Philly’s getting fitter, that’s for sure. Seems like everywhere you look, there’s a new gym, CrossFit box, or yoga/Pilates/barre studio. But with all the dynamic trainers, fusion classes, and 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 to achieve any and all of your fitness goals!
City Fitness is growing by leaps and bounds, and following the success of their enormous Fishtown facility, they’re opening even more locations in the upcoming year. 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 fitfam that makes up Fit Academy. The Brewerytown studio also offers some crazy workouts on the Art Museum steps, in case you crave the outdoors. But no matter where you’re working, the Fit Academy trainers will have you grinning through burpees, sprints, and battle rope.
Iso. Dry-Tri. Base Pace. Splat Points. These terms might sound confusing at first, but a few classes at Orangetheory Fitness (OTF) will have you slinging them around like a pro. OTF fanatics swear by this cross-training, high-intensity workout that utilizes heart rate monitors to maximize calorie-burning and performance. These classes are like the lovechild of traditional workout classes and small-group personal training. With studios in Center City, NoLibs, Wayne, and Paoli, you can sweat up and down the Main Line. Bonus: the instructors make it a point to know everyone’s name, and they’ll give you a personalized shoutout when you’re crushing it.
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 Square studio , 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!
The Rittenhouse favorite heats things up with over ten classes daily. Offering Yoga, Pilates, Piloxing (that’s Pilates + boxing), and YP Fusion (a yoga-Pilates fusion class), PPY allows you to mix it up with just one membership! The studio is known for killer playlists and expert instructors, but especially if you’re aching for some alignment, look no further.
Bow down and get ready to nama-slay at this Queen Village studio, where instructors are known for their themed classes 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.
Megaformers. Slow-twitch muscle fibers. Planks for twenty minutes. Ah, yes, all factors that lead to the exquisite “good pain” felt by Sculpt fans in the best shape of their lives. This Center City staple has a cult-like following, but they promise that Sculpt is not Pilates. Wanna know more? Well, you’ll have to take a class and find out for yourself!
Wanna workout just like your favorite Eagles players? Ploome in Fishtown is the place for you! Their goal is simple — change the world using Pilates. And with classes named Risky Business, Dark Side of the Moon, and Let’s Get Physical, they’ve certainly got our attention. With a combination of exercises using the reformer, stability balls, and foam rollers, the Ploome instructors are ready to make you sweat by any means necessary!
Resistance, rebounding, and Reformers — the three Rs that make Freehouse Fitness on South Street 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.
FBY, overlooking Chestnut Street, is the perfect place to start (or end) your day with a burn. Tucking, squatting, and performing micro-moves with weights that seem light (just wait until you lift them for two minutes straight) will strengthen your core, tighten, and tone your whole body in 60-minute increments.
Shakes and quakes — you’ll be experiencing both during one of barre3’s signature 60-minute classes. Unlike many barre studios, barre3 features wooden floors and encourages patrons to take class barefoot. Rittenhouse’s barre3 studio is huge, with two separate rooms allowing them to offer even more classes. Broken down into warm-up, barre work, and mat work, each class will be just a little different (but every class will leave you sore to the core!). Fitt tip: They offer child care in-house, in case you can’t find a sitter!
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, this Center City studio’s going to keep you racing to the beat. Bonus: Clip-in shoes are included with your class, no extra charge.
Dedicated fans of BodyCycle are affectionately known as “bodyrockers”, and after one class at this studio, you’ll understand why. Whether you’re taking a 45-minute class or toughing out a 90-minute endurance ride, you’ll be rocking out to EDM and house music, tapping back, and knocking out sprints. Zero pretense or expectations — just you, the instructor, and your bike is all you’ll need for one of the best workouts in town!
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 studio (or RHSQ). Instead of racing others, you’re pushing 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.
Across the street, folks may be hoisting liters at the beer hall, but that doesn’t stop the athletes at Novem from sprinting down Frankford Avenue and dropping down for burpees and squats. This CrossFit box and bootcamp studio, nestled in the heart of Fishtown, is a community favorite, and they fancy themselves as “more than a gym”. Newbies and veterans alike will be sure to feel the love, but don’t worry — after a wicked WOD, you’ll also be sure to feel everything.
This brand new studio in the infamous Bok Building is a welcome addition to South Philadelphia. Small group training gives an intimate feel to each class, where trainers 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 rooftop classes, offering some of the best views in town.
CrossFit, powerlifting, and cardio-conditioning can all make you strong, that’s for sure. So Fearless Athletics decided to offer all three in one convenient location (well, locations — we’ll get to that). Get a membership with Fearless, and you’re able to practice in either their Penn’s Landing or South Philly locations. And whether you’re looking to bulk up, make gains, or tighten, tone, and build up your stamina, the friendly folks at Fearless will make sure you achieve your goals!
We’ll keep you up to date on all things health, fitness and local food in Philadelphia.