Treadmill, weight machines, stretch, repeat. Getting stuck in a workout rut isn’t just boring; it is scientifically ineffective for weight loss and muscle gain.
Below, we’ve compiled some of the most unique, innovative and interesting workouts around South Tampa, and we’re highlighting some of the fitness pros making them happen. Read