There are a few truths about living in San Francisco: you always need to wear layers, you’re never far from a good burrito—oh, and we have some of the sweatiest workouts in the country (in a good way!).
Many boutique fitness chains have outposts in the city and they’re complimented by homegrown studios for Pilates, circuit training, CrossFit and more. However you want to get your sweat on, you can expect there to be an innovative, challenging, and, above all—FUN—workout.
If you’re a group fitness class junkie, you’ll want to check out Studiomix. Mixing it up on Van Ness Ave., Studiomix offers an unlimited number of classes with their monthly membership fee. We’re big fans of their Body Boom® dance class, TRX Bodyweight Burn, and Kettlebell Sport classes.
If you’ve ever walked past a SoulCycle post class, you know this is a sweaty workout—in all the best ways. Just when you think you can’t push the pedals another revolution, you’ll pick up the weights and go through an upper-body strength series for a full-body workout. With locations in SoMa, Union St., the Castro, PLUS East Bay, South Bay, and Marin, you’re never far from a great workout.
MNTSTUDIO is an oasis of calm in SoMa. Unwind in this beautiful Pilates studio, stretch out on their Reformer machines, and sit back and relax with a free Nespresso afterward. Think you won’t sweat? Their instructors push you until your muscles are shaking in all the best ways.
Whether you’re at their Hayes Valley, Russian Hill, Inner Sunset, Mission, or Oakland location, you’ll get a booty-kicking, sweat-inducing Pilates sesh at Burn SF. Oh, and their Oakland location has a Blow-Dry Bar, so you have no excuses for missing your workout because you’re trying to preserve that good hair day.
Did you recently watch Million Dollar Baby and decide you too want to take up boxing? (It can’t just be us.) Anyway, one of the quickest ways to get a sweaty, exhausting workout in is to slip on some gloves for Hit Fit SF’s boxing classes in the Mission or in Nob Hill. Classes are made for all levels, so you don’t have to feel intimidated if you don’t have know your left hook from your jab.
Keep your eyes open at Orangetheory. You’ll see stats on a board in front of an entire class to hold you accountable and push you to the next level — that’s why we love working out at OTF. You’ll bring your heart rate up on their treadmills, rowers, and TRX and free weight circuits to push yourself to a workout of epic proportions. Their FiDi location is perfect for those who work downtown and want to sneak in a lunchtime workout—or blow off steam after a long day at the office.
Barry’s prides itself on using science to craft the most effective workout, but after you go to class just once, you’ll be a believer too. There are three locations in the city—FiDi, SoMa, and the Marina—and each class has an interval circuit on the treadmill and a strength training circuit on the floor. Plus, we’re also thankful for the Malin + Goetz products in the locker rooms and one of their smoothies as a post-class treat.
If SoulCycle and yoga had a baby, it would be Ritual Yoga (and she’s beautiful). You’ll flow to the beat of the music in this dimly-lit SoMa studio. No need to worry about hanging up your sweaty mat or Yogitoes afterward—it’s all included in your class fee!
Some people have kindly described CORE40 as “Pilates on overdrive”, but CORE40 is not just Pilates—it’s a fusion of traditional Pilates, circuit training, strength training, AND cardio. Anyone who attends one of their classes—CORE40 Full Body, CORECYCLE, or CORECOMBO—is sure to be sore the next day. And there are six studios around the city, meaning you don’t have any excuses to not get to class.
Rowing is one low-impact, high-result way to get sweaty. Don’t wait around for the rower at your gym; instead, head to RowClub in FiDi. They offer traditional rowing interval classes with a mix of core-strengthening exercises sprinkled in as well as a mash-up of bootcamp and yoga classes with a rowing component.
Want to see results in the gym without the protein shakes and supplements? The trainers at Swing will help you reach them. Despite seeming super intense and scary, kettlebells are one of the best ways to improve mobility, build lean muscle, and get lean, all while teaching your body to move the right way. Stop by their Nob Hill location for a class—your body will thank you.
You’re not getting just any bootcamp class at Rogue and Saint in the Mission—you’re getting an elite bootcamp class. Expect drills like lateral runs on the treadmill, balance work, TRX, and even MMA-inspired moves. This is a unique workout that can’t be missed.
Crunched for time? Basecamp Fitness feels you and raises you one sweaty, 35-minute, blood-pumping workout. Each minute, you’ll switch between the Assault AirBike and the mat, leaving your heart pounding and the sweat dripping. The Russian Hill studio also offers amenities like showers with toiletries, towel service, and planned happy hours so you can get to know the Basecamp community.
When you walk into Epic Hybrid Training in SoMa, you might think to yourself, “Wow, what’s the big fuss about?”. Then the workout gets started and the room turns into eight workout stations for 45 minutes of straight-up sweat-dripping fun. You’ll spend 30-60 seconds on each station, which could be anything, really: sandbags, TRX, box jumps, rings, or kettlebells — it all depends on the day.
Ever leave a barre class wondering what muscles you just worked or feeling you didn’t get the best attention you could have? Then you weren’t leaving Dailey Method. Their instructors ensure you are working the muscles in the way they’re meant to move, meaning no strained back or sore knees after class. They have studios in Cow Hollow, FiDi, the Mission, and the Sunset, and each studio has showers and toiletries, meaning you can fit in a class before work, worry-free.
BodyROK’s Megaformer classes will fly by as you work your legs, core, and arms. You’ll leave their Marina or Mission studio feeling like you got in a solid workout—not just a good stretch. They also have cycling and yoga classes, and all their classes are kept small so you get the attention your workout deserves.
Looking for a different workout from the typical cycling, run, Pilates, or yoga? The trek out to Dogpatch Boulders will be well worth it in that case! They have a variety of routes varying difficulty levels on each wall, so you won’t feel limited to one wall whether you’re a beginner or you’ve scaled El Capitan. There’s even a wall for toddlers and kiddos, so you can bring the whole fam for an afternoon of climbing fun.
Throwin’ down the Presidio, San Francisco CrossFit is the box you need to check out in the city. SF CrossFit has some of the best coaches in the country, including their founder Kelly Starrett. Each WOD mixes it up to make sure you don’t get bored—or injured—with repetitive movements. They talk through modifications for each level, so you won’t feel intimidated—or not challenged—by any move during class.
CorePower Yoga has only been in the Bay Area for just over a year, but is making quick work of expanding from Mission Bay to FiDi to the (coming soon!) Marina location. Yoga + light weight training? We’re in love. Their Yoga Sculpt classes are heated and will leave you sweaty, but their locker rooms have showers and toiletries to help you clean up after class.
The Marina’s Body Temp Yoga offers a number of different classes—Hot Power, candlelight yin, foam rolling classes, and Pilates mat—to name a few. Think it’s a little toasty? It is — rooms are heated to around 95-102 degrees using infrared heat. You’ll leave feeling looser, relaxed, and, oh yeah, sweaty.
Don’t let the beauty of Salt SF fool you — you’ll definitely work up a sweat (and then some) at this studio in the Haight. They offer both 60- and 45-minute class options for Barre Fight (a barre-meets-kickboxing class), their 7X7 workout circuit classes, and mixtures of the two. They offer showers, towels for rent, and water for sale.
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