Turn It Up
The Vision: Phil Doucette took his first yoga class to impress a girl. That girl later became his wife, and yoga became an integral part of their love story. The two went on to open two yoga studios in Winnipeg, Canada, and they recently expanded their Canada-based franchise to Minneapolis. “We always enjoyed Minneapolis, and we wanted to create a space that was accessible to all body types and filled with possibility,” Doucette says.
Workout: The heated studio hovers around 103 degrees while the instructor takes you through a series of 40 yoga postures in 60 minutes. Though it may sound simple, as the heat increases your body temperature it also fires up your heart rate to speed your metabolism into burning more calories and making you sweat. A lot.
Vibe: There’s no judgment here, since everyone leaves the studio looking like a sweaty mess. The staff makes an effort to know everyone’s names and recognize as many students as possible during class. They also keep the studio clean—no easy feat, given all the perspiration.
Our take: We like a workout that makes you sweat, reduces stress, and detoxifies your skin. It’s a solid power workout for those who want an intense burn but don’t rank cardio high on their list.
Gear: Yoga mats are available to rent.
Cost: $17 for a single class; $95 for an unlimited month.
3252 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-920-3004, mokshayogaminneapolis.com
The Vision: The green and black storefront studio blends into the cute boutique scene at 50th Street and Xerxes Avenue, but don’t let the sweet exterior fool you. Inside, owner Christy Dalton has been making her clients sweat—profusely—since 2008. With a background in dance and personal training, Dalton is half cheerful community leader and half gym coach—in other words, she’ll make it hurt.
Workout: The Fixx offers a mix of boot camp (Dalton’s been known to send people out to run the sidewalks), boxing, cardio training, kettlebell conditioning, and hip-hop, plus yoga, Pilates, and barre technique. In Dalton’s boot camps and personal training, expect enough backward lunges, burpees, and bear crawls to make you beyond sore.
Vibe: Venture inside to find lots of heavy-duty equipment for serious personal training. Most of the workout classes focus on using your body’s own resistance to get results, and loud pop music distracts from the pain. Expect a mix of men and women and plenty of groups of friends—there are no membership fees and friends are able to split class plans and training costs.
Our take: We were charmed by Dalton’s smile and slightly shocked at how hard she worked us. But somewhere between the peppy beats, her perky attitude, and the physical payoff of feeling the burn, we were happy to return and do it all over again.
Gear: Everything you need is available onsite.
Cost: $19–$29 for a single class.
5004 Xerxes Ave. S., Mpls., 612-929-3499, Mpls., thefixxworkoutstudio.com
The Vision: Joe Ducosin wanted out of the corporate fitness world. Tired of the red tape and restrictions that came with working as an indoor cycling instructor at a local big-box gym, he decided to spin off on his own. In August 2010, he opened Cyclequest, a small cycling studio tucked away in Eden Prairie that does it his way: with flexible pricing options, a variety of teaching styles, and a familial environment that includes movie nights and happy hours. “Basically, whatever the customer wants,” he says.
Workout: This spinning class begins with an easy ride to warm the body, but the easiness ends there. Students are quickly ushered into a zealous routine of interval sprints and mounting climbs, working at an individual resistance level where they feel most comfortable. With each new song, the instructor lays out the scenario of a new mountain to tackle or sprint to cycle. In addition to constant engagement of the thighs, bum, and calves, your abs, arms, and back feel the burn, too. Vibe: The class isn’t as in-your-face as some cycling studios, and we found the comfortable environment welcoming to all ages and skill levels.
Our take: If our aching muscles were any indication, we consider this a trip worth taking. Oh, and don’t forget the padded shorts.
Gear: Try it with tennis shoes, but if you’re thinking about becoming an avid rider, consider purchasing cycling shoes.
Cost: $15 for a single class; $75 for an unlimited month.
6409 City. W. Pkwy., Eden Prairie, 952-236-7691, cyclequeststudio.com
The Vision: Teddy Kim is a product of what he preaches. Four years ago, he was overweight, living in California, and even the simplest of physical challenges were difficult. But the Crossfit brand of strength and conditioning training changed all that. Enamored with the intensity of the Crossfit workout and the dramatic effect he saw in his own fitness, Kim decided to move to the Twin Cities and open a Crossfit studio.
Workout: Crossfit gives students a good old-fashioned butt kicking. It uses dynamic exercises such as plyometric jumps, pull-ups, sit-ups, and push-ups (pretty much anything up) and equipment such as kettlebells, gymnastic rings, barbells, and jump ropes. Students are challenged to do a certain number of repetitions in a specific time frame.
Vibe: TwinTown Crossfit is not about the bells and whistles of a fancy gym. The environment is comparable to a garage gym, but with a built-in support system of classmates and a drill sergeant encouraging you to move faster and harder through the routine.
Our take: Though it’s intense, anyone can do it. Kim offers beginner level classes that take you through proper form and technique yet still include 30 minutes of a body-blasting workout. Two days after our first class, we were sore in muscles we didn’t even know existed.
Gear: Everything you need is available onsite.
Cost: Membership starts at $135.
201 SE 6th St., Mpls.; 723 W. 26th St., Mpls., 612-208-1490, twintowncrossfit.com
Chris and Stacie Clark think everyone has the ability to be an athlete, which is why they created Tiger Athletics with the tagline “Where Athletes Train.” The Plymouth-based studio offers personal training and group classes that focus on a host of skills such as speed, stamina, coordination, and agility. Anyone from former professional athletes to tots in training can learn from the Clarks’ energetic and educated team of instructors, who, like coaches, push you harder than you would ever push yourself.
1115 Vicksburg Ln. N., Ste. 15, Plymouth, 763-445-2311, tigerathletics.com