While many of us start the year motivated to lose weight, get in shape, and feel better, just 64 percent of New Year’s Resolutions make it past January, according to forbes.com. By March, many people feel unmotivated, tired, and discouraged by flagging fitness goals. To avoid this common pitfall, try shaking up your routine—doing something completely new is a sure-fire way of keeping workouts interesting and challenging. Why dread your workout, when one of these North Shore fitness studios or clubs can offer personal attention from instructors, and the chance to meet people, learn new skills, have fun, and get fit?
TITLE Boxing Club, North Andover, Danvers, and Saugus
A Power Hour at TITLE Boxing Club is more than just a fitness class; it’s an education in “Boxology,” a concept created by TITLE to describe the club’s instructive approach. Kenny Greer, who owns TITLE locations in Danvers and Saugus, explains, “Boxing is a sport, not just a way to exercise. We teach our members how to stand and how to move, not just to maximize their workout, but to develop their skills and their technique.” The difference between traditional boxers and TITLE members? At TITLE, your opponent is one of the club’s 64 boxing heavy bags.
A typical boxing or kickboxing class lasts 60 minutes, although Greer offers intense “championship classes” and 30-minute express classes. Each session incorporates a 15-minute warmup, eight rounds as in a standard boxing match, and a cool-down period that works the abdominals and stretches the muscles. Instructors “demonstrate, motivate, and engage with club members during the classes,” says Greer. That’s what sets TITLE apart from a typical gym. “We get to know our members and their goals, and encourage them through their fitness journey,” Greer stresses. Members receive unlimited classes, access to the gym during non-class times, and advice and attention from trainers.
TITLE classes are undeniably intense, but also highly customizable. “It’s a go-at-your-own-pace workout,” says Greer. “There are so many different ways to approach each class, and as members take more classes, their skills develop. Either way, you’re burning calories, having fun, and learning a new skill.” Several of the club’s members boast a 100-plus pound weight loss, while others have improved their quality of life and their performance in other sports. Members join on a monthly or yearly basis, and newcomers can try their first class free; for many, one class is enough to get hooked.
We all know the saying, ‘Everything in moderation.’ Well, FitHouse owner Britt Vitello doesn’t buy it. “You know your own body,” she explains. “If everything feels good, I say go for it. You won’t know what you’re capable of until you’re pushed to your limits.”
FitHouse’s approach to fitness is all about pushing limits, expanding what group exercise can do for the mind and body. Signature classes include the House Ride—a 45-minute spin class that incorporates sprints, hills, weights, and a cool down—and the Ride/Row, a killer combination of 30 minutes of spin and 30 minutes of rowing, interspersed with weights, pushups, and other bodyweight exercises. “You won’t get anywhere spinning every day, doing only what’s easy, without incorporating any resistance and strength,” says Vitello. “It’s human nature to settle into a comfort zone,” she adds. “But what do people gain out of staying there?”
Classes place heavy emphasis on teamwork and personal attention from instructors. “I wanted to create group classes that feel like personal training sessions,” says Vitello. “Instructors are right there with you, coaching each person through their workout.” All instructors perform double duty as DJ’s, creating playlists that motivate and feed the energy of the room.
In addition to their signature spin and row classes, FitHouse offers personal training, boot camps, and workouts that target different muscle groups like core and arms. Clients have the opportunity to book individual classes or purchase a monthly unlimited membership—a great prospect for FitHouse devotees who attend class daily.
barre n9ne, Andover, Woburn, and Danvers
If you’re looking for a fun, safe workout with a big fitness payoff, barre is the way to go. In the words of barre n9ne owner Tanya Croteau, barre “combines elements of ballet, yoga, and Pilates… Participants use light weights for upper-body work and the ballet barre for lower body. Your abdominal muscles are engaged throughout the workout and class typically ends with a series of relaxing orthopedic stretches to lengthen and lean out the muscles you worked.”
Croteau knows exactly how to construct a full-body workout that can be tailored to any fitness level. The studio’s signature class is their barre n9ne method, which incorporates plyometric exercises and light hand weights. Other offerings include barre classes fused with cardio, High Intensity Interval Training, and Tabata. As a young mother of two, Croteau also specializes in classes for new moms; the studio’s baby barre classes allow mothers to safely incorporate their young babies into their exercise routines using slings or baby carriers. The Danvers location also offers free babysitting for children ages one through five on Wednesdays and Fridays, and Croteau hopes to expand this program to the Woburn and Andover locations in the future. Also unique to barre n9ne are their virtual classes; out-of-state or homebound clients can take a live class taught by barre n9ne’s qualified instructors over Skype.
