Written by Chris Fitzpatrick
It still surprises me whenever I hear guys in Southie say that they won’t be caught dead in a yoga, barre, or Pilates class. After doing some thinking, I believe I’ve figured out why that is:
When guys work out, they tend to go to the gym to crush weights, strength train, and get some cardio in. Masculine stuff. Women, on the other hand, tend to lean toward yoga, barre, spin, Pilates, Zumba and other classes and group workouts.
While you might not be too surprised to see a woman lifting straight weights, you don’t usually see men being the majority in group exercise classes. That hasn’t held me back, however. You may not know this about me, but I regularly attend yoga, and consider it one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for mind and body, along with converting to a vegan diet. It can be hard for men to attend classes dominated by women. I get it, bros.
Women are more flexible and mobile than men, which can make some of the workouts intimidating, and guys might be worried that women would get the wrong idea about why they’re attending the class. These things shouldn’t hold you back, though.
The fact of the matter is, exercises in yoga are good for your body and your mind. You only live once, so there’s no reason to let unwarranted fears hold you back from trying out a new exercise that has a ton of benefits, like decreasing anxiety, increasing flexibility, and improving your performance in other workouts.
So, if you’re a guy who’s been thinking about stepping outside the box and going against the grain, here are six places to exercise in Southie that I’ve really enjoyed, and think other guys will like, as well:
I didn’t really know what to expect when I first ventured into Btone. However, my girlfriend encouraged me to give it a try, and supported me throughout, even correcting my form, at times. The instructor was fantastic, and the class size was small enough that I got the attention I needed. Not once did I feel out of place or uncomfortable. I highly recommend this for people who want a full-body workout that incorporates a lot of core (hello, six-pack). Here are some of the classes they offer:
Signature Class: Their signature class is kind of like Pilates, but don’t let that turn you off! This workout will build muscle faster than strength training!
TONEd Down: An Intro to Btone – The class is just like their Signature Class. It’s great for all levels, and especially beneficial for beginners or those working with injuries to get better acquainted with the machines and learn how to safely do the movements.
Dynamic Tone: This class is more bootcamp style than their Signature Class. It focuses on reps, “ladders”, and challenging combinations that will light your muscles on fire!
Lifted is great for guys who love the gym, since it’s kind of a cross between a typical gym and a fitness class. You could also think of it like a scaled down CrossFit class with more focus on functional strength. What I really love about this studio is that you’re separated into small groups of 3 after a dynamic warmup, and then you can push yourself to whatever level you want. Here are some of their classes:
Group fitness classes: This is a great option for anyone who enjoys both strength training and conditioning. It also has a cardio element. Workouts are designed in a circuit format, and are done at your own pace and fitness level.
Small Group and personal training: Great for people who need more direct guidance and motivation. These workouts are tailored directly to your own needs.
Of all the different places I’ve ever worked out, Simply Barre was by far one of the most unique, and challenging experiences I’ve ever had. It’s definitely the least gender-balanced place I’ve ever tried, as I was the only man in class. I was way outside my comfort zone, but, that being said, I got a great workout. If you’ve got tight hips like me, then this is definitely a challenge that can leave you feeling really great (or bad!) about yourself, depending on your outlook. The class focuses a lot on thighs and glutes, as well as core, and it’s all about control and muscle-mindfulness. It’s a great option for people who can’t handle a lot of movement, but don’t let that fool you! Even the slightest poses and holds will make you wince in agony!
East Side Yoga and Fitness
I’ve been a fan of yoga for a few years now. The journey has been unbelievable. Yoga is my fountain of youth and a total mind and body experience. After a stressful day or week, it’s awesome to unwind here. Yoga isn’t an all-encompassing term, though—there are a variety of different yoga exercises that provide different benefits, and that’s one reason why this place is great. I like flow (Vinyasa) yoga, because I like to move with the rhythm of a playlist and get lost in the flow. Here are some of the other options available here:
Yoga sculpt: All yoga is great for building muscle and getting stronger. This class, however, is designed specifically for that purpose! Great for strength training and improving balance and your core muscles.
Strength and conditioning: This yoga workout is designed to be cardio-intensive for fat burning. Most yoga classes aren’t heavy on cardio, so definitely something to check out!
Yoga for athletes: I’ve already mentioned that yoga has been proven to be a great way to improve athletic performance in other activities. This class is built around that mind-set. Great compliment to other athletic work outs
The Boston Seaport Equinox
This club hasn’t opened up just yet—but will be in October. However, I have attended the location downtown for 5 years. With so many classes to choose from, there’s bound to be fit for everyone. I will say that the membership fee is pricey, but considering all the classes they offer are included, it’s definitely worth it. And, can you really put a price tag on your health? The types of classes offered range from yoga, boxing, cycling, dance, athletic training, and more with arguably the best trainers in the city.
Regan’s Motivated Fitness
Lastly, the father and son Tom Regan duo at Regan’s Motivated Fitness have some awesome bootcamps. Their energy is inspiring. Make sure to check them out for an intense, rewarding workout with one of the longest running, most experienced bootcamps available.
They also offer spin classes, boxing, and yoga!
Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back
The fact of the matter is that there are a ton of options for both women and men to workout in Southie—they just might not be what most men typically look for.
It’s time for guys to stop being afraid of these classes. Working out is doing something positive for your body, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. The only thing holding you back is that you’re worried about what others will have to say.
And, if you’re feeling uncomfortable going to a fitness class that’s predominantly made up of women, then consider bringing along your girlfriend, wife, sister, mother, or even a close female friend. Attending with another woman can really help put you at ease. I love to attend new classes with my girlfriend, and she’s been a great workout partner. The best way to change your life is to get in the habit of trying new things. Why not start with some of these great classes in South Boston?
Have any questions? If you have further questions, please post them in the comments below, or message me directly.
Chris Fitzpatrick is a real estate broker in South Boston with a CPA background. He focuses on adding value in the form of creating proprietary real estate market data and technology helping sellers, buyers, and developers. Chris can talk your ear off about the benefits of yoga and group exercise training, loves to travel, is passionate about entrepreneurship, and loves rooting for the underdog. To learn more visit here!
This is a really frustrating article, rife with stereotyped gender assumptions that simply are not true. If you are going to make such arrogant, mysoginistic assumptions as “women prefer group classes” and “women are more flexible” can you please provide or link source information. What? You can’t? Exactly…because this is utter, fabricated bro-drivel.
Signed a woman who lifts, runs a stupid amount of marathons (and trains alone), struggles with yoga because it’s really hard, works in STEM and enjoys doing ivy-league bio statistical modeling at one our our fine local institutions. Because it’s fun.
Uh, did we read the same article? This seemed like a really positive message that repeatedly stated how strong women are for doing these workouts. It also points out that women DO lift weights a lot, just that you see them in group classes a lot too.
I really liked this! I think it’s important for men to put aside stupid gender stereotypes and try new things that they could actually end up really loving!
Or learn a kick ass Marti Art while getting in awesome shape at Broadway Jiu-Jitsu across from the T.