For those who find running on treadmills and lifting weights mundane, Darren Bersuk has a way to turn your workout upside down — literally.
Suspending from swings, rings, silks and poles, the classes offered at AcroFit Alternative Fitness are more like being in a circus than being at a gym.
And rightfully so. The owner, Bersuk, is a former Canadian national gymnast and veteran Cirque du Soleil performer who has done shows for more than 100 million audience members across 45 countries.
Now he is offering a taste of the acrobatic world through his new fitness centre at 60 Avenue and 196 Street on the Langley/Surrey border.
“I’ve always wanted to to open a gym of some sort,” Bersuk said.
“I never knew what kind of form that would take, so I’ve constantly been trying to figure out something that’s different.
“I didn’t want to build the same old gym that everyone else was opening up.”
You can see this philosophy when walking in.
Long strands of grey silk hang down from 28 ft. ceilings in the first studio, which participants will learn to climb and wrap around in.
Two additional studios feature equipment for pole fitness, aerial yoga, hoop, acro balance, ballet bar classes and personal training.
“We’re trying to bring the acrobatic genres to the normal, everyday person so they can not dread going to the gym,” Bersuk said.
“We want them to enjoy going to the gym. So not only does that take something that’s fun, but it also takes variety because we don’t want to be doing the same thing over and over again.”
And if hanging upside down from a fabric swing sounds intimidating, don’t be afraid, Bersuk said. There are introductory sessions so people of all fitness levels can join.
“I want to get the people that normally would never head to the gym to come here and enjoy getting fit and healthy,” he said.
“You’re still getting a great workout, you’re still building muscle, you’re still losing fat and burning calories, but you’re going to have a smile on your face while you do it.”
Although Bersuk has a lifetime of acrobatic accolades, including performing on Late Night with David Letterman, one of his biggest thrills is watching new people try out his passion.
“It’s just seeing the reaction on their faces when they’re trying something that is new and unusual for them and the enjoyment they get out of it,” he said.
“When people walk in here, they see something different and you hope that the class can live up to that hype.
“So far, everything has.”
AcroFit is open for both morning and evening classes, and new clients receive their first class for free.
For more information, visit www.acrofit.ca or call 604-817-6462.