Try a different workout in 2017 (Getty Images)
Try a different workout in 2017 (Getty Images)
Try a different workout in 2017 (Getty Images)
Try a different workout in 2017 (Getty Images)


It’s January, and that means most gyms are still pretty packed. But getting a good workout shouldn’t mean being forced to stand shoulder to shoulder with someone’s sweaty body. There are other options.

For those looking to keep up with their New Year’s Resolution; training for a purpose; or simply, looking to keep in shape, there are tons of alternatives to conventional gyms like Equinox, Crunch, or Retro Fitness. Some employ cutting-edge technology to ensure every workout is personalized for the best results, while others are taught by trainers whose clients include professional athletes. Below are six of these unconventional sweat palaces around the country.


Tone House

New York, New York

Head here for the toughest workout around. Only half the group members make it through each class. Seriously, numerous fitness writers have extolled the intensity of Tone House’s workout classes. Founded by former Division II football player Alonzo Wilson, Tone House is designed to push people to their limits while still motivating them. Wilson’s gym does this through competitive classes that pit clients against one another—in addition to “nicer,” team-building classes. Did we mention Nina Adgal, a cover model for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, has been spotted there? More info here.

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The Movement Minneapolis

Minneapolis, Minnesota

This cutting-edge personal and group training gym has an Arthur Ashe–inspired mantra: “start where you are [and] do what you can.” Founder David Dellanave designed workouts to include biofeedback testing, which utilizes electrical sensors to get real-time physiological data for clients. Each session has specific goals, with monthly body measurements to track progress, and is personalized, using the biofeedback testing. But that motto doesn’t mean it’s an easy workout: Coaches push clients through rigorous training sessions using bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, and barbells. Learn more here.

EveryBodyFights by George Forman III

Boston, Massachusetts

Founded by the son of the two-time world heavyweight champion, EveryBodyFights bills itself as a boxing gym but its much more than that. In addition to the fighting and kickboxing classes offered for various experience levels, The Club is known for its signature classes like BoxFIIT, which combines CrossFit, Pilates, yoga, running, and boxing for a full-body workout. Aside from the 30 classes offered daily, EveryBodyFights also has a fully equipped gym floor for those looking for a traditional workout. More info via this link.

The Institute of Human Performance

Boca Raton, Florida

An indoor-outdoor training center catering to pro athletes and the military, this gym is focused on isometric strength, a muscle’s ability to contract and hold its position. Not only is this concept key to muscular endurance, but it’s also helpful in avoiding injuries. Founder and CEO of The Institute of Human Performance (IHP) J.C. Santana trains MMA fighters like Thiago Alves with a technique he calls “touching the curtain,” pushing clients past their limits. Santana limits these grueling sessions to once a week to avoid injuring his clients and allowing them to fully recover. For those looking for an intense session by trainers like Santana, IHP offers personal training, and it also has a membership programs for those simply looking to workout in this inspirational environment. Find out more here.

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Mile High Run Club

New York, New York

This indoor running club is ideal for all fitness levels, from couch potatoes to ultra marathoners. Looking to bring the interval speed training that runners naturally get on mountain trails, Mile High Run Club is a dynamic treadmill workout class founded by triathlete Debora Warner. Warmups begin off the treadmill, but classes are coached by an instructor, much like a spin class. Participants can choose their own speed, but intervals and inclines are guided by the instructor through 45-minute, 60-minute, and 90-minute sessions that end in short strength training sessions. Find out more via this link.

Competitive Athlete Training Zone

Pasadena, California

Here’s a workout tip: train with those who train the best. In Pasadena, that’s Jim Liston, whose clients won 15 medals at the 2008 Olympics. The Competitive Athlete Training Zone (CATZ) plays host to physical therapy and sports performance sessions that employ cutting-edge techniques for targeted goals like speed development and increased endurance. At one time or another, pro athletes such as Antonio Brown, LeSean McCoy, Jimmy Butler, and Andrew Luck have all passed through CATZ to shed some sweat or recover from injuries. Partnered with University of California’s Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, CATZ offers high-tech motion analysis equipment for safer, more effective training sessions. Learn more about this athletic performance center here.

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RealClearLife Staff