I don’t know why I haven’t written a post about my favorite (and obviously the best) fitness studios in Boston. I get emails from readers all the time asking where they should workout when they come visit. Boutique gyms make is easy for visitors to get in a workout without a gym membership. Up until 2 years ago, there really weren’t many options but our little fitness industry is booming and now gym rats have the option to be studio bunnies and hop around.
With so many options to choose from, here are my favorite studios in Boston in no particular order:
Barry’s Bootcamp, Downtown (Bootcamp)
While yes, I teach here – I also take classes at Barry’s twice a week at least. This class is unrivaled when it comes to getting your ass kicked. A 60-minute combination between treadmill running and strength training on the floor, gives even the most in-shape person a killer workout. While it may sound intimidating, don’t be scared. You control the speed of your treadmill and the weight you use. If you are beginner, try going to a class that is not packed during an off-peak time, like my class at 9 am. All the instructors are great but make sure you try my boss Brian’s class if you want to laugh while you sweat. They also have an awesome smoothie bar with Vega and almond milk! [full review from my first Barry’s class in CA]
I teach Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday @ 9 am. Barry’s Bootcamp is on Chauncy Street near Downtown Crossing T Stop.
Burn Fitness Studio, South End (Bootcamp, Yoga, Spin, Rowing, Kickboxing, Tabata)
Yes, I teach here too but it really is the only one-stop shop for a variety of workouts at a boutique gym that doesn’t require a monthly membership. Power Burn is my favorite class for strength training which is structured like my Damage Control Workout just with 3 total rounds. Jonathan’s spinning classes are challenging and amazing. The yoga teachers are mostly from my favorite Yoga studio (see below) and are all great. They teach sequences that challenge advanced yogi’s but welcoming to beginners too. They are also one of the few studios in Boston with IndoRow rowers! Tabata is challenging and a great workout. Broga Yoga is a new class added to the schedule that features vinyasa-style yoga, body weight exercises and high intensity interval training. Lastly, Core Con (which kicked me ass last week) is a core conditioning class that you do barefoot that is like a combination of yoga, barre and pilates with varying intensities. Try Jonathan’s Power Burn for a challenge 45-minute HIIT/strength workout.
I teach Power Burn on Tuesdays @ 7:15pm and Thursday @ 8 am, Tabata at noon on Wednesday. Burn Fitness Studios is on Columbus Street near Mass Ave in South End.
Recycle Studio, South End & Back Bay (Spinning)
This is the studio that showed me how much I love spinning. I was always so intimidated by the bike – it looked like torture. Recycle Studio makes you feel like you are working out at a dance club. The great music combined with interesting and challenging choreography makes the 45 minutes fly by. Recycle teaches a style that is a total body workout with one or two songs dedicated to arm strengthening exercises using light weights. You don’t need to have shoes that clip into the bikes so if you are just visiting, wearing sneaks works or you can rent a pair. Make sure you sign up in advance though as classes sell out quick! They have added a bunch of new instructors recently but I have yet to take a teacher I didn’t like. For a sure ass kicking, try my girl Emily’s class. Don’t forget to grab a Ripe Stuff green juice after you finish! [read a class review]
Recycle Studio is on Tremont Street and West Canton in South End and Newbury Street in Back Bay near Boston Common which is under renovation! Should be back open this Spring.
Back Bay Yoga, Back Bay (Yoga)
Just like Recycle, BBY is where I fell in love with Yoga. I am a huge fan of their Hip Hop Yoga classes for a good sweaty stretch session that brings me back to center. The vinyasa flow classes are favorites too. I haven’t ventured too much but the schedule offers a variety of styles including Black Light yoga, meditation, Yin & Restorative yoga, Flyin’ vinyasa and more. Classes are only $15, $10 or $5 so this studio is a steal in Boston. If you are visiting, you can rent a mat or bring your own to avoid the $3 or so charge. They sell juice and kombucha as well as cute Spiritual Gangster clothing. All the instructors are really good but try my favorite class, Hip Hop Yoga with Erica Bornstein. I just realized I’ve never fully reviewed Back Bay Yoga on SF!? How can this be… I’ll have to write one soon.
