The story goes like this… You’re running low on workout inspiration; logging the miles on that dreadmill couldn’t be more mundane; and the weight room just isn’t doing it for you anymore.
We’ve all been there, done that. Moving on. With the crush of trendy boutique fitness places and cooler-than-ever studios and gyms in Houston, it’s never been easier to find far more inspiring destinations for your next sweat sesh. Plus, muscle confusion is a real thing — and changing up your workout equals #gainz in more ways than one.
So, whether you want to strengthen and lengthen, tone and tighten, box and burn, flex and TRX, HIIT and get ripped — or all of the above — there’s a workout for that. And, what’s more, you may even have fun doing it.
Consider this list your #fitspo of the day.
Where: Multiple locations
You better believe we’re starting this list off with an ice-cold beverage. Yoga & Hops held its first class at 8th Wonder Brewery in May 2014 — and the rest is history. Now, you can really nama-stay for a beer.
Where: 725 W. 18th St.
This South Africa import boasts clients in Johannesburg and Cape Town including TV stars, Olympians, supermodels, and more. That's reason enough to try the workout. Need more motivation? SWEAT stands for Specialized Weight Endurance Athletic Training, and the hour-long classes are thought to burn about 1,000 calories with interval training, functional training, core stability work, agility drills, and more.
Where: 1502 Sawyer St., Ste. 107
Always wanted to be a “runner?" Lace up your shoes for these group running classes for all levels that will educate you on proper technique and form while building mental toughness and grit. But, it’s about so much more than just hitting the treadmill here. The studio fosters community with a weekly outdoor social run and also trains and competes together as a team in local Houston races.
Where: 503 Westheimer Rd.
There’s definitely a method to the madness here. The Bar Method’s signature technique claims to be one of the fastest and most efficient ways to reshape the entire body. Precise isometric exercises keep you working in the zone, followed by stretching to lengthen and elongate the area just worked. The result? A graceful, sculpted, and strong dancer-like body as well as improved posture and body alignment. Sign us up.
Where: Memorial, 1014 Wirt Rd.; Montrose, 3115 Allen Pkwy.
Your mat is calling. Answer it at BIG with sweaty, challenging, and empowering Baptiste yoga. Regie Ahmad’s Powerful Flow Jams is an extra-cool way to heat up your Vinyasa practice.
Where: 288 Lake
Want an adventure outside the walls of the yoga studio? Try BIG’s SUP Yoga that was created by Laura Rust, who was the first teacher to bring stand up paddleboard yoga to Houston. The two-hour classes are designed for all levels and include 30 minutes of on-land instruction, 15 minutes of paddle time, and 75 minutes of yoga on the water.
Where: 3334 Edloe St.
One-size-fits-all does not apply at Sculpt. The studio’s personalized approach to fitness is what makes this place unique. Classes like Pilates, interval treadmill, TRX, and Flexline are purposefully small so that trainers can pay close attention to each individual to provide modifications, corrections, and adjustments to maximize results and minimize injury.
Where: Multiple locations.
Pretend you’re on stage in STOMP, or let your inner rock star out, at this cardio jam session inspired by drumming. The rebellious, noise-making classes will have you rocking out and working out to the beat with Ripstix weighted drumsticks. Pound pops up in multiple gyms and venues across the city, so the website is the best place to book your next jam sesh.
Where: 2955 Gulf Fwy.
The largest, friendliest fitness community in Texas — or so EaDo says — this CrossFit place takes pride in being like a family. We’ll let you be the judge. But, what is certain is the impressive facility that includes 30,000 square feet of space for all kinds of sweat-inducing training. That said, they are very supportive of beginners who have no WOD experience. Thirty-minute Quick Fit HIIT classes are also available — with no CrossFit action required.
Where: 3620 Katy Fwy.; 4900 Bissonnet St.
The 50-minute fusion reformer classes here combine both classical and high-intensity Pilates training for a butt-kicking and booty-boosting workout — all to a great beat. The music-driven studio has two locations: The Heights and Bellaire.
