It’s been about three months since I’ve joined ClassPass, and my life hasn’t been the same since. Three or four times a week, I set aside at least 45 minutes to go to a workout class. I’m discovering more about myself and what I’m capable of, my city, and all the wonderful ways there are to get my fitness fix. I haven’t been monitoring my weight all that much nor have I been taking selfies during my journey, but I’ve been seeing fantastic results and have been feeling the best I have about my body and my health.
Although there are so many great studios I’ve visited and classes I’ve taken, I wanted to show some love for more than a few that I’ve enjoyed exceptionally. Whether you’re a fitness noob or well-seasoned in the fitness sphere in the Bay Area, I highly recommend checking these classes and studios out for an optimal workout experience. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve tried any of these classes or visited these studios for yourself too, and if there’s a class or studio you love that’s not on my list, let me know because I’d love to check it out for myself!
And if you’re tired of your regular gym membership, come and join ClassPass to get unlimited workouts for one low price in the best boutique fitness studios in town!
Total Body Burn @ Burn SF
Multiple Locations (I go to the Hayes Valley studio on 1632 Market St)
If you want to get your cardio, toning, and Pilates all done in one session, Burn SF’s full-body killer workout is for you! You will be drenched in sweat during this 55-minute class, but you’ll never get bored. You can’t get too comfy though: For a few minutes, you might feel cool and collected by lying on your back and working your legs on the springboard, then you’ll go straight into a few reps of heart-pumping cardio exercises. You’ll work a lot with a couple of sets of light weights too. There’s no doubt that you’re burning calories and adding definition to your body when you take this fun and dynamic workout class. Burn SF has multiple locations in the Mid-Market, Russian Hill, Inner Sunset, and Mission neighborhoods, so you’re bound to find one near you or along your commute. They are also expanding to other parts of the Bay Area with studios set to open in Oakland and Saratoga real soon.
YuFit @ YuBalance
3026 24th Street
Become your own machine. pic.twitter.com/EreOqNp8CL
— YuBalance (@YuBalance) February 11, 2015
Running can be a drag for some of us, but that doesn’t mean you should skip your cardio. You will embrace that cardio when you take the YuFit class at YuBalance in the increasingly popular Mission District. The high-intensity workout focuses on intervals of mat exercises and routines incorporating weights, resistance bands, and other props. While the workout is not high-impact, this is another class where you can expect to sweat it out! But no worries: At the end of the class, you will smooth out all the kinks in your body through foam rolling. Enrollment is limited to eight people per YuFit session, so be sure to register early for your spot. The small class size is excellent for receiving personalized instruction in a group environment.
Power Pilates – Reformer @ Mint Studios
766 Brannan Street
There are a few forms of Pilates out there and if you’re a newbie, the horizontal reformer can be pretty intimidating. But the kind ladies of Mint are ready with a helping hand and you’ll familiarize yourself with the equipment quickly. Pilates focuses on small, controlled movements and breathing to help you strengthen your core, develop long and lean muscles, increase your flexibility, and prevent injuries. You’ll move on the carriage with the springs (and stay on without them) to sculpt your arms, legs, butt, and abs. You will feel constantly challenged as you change positions and work different parts of your body, and prepare yourself for some killer planks and crunches! These small group classes fill up quickly, and it’s easy to see why once you experience how intoxicating this workout truly is. On another note, Mint Studios is one of the most gorgeous fitness studios I’ve stepped into in San Francisco. This SoMa jewel is clean, feminine, and aesthetically pleasing. However, don’t be fooled by the interior: This workout itself will kick your ass to work!
Avant-Barre Signature @ Avant-Barre
592 3rd Street
Barre is my favorite form of fitness, and this is the best that it gets in the city. This posh light-filled studio near AT&T Park has a trendy electropop playlist to push you through their addicting and challenging class and incredible instructors to boot. Class enrollment is kept at a minimum and the instructors will encourage you all the way and actively work with you on improving your form and posture and in learning the exercises. You will lengthen, strengthen, and tone all the muscles in your body while raising your heart rate in a tough yet graceful dance-inspired workout, and in a setting that’s intimate and very supportive.
Krav 1 @ Krav Maga San Francisco
1455 Bush Street
Krav Maga is more than a workout: It’s a discipline, and you’ll learn invaluable skills you may have to use in today’s insane world. Krav Maga means “Contact Combat” in Hebrew, and it is the official self-defense system utilized by the Israeli Defense Forces and Israeli Police and Security Services. More than 350 U.S. law enforcement agencies have also adopted this system, and you can learn it too. Krav 1 is the entry-level class in the Polk Gulch training center, which should be taken as many times as you feel comfortable with before proceeding to more advanced classes. You start with a 10-15 minute warmup and stretches, then learn about fighting stance and other fundamentals. There are usually about three basic moves and a combination you learn and practice with a partner. You’ll learn about the damage you can inflict on an attacker using your hands, elbows, knees, legs, and by shifting body weight. Krav Maga is an amazing way to build strength and stamina, and essential to learn for protecting yourself in any scary real-life situations.
Cardio Dance @ RAE Studios
414 Mason St, Suite 705
This Union Square studio may be small, but this dance workout packs a huge punch. After warming up, you will follow your instructor along to one routine, where you will go over a step-by-step breakdown and dance the whole thing a couple more times. After that, you’re just dancing back-to-back across the floor without step-by-step instruction for almost a good hour before you cool down. Despite taking a few dance classes in my high school and college years, I’m definitely still a bit of an uncoordinated spaz, so this is the kind of dance class that’s actually good for me and will be good for you if you feel the same way about you! Just think of it as a glorified aerobics class. Even if you’re not the greatest dancer in the world, how could you not feel good after doing choreographed moves to tunes like Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off,” Jessie J/Ariana Grande/Nicki Minaj’s “Bang Bang,” and Katy Perry’s “Roar”? Check out the class in action below!
WH Smart Rhythm @ Wheel House
1 Embarcadero Center
The Wheel House takes spin (indoor cycling) classes to a whole new level with state-of-the-art equipment, gorgeous mood lighting that changes with the music, energetic instruction, and a pulsating playlist containing the hottest top 40 hits and cool dance mixes. You play around with resistance, sprinting, and climbs in this 45-minute workout. With the incorporation of SmartBells (A two-handed grip weight), you’ll also ensure that your upper body and arms are getting as much of a workout as your lower body is. When you’re finished, recuperate and nourish your body post-workout with a generous selection of free snacks! The studio’s location near the busy Financial District makes it simple to sneak in a workout before or after the work day or during a lunch break.