We are in the thick of it, Columbus. The snowy, rainy, freezing, and gray days of winter. It's hard enough to get out of the house to even go to work, let alone to go workout! While we know this time of year is the hardest to get moving--we also know it's important to stick with a routine, especially when it's about time for those New Year's resolutions to begin to fade.
One thing that helps us get out of the house is knowing we are going to a warm and sweaty studio. We've rounded up some of our favorite heated studios and classes in town:
Melt Hot Fitness
Melt (pictured above) now has two locations (Westerville and Dublin) and is one of the more unique hot studios we've seen. Their class offerings include barre, cycling, yoga, and a lifting class--all of which are heated. The classes are also kept really dimly lit, which we love. These classes are HOT, but that's why the place is called Melt.
System of Strength
It's no secret that we love System of Strength. But admittedly, the classes that I tend to avoid are the heated ones just because I think their workouts are hard enough without the heat. But, in the last few months, I challenged myself to endure the heat and try more of those classes. I can get deeper in my stretch and my muscles feel more worked after a heated class, so I know the benefits are definitely there. SOS's heated classes include High + Tight, Ebb + Flo, and SloFlo.
The OG of hot yoga in Columbus--this place is still rocking it and we are still loving it. I began my yoga practice at Harbor 6 years ago, so I didn't really know any different. These classes are best explained as yoga in fast forward. Harbor does offer a Slow Flow that isn't heated, but all of the other classes are heated to over 90 degrees. Don't forget a towel (or 2!).
Modo Yoga Columbus (located near Grandview) offers a form of hot yoga that combines the precision of therapeutic yoga and the foundations of traditional yoga in a specially heated room. All of their classes are heated as well, but there are a ton of different types of yoga classes that they offer.
Where are you going in Columbus to warm up this winter? What classes are you going to try from our list?
Dropped in to Studio Torch this past Saturday to check out their Total Body Circuit class after seeing a friend post a lot of “killer workout” comments about Torch on his Instagram. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since Studio Torch is only a month or two old, and I hadn’t heard much about it from anyone else. I figured that “total body” was a good way to get the full experience, and got ready to go.
The idea behind Studio Torch is something that makes a lot of sense to me -- workouts designed by professionals and taught by certified trainers. My class was a circuit-style workout that featured six stations we did four times each for 90 seconds, with a 20 second break between stations. After the first revolution, I could feel my heart rate spiking and knew I had to hold on until the end.
The class incorporated everything from TRX straps to free weights, slam balls to treadmills, and had different elements of stability, strength, and core training. Full disclosure - it’s three days later now that I am writing this, and my abs and hamstrings are still mad at me (in a good way, of course). Ashley, the trainer, helped me with some of the movements since I am dealing with a shoulder issue, and checked on me a few times to make sure I wasn’t pushing myself toward injury. Studio Torch’s workouts can be scaled so that anyone can get a great workout, no matter their fitness level.
The class lasted about an hour. There was supposed to be a 5 minute AMRAP at the end of class, but I think Ashley read the room and gave us a break. All in all, I had a ton of fun, worked on a few areas I like to forget about during my own training, and genuinely enjoyed my time during the workout.
Studio Torch is located on Olentangy-River Road, and they are running a special promotion for those who sign up for classes now to come in at a reduced rate. They offer everything from single class passes to monthly memberships. They also give you a free week of unlimited classes to try them out and test out some of their different workouts they do throughout the week.
When I walked into HIIT Fit Club, I was a little intimidated. I might look super tough (and sound super tough when I use terms like “super tough”), but the truth is that boxing isn’t really my strength. But I am all about trying new things, especially when it comes to fitness, and figured the sweat I would get would be worth it in the end.
And I was so right…
The Boxing class I took was more than just punching a heavy bag. We started out with about 10 minutes of cardio to get warmed up, and ended the class with about 10 minutes of abs and a good stretch to cool down. I was glad to know I would be getting a whole body workout and some good cardio burn to go along with the boxing.