Barre n9ne offers a variety of special packages that enable all clients to customize their barre experience. Bridal challenges and deals for new moms are always available, and the signature 60-day Challenge offers participants the opportunity to shed pounds and inches with personal support and measurements from instructors and other participants.
New to the North Fitness Scene:
Become Fitness, Methuen
Methuen’s Become Fitness combines the best elements of a gym and a fitness studio; for a very reasonable monthly rate, members have access to the facility’s wide range of cardio and weight machines as well as an impressive variety of classes. “We encourage our members to try everything we offer; it helps them build a balanced workout routine,” says owner Brian McInerney. In addition to more traditional classes like yoga, Zumba, and spin, Become Fitness offers PiYo, a dynamic class that combines the core activation and intensity of Pilates with the mind-body connection of yoga. Become Fitness has also pioneered its own method, called Burn, that encourages participants to develop strength and endurance using bodyweight and plyometric exercises.
Unique to Become Fitness, the Team Training program offers members “personal training in a group setting, that’s much more affordable than a one-on-one session,” McInerney explains. Four tiers of difficulty ensure that anyone can join despite their initial fitness level; participants work through strength, aerobic, and core activation exercises with the help of instructors and team members. “You can join as an individual or come in a large group,” says McInerney. “People get to know each other and progress together, forming their own teams as they go along.”
The gym’s Foundation 1 program extends the same level of support and engagement to new members; “Every member can sit down with our Personal Training Director for a conversation about their goals, and a movement analysis that helps identify their weaknesses and strengths,” McInerney explains. Creating a welcoming community is essential for Become Fitness; he adds, “That’s really what separates us from a typical gym.”
Miami Fitness and Lifestyle, North Andover
Amy Fournier is a native of the North Shore, although her career in fitness has spanned the East Coast. In Miami, Fournier trained with the creator of the cutting-edge Vixen Workout that features prominently in her recently opened Andover studio, Miami Fitness and Lifestyle. “Vixen Workout is a sexy, fun hip-hop dance workout that aims to empower women,” says Fournier. “The goal is to make you feel like a performer onstage.”
In addition to Vixen Workout, Fournier offers dozens of workout styles that are new to many on the North Shore. POUND Workout incorporates cardio and strength moves with drumming motions synchronized to music. From Zumba to barre to Pilates fusion to yoga, belly dancing, and boot camps, there’s something for clients of any age and any fitness level. “I wanted to combine all these specialty classes into one studio,” says Fournier. “Part of my job is to find the newest awesome workout crazes and bring them to the North Shore.”
For Fournier, the lifestyle element of her studio is just as important as the fitness. “There’s so much more to health than exercise,” she explains. “At my studio we address the whole person.” Miami Fitness and Lifestyle offers nutritional coaching, social events, monthly mixers, workshops with local craftspeople, and classes that encourage interpersonal connection. “I feel there’s a strong need on the North Shore for a studio that enhances the social and emotional well-being of the community. My goal is that everyone who comes to Miami Fitness and Lifestyle will feel supported, connected, welcome, and safe.”
Miami Fitness and Lifestyle’s app makes it easy to book single classes or package deals; the studio also offers an unlimited monthly membership.
WheelHouse Indoor Cycling Studio, Andover
Wheelhouse is the North Shore’s newest indoor-cycling studio in the heart of downtown Andover. “We pride ourselves on focusing on one thing, and doing it well,” says owner Jennifer Quinlan. “You are guaranteed to leave your 45-minute class feeling accomplished, motivated, and of course, sweaty! Our instructors are some of the best in the business and the passion and energy they have for their craft shines through in every ride they lead.” Whether you are just starting out or have been cycling for years, you will benefit from rides at WheelHouse. They offer a packed schedule with lots of options in terms of time slots. Featuring a dimly lit studio, brand-new bikes, and heart-pumping music, WheelHouse is sure to make an addict of you. Oh, and the first ride is free!