We asked SB assistant Anna Marchetti to round up some fitness options in Nashville, since we all know January is a time when many are committing to exercise routines—or at least doing some research to determine where to go. Remember, running shoes and your sidewalk, a greenway or the park work, as well!
The New Year has commenced and so the fitness craze has cast its shadow over our heads. The variety of available workouts is as copious as candy toppings at a fro-yo joint. So why does choosing the “appropriate” fitness regimen seem as momentous as declaring your college major? A trip to the gym should be no more daunting than a trek to the grocery. And it should certainly be more stimulating than purchasing frozen peas. We want to quell your fears about fitness with a comprehensive list of foolproof programs. From interval training to meditation, these programs facilitate the athlete, the klutz, and everyone in between. Bottom line: we see no reason you can’t get fit.
With sunny spring break plans looming, many of us are looking for fast ways to tighten the tush. Few can argue with the effectiveness of interval training, and no one delivers a high intensity workout like Barry’s Bootcamp (Gulch). Outfitted with club lighting and pounding electronic pop, Barry’s combines cardio, strength training, and plyometric movements that will send your heart rate soaring. Still waffling? Barry’s Bootcamp has the stamp of approval from A-list clientele like Jessica Biel.
Speaking of boot camps, some people want class to be outdoors. (As someone accustomed to getting fit on groomed soccer fields, I can relate.) Fortunately, competitive runner Bill Crutchfield (behind Judson Baptist Church) has integrated high intensity interval training with his love of the great outdoors in his Crutch Camp. His four-week, outdoor boot camp employs resistance bands, medicine balls, and body weight exercises to elevate your strength. This four week regimen proves an ample platform for his running plans which can be tailored for any distance. Niki G’s Fitness (5 locations in Williamson and Davidson Co.) also has a month long boot camp program, but her Kettlebell Boot Camp is intriguing: it involves compact, dynamic movements that will have your muscles screaming. Because this routine is low impact, kettle bell classes build endurance while protecting your joints.
Competitive athletes and non-athletes alike will take to Iron Tribe Fitness’ (Brentwood, Cool Springs, Belle Meade and Belmont) cardio and strength courses that build serious endurance. This group exercise studio was founded on the notion of a “tribe of athletes” (think survival of the fittest). Iron Tribe’s cross fit training is based on functional movement, like lifting heavy objects, which includes your own body weight. A month-long introductory 101 class gets you up to speed and keeps you injury free. Squats and box jumps are popular in this action-packed session. Iron Tribe Fitness also offers a kid’s class that involve interval training to build agility and coordination.
Iron Tribe isn’t the only place that considers the kiddos. Marathon Fitness (Marathon Village), has expanded its facilities to include community conscious programs. They offer specialized classes for overweight children and have recently launched widely popular running and walking clubs. All Marathon Fitness trainers have experience with personal training, which is their founding mission. If personal training piques your interest, visit the YMCA, Takes 2 Fitness (3 locations in Nashville, 1 in Brentwood), LEAN, Physiofit (Green Hills), Next Level (near Saint Thomas Mid Town), or STEPS (Hillsboro Village area) for premium personal plans.
Don’t think interval training is the only way to slide into your skinny jeans. Swell Studio (Belle Meade) offers reformer Pilates classes that focus on isometric movements to improve muscle tone and flexibility. The routines are challenging but not damaging. The classes also emphasize the importance of controlled breathing and posture, which builds core strength. In short, this workout leaves you feeling long, lean, and enlivened. Pilates is offered, reformer or not, at Willow Pilates (Green Hills, Franklin), Align (Belle Meade) and Simply Balanced (8th Ave) as well—and when I talked to the other SB staff, they gave all of these places high marks. If you are still inspired to perspire, visit Studio Novo (White Bridge). This LA-based Pilates program is total body conditioning that will leave you absolutely drenched.
Dance has become a forerunner on the fitness front. (I guess you can’t argue with Beyoncé’s backside.) If you’re ready to flow, try Shakti Yoga’s (Music Row) Hip Hop Asana Class. Downward Dog and Snoop Dog? I’ll bow my head to that. And for extra toning with an emphasis on getting that dancer body, consider working each muscle group to the point of exhaustion at a barre class. The Bar Method (behind Harris Teeter across from Saint Thomas) delivers a muscle toning workout in 60 minutes and offers beginner, mixed level and advanced classes. These classes improve posture, flexibility, and muscle tone. And we always feel pampered, as their studio feels like a spa with an uber-cushy carpet and locker room. Pure Barre (Green Hills, Brentwood) offers 55 minute workouts, including a warm up and a cool down (a welcomed stretching segment after serious tightening) as energizing music helps get you through this hard core class (but yes, all levels of fitness are accommodated!). The ballet barre is a tool to foster balance and posture, but don’t let it tease you into thinking this class is kid stuff.
Sometimes, less is more. That certainly holds true for exercise and its effects on our longevity. After years of competitive sports, I have come to cherish meditative movement. Forget the grunting and pounding and treat yourself to Sanctuary Yoga (Green Hills), known for a variety of yoga classes (including Vinyasa, Dharma, pre- and postnatal and more) has a loyal following. Their Candlelight Flow class is the ultimate way to unwind. Steadfast and True Yoga is another favorite that promotes wellness from the inside out. Their classes, which include Vinyasa, Ashtanya, and Hatha yoga, are strengthening and restorative. But when I need a respite from the freezing temps, I turn to Hot Yoga Plus and Bikram Yoga for some serious sweating. If you don’t fancy sun salutations, try a Hot Box (Gulch) class, a heated hour of punching, kicking, and jumping that will have you soaked.
For small, boutique classes that include spin or heart thumping, weight hoisting, burpee jostling and more, we’ve enjoyed each class at Krank (Green Hills), as well as Results (Music Row). Their instructors expertly step you through high intensity, calorie-burning workouts.
But these fitness options overall aren’t cheap. My post-grad pocket book is always grateful to the Coleman Community Center (Thompson Lane) for affordable fitness. The b. fab. fitness class on Tuesday nights there is just $3! And I can’t get enough of McCabe Center’s (Sylvan Park) classes, also priced at a whopping $3! And, if $5 Zumba gets your heart pounding, check out Barefeet Studios (Berry Hill).
Looking for nutrition and fitness together from one studio? From the studios listed above, Iron Tribe, Marathon Fitness and Align all incorporate nutrition couching into their program. Align also incorporates an entire wellness program: think Reike, yoga, massages and more.
Whether you seek a marathon medal or a sculpted midsection, these studios have something to offer everyone. So lace up! Fitness is in your future!