HIIT Fit Club is located in Gahanna on Hamilton Road, near Dublin-Granville Road. It opened only two weeks ago, and everything in the gym looks and feels brand new. Aside from boxing classes, they offer kickboxing, yoga and boot camps, as well as some one-on-one personal trainers. The trainer that taught our class, Jamie, was legit. He would break down punch combinations, and walk around and help people in the class until they caught on the the sequence.
I was expecting the boxing class to be an upper body and arm workout, but it turned out to be a great cardio workout as well. I wore a HR monitor when I worked out, and my average HR for the hour class was in the 120’s. My arms were sore, abs were sore, and I probably burned over 500 calories in the hour. You would have a hard time finding an hour-long class that does the same kind of strength training and cardio training as you will get at HIIT Fit Club.
Currently, HIIT Fit Club is offering a special that if you sign up in November, you get the month of December for free and wouldn’t pay your first month’s dues until January 2018. This is a great deal and since the first class is always free, there is no reason you shouldn’t get in and check out HIIT Fit Club for yourself!
When you think about it, there are so many different ways to exercise. Someone can break a sweat by running, lifting weights, or even bending it on the yoga mat. These are all great ways to use your body, but there is one workout where your whole body is truly used: Pilates.
I recently worked out at Turning Point Fitness, located in Westerville, where I was taught that Classical Pilates was designed to improve physical strength, flexibility and posture, while being aware of how your body is using its muscles. During my Pilates Tower class, which lasted about an hour, both mat and equipment were used to engage my core and learn where my balance points were.
Instructor and owner, Lisa Hunsaker, did a phenomenal job instructing my moves during class, making sure I was using my core and other muscles to their maximum ability. Even though that was my first time practicing Pilates, Lisa did her best to make sure I was following along, and I was getting the hang of it in no time! I never felt behind or confused. I felt like I was a member of the studio!
Lisa stressed the fact that the instructors at Turning Point Fitness don’t participate in the classes, and instead, they lead them. This is very beneficial to the art of Pilates because each person will receive the hands-on attention they deserve to get the best practice. I was given a very personal experience during my Pilates Tower class.
The staff was very friendly and encouraging during the class, and the studio had a very relaxing atmosphere. Everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming, because that is the culture of Turning Point Fitness. This studio also focuses on smaller numbers of class attendance in order for each attendee to get the most attention to benefit their practice.
In addition to Pilates, Turning Point Fitness offers small group classes such as Spinning, Barre, Boxing, TRX and personal training. If you sign up right now, your first class is free. Make sure to follow them on Instagram and check out their website for more information!
It has almost been a week and I can honestly say that I am still sore, but hey… at least I worked out my core!
Let’s face it--a big reason we go to group fitness classes is because we need someone telling us what to do and how to get the body we want. Many of us, myself included, have gone to the gym without much of a plan and hit a few open pieces of equipment before leaving. Sure I got a sweat, but I wasn’t sure if I was building muscle, losing weight, or just spinning my wheels. GYMGUYZ has a solution to this, and they are able to meet you wherever you want to give you a personalized workout that fits whatever fitness goals you have for yourself. They even will do group classes, so couples can get personalized workouts that evolve as they go along.
We scheduled an early time on Sunday for our first training sessions with GYMGUYZ, and our trainer (Naomi) was on time and had a lot of energy from the beginning. Seeing how we stayed up late the night before, this was exactly what we needed to “get in the zone,” and we quickly got set up and ready for our workout. Naomi brought all of the equipment needed, even mats! She even provided music. We just had to be ready to go.
Every first session you do with GYMGUYZ includes a 15 minute body measurement, medical history, and goal setting discussion. The workout itself took place in our backyard. Other GYMGUYZ clients have had their sessions in apartment gyms, parks, and even swimming pools (GYMGUYZ has equipment made for the pool). Our dog even supervised our workout from a shady spot, which was nice because there aren’t many workouts we are able to do together.
