Ask someone whether they would rather be rich or thin, the answer should always be both. The truth is that getting skinny isn’t cheap and the prices for the hottest group fitness classes today are almost as high as the amount of calories burned. Group fitness classes are motivating in a way working out solo just isn’t because when you exercise alone, no one is there to give you the kick in the butt you really need to get moving. When you are alone, there is no accountability. Group fitness classes are designed to help you have fun while getting fit. A really good class should have the atmosphere of a super cool party you really want to go to.
Anyone can find a fitness class to suit their individual needs and skills. From cardio, to cycling, dancing, weight training, yoga and toning or a combination of any one of these, there is truly something for anyone. Furthermore, the group fitness craze is going strong worldwide. Getting in shape isn’t just for New York socialites or Hollywood celebrities; many of the studios listed here have locations throughout the U.S., as well as internationally.
While all of these classes are expensive, please note that the cost often varies by location. Some of these boutique fitness studios offer monthly memberships and package deals, so while you might have to shell out an arm and a leg to lose your gut, you might have enough left over for a new pair of sneakers.
10. CoolHot Yoga’s Anti Gravity Yoga: $25
On a recent episode of the Bravo Television Show, Millionaire Matchmaker, Patti Stanger and her own boyfriend take an Antigravity Yoga class at Cool Hot Yoga in Calabasas, California. According to Ms. Stanger, Anti-Gravity Yoga is “f—ing Cirque du Soleil.” To a certain extent, she has Anti-Gravity Yoga pegged. Poses are held in a fabric hammock for support, some of which are upside down and of course, there is some swinging (but not of the romantic nature) involved. Way more fun and a bit less zen than traditional yoga, Antigravity yoga is challenging, but also incredible for the body, as the inversions help the brain release pleasurable chemicals. It’s hard to not feel good after defying gravity.
9. FlyWheel: $32
Founded by sportscaster and former football player Tiki Barber and Soul Cycle founder Ruth Zukerman, Flywheel is a spin class rooted in competition and athleticism. To enhance that vibe, as well as give every rider a good view of the instructor, the bikes are arranged stadium style. Every bike has a “tech-pack” that displays the speed, resistance, and power output of each rider for the current class, as well as cumulatively. There is also a larger score board where those who opt in, can display their current stats compared to the rest of the class. For $32, this class includes shoe rental, locker and water. Skinny Girl Bethenny Frankel, Jessica Alba and Sofia Vergara all think Flywheel is super fly.
8. Chaise23: $33
While Chaise23 sounds like a trendy restaurant where it’s nearly impossible to get a table, it’s actually a new workout gaining popularity just as fast as it helps you lose fat. A combination of cardio, Pilates and ballet, the main apparatus of the workout is a Reinvention Chair. Traditional Pilates exercises like pikes and teasers are performed with the chair, which is more challenging than a traditional Reformer because the bungee cords above the chair force you to keep your core stabilized throughout the workout. The goal of this class is to achieve a long and lean, but strong and toned, dancer-like body. Chaise23 must make you look better in your clothes because designers Rachel Roy and Stacey Bendet (of Alice + Olivia) are devotees.
7. Soulcycle: $34
Known for being like a spin class on herbal steroids, with a cult-like reputation, Soul Cycle is as expensive as it is spiritual at $34 per forty-five minute class. With cheerleader-like instructors, who motivate everyone to burn as many calories as possible, as well as top notch playlists, soul cyclers are left feeling fit and fantastic. In addition to fat, fabulously scented Jonathan Adler candles are burned during class, which quite honestly, are a necessity to mask the stink of sweat. An A-list celeb favorite, Katie Holmes, Lady Gaga, Jonah Hill, and Bradley Cooper sweat out their souls at Soulcycle.
6. Physique 57: $36
Physique 57 is the preferred workout women who have some of the most enviable bodies in Hollywood, including Kelly Ripa, who has a nearly perfect body, as well as Zooey Deschanel, Lisa Rinna and Parker Posey. Physique 57 is a unique class that combines Pilates, isometrics and ballet. This workout makes muscles long and lean and defines them through exhaustion. With locations in New York, Beverly Hills, the Hamptons and Dubai, you can work out wherever you can shell out $36 per class. However, you can take an online class any place that has an internet connection. There are of course also DVD’s.
5. The Bar Method: $37
The Bar Method sounds like a way to get drunk more so than a place to get fit, but this exercise class will make you look so good, you are likely to get picked up at a bar. The Bar Method is based on a combination of Pilates, Yoga and weight training. It is high intensity, so fat is burned, but also low impact, where deep stretching and high intensity movements are alternated. The result is a long and lean, but strong body. There are many franchised locations throughout every region of the U.S. as well as a popular DVD series. Kate Mara, Kristen Bell, Natalie Portman and Olivia Wilde all work out at this bar.
4. Exhale Core Fusion: $37
Core Fusion is based on Pilates, ballet, Yoga and strength training to develop, as the name implies, a stronger core and better body. There are several versions of this class including Core Fusion Barre, Core Fusion Bootcamp, and Core Fusion Extreme. This class is exclusive to the well, very exclusive, Exhale Spa, so when you finish you can reward yourself with a facial or massage, making Core Fusion the most luxurious class on this list. Exhale has locations on the East Coast, West Coast, Mid West and South as well as in Turks and Caicos. DVDS are also available. Heidi Klum and Cameron Diaz credit their cores to this class.
3. Barry’s Bootcamp: $38
Current Vogue cover girl Kim Kardashian can’t be pushed around by anyone. Barry’s Bootcamp combines strength training and interval training on treadmills for a tough workout. But it’s not all work and no play! The party atmosphere makes this boot camp not only make your booty look good, but the disco lights and power playlists also make it super fun to get into shape. Jessica Alba and Sandra Bullock also get drilled at Barry’s. There are locations throughout the U.S. as well as in England and Norway. No matter where you are, you can always get into shape with one of their DVD’s.
2. SLT: $40
Founded in 2011, SLT stands for Strengthen Lengthen Tone. It is, as CEO Amanda Freeman says, “Pilates on Crack.” However, contrary to what the late Whitney Houston said, at $40 per class, crack isn’t cheap. A combination of Pilates and cardio, done on a machine called a Megaformer, you will get whipped into shape. SLT works muscles to exhaustion, but maintains the low impact of Pilates. The Megaformer is a modified Pilates reformer with a sliding platform, resistance bands with bungee cord and adjustable handlebars. While many group fitness classes are geared towards women, SLT is perfect for both sexes. There are nine locations in and around New York City and more coming soon.
1. Pilates: $100
Pilates has influenced many of the classes on this list. Developed by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century, this method , originally called “controlology”, was developed for German veterans who came home from WWI with injuries. After the war was over, Pilates moved to New York, where his exercises became popular with dancers. Today, over eleven million people in just the United States alone practice Pilates, which has a reputation for being equally expensive and affective Reformer classes, which is the most effective way to practice, can cost between $65 to over $100 an hour in most locations. However, if you want to have a body like a dancer or like Cameron Diaz or Megan Fox, you need to pay the price.