelli about what makes his facility special. 

What do you specialize in? We specialize in many things. One thing is community fitness with kids and weight loss programs. We have wrestling training and Thai boxing and MMA training. It’s two facilities — the Ontario Performance Centre and Battle Arts Academy for MMA. I went out on a limb and decided to offer our kids wrestling, judo and Thai boxing. We have a professional wrestling school and we host shows once a month.

Prices? Generally $100 a month, which is a good deal because a lot of kid’s programs charge $100 per class. 

What’s your demographic? Anyone interested in fitness. It’s everybody. Everybody needs to focus on quality of life and health. We get people from five to 70 and we get guys, girls and people from all ethnic groups. It’s a multicultural facility that captures what Mississauga is about. It’s diverse and it’s a family.

What sets you apart? Everyone respects each other. Boxers respect wrestlers and so on. The value sets us apart, as does the coaching and the actual facility. The layout and the openness. It’s a classier place with quartz counters and an industrial chic look. It’s a boutique gym and we don’t have 1,000 members. 

What can newcomers expect? They can expect to be welcomed with open arms. We offer one-week trials with no hard pressures sales tactics. I go by the slogan, “treat others as you would like to be treated.” I built my dream facility. We have a retail shop and a smoothie bar and we encourage students to come and just hang out and do homework. We have a full kitchen to teach young athletes how to prepare meals. We have Wi-Fi and movies and video games. We don’t want people to just come and leave. I want this to feel like home. 

Kombat Arts

If you’re into martial arts, Kombat Arts is right up your alley. It offers training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, mixed martial arts, boxing and more. We chatted with Sean Fulgencio to learn a little more. 

What do you specialize in? We’re a martial arts school.

Prices? We’re $120 a month and we offer daily, monthly and yearly specials. Right now, we’re offering a $990 for the entire year as part of our 16th anniversary special. 

Who’s your demographic: Funnily enough, it’s the average Joe who is coming from nothing to something. It’s the person who is looking to learn. It works for all ages and while it’s more male-dominated, women are getting more involved, especially for self-defense [training]. 

What sets you apart? The options we have available and our scheduling. We cater to the North American lifestyle because we know that a lot of people are only able to take classes early in the morning, mid-afternoon and in the evening. 

What can a new member expect? It can be intimidating, but people should expect a good workout. We have an introductory program that gets people more involved in the sport. We don’t just throw people into a class. People should expect to learn. It’s niche and it’s [about] changing your workout. [People will learn about] coordination and mobility and strength and conditioning. It’s more anaerobic stuff. 

Fitness Battalion 

Fitness Battalion is a more unique facility that offers members an obstacle course, Olympic and specialty bars, climbing ropes, a salmon ladder and more. We talked to owner Flavio Gracile about what makes his gym a good one to check out. 

What do you specialize in? That’s a tough question! [We say we specialize in] “Every kind of strong. So, the best elements across a wide range of applications. We offer power lifting, Olympic lifting, an indoor obstacle course and a fight cage. We focus on mental toughness as well. 

Prices? A one year, open gym memberships starting at $55 a month. We have a class pack of 10 for $150. You can get 24-hour access and we use a fingerprint scanner. 

Who’s your demographic? Age-wise, it’s about mid-20s to mid-40s and we have both men and women. We don’t discriminate and are for anyone who is prepared to be all who they can be. We don’t want gym bullies and no one is here to stroke their ego. 

What sets you apart? Our general approach. We’re upfront and honest with people and they’re not treated as numbers. We resolve any issue right away. We have a facility with unique equipment, such as military-grade rucksacks and an obstacle course. I am a gym user first and an owner second. 

What can newcomers expect? They can expect to be greeted by me and be shown around and given a walk-through on our general approach. They can expect an atmosphere that’s friendly and light-hearted and serious about fitness without being intimidating. I don’t appreciate gym bullies and I don’t want my members to be uncomfortable. We want to be accessible to everyone. We’re about improving yourself, not stroking your ego. 

Forge Performance and Fitness 

Forge Performance and Fitness is another Mississauga gym that offers a few niche services. If you check them out, you’ll have access to personal training, contest preparation, athletic therapy and chiropractic services. We sat down with owner Michael Yang to learn a little more. 

What do you specialize in? We specialize in power lifting, bodybuilding, sports conditioning, personal training and helping trainers develop their own businesses. We let trainers use our gym for a small fee and we have six trainers right now. 

Prices? Memberships start at $30 a month. 

Who’s your target demographic? Everyone. Our gym is five minutes away from St. Francis Xavier high school, we get students and even people in their 60s. We get nurses, firefighters, everybody. 

What sets you apart? Powerlifting. And just the atmosphere. When you walk in, you want to rip off all your clothes and start training. It’s social and it’s really friendly. Once you spend an hour in here, you don’t want to leave. 

What can newcomers expect? They can expect a good workout an awesome music. We only play really good 90s music and rap. People can put their own music on and we don’t allow any Madonna! We have regulars who are into bodybuilding and girls who want to get a booty (because that’s a muscle, too). A lot of guys want bigger arms. If you want a motivating place to work out, it’s for you. Heavy lifting is good for your posture and your spine, so are deadlifts and squats. 


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