Keighty Gallagher, founder of Vancouver’s Tight Club fitness crew, is a no-holds-barred personality who hates running and loves beer. Prior to starting one of her “Booty Luv” classes, she asks the crew, “If you were a bedroom, what colour would you be?” Answers range from purple and black to stark white and brick. It’s a nice insight into the personalities you’ll be sweating with over the next hour as you bounce from core work to interval spurts to Bosu training. At the end of the session, every face in the room is sweaty and smiling as Gallagher corrals the group for an Instagram photo. The proof is in the picture.
Gallagher’s group mentality stems from her time in the service industry—the Alibi Room alum and former Portland State University track and field star began training co-workers outside before deciding to open her own shop. “I think that’s how it all started,” Gallagher explains. “The whole anti-gym movement has been big in the past few years. People are going to the big box gyms and feeling like it’s not home.”
Tight Club is different in that it’s all about small group workouts. Gallagher works with a rough maximum of 16 people for training in a variety of spaces, including her coach house in Strathcona where she loves to run the alleys or zip over to Andy Livingstone field for a high-intensity speed workout. “I just like to be outside and be in this neighbourhood,” she says. A new studio headquarters will open in Chinatown in the coming year.
To acquaint new recruits with her style of program, Gallagher established the Tight Life, a 21-day challenge that incorporates scheduled training sessions with a nutrition plan developed by Carley Mendes of Keep It Real Food. She also arms participants with Culver City Salads post-workout. “How often do you go for burgers after a workout?” she inquires. “It’s a barrier preventing people from attaining their weight loss goals. In Tight Life, you only eat foods that are real, only one or two ingredients, nothing processed. Each week you get tips and tricks on incorporating foods back in. It’s basically nutrition science for dummies.”
After completing the Tight Life program, you can graduate to regular classes (although anyone is welcome to jump into them from the get go). “We live our lives doing forward things: sitting, running, biking,” explains Gallagher. “At Tight Club we’re doing a lot of isolated movements to strengthen the muscles around your glutes, hips, butt, and core.” And, even though her approach is decidedly different, with new collaborations constantly on the horizon (previous mash-ups include special edition classes and gear with Ride Cycle Club, the Juice Truck, and Lululemon Lab, among others), the feeling at Tight Club is what most new gym members are hoping to get when they sign that dreaded contract: a good crew to sweat with and some actual results.
UPDATE, July 2018: Tight Club now has a brick-and-mortar space on Union Street in Chinatown.
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