Working out has always been a large part of my life. I grew up around two people who have made careers around being physically active. My mother, who has been my own personal fitspiration, had me working in a gym and in competitive gymnastics all of my child hood. My father put me on a bike before I was able to feed myself. So exercise has always been a pretty natural part of my daily routine. What has not always been a constant in my life is enough money to afford every new gym craze that pops up and promises to be the best workout on the planet. I am not by any means a fitness expert but I have kept a constantly active lifestyle and will try any type of workout at least once. So with my lack of dollar dollar bills and any real commitment to one particular type of exercise I decided to make my way around Salt Lake City, one free workout at a time.
So let me start off with a little disclaimer, when I say I have no commitment to any particular form of exercise I more mean any type of group exercise. There are two things I would not travel anywhere without and those are my running shoes and my Nike Training Club app.
I have had a love hate relationship with running. It will forever be what I think is the hardest form of exercise I can challenge myself with. I have run plenty of races and a couple of half marathons and not just to finish; I’ve trained really hard and run my ass off. Running will forever be the hardest for me because of how mental it is. Going on a run means I could stop and walk when ever I want, or just turn around and go home; and not caving to that desire takes about all of my mental strength. On the upside I love running because you can do it anywhere with anyone. It’s a great way to explore a city and I love how you end up noticing new things about a neighborhood you may have never seen before. I have also taken to trail running a lot in Salt Lake because it is so easy to find accessible trails and also makes me feel way more bad ass than running on the road. I think it might be the mixture of nature and the fact that I could fall off a cliff if I don’t concentrate hard enough.
But guys, with all of this being said, I was introduced to Nike Training Club by a friend in college and it is by far the best workout resource I have ever come across. The app provides a huge selection of workouts between 15 and 45mins. There are workouts for all fitness levels and the best part about the app is you don’t have to sit there and watch the whole instructional video. They also switch up the equipment they use and include plenty of options that don’t require equipment at all. So my gym secret is that I do about 30 mins of cardio and then a 30 min workout from this app. It calls all the moves out for you giving you, a personal trainer in your ear, and the appearance that you actually know what you are doing at the gym. 😉
So with those two options under my belt I went out into Salt Lake in hopes to meet some new people and try some new types of exercising. And boy did I try a lot. Here is a chronological review of what I tried and what I really liked.
Salt Lake Power Yoga– I really enjoyed going to yoga here. There was a good variety of classes and I love the friendly environment yogis created for working out. I did the 30 days for $39 for new students, which was a no brainer. After the 30 days I could feel myself actually sweating less in class, I was in hot yoga shape! What I was not in was running or strength training, or any other type of shape. While hot yoga is a great workout, for me I didn’t feel like I could rely on it solely to challenge my body.
Title Boxing Sugar House – This is one of the hardest workouts I have encountered in Salt Lake. I also found out that I freakin’ love boxing. There is really nothing more satisfying than punching things and feeling really strong doing it. I really liked this workout because I felt like you could customize it to your level of fitness. It is all around hard but with a 15 min warm up, 30 mins of boxing rounds and 15 mins of abs you can rest in-between rounds or go all out on the active rest, getting your heart rate way up. I found a Groupon for this one for two weeks for $20 another no brainer.
SLC Fit Collective – This gym came highly recommended by a couple of friends and lucky me they offer 3 weeks for just $39. This is a class based gym where you will find the most variety in group fitness classes I have seen in Salt Lake. I took about every class they offered at this gym and did everything from suspension training to cardio rebounding (on trampolines) to spin class and even a hip hop class. You can tell it is a great place to meet up with your friends after work and get a workout in. This gym makes fitness a really easy integration in to your daily routine and motivates you by making sure you sign up for the class ahead of time. For me I missed the opportunity to get the exact workout I wanted that day and to not be restricted by what they were offering. Maybe I was just too picky but I found myself having to combine a couple of classes a night in order to get the workout I wanted.
Onyx Ariel and Pole Fitness – No joke this is very hard workout, and it made me sore in muscles I never new I had. I took a intro to Pole Fitness class and realized I am not strong in that way at all. The instructor made the class really fun and we got to do some dancing and also some strength training with the pole. The women who can do this really well have muscles popping out of every limb, and are so impressively graceful at the same time. I believe there is also a Groupon floating around for this gym.
Core Power Yoga – Turning back to hot yoga I really enjoyed this studio because they have a couple of locations and also they have some classes that involve weights which is extremely challenging. I do feel like hot yoga is one of the best toning options for me and combined with other forms of cardio is really effective. Core Power can be found nationally and they offer a free week!
Orange Theory Fitness – Orange Theory is by far the most dynamic workout I have tried in SLC. You are guaranteed to get a full body workout and leave drenched in sweat. This is perfect for anyone who gets bored easily exercising because they switch up the workout every time you go in. The workout is also customized to meet your heart rate goals so you can get an almost personal workout while exercising with others. They offer two free sessions for new clients.
So if you are strapped for cash and looking for new way to be active in your city I highly recommend just giving everything a try. I learned a lot about my body and what it reacts best to in the process along with meeting some really cool people. And when in doubt there is always, the great outdoors, running shoes and Nike Training Club 🙂 Feel free to share with me what you have tried and liked with your own workouts!