There’s a new set of “chains” emerging in Atlanta, and it’s not Chick-fil-A… Actually, these chains are the complete opposite – they’re good for you. In the past couple of years, many people have begun swapping gym memberships for boutique fitness classes. These small, niche fitness centers that specialize in specific group classes have gained popularity in major cities such as New York and Los Angeles, and now Atlanta. Atlanta’s boutique fitness scene has exploded in the past two years with studio options ranging from indoor cycling, to hot yoga to CrossFit.
One reason behind the rise in the boutique fitness trend is flexibility. Most boutique fitness centers require booking online on each studio’s individual system and have extensive schedules with classes beginning at 6 a.m. and ending around 8 p.m. Another reason behind the rise is specialization. At a “one-size-fits-all” gym, people might love the spinning classes, but not the kickboxing classes. A person might also love a certain instructor, but none of the others. Boutique fitness studios boast qualified, specifically trained instructors and some studios even pride themselves in employing celebrity trainers.
While Atlanta’s boutique fitness scene is quite concentrated in Buckhead, there are studios throughout the city. Flywheel, an indoor cycling studio with an abundance of national locations had opening weekend for their second Atlanta studio in Midtown on April 12, 2014. Flywheel Buckhead’s assistant manager and instructor, Kelsey Dick, says Flywheel is “not your average cycling studio.” Its use of technology allows clients to see their results from each class on their personal account, enhancing people’s workouts and adding another benefit to boutique fitness that can’t be found at a mainstream gym. Her passion for Flywheel is apparent through her giddiness when talking about it. “The studio has 48 bikes, is dark lit, the music is insane, it’s outrageous, it pushes you, the instructors are professional… so it’s dynamite instructors, and our clients love it,” Dick says.
Other chains boutique fitness studios around the city include Blast900, Orangetheory Fitness, Atlanta Hot Yoga, and Pure Barre. Many other studios are currently only concentrated to one location such as Red Hot Yoga, Crossfit404, CORE, Chaos Conditioning and Active sol Yoga.
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