7 Olympic-Inspired Workout Classes to Unleash Your Inner Athlete
We’re first to admit that it’s impossible to watch the Olympics and not catch a bit of an athletic fever. Whether we’re tuned in to Laurie Hernandez nailing another beam routine or the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, win yet another gold, our enthusiasm to be part of the action grows with every event. Across the country, the feeling is clearly mutual, with boutique fitness studios taking the hint and offering Olympic-inspired classes—some even led by former Olympians—for students giving in to their athletic itch.
We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites from around the nation offering classes that will inspire your inner (or even former) athlete so you can go for the gold year-round, even after #TeamUSA has returned home from Rio. Keep scrolling to learn more about each one and then search for these and similar classes in your area with the MINDBODY app.
Acrosports in San Francisco
Did you catch the Simone Biles bug? Same. If you have a sudden urge to revisit or explore a love for gymnastics, Acrosports in San Francisco is a good place to start. “The Olympics are always a great motivator for adult athletes to return to sports they used to play,” says Jessica Huntington, operations and social events manager. “The Games foster drive to start a new discipline or improve their skills and dedicate more time to their chosen sport.” All of the gym’s classes are designed to improve fitness and increase knowledge of a specific sport. In terms of gymnastics, the gym offers classes in everything from tumbling and hand balancing to trapeze and stretching. And that’s just a handful of the classes offered year-round.
Manhattan Fencing in New York City
Fancy yourself a fencer? Manhattan Fencing has prepared more saber Olympians than any other club in the U.S. (three of their athletes competed in Rio this year) and you could actually be next. The club offers classes ranging from complete beginner to elite so you can fence your way to Daryl Homer status in no time. “Our classes teach discipline, good sportsmanship, confidence, mental acuity, coordination, and the ability to take a loss and not give up,” says executive director Julia Gelman. The studio offers classes all year-round and free intro classes in Bryant Park in N.Y.C. every spring and fall. On guard!
The Games at Crunch
Designed by pro athlete Andia Winslow and literally named for the Olympic games. This class, offered at Crunch locations in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, combines Olympic-style strength, power, speed, and agility. Team and individual competitions keep the competitive spirit of the games alive and the promise of prizes helps push you to the next level to go for the (metaphorical) gold.
Atlas Performance in Chicago
“At Atlas we are focused on changing the way people approach fitness by appealing to their inner athlete,” says Teresa Valley Parry, office manager at Atlas. Sounds pretty perfect for anyone channeling the Olympian within. In addition to a full menu of sports performance and metabolic conditioning classes, Atlas offers Gymnastics and Olympic Weightlifting classes all year-round. “Classes teach our athletes to push themselves harder than they ever have before, allowing for a degree of positive change they’ve never experienced,” she adds.
Mile High Run Club in New York City
At this running studio, you can literally train like an Olympian with Olympic coaches. Olympians John Henwood and John Trautmann lead indoor classes, as well as spearhead the outdoor marathon training program offered by the studio. If the name didn’t give it away, the classes focus on expertly curated running workouts that challenge the body beyond simply running a few miles. With structured intervals and treadmill-centric training, the classes are suitable for runners of any and all levels. Someone tell Allyson Felix we’re gaining on her!
Row & Ride in Boston
This boutique studio specializes specifically in, you guessed it, rowing and riding, otherwise known as cycling. The classes offered year-round pair the high impact, full body workouts to make your training sessions pretty close to Olympic caliber. So, if you’ve been watching the rowing and cycling races in Rio or you just really want to finally learn how to actually use the rowing machine (real name: erg), Row & Ride, which features colored lights, a disco ball, and a massive projector that displays Olympic rowing and cycling scenes, needs to be your first top in Beantown.
Studio 26 in New York City
If you prefer to skip the high intensity interval training type workouts and go for something a little more core-focused, train like an Olympian Pilates-style at N.Y.C's. Studio 26. Founder and Pilates and Movement specialist, Jared Kaplan, has modeled his newest training series after Olympic athletes, so it’s designed for Pilates fans looking to switch up their routine in honor of the Games. In addition, there are a slew of Pilates exercises reminiscent of Olympic sports like gymnastics, diving, swimming, and more. You’ll feel more agile and athletic in no time—and did we mention the studio is basically a wellness oasis?