Remember the days when working out meant press-ups in the living room, jogging on the pavement or hopping on the stair master at your local gym? Not anymore! Here are 11 workout opportunities for those who want to stay both physically in shape and mentally healthy too.
The cult workout that’s absolutely everywhere, CrossFit is a mix of weight-lifting (the heavier the better), cardio and gymnastics.
Classes usually last an hour and like Flywheel, which you’ll read about later, participants compete to be top of the class. People love this sport so much that there is even an international event called The CrossFit Games.
Available at studios across the US, UK, Canada, Norway, Sweden, UAE and Italy
With a slogan as confident as ‘the hardest workout in the world’, Barry’s is no doubt the cult workout of all cult workouts (again, good kind). The hour-long class was started in 1980’s LA by Barry Jay. Since then, it has become not only a global brand, but a global family.
The class follows a challenging format of half-an-hour running on the treadmills and half-an-hour of weighted circuits, all set to music blaring through the dark studio. Finish off with a protein shake from the Fuel Bar and make sure to take a photo because truthfully, if you don’t Instagram your shake, were you actually even at Barry’s?
Available at studios across the US and Canada
If you’re used to spinning in the bright and grimy back room of your local gym, consider SoulCycle as the exact opposite experience. With sleekly designed studios kept dark during classes apart from candlelight, clients of Soul are invited on a spiritual journey. Inspirational teachers, curated music and 45 minutes of some of the most intense cardio around are why this studio is spreading across the world like wildfire.
Available in Los Angeles
Another spin studio that takes its clients on an emotional and heart-pumping ride through the dark is CycleHouse, LA. Although it may seem similar to Soul at first, the level of physical dedication required feels higher at CycleHouse, probably because riders are never without at least 30% resistance on their bikes. Plus a portion of all class payments goes to feeding the homeless in Downtown Los Angeles, meaning your workout is for more than just your own good.
Available in the US and UAE
Flywheel takes the familiar spinning format and kicks it up a notch by turning it into a competition. Riders’ speeds are calculated as they go and shown in real time on a screen, so you can push yourself to race to the top of the class.
As daunting as this may sound, it adds to the sense of community that makes all of these classes so amazing. And if you really don’t want to share your stats, don’t worry, it’s optional.
Lacey Stone Fitness
Available in New York City and Los Angeles
Celebrity trainer and influencer Lacey Stone is about as inspirational as they come. Aside from teaching at Flywheel, she also runs her own intensive two week, one month and eight week bootcamps, which focus on hard work, eating right and being good to people. You will laugh, cry and sweat like never before.
An amazing element of Lacey’s camps is that she personally checks in with each participant every day throughout the duration of the programme, keeping them focused and on track.
Available at studios across the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, Sweden, Egypt, UAE, Lebanon, Australia, Hong Kong and the Philippines
Taking Pilates to a whole new level, founder Sebastien Lagree introduced his specially designed fitness method back in 2001 in West Hollywood. Now, it’s everywhere! With classes lasting between 25 and 45 minutes depending on the studio, this workout is intense, effective and trusted within the film and modelling industry to get clients tight and right, exceptionally fast.
Available at studios across the US
Taking the yoga craze to a new level, CorePower Yoga is the largest privately held chain of yoga studios in the US. With 170 locations across the country, CorePower is welcoming, convenient and a killer workout to boot.
Instructors motivate and push students in a series of classes including CorePower Yoga, Yoga Sculpt, Hot Power Fusion and more.
The Class by Taryn Toomey
Available in New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver
Described on their website as a ‘65 or 75-minute cathartic movement experience,’ The Class by Taryn Toomey is more than just physical exercise, it is also an incredible release for the mind. The goal of the program is to get students to witness their discomfort and how they react to it, thus allowing them to break past any resistance to that discomfort and become stronger beings both externally and internally.
Available in Los Angeles and Cleveland
For those who want all the intensity in half the time, Rise Nation classes are only 30 minutes. That said, they will be some of the most physically challenging moments of your life as you will be asked to climb to new heights. The class takes place entirely on a VersaClimber machine, which means you basically stay in a squat for the entire half hour.
A dark room (see the trend here?), neon ceiling lights, music and great instructors ensure a challenging but uplifting experience.
Available in Los Angeles
Spoken with love, this has to be the most LA workout ever. The ‘class’ meets on Sundays at Hollywood’s Runyon Canyon, and is led by four self-proclaimed bros. For no charge, you can book this ‘physical awareness session’ that includes hiking, breathing, meditating and generally hanging out. They call it a ‘Public Walk & Talk’.
In the team’s own words, ‘Everyone in the Wildfire Initiative comes to discover their magic. The sh*t that’s hidden beneath limiting beliefs. Come join us.’
You may think this sounds crazy, but many a cult-workout dream was made of this.
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