Gone are the days of going to the gym and doing your own mundane routine. More recently, boutique classes and gyms are all the rage and quickly growing in cities all over the world. With this new trend comes some confusion and questions from avid gym-goers.
Why are boutique classes growing in popularity?
Boutique classes are the latest trend in fitness, not only because of their intense calorie-burning routines – but also because of their fun twist on traditional routines. Certified trainer Rui Li explains boutique classes as, “a sign that not only are more people becoming interested in fitness, but that it is becoming a bigger part of their lives. As a result, the classes people choose must be mentally stimulating and meet more social and emotional needs.” A workout is no longer only for your fitness, but also for socializing and getting out of the house or office. Workout routines no longer have to be the same boring regimen, but can expand into an exhilarating, fun time with friends and music. Chief Program Officer at Yoga Six Katie Brauer explained that the teachers at these boutique studios and classes are more “passionate and experts in their respective subject areas, which elevates the experience for participants.”
Which type of class is best for me?
Boutique classes have benefits from both social and fitness perspectives. Due to the complexity of such a personal, intensive class, there are a few common classifications that we can categorize these classes into. Fitness and nutrition coach Rob Arthur explains how different types of classes work for different people. The classes vary on schedule, budget, and fitness goals. Find out which one is best for you:
1) One-on-One Personal Training
“With one-on-one personal training, the client will get personal instruction and detailed feedback, as well as the chance to ask their coach as many questions as possible. However, the client may not have the chance to form a bond with other clients, as they will be working on their own, and there’s also the possibility of a poor match between the trainer and the client. Finally, one-on-one personal training may be a bit harder to schedule and be more costly than the other options. This format might be best for those who are completely new to training and would benefit from having a set of eyes on them at all times, as well as a coach to ask questions to and check-in with throughout the entire session. This also might be ideal for competitive athletes trying to take their performance to the next level.”
2) Semi-Private Personal Training
“Semi-private personal training is often run with a single trainer leading between 3 and 6 clients through separate programs in a single session. Clients will still get detailed feedback from the coach, but may be left unwatched for a minute or so at a time while the coach assists the other clients. Additionally, the client may not be able to ask as many questions as they might during a one-on-one session. Clients in a semi-private setting, while not technically working out together as a group, do get to know one another to a greater extent than if they’d enrolled in one-on-one session. This format may be best for those who want personal attention and customization based on their goals but don’t necessarily need a set of eyes on them at all times or a coach to speak with throughout the entire session. This format is usually a little bit easier to schedule and a little bit more affordable than one-on-one training.”
3) Group Class Instruction
“Group classes are run by one or several coaches, coaching anywhere from five to fifteen clients through a single workout routine. While the clients may rotate through various workout stations and may or may not have those stations modified by the coaches to suit their ability level, the clients generally all go through the exact same workout. The amount of personal attention given to each client will likely range widely from one facility to another. Group classes often have more of a sense of community, as participants typically go to the same sessions throughout the week. Again, this will vary from one facility to another. This option may be easier to schedule and will likely be the most affordable of the three formats. This format may be best for those who are looking just to incorporate some movement and exercise into their lives but aren’t necessarily concerned with any specific goals.”
Which Workout Should I Try?
With such a popular trend comes an overwhelming amount of choices. Here are some details on a few of the best classes:
1) HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
Li suggests HIIT as a great workout option.
“Different studios offer different ways they approach this form of training,” she says. There are classes everyone can find enjoyable. One great studio with different class options (depending on your intensity level) is Row House NYC. Eric Von Frohlich and Debra Strougo, co-owners and founders, explain that this studio “offers famously effective group classes combining cardio and strength training with authentic crew rowing techniques (and a great soundtrack) in one smart, highly efficient workout. [It allows] anyone and everyone a uniquely efficient, low-impact, high-cardio, full-body workout in 50 minutes.”
2) Muay Thai Boxing
Martial arts has been gaining popularity over the past years, which is increasing demand for classes such as Muay Thai Boxing. Li explains the class as, “an intense conditioning workout as well as an effective way to build confidence, self esteem, and coordination.”
Barre is great “for people who want to improve their flexibility and develop a long and lean appearance,” explains Li. Pure Barre is a great option for a studio focused solely on barre, and offers a variety of classes for people of all levels of experience.
4) Pole Dancing and Aerial Silks
Rooted in acrobatics, both pole dancing and aerial silks are gaining popularity as a great workout. Li further explains that “they teach strength, balance, and confidence, and have a tremendous fun factor.” Tease Studio is located in Denver, Colorado and offers a variety of acrobatic classes.
Yoga Six is an example of a great studio with plenty of class offerings (such as power yoga and hot yoga), located in various locations throughout California and the Midwest. “At Yoga Six our students enjoy being greeted by name and seeing friends in the studio,” explains Katie Brauer, Chief Program Officer of Yoga Six. These classes have an intimate feel and social atmosphere that contribute to the effectiveness of the workout.