GYMGUYZ combines the insight and expertise of a personal trainer with the convenience of working out from home. When the van showed up and we saw the slam balls, giant ropes, and kettlebells being unloaded, we knew this wasn’t going to be easy. And that is exactly what you should want from a workout like this. You will get to know your trainer and they will get down to what your goals are, whether it is to lose weight or train for an event.
Right now, GYMGUYZ is running a deal where if you mention Sweat Local, you’ll receive two free sessions with one of the GYMGUYZ personal trainers. This is a no-risk chance to see if what they do works for you.
GYMGUYZis ideal for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of time to devote to working out or just can’t easily get away from home. We also love the idea of mixing up where you workout by finding a park or a pool to sweat. Remember to mention Sweat Local to get the free sessions and tag #sweatlocalcbus so we can see you getting your sweat on, Columbus
Another year and another Sweat Local Columbus Fitness Expo and 5K is in the books. We had such an amazing time and owe a huge “thank you” to all of our vendors, sponsors, volunteers, and attendees that came out. Sweat Local Columbus started because we wanted to build a community of businesses and health-minded people, and judging from all the energy in the room this past weekend, we are well on our way to accomplishing that goal.
And please know that just because the expo is over, it doesn’t mean that we are slowing down. We will still be doing everything we can to promote Columbus’ businesses that want to make a difference and change the way people stay healthy. We are also making some modifications to the way we’ve been doing things so that our pop up Sweat Sesh’s are events that really stand out. Keep an eye on the Sweat Sesh page and our social channels for the September Sweat Sesh announcement!
We hope that you continue to support the #sweatlocalcbus movement online and in our city. Please tag us if you think there are businesses that need to be seen or events that people would want to go to and we will be there.
We love Columbus and everything that makes it great. Thank you again for a great 2017 Sweat Local Columbus Expo and 5K, and keep active in all the ways you sweat local!
-Ryan and Kelly, Sweat Local Columbus
Peak Human Performance is wrapping up another 8 Week Challenge. Check out our post about the Challenge here. We had the chance to interview one of the participants, Simone Blake. Simone owns her own business, is a mom of 4, and yet still finds the time to get to the gym. We are so inspired by people like Simone. Find out why she chose to do the 8 Week Challenge for the THIRD time!
How long have you been a member at Peak?
I joined Peak in the fall of 2015. I had bounced around a bit from gym to gym, just not quite finding the right fit. Looking back now, it's funny, but I remember feeling really nervous about going in. The first smiling face I met was Vince, he showed me around and put me right at ease. I recall Stacy's morning class getting their barbells ready and everyone was chatting and laughing and seemed happy to be there. I was optimistic I may have finally found my home gym! My first class was Fit Mix with Amy. I actually had to step out of that class because I felt so lightheaded (I've come a long way since then!). Amy was so encouraging and supportive, I knew I was in the right place.
What are you goals for once you finish the Challenge?
My current goals are to continue to improve my aerobic base. Peak is beginning to implement training via heart rate monitors to better customize workouts for each individual in class. I'm really excited about this, because my current struggle is being able to maintain aerobic exercise for long periods, so I'm hoping to improve my aerobic endurance over the next few months. I always feel I should be pushing myself as hard as I can, I've learned it helps to slow things down a bit to help grow stronger.
Being a busy mom of 4 and a business owner, how do you make time for the Challenge and for your workouts?
In reality, my workouts keep me sane!! I am a much better mom and business owner when I do get my workouts in. I love caring for people... my family and my patients, but I've learned it can take a lot out of me at the same time. So, gym time is my time to focus on me. It helps clear my mind without interruption from work or kids or texts or laundry or the other million things in life we are constantly bombarded with. I'm constantly tending to maintaining a happy work-life balance. For a long time, I fell into the trap of feeling as though taking time for me meant I was detracting from what I could offer everyone else. In reality, I've learned taking time for me helps me stay more engaged. I'm happier and more energetic, which benefits everyone in my life!
