UPDATED FEB 3, 2020
It seems like everywhere you look, there’s a new gym, CrossFit box, or yoga studio. And with all the spaces to explore, you might be a little overwhelmed. Luckily, we’ve broken down some of the best spots in the city to get your sweat on!
City Fitness is growing by leaps and bounds — they’ve got locations all over the city, and the newest (and largest) locations are officially open in Logan Square and East Market. The pride and joy of City Fitness is their Thrive Functional Training program, promising to train individuals for “the sport of life, whatever that means to you”. Whether you’re trying to feel, look, or train better, Thrive’s combination of plyometrics, strength, and agility exercises will get you there.
It’s 6am; you’re drenched in sweat, you’re breathing heavy, and you look around the studio to see only smiles. No, you’re not going crazy — you’re just surrounded by the fit fam that makes up Fit Academy. This bootcamp, located in Brewerytown, also offers some crazy workouts on the Art Museum steps, in case you crave the outdoors. But no matter where you’re working, the trainers will have you grinning through burpees, sprints, and battle ropes.
Cardio. Strength. Yoga. All under one roof? Sure, seems possible. All within one class? Unheard of! But the folks from Unite Fitness are all about changing the way you exercise, 75 minutes at a time. Whether you’re in Rittenhouse or Midtown Village, the folks at Unite are ready to kick your ass into gear through a variety of cardio machines (rower, treadmill, or bike — choose your own adventure!) and then pump you up with strength exercises. No workout is complete without stretching, which is why they added a 15-minute yoga-style stretching series to the end of every class.
“High-intensity” doesn’t begin to cover what you’re going to be experiencing as you torch calories and push your body to the limit in a RippedPHL class. With heart-pounding music blasting through their Rittenhouse and Cherry Hill, NJ studios, you’ll work in 15-minute intervals running on top-of-the-line Woodway treadmills and pumping out serious muscle-building circuits. Fitt Tip: RippedPHL has some of the best bath/shower products to make sure you leave your workout smelling even better than you did going into it!
Bow down and get ready to nama-slay at this Queen Village studio, where instructors are known for themed classes set to Beyoncé’s greatest hits, as well as other musical divas. But it’s not all about bootylicious bends and bridges. Yogis come for the natural light, the powerful flow, and the pristine space.
Resistance, rebounding, and Reformers — the three Rs that make Freehouse Fitness on South St. the total package! The team at Freehouse believes that fitness should be fun, and their classes definitely know how to bounce, shake, and sculpt your body into shape with cool classes like High Flyer, Bandit, and Groove.
Barry’s Bootcamp has earned an international reputation for its signature HIIT classes for a reason. Turn up the heat (and carefully curated beats) in a red-lit room with high-intensity cardio and floor-based strength work that will have you hustling from the tread to the floor to burn over 1,000 calories in just under an hour. With a different focus on the body each day (for example, Monday is Arms & Abs day), you’ll definitely be coming back for more.
Do you find yourself craving competition? Loud, bass-heavy music, and stadium-seating? Bingo. Flywheel will have you racing your fellow Flyers and checking the TorqBoard (showing the performance of the class, for those who opt-in). And whether you’re motivated by rivalry or merely come to blast calories, the Center City and Bryn Mawr studios are going to keep you racing to the beat. Bonus: clip-in shoes are included with your class, no extra charge.
Emblazoned in bright lights on the wall reads “Find your soul”. That mantra sticks with devoted riders who spend their time and money supporting SoulCycle’s Rittenhouse (or RHSQ) and Ardmore (ADMR) studios. Instead of racing others, you’ll push yourself with motivational speeches from instructors and a set of arm workouts to tone the upper body. While the classes don’t come cheap, the luxurious locker rooms and ample shower space (major key) make the experience feel well-worth the price tag.
This studio in the infamous Bok Building is a welcome addition to South Philadelphia. Small group training gives an intimate feel to each class, where instructors can really focus on form and individualized progress. Kettlebells, pulleys, and rowing machines are just some of the equipment that the trainers use to improve your functional fitness, leaving you feeling positively strong. Plus, you can experience yoga from new heights with their seasonal rooftop classes, offering some of the best views in town.
Cycling meets TRX at Spring Garden's BPM Fitness with their full-body fusion classes. With a focus on form and movement, this workout is designed to target your entire body differently every time. And with hybrid and express class formats to choose from, you can mix it up with TRX straps, battle ropes, sandbags, resistance bands, slam balls, and dumbbells for a high-powered, dynamic workout that will have you absolutely torching calories.
EverybodyFights is one of the numerous boxing gyms to break into the Philly's fitness scene. What sets EBF apart? Well, aside from having pedigree—it was founded by George Foreman III—this warehouse-vibe gym has just about everything you'd need for a complete workout. There's a boxing ring, a row of heavy bags, cardio equipment like treadmills and bikes, rowers, strength machines, squat racks, and even two wooden swings in the lobby (for the 'gram). And with five class types ranging from circuit training and HIIT boxing to treadmill and yoga, this Center City complex will whip you into fighting shape fast.
“Pilates on crack.” That’s what devotees affectionately call SLT in Center City, and yet, they keep coming back for more. And though the enormous reformers and terminology used for the exercises—Scrambled Eggs, Mermaid, French Twist—might seem intimidating at first, after a few classes, you’ll get the hang of it. It won’t get easier, mind you — you’ll just get stronger. Each 50-minute class will leave you totally exhausted, but if you’re like the rest of the SLT family, you won’t be able to stay away for long.
Philly’s very own, homegrown cycling studio has really shaken up the scene, filling the gap between riders that like to compete and those that prefer the more choreographed sessions. Revel Ride has three different styles of classes, themed Rhythm (all about working the moves on the bike), Fight (for those driven by states and scores), and Ride (for those who like a little bit of everything, or aren’t sure what they like!). The studio is conveniently set up on South St., and only six blocks from the nearest Whole Foods, in case all that riding makes you hangry. Fitt Tip: commencing the summer of 2019, look for their seasonal pop-up studio down the shore in Avalon, NJ.
Strengthen your mind-body connection and sculpt your way toward greater balance, muscle tone, and flexibility in Mind Over Matter’s sleek, mirror-lined studio. With yoga, sculpt, and barre classes to pick from, expect to sweat and leave feeling invigorated and stress-free. Classes range from Power Yoga (fast-paced flow) and Barre Fusion (high-intensity barre exercises intertwined with yoga) to Strengthen and Lengthen (a low-impact, functional exercise), giving you enough options to find the workout that’s right for you on any given day.
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