The secret to a sculpted bod? Actually working out, ugh. But when your go-to gym routine starts to feel lame, it’s easy to let your fitness goals slide. The solution? Switch up where and how you get your sweat on. To help you out, we’re highlighting a cool, new studio every month—including what fresh gear to rock, just in case you need a little extra motivation. This month, we’re loving Equinox’s Firestarter.


The Firestarter name couldn’t be more apt; this class is all about feeling the burn in a major way. It’s also about doing so in minimal time. In just 30 minutes, this HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout will have you torching calories and dripping in sweat. As Equinox’s class description says, “be glad it’s not longer.”


Try Firestarter at any of Equinox’s 91 locations in Canada (two in Toronto and one in Vancouver), the U.S. and the U.K.


Though Equinox is known for its state-of-the-art equipment, all you need for Firestarter is the provided step and your own body weight. After a simple, choreographed warmup that reminded me a bit of a traditional step class, the tough stuff is divided into three pyramids, during which you alternate between two different moves for each. The pyramids build up from 15 seconds of exercise A, to 30 seconds of exercise B, to 45 seconds of exercise A, then scale back down following the same pattern (45 of B, 30 of A, 15 of B). The moves themselves are mostly variations of squats, lunges and jumps, all involving the step. Helpful modifications are provided—and you’ll most likely need them by the time you hit the third round.


Sometimes it feels like it takes a good half hour to really get going at the gym, but this crazy-intense workout is one I can easily fit into my lunch hour—along with a much-needed post-class shower featuring the changeroom’s provided Kiehl’s delights. Even though the class felt fairly leg-oriented, I was pleasantly surprised to find my upper back was sore the next day, which must’ve been from the crab crawl–like move we did, or perhaps the mini handstands.


Your heartrate will soar as you crush calories, so we love measuring both with a fitness tracker. I’m hooked on the new Fitbit Alta HR because it’s way sleeker than most continuous heartrate monitors (plus you can change the bands for a fresh look post-gym). With all of the jumping, make sure you have shoes with grip and cushioning (the Nike Metcons, with sticky rubber toes for traction and firm rubber heels for stability, are a dream for this style of workout), and a sports bra with max support.

Fitbit Alta HR
Nike Metcon DSX Flyknit
New Balance NB Power Bra