Young, Broke, and Figuring It Out:
Energy Fit (Shibuya)
Written by Rina for the Young, Broke, and Figuring It Out series.
Read about the author here.
Living in the city, working part-time, and being a college student means that it can be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle...trust me, I'm living that life.
My introduction to a downtown gym in Shibuya is part of an ongoing series that will (hopefully) help you learn the ropes of active living in Tokyo – especially for those on a budget, time-wise and money-wise!
Savvy social media users may have already heard of this gym – Energy Fit. Just a couple of minutes from Shibuya station, walk up the Dougenzaka and you’ll spot a telling sign on one of the buildings. Take the elevator to the fourth floor and you will enter an extraordinary space - absolutely Insta-worthy!
To be clear, I went to the Energy Fit studio in Shibuya but since July 2018, a second studio has opened in Roppongi. What I'll talk about is largely applicable to Energy Fit as a concept, but some parts are Shibuya-specific.
Energy Fit is a modern, class-based gym exclusively for females. The majority of the Energy Fit clientele are college-aged or young professionals.
Energy Fit is also a bilingual gym and most of the trainers speak both Japanese and English minimizing the language barrier!
In Japan, social norms tend to lean conservative and women are not actively encouraged to break a sweat through routine physical exercise.
In fact, it's only been in the last couple of years that boutique gyms and fitness studios have truly gained traction and found an audience in Japan. Even then, it seems almost wholly confined to the big cities, like Tokyo.
Energy Fit might seem like a whole lot of beautiful women but the founders are progressive ladies who want to tackle harmful stereotypes about active women and empower women to feel comfortable in their own skin. Ladies are free to wear what they like during the workout without fear of judgement and the emphasis is on becoming fit - rather than the common focus in Japan on losing weight and getting skinny.
Shoe lockers for the regulars
Make sure to arrive at Energy Fit at least 15 minutes before class to change and get your bearings! You'll receive a card at the front desk that will function as your locker key.
Once you've changed, head over to the studio with time to stretch out and observe – you don’t want miss the first part of class nor be the reason for a delayed start!
You'll have a number assigned to you and throughout the workout session, you'll only use the machines showing your number.
During your workout, you are required to wear a heart rate monitor band around your ribs (just below your sports bra) to keep track of the heart rate. It may feel weird at first, but you will have forgotten about it after 5 minutes.
Each class is a combination of cardio (running), weights (with dumbbells), and stretching. Throughout the 45 minute workout, you are constantly moving your body with a focus on key areas, such as core, glutes, or arms.
For instance, when we were running, the concentration is on the lower body. On the other hand, when using the dumbbells during intervals we were mainly working out our upper body. EnergyFit workouts are thoughtfully developed so that you are burning body fat efficiently and effectively utilizing different muscles.
The lesson is so productive, those 45 minutes fly by!
There's even a little DJ booth for the music!
Treadmills and kettlebells are a lethal combination
There are four different levels of the lesson, each progressively more challenging.
Lite Circuit: geared for those returning to fitness, new to gym equipment, and/or never tried circuit-style workouts. Less than 30 minutes of each session is spent on the treadmill and each student is taught the basics from how to use treadmills to learning how to set your pace.
Track Circuit: the next step after completing the Lite Circuit stage. The main focus here is to increase cardio time - you will spend more time on the treadmills.
Country Circuit: an intermediate level designed to be similar to tackling a cross country course with the use of the incline function on the treadmills.
Trail Circuit: the most advanced class that EnergyFit offers. Features generous inclines and speed change, combined with intervals using weights to increase heartrate.
In the yellow, working hard!
I tried out the second level and it was a lot harder than it seems! Running at different paces and doing weights in intervals felt like a 45 minute bootcamp!
This gym is perfect for those of you who tend to be unmotivated or intimidated by the gym. But to be honest, wasn’t that all of us at one point or another?
I love that the energetic trainers support you and push you throughout the entire workout – and let’s face it, when you’re already in class, you kind of need to do the work!
All the lessons are all well-balanced and planned out so you don’t need to worry about developing a workout plan or forgetting the next set!
Regular: ¥11,000/ month (use of all facilities for up to 16 lessons)
Gold: ¥13,000/ month ( use of all facilities and unlimited lessons)
Second: ¥4,500/ month (must be a member of any other gym or studio; use of all facilities for up to 8 lessons)
*The Second Plan is only available for 6 months, after which your membership status will be converted to the Regular Plan.
Personal training session: ¥4,000/ hour
Your members card also functions as the lock for each individual locker.
Shampoo, conditioner, and body soap available
Gym clothes set, shoes, towel (all 200 yen each)
Individual rental lockers: ¥1,000/ month
You can also purchase protein and shakers.
To learn more, visit the Energy Fit website (Japanese).
Classes are primarily in Japanese but trainers speak English and will provide English instruction as necessary
Hours at Shibuya
Monday to Saturday: 1000-2200 (last class at 2100)
Sunday: 1000-2000 (last class at 1900)
Hours at Roppongi
Monday to Friday: 0730-2145 (last class at 2100)
Saturday and Sunday: 1000-1945 (last class at 1900)