Where: 3210 White Oak Dr.; 5310 Kirby Dr., Ste. 101
Approachable, affordable, and community-driven, this donation-based, heated yoga studio honors all yogic styles and philosophies and believes that the practice should be available to everyone. Namaste, indeed. (Oh, and the name comes from Nassim Taleb’s black swan theory of events — Google it.)
Where: 554 Waugh Dr.
Get way out of your comfort zone with pole fitness. It may be one of the hardest “workouts” you’ve ever done — and even more empowering than you thought possible. Level 1 classes are a great place to start as you become acquainted with the pole and learn basic moves, transitions, and dance choreography.
Where: 767 N. Shepherd Dr.
It’s kind of like the best of all workout worlds at this destination gym in The Heights that provides the equipment, classes, and trainers necessary for any type of workout you could want. In addition to performance training and a weight room, the 35,000-square-foot facility has more than 100 weekly boutique fitness classes including yoga, boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, MMA, barre, and more. There’s also a café, pool, sauna and steam room, and an adult sports league. Whew.
Where: 808 W. Main St.
This cute little yoga studio is in a charming house, making it feel like you’re practicing in the comfort of your own home. They also have meditation classes, and their pop-up yoga classes in Levy Park are a great way to bliss out, too.
Where: Multiple locations
Channel your inner Bollywood star at this dance-based, HIIT fitness program, where you’ll spend 55 minutes sweating it out to the powerful drum beats of South Asia.
Where: Woodway Collection, 1343 S. Voss; 2458 Kirby Dr.
The darling of the spinning world, SoulCycle has set up shop in Houston — in the Memorial and River Oaks neighborhoods. And, if you’re wondering if a high-intensity, 45-minute indoor cycling class can really have “soul,” it can. Here, it’s not just about the cardio and strength, it’s a mind-body experience with inspiring instructors, unique playlists, and a vibe-y lit studio.
Where: 3865 Bellaire Blvd.
This place features a triple-threat of spaces with a mat studio, Pilates reformer studio, and TRX studio. In addition to the range of Pilates and TRX sessions, you’ll want to get in on the periodic Yamuna Body Rolling pop-up classes.
Where: Montrose, 1839 Richmond Ave.; Heights, 246 W. 19th St.
FYI, it’s called a “werkout” here. And, with the Sweaty 60-minute and Naughty 90-minute dance-inspired classes like Savage, Strut, Tight AF, Hustle, and Let’s Be Basic, you better believe you’ll be putting in the werk (and maybe even some twerking). There’s something for everyone, with toning and sculpting, dance cardio, high-intensity interval sessions, and more. No dance experience is necessary — but, you may be shaking your booty with the best of them after a few sessions at DHF.
Where: West University, 2294 W. Holcombe Blvd.; River Oaks, 2400 Mid Ln., Ste. 330
Shake, sweat, and burn your way through the low-intensity, high-impact full-body workouts at this studio with moves that promote both strength and flexibility. They set themselves apart from other Pilates studios by using the Lagree Method on the Megaformer 3 that works muscles to complete fatigue in just 45 minutes and burns up to 700 calories in each session. It’s an effective way to sculpt that longer, leaner physique you’ve been going for.
Where: 5757 Woodway, Ste. 150
With a cozy, chill environment and small group Pilates and yoga classes limited to five to 15 students along with semi-private and private options, The Good Space is definitely a good thing. Even better? Owner-instructor Melody Morton’s primary interest and focus have always been connecting the mind and the body through Pilates to transform negative and limiting behavior patterns and self-concepts. So, you may just be getting some bonus inspiration to go with that reformer workout.
Where: 3303 Audley St.
