Sweat it Out: Kick-Ass Workout Studios We Love in SF
Go ahead, have your cake and eat it to—as long as you're willing to sweat it off later in the day or week.
Between brunching and boozing habits, San Franciscans also love their athleisure attire—and reasons to bring it forth from whichever closet or drawer space they’ve been stored in. (After all, this is one of the most active cities in the US, and an appreciation for fitness is ingrained within our culture.) Climbing the hills seemingly isn’t enough, which is why a plethora of specialty studios exist and continuously emerge throughout the city. In our three part series highlighting a bevy of those aforementioned bastions for athletics, we’ll introduce you to our favorite off-the-wall studios that serve equal parts charisma and calorie burning exercises; here’s the first five of our fifteen top picks.
- Ideal for: Toning, Strength, Core
- Location: Nob Hill, Lower Pac Heights, SoMa, Hayes Valley, Castro, Noe-Mission
- Cost: $20 first class, $35 drop-in, monthly packages available
We’ve never been a victim of profuse sweating, but not even five minutes into Core40’s Lagree method. This method will push your boundaries and is similar to a pilates reformer, except on steroids. Each Full Body class is only 40 minutes, but we’ve learned that 40 minutes can feel like 40 hours. Your muscles may shake like jello when you start, but if you want to be strong like ox, this is the workout for you.
- Ideal for: Cardio, Cross-Training
- Location: Cow Hollow
- Cost: First class free, $32 drop-in after, or purchase a package
Somehow, on a Saturday morning, one of our writers crawled out of bed and managed to attend a 9 am workout class at Basecamp. Basecamp is set up by stations you’re assigned to, and once you learn the drill of navigating stations, it’s a fantastic constant rotation that lasts 40-45 minutes total. You’re basically assigned a group to follow on a screen, and every 40 seconds you’re either on a bike pumping away or on the mat doing weight drills, with a 20 second rebound to rotate into your assigned exercise.
Pro tip: don’t exert all your energy at the start of the workout, it will catch up with you.
Lyon Street Steps
- Ideal for: Cardio
- Location: Marina/Presidio
- Cost: Free
Views, workout, and free of charge – what could be better? You’ll have to motivate yourself to run up and down the sets of stairs, and utilize benches or ledges for triceps dips. But it’s worth it! Don’t forget to include squats, high knees, and lunges to get those buns of steel.
Barrios Martial Arts
- Ideal for: Cardio, Core, Strength
- Location: Potrero Hill
- Cost: Free intro class, $115/month unlimited
Barrios Adult Kickboxing is the answer to extinguishing any firy angst that would otherwise burn down kindling social situations. This full-body class warms up with jump roping and calisthenics, then moves on to a boot-camp style circuit and kickboxing. Techniques are adopted from traditional boxing to Muay Thai, and class ends with a core circuit and the quintessential finale, stretching. Occasionally, a yoga or boot-camp guest instructor may close the class. Class sizes are usually small, which makes instruction personal and focused on proper technique.
Rock Climbing (multiple locations)
- Ideal for: Core, Strength
- Location: Planet Granite, Mission Cliffs, Dogpatch Boulders
- Cost: $20-25 drop-in
Rock Climbing is a more social work-out that awakens muscles all over your body, and helps develop godly core strength. You can boulder on your own, or if you want to climb with harness and rope, bring a buddy and make sure you get a belay lesson first.