BBY is on Boylston Street in Back Bay near Arlington Street.
Btone Fitness, Back Bay & ‘burbs (SPX Pilates)
If you haven’t tried Pilates using a megaformer, you are missing out. This workout is hard and you would never think it if you just thought it was your basic Pilates class. I love this class as a switch from standard strength training. You are doing basic strength training on top of this torture chamber looking device. It forces you to use your core to balance and strengthens your lower body without using weight but just resistance. Try Claudia or Jodi’s class for a seriously awesome workout! [read a class review]
Btone Fitness is on Newbury Street between Arlington and Berkeley. They have other locations in Wellesley, Sudbury and Lexington.
Exhale, Back Bay & North End (Barre, Yoga)
I was going to Exhale during my marathon training for strength training because I wanted minimal cardio on my non running days. Core fusion was perfect for me. I bought a Gilt package for 10 classes and would go once or twice a week. It was unusual for me not to be sore. If you have been to a barre studio, you know the drill. What I like about Exhale is that they choose their own music (unlike Bar Method) and the class really does feel different each time. It never gets easy. Try Meg Scannel’s Core Fusion class for a sure bet you’ll be sore the next day.
Exhale is on Arlington Street in back Back near Boylston Street as well as in the North End on the Water.
While I don’t go regularly – I do like these studios too and have reviewed them on my blog before!
SoulCycle, Chestnut Hill (Spinning) review
FlyWheel, Back Bay (Spinning) review
Handle Bar, Southie & Fenway (Spinning) review
CorePower, Newton & Cambridge (Power Yoga) review
The Bar Method, Back Bay & ‘burbs (Barre) review
Pure Barre, Back Bay & ‘burbs (Barre) review
Places I haven’t reviewed but have visited or heard good things!
North End Yoga, North End (Yoga, Pilates)
Zone 5 Fitness, Beacon Hill (HIIT circuit) review
South Boston Yoga, Southie (Yoga)
Turnstyle, Cambridge (Spinning & TRX)
The Club by George Foreman III, Seaport (Boxing Gym but has Spin, Yoga, Pilates, HIIT & More)
There are always new studios popping up and I am always trying to visit them! I guess I don’t really review the studios I go to on a regular basis because I’m paying to go there and don’t feel obligated to write a review or I forget that I haven’t! If I get a free pass to a studio, I feel obligated to write a review – which is always honest free or not. The studios listed in the second category are great studios but just are not located ideally for me or are expensive to go regularly.
Disclosure – I get to go to Barry’s and Burn free because I work there but I pay to visit the other studios listed as favorites. I have bought Gilt sales for Exhale, Btone and Back Bay Yoga. Back Bay Yoga has sales all the time, 5 classes for $50.
Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment says
Very cool! Class Pass was just introduced to Austin (where I live) and I am looking forward to checking it out. 🙂
Sarah, I would love a link to a page that shows all the classes you teach!
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West says
I love going to new studios and have bounced around a lot in San Francisco. I’m actually going to Barry’s today! I’d love to try CorePower. Isn’t is awesome how fitness is so much more accessible at smaller places these days and we don’t have to rely on a corporate gym membership? (Although, I teach at some big corporate gyms, and there are benefits to that too!)
I need to go check out some of those studios. My go-to places are Charlestown Yoga (Meghan is my fav instructor!) and Velo-City Studio off of Newbury Street. I have heard great things about North End Yoga and I really want to check that studio out!
Sarah, how open are Barry’s Bootcamp classes to someone with a knee injury who can’t really run? Are there people who just speed walk on an incline? Or should people with knee injuries just avoid these workouts?