It just sounds beautiful — and it is. This new gem of a gym in River Oaks is almost like working out at a spa retreat — or a modern mansion. The fitness destination has taken its cues from Mother Nature with a sleek design, lush greenery, and garden views to inspire your workout and leave you feeling revitalized. In addition to state-of-the-art equipment, classes include total body workouts, high-intensity Tabata, cardio ballet, yoga, Pilates, cycling and more. There’s even a rooftop deck for sunrise and sunset yoga (naturally).
Where: 1526 Campbell Rd.
Rock on at this indoor rock climbing gym that updates their routes weekly, so you’ll always be challenged on the wall. They also offer yoga, fitness, and boot camp classes that are ideal for shaping up and building a better climbing body.
Where: Four Seasons, 1300 Lamar St.
Kick it at this signature soccer-inspired fitness class that was created by former Houston Dynamo soccer stud Mike Chabala. And, no, you don’t have to be an amateur or professional player to get in on this game — although you will see quite a few of them here. That’s because the TOCA class includes technical training designed to enhance every player’s skill set. But, the SPHERE class is open to anyone, as is the POWA workout that focuses solely on interval treadmill routines and sideline strength training.
Where: Multiple locations
If you’re a barre devotee, you probably already know about this popular method that provides full-body fitness with each session focusing on arms, legs, seat, and core. Although the classes follow the same format, the routines are always different, so you’ll never be bored — nor will your muscles. Locations include The Heights, River Oaks, West U, and Voss Road.
Where: Multiple locations
With seven locations in the Houston-area, YogaWorks makes it easy to downward dog no matter where you live or work. Their mission is to honor your journey towards personal growth and well-being with programs that remain authentic to ancient yoga tradition while embracing diverse yoga styles taught by qualified instructors.
Where: Multiple locations
Want a different twist on barre? How about DEFINE Bounce on a mini-trampoline. It’s just one of the signature workouts at this studio that also features regular barre well as cycle and yoga classes. DEFINE founder Henry Richardson is a native Houstonian who wanted to build a sustainable health and wellness community using a holistic lifestyle approach. Mission accomplished — especially with DEFINE food and juices as well as beauty and wellness workshops as part of the equation.
Where: River Oaks Shopping Center, 2005-D West Gray; Downtown, 802 Rusk St., Ste. 136
Take a “ryde” at this streamlined, boutique studio that boasts custom bikes, cutting-edge technology, and plush amenities. They call it the next generation of indoor cycling that will challenge your body and relax your mind. Sounds like a good reason to go for a spin.
Where: 5570 Wesleyan St.
Rowing is the main focus here, but it’s so much more than you might think. Their signature class, All Body, involves intervals both on and off the rowing machine (the “erg”) to provide a high-intensity, low-impact workout. Plus, there’s a strength and conditioning class, an all-rowing class, and 30-minute express sessions that focus on areas like abs, guns, and glutes.
Where: 10220 Louetta Rd., Ste. 600
Get into the ring — metaphorically speaking — at this kickboxing-themed workout that features nine challenging stations that were developed by a World Champion Kickboxer. It’s only 30 minutes, but the functional, interval, cardio, and circuit training regimens will still kick your butt. Also, you can come to the studio anytime you want — there are no class times. But, a trainer is always available to show you the ropes.
Where: Multiple locations
Orangetheory is the new black, what with 15 Houston-area locations — and five more on their way. If you’ve been curious about the craze, you might as well pop into one of the studios and try the cardio and strength training workout that incorporates the treadmill, rowing machine, free weights, TRX straps, and more. The OTF claim to fame is the after-burn effect that will have you torching calories up to 36 hours post-workout. It’s backed by the science of EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), so you’ll wear a heart-rate monitor during class to help maintain the right target zone to stimulate metabolism and increase energy.
Where: 3939 Montrose Blvd., Ste. A
Timberline began as a personal training studio and still focuses heavily on that component of fitness. But, you can also get in on Pilates, spinning, yoga, boot camp, and other group classes. They also offer nutrition counseling, massage, metabolic testing, and weight loss coaching for a holistic approach to wellness.