Portland isn't really into big box gyms. But we are big fans of local sweat spots. From yoga to boxing and running to strength training, we've rounded up the best of the best. Time to get after it.
Unroll your yoga mat and prepare to sweat — a lot. A CorePower session isn’t your average yoga class. These flows, many of them in rooms heated to between 85 and 103º, combine a series of traditional yoga moves meant to increase your heart rate and build some serious strength. And once you've pushed yourself through to the end, you'll leave feeling rejuvenated and really, really sore.
This is the workout for people on a tight schedule. With a new circuit starting every three minutes, it’s easy to swing by 9Round in the Pearl District (they also have locations in neighboring Lake Oswego and Beaverton) and knock out a 30-minute, full-body workout. Added perk? The classes change daily, to keep your muscles guessing.
Whether you’re into mat pilates, Reformer Pilates, bootcamp-style sculpt classes, TRX, or gentle yoga flows, Studio Blue has something for you. Plus, this workout spot prides itself on being a person’s “third place”, a community where people know each other by name. Really, if the class selection doesn’t pique your interest, we think the community atmosphere at this Northwest studio will.
Each class at Firebrand Sports in the Pearl District and Lake Oswego presents a new type of challenge. The high-energy Lagree classes are a blend of resistance, endurance and cardio while their Triple Threat workouts are 45 minutes of cardio-heavy circuit training movements meant to get your heart rate up and your muscles burning. Any fuel left in the tank? Join one of their rowing classes — just maybe don’t schedule it for the same day.
Prepare for shaky limbs and sore muscles following a workout at barre3. While these sweat sessions may not look intimidating from the outside looking in—trust us—the combination of these low-impact, high-intensity exercises is no joke (we speak from experience). Even better, this boutique studio's workouts are structured around a series of movements that are the perfect remedy to a day spent slumped over a computer or stuck driving in a car. Bonus: the physical benefits are as plentiful as the mental ones. Check it out for yourself at one of their multiple Portland-area locations.
Orangetheory has the best of it all — a community atmosphere, class variety, the flexibility to move at your own pace, and the peer motivation to push yourself. The idea behind this concept is you train for 60 minutes at a certain intensity and reap calorie-burning benefits long after the workout is finished. Yeah, sign us up. New locations are popping up all over Portland, so you should definitely be able to find one close to you.
Portlanders are big fans of homegrown everything, and that idea extends to their gyms. The Circuit (with locations in Northeast Portland, Southwest Portland, and Tigard) was built by and for the people who use it. It’s a workout that requires some serious upper-body strength and just as much persistence. And with 70 to 90 new climbs each week among the three gyms, plus access to yoga and fitness classes, there’s little risk of getting bored here.
This cycling studio in Northwest Portland promotes more than a good workout — it encourages a positive headspace. The concept's owner is dead set on promoting community-focused vibes where everyone feels welcome — it's a goal we're convinced she's achieved. Join one of BurnCycle’s cycling classes at their Pearl District or Lake Oswego locations for an incredibly intense, HIIT-style rise and all the positive energy.
Studio X in SE Portland has a little bit of everything. Bootcamp? Check. Cardio conditioning? Yep. Yoga? You got it. Not matter if you show up for open gym are sign up for a class, you’re going to experience an muscle-building workout that focuses on the fundamentals. And here, they keep classes small, so you’re never going to be wondering, “Am I doing this right?”. Drop-ins are welcome, but you may want to think about a reservation because classes fill up quick!
You won't find a more tight-knit group of fitness-minded folks than at Fulcrum Fitness on West Burnside, NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., and in Hawthorne. Here, they're all about lifting each other up, making sure no man or woman is left behind. So whether you're sweating it out in one of their small group sessions (which max out at four people) or swinging kettlebells and crushing burpees in one of their team training classes, you'll have a roster of encouraging instructors and an unmatched community helping push you to the end. Fitt Tip: if you're taking classes at their West Burnside location, they offer a fusion workout that combines barre, cycling, and yoga for a full-body burn you'll feel well into the next day.
If there's one thing you won't find at this heated yoga studio in Downtown Portland it's slow flows set to the sounds of melodic and soothing sounds. Instead, they're kicking things up a notch, offering a signature, music-driven yoga class that's focused on getting your heart pumping and your body sweating in a room heated to 98º. But that's just the start. In addition to their Fuel Flow workout, they also offer a handful of fusion classes that integrate strength training exercises, small hand weights, and plyometrics with traditional yoga moves. So if you're looking for an amped up version of your everyday yoga practice, this is the place.
**Updated May 2019.