What/who keeps you accountable?
I think I keep myself accountable, with the occasional nudge from my husband on the rare mornings I'm just not feeling like leaving my warm bed to workout. I know the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes from completing my workouts. I also know how much more energy I have overall when I'm in shape. My days start early and end late and being in top form helps me keep it all going. I schedule my workouts at least a week in advance, just like I schedule my other meetings and appointments. Once it's in my calendar, I know I've committed. On the mornings I start to hear even the quietest of voices in my head trying to talk me out of a workout, I immediately shut it off. I treat it like an appointment on those days and I've yet to be sorry I went to a workout, but I always regret if I skip one.
What's your favorite part about the Challenge?
My favorite part about the challenge.....it forces me to sit back and analyze my life instead of moving forward in autopilot. How are my stress levels? Am I nourishing my body as best as I can? Am I sleeping enough? I'm being asked, "what is it that you want to improve about yourself?" It forces me to really think about where I am, physically and mentally. The challenge isn't just about losing weight or building muscle, those things play a large part, but Alex takes the time to help build your mental and emotional strength as well. They all play a part in your overall well being.
Most people might go through something like this once, but this is your THIRD time! Why do you keep coming back and joining the challenge?
It's just FUN! Simple as that. Challengers are separated into teams, each with two coaches to help guide them each week. There is a bit of competition between teams, but it is all in good fun. The ultimate goal, to improve your overall fitness and implement healthy habits into your life. Each person is held accountable for workouts and menu planning. The challenge is chock full of information and there is always something new to learn. There are a lot of extra classes outside of Peak such as meal prep, a grocery store tour, an hour long stretch class (seriously, you feel amazing after stretching for an hour, something I would never do on my own!), yoga class, nutrition classes by a dietician and a life coach seminar. My team even participated in a hip hop class (talk about taking me out of my comfort zone!). I can't think of a reason why someone wouldn't participate.... hanging out with fun, positive people, a lot of sweat, a lot of laughs, getting fit ..... I love it!
What is it about the Peak crew that you love?
Every person I've met at Peak is genuinely supportive of others, no matter where someone is in their physical journey. Trainers and members will cheer you on with words of encouragement during a workout if they see you starting to fade (for me, always the sled pushes and pulls!). Each of the trainers is extremely knowledgeable in exercise and physiology, and are always available to each member, modifying exercises, correcting form. I love that the trainers will take classes alongside you, it's encouraging to see them beside you giving it their all to get through a tough workout. Going to the gym shouldn't be something to dread, it should make you feel alive. This is why I love Peak!
Say goodbye to greasy delivery food, Columbus. Porttion delivers healthy 'Global Fusion' inspired meals straight to your door.
You know those nights where you get home from work late, or have a million things due this week and have to either choose between making a healthy meal and checking something off the list? More often than not, a pizza gets ordered, something fatty and salty from a bag gets picked up, or you make something quick that lacks fresh vegetables.
This is where Porttion comes in. Porttion bills itself as “Global Fusion” cuisine, and we can say that everything we tried was delicious. Their menu changes weekly based on what is fresh and locally available around Columbus. After you go through their website and pick which meals (or meal plans) you want, your Porttion meals are delivered on Sunday in time for the upcoming week.
Porttion isn’t just a substitute for meals when you are in a hurry. Each meal has a calorie count, carbohydrate count, and protein count listed right on the label (great for macro counters). Each of these is also listed on the website when you choose your meals, so you are free to pick from low-cal, low-carb or protein-dense options. The “Global Fusion” is also great because nothing taste the same. For instance, when we ordered ours, we had Mexican breakfast quesadillas and sweet potato hash for breakfasts (2 meals split between two people), then we had Japanese Squash Curry and pasta with marinara and zucchini noodles for lunch.
