It’s That Time of Year to Make Fitness Resolutions
Each new year, we tell ourselves this is the year we are finally going to get really fit, committing ourselves to a disciplined workout routine. And, as we all know, it can be hard to stick to that resolution even for a few months, let alone all year long. The good news is that we no longer need to wear masks at the gym, so we can finally participate in group fitness classes. Maybe that’s just what we need to make it routine. Here in the Gables the options abound. Organized fitness programs range from weekend outdoor yoga classes at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden to the brutally intense 54D program that will set you back $4,000 but leave you ripped. To help you get off on the right foot, we visited six different fitness institutions in Coral Gables, trying their classes and exploring their facilities. May you be inspired to find a New Year’s fitness regimen with the stickiness to last past January!
Although Equinox at Merrick Park is a membership-only institution, there are plenty of perks to signing up. You could easily spend half a day at its 41,000 square foot facility, which includes two strength building floors, a cardio center, a yoga studio, a juice bar, an apparel shop, and a locker room with showers, stocked with Kiehl’s products. Aside from having any equipment you’ll need to work out on your own, Equinox also offers a variety of group fitness classes such as strength building, cycling, yoga, barre, Pilates, boxing, athletic conditioning, and more. I took the opportunity to try the boxing class. I think I’ve found a new hobby.
We started off warming up with jumping jacks and shoulder openers. Then we moved on to air boxing routines to accustom ourselves to the motions. Once we warmed up, it was time for gloves and a series of routines with the punching bag. These included simple punches, cross punches, jabs, and uppercut combinations; later we added in some forceful kicks. In between punching routines, we did short rounds of floor exercises, like pushups, planks, and sit-ups, before getting back up again to face the bag. If you’ve never boxed before, it’s a rush. You feel powerful and relieved from stress after beating up the bag for nearly an hour.
You can get a membership at Equinox Coral Gables for $190 per month, which includes more than 100 in-club classes and over 1,000 virtual classes through the Equinox app. As a new member, you’ll get a complimentary fitness assessment, a one-hour personal training session, and one 50-minute private Pilates session along with 15 percent off at the apparel shop.
370 San Lorenzo Ave
If toning, balance, and building strength are at the top of your New Year’s Resolutions list, then Tremble on Ponce de Leon is the place. Tremble is a Pilates studio with workouts designed to strengthen each part of your body through high intensity and low impact exercises using traditional Pilates equipment. Class sizes are small in order to ensure you get the attention you need from trained instructors who make sure you perform the movements correctly and safely. And yes, you will tremble a good amount while you work those muscles.
Our instructor jumped right into it with intense core exercises accompanied by upbeat EDM music. We started with planks, placing our hands on a moving carriage and pulling ourselves back and forth. Your abs will thank you (later, of course). Then our focus shifted to the right leg, where we did donkey kicks with our leg hooked to a spring. Much harder than you think. We did the same leg exercises on the left side, then moved onto the arms. The exercises were intense, but done in short intervals, and you do each movement repeatedly at your own pace for about 15 seconds before you switch.
Pilates is an exercise that will challenge you mentally and physically, especially while exercising on moving equipment. You can purchase individual classes for $35 each, $165 for five, $289 for 10, or $540 for 20. If you’d like to buy packages monthly, you can sign up for $116 for 4 classes within 30 days or $216 for 8 classes within 30 days. You can also become a member for unlimited classes per month for $269 or unlimited classes for 6 months for $1,498.
4203 Ponce De Leon Suite 100
New to the Coral Gables yoga scene is @revete, the brainchild of influencer and wellness coach Magda Lopez. She makes you feel welcome and comfortable at @revete, serving not only as a yoga guide, but as gracious host. Her studio has a homey feeling, with soothing white walls, scented candles, and LED string lights outlining the shape of the room along the floor. UV lights hang from the ceiling to provide that extra heat for your workout – and to combat contaminants that could make you sick.
Classes are offered morning, afternoon, and evening by a variety of yoga instructors. I opted for the Magda Mashup class taught by Magda herself. It’s a little different each time in terms of challenge level and purpose of practice, but it’s always consistent in movements that focus on engaging the entire body in one hour. We began by lying on our backs and centering our minds, letting go of a long week. We then gradually began to loosen up with shoulder openers, hip openers and neck stretches. For the rest of our practice we held different poses, such as “warrior one” and “extended side angle,” deepening each to work the muscles while properly aligning our bodies. We finished the class by lying on our back in a corpse pose; cold lavender scented towels were placed over our eyes to enhance relaxation.
