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What is it?

A one-hour studio class that borrows from real-life firefighter training and incorporates hoses, buckets, ropes and weights. No smoke, plenty of mirrors.

How hard is it?

Think one-alarm to three-alarm, depending on how hard you push yourself. Although everyone follows the same circuit, trainer Steve Darling puts out a selection of weights at each station and there's no rule on how many repetitions must be completed.

What does it work?

This is total body conditioning with emphasis on legs, chest and back. Aerobic bursts interspersed with a variety of functional exercises ensure heart rates stay up. Rests? Not on Mr. Darling's watch.

What are classes like?

Surprisingly low-pressure. Mr. Darling patrols the studio but behaves more like a coach than a drill sergeant.

Who's taking it?

Expect a pretty even ratio of men to women. Many come with buddies and return week after week; others can't take the heat (metaphorically speaking).

Sign me up!

The Extreme Fitness Firefighter Workout is offered at the Toronto Bloor Street location. Visit for more information.

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