The food tastes great, but the convenience of having these meals delivered really cannot be overstated. Think of Blue Apron, but the meals are ready and can all be microwaved in under two minutes. They arrive at your door on Sunday in a zipped bag with an ice pack inside to keep it cold until you can get the food in your fridge. Each meal comes in a sealed, microwave safe plastic bin.
Definitely check out Porttion’s website and take a look at this week’s menu. Porttion does a good job at being open to adjusting meals based on food allergies or personal preferences, but try not to good too crazy changing everything (they have a lot of food to make!). As long as you get your order completed by 11:59 p.m. each Thursday, you’ll get your food fresh and on your doorstep sometime Sunday. We can’t wait to see this company grow in Columbus and continue making wonderful food!
When I first learned about RISE Fitness Community last year, I knew they were a badass group of women who worked out really early in the morning in Upper Arlington. After sleeping through my alarm for a 5:30am workout with them during the fall of last year, I didn't know if I'd ever be invited back to RISE. Luckily, they are in to second chances.
RISE owners Michelle Fleming and Jessica Kopp started out by offering group runs and HIIT classes outside of Upper Arlington High School. RISE gained a core group of followers and a business was born. After a few years of not having an actual studio, Michelle and Jessica felt it was time to open up their own place to call home.
RISE recently opened their first physical space in Upper Arlington and I couldn't wait to check it out. I chose to come to a 6:45am HIIT IT RISE class, which explained by their website is a class that will push your limits! You will get to test the stronger, fitter body that you’ve earned this month. Anything goes. We want these workouts to be FUN, high energy, and unexpected. Using weights, body weight, and cardio HIIT moves, I was sweaty within 15 minutes. After about 45 minutes, Michelle took us back to the RISE Run Club (RRC) room. Picture a spinning studio, but with treadmills. Six minutes of intervals gave me a taste of what a true RRC would be like. I will be the first to admit that I really dislike running, but I think I'd really enjoy a full RRC class.
You can tell that RISE really is a community. And while RISE did start out as being a women's only group, men are now allowed, and encouraged to come to classes. Michelle and Jessica really have poured their heart and soul into the business. RISE has many class options including HIIT IT BUILD which is a combination of tougher exercises, faster transitions, a challenge to your cardiovascular system so that it learns to uptake oxygen faster, and continue to BUILD a stronger body; and HIIT IT ENDURE which focuses on endurance, muscle tone, definition, range of motion and challenge ancillary support muscles.
RISE has class times at 5:30am, 6:45am, 9:45am, 5:45pm and 7pm during the week, and late morning times on weekends. Make sure to check out our website at for full schedule and program information. RISE also offers full and half marathon training programs.
Check them out at 4499 Kenny Rd, Columbus Ohio 43220 and online at risefitnesscommunity.com. Your first class is free!
The RISE team will also be out our Fitness Expo on July 30! Get a taste of them there!
We have been big fans of Peak Human Performance since we met with their coaches prior to last year’s Sweat Local Columbus Expo, and they put us through one of the most intense (and fun!) workouts we’ve done around Columbus. That’s why when they asked us to sponsor their 8 Week Challenge for their members, we were happy to throw our support behind a brand that truly works.
What we love about the challenge is that each participant sets their own goals and encourages each other to keep pushing. Over 50 people in the Peak community are taking part in this fourth edition of the challenge.
Beyond the fitness classes Peak offers during the challenge, everybody gets access to nutrition classes, grocery store tours (so valuable), motivational speakers, and one-on-one access to all the coaches to talk through any struggles and successes they experience. The best part of the challenge is the community of positive people who want nothing more than to succeed and to see those around them succeed.
Currently, competitors are just past the halfway point of the challenge. We got a chance to attend of of their nutrition seminars that included our favorite Propello Life protein bites (how could we pass that up?). After talking with some of the people involved in the challenge, we could help but get excited for them and to cheer on their success.
Seeing good businesses doing good things in the community are what we’re all about, and we can’t thank Peak Human Performance enough for letting us be a part of their awesome event!