Fitness classes that won’t have you saying ‘Thank u, next’

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Courtesy of Jamie Scott Fitness

We can’t all look like Ariana Grande during a spin class, but don’t be discouraged — Charlotte’s fitness classes are still worth a try. One taught me love, one taught me patience and one taught me pain — and I’d go back to all three again.

One taught me love.

 

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I used to think “fitness” entailed a toned body and a healthy diet. I would drag myself to the gym and force a workout just to check off the little “exercise” box in my head.

Upon moving to Charlotte, “fitness” changed from a chore to a way of life. Not only did I switch up my gym routine, but I started taking boutique fitness classes to eliminate the redundancy of cardio and weights.

Out of all the classes I tried, Jamie Scott Fitness succeeded in making me truly love fitness. Pushed to my limits, I learned to love what my body could do and how I felt afterward. Spin with Deia introduced me to a form of cardio I actually enjoyed, and “RIPPED” circuit training with Donald made me realize that weight lifting can be fun and fast-paced. 200 W. Tremont Avenue, #103.

Learn to love your body at these similar classes:

  • AIR Aerial Fitness: Blend strength training and core work to build lean muscle in this unique aerial workout class. 1043-C Providence Road and 532 Governor Morrison Road.
  • CycleBar: Offering an accessible fitness experience for all skill levels, this spin studio combines energy-enhancing graphics with rider-specific performance data. 339 S. Kings Drive.
  • CycleSouth: This Uptown cycle studio sets cardio to the beat of catchy music for a 45-minute sweat session. 401 N. Tryon Street.

One taught me patience.

 

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On a scale from 1-10, my flexibility is a solid 0. I can’t touch my toes, which severely limits my stretching skills and the ability to pick up dropped objects “bend and snap” style like Elle Woods (squatting to get a floor pen looks severely less cute in a skirt, ladies).

A coworker invited me to try a hot yoga class with her at Yoga One, as she told me her practice gave her improved flexibility and reduced stress. While I found the lack of ability to touch my toes stressful in itself, I agreed.

Hot yoga does indeed make it easier to stretch deeper, but I still found myself frustrated. Heather, the wise instructor, walked around and helped adjust me into a position more fit for my skill level. She explained to the class that it wasn’t about getting into a pose as deeply as the next person; but rather, it’s about getting in touch with your body’s limits and feeling the release of tension and stress. As class progressed, I became more patient with my body and also with the stresses that plagued my mind.

While I don’t practice yoga every day, I’ve incorporated it into my routine to remind myself to be patient with progress both at the gym and in my personal and professional life.

Learn patience at these similar classes:

  • CorePower Yoga: Push past physical boundaries to discover your most powerful self. 540 Brandywine Road #420 and 209 S Kings Drive Suite 203 (coming soon).
  • NoDa Yoga: Thriving in the heart of NoDa’s historic arts district, this all-female-owned yoga studio offers a practice for “every body,” ensuring personalized attention and a holistic approach to wellness, including heated yoga classes. 3201 N. Davidson Street.
  • Y2 Yoga: Combine cardio, strength and flow to challenge and inspire you to show up both on your yoga mat and show confidence in your personal/professional life. 274 S. Sharon Amity Road.

One taught me pain.

 

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If anyone ever invites you to the free fitness bootcamp at STAX and says it’ll be “fun,” they are lying. Go anyway!

One evening after work, I ventured to the field behind STAX gym to give the boot camp a try. I figured: I work out. I’m in good shape. I’ve got this.

I did not have this.

We started with a “light jog” around the field, which really meant competitive run. After an hour of squats, lunges and more runs, my body was at its absolute limit.

And then they called us in a circle to do extreme abs.

Never in my life have I felt so much pain; I was sore for a week.

And yet, I’d go back again. There’s a reason trainer Emily Breeze looks the way she does — -the class will tone muscles you didn’t know existed. Above all else, you’ll learn your tolerance for pain and how to mentally power through it. It’s worth every wheezing breath. Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. 3722 S. Tryon Street.

Push through the pain at these similar classes:

  • Burn Boot Camp: With a mission to combine strength and passion, this high-intensity bootcamp seeks to maximize results in 45 minutes for the busy, fitness-focused individual. 1745 E. 7th Street and other locations.
  • Childress Klein YMCA Interval Training: Start the weekend with a high-intensity workout on the basketball court at this Uptown YMCA. Trainer David will take you through intervals of running mixed with strength training and bodyweight exercises from 6 – 7 a.m. on Fridays. And he’ll tell you that you’re a rockstar, which makes the wheezing a bit less painful. 301 S. College Street, Suite 200.
  • Madabolic: Offering a selection of Momentum, Anaerobic, and Durability options, this HIIT studio has something for every focus. 2610 South Boulevard and 2115 E 7th St #104.

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