Yoga is a great way to build strength and discipline while centering and calming your mind. @revete offers a single class session for $25, a 10-pack of classes for $230, 6 months unlimited for $1,000, and an annual unlimited pass for $1,900. You can also purchase classes month to month for $200.
2615 Ponce De Leon
Walking into SoulCycle feels like entering a surprise party. If you’re not a regular, the loud bubbly energy will catch you off guard. But that is what SoulCycle cultivates – contagiously high spirits. It’s not a bad way to bring a positive reset to your new year.
SoulCycle is known for its fun cardio workout, but also its inspiring mental motivation as you physically challenge your body. The theme for our class was seeing opportunities in challenges and reaping the benefits of leaving your comfort zone. With our peppy instructor constantly reminding us of this throughout the class, we got our hearts pumping and blood flowing as we spun our anxieties away. We started out in our seats with resistance low. Then we advanced out of our seats to pedal standing while moving side to side to the beat of the music. In the mirror across from us, it looked like everyone was dancing together on their bikes.
The combination of liveliness from the instructor, the upbeat people in class, and the uplifting music make you eager to put your body to work and feel the endorphins flow. I walked out of the class thinking “man, that was fun.” Every instructor has a different playlist and workout style, so if you don’t get the most out of your class, try another instructor! You can start your new year at SoulCycle
for $32 per class, or $20 if you’re a new rider. If you love it, you can purchase class packs from $60 to $3,500 or subscribe to automatically renew monthly.
370 San Lorenzo Ave. (305) 740-3600 soul-cycle.com
That massive structure you see on US1 between Ponce and Le Jeune is now home to Coral Gables’ very own Life Time fitness center. Opened last August, this elegant 80,000 square foot facility boasts 3 floors dedicated to physical wellness, with a grand lobby that makes you question whether you’re in a fitness center or a 5-star hotel.
Life Time’s first floor is dedicated to its 66 different group fitness classes, which is where I began. I decided to take the Strictly Strength class, thinking that building some muscle would make for a great New Year’s resolution. The class began with warmups targeting our larger muscle groups like shoulders, lower body and back. Our instructor helped us pick weights appropriate for our size and strength goals, then focused on basic movements that would bring effective results; we started by holding a plank, intended to keep us mindful of engaging our core throughout the class, and moved from there to squatting with a kettlebell. You can expect your muscles to be sore after this class, but in a good way!
Life Time also has a competitive cycling studio, a barre class studio, and a designated yoga boutique – even a Kids’ Academy with a full schedule of activities. The second floor is where you’ll find their cafe, full-fledged spa, locker room (with showers), steam room, sauna, Jacuzzi, and outdoor pool deck. The third floor is dedicated to cardio and strength building equipment, all with the latest technology.
Life Time is for member use only. Standard membership is $219 a month, and includes access to all fitness classes, gym equipment, spa, pool and locker rooms. The Signature membership is $249 a month, and includes small personal training groups and the recovery center.
237 S Dixie Hwy
Combining the movements of ballet, floor exercises, weight training, and a little bit of cardio is Pure Barre. The best part about joining Pure Barre is the long and lean muscle toning results, and the careful guidance you’ll receive from instructors and staff. Class sizes are small, and the instructor gives you personalized attention so you get the most from your workout. It usually takes three to four classes to fully get the hang of barre exercises; the first one is free for newbies.
The class targets muscle tone and agility, with small movements that have a large impact on your muscles. In our Pure Empower class we were instructed to go up to the ballet barre and face it, turn our feet out, get on our tippy toes, and move up and down slightly. These tiny motions really work the thigh and calf muscles. We also did floor exercises to work on our lower abs, using stretchy bands around our ankles for resistance, lifting our legs and slightly opening and closing them. The exercises make you feel the burn, with each set followed by guided counter stretches to reset you for the next round.
There are four different 50-minute Pure Barre classes to choose from, depending on your level and what you want to focus on. Foundations is the class recommended for beginners to gradually introduce movements and build confidence. Classic is the fastest and most effective full body workout, with low impact exercises to strengthen and tone your body. You can get an 8-pack membership for $129 and an unlimited membership for $170 monthly.
205 Altara Ave
By: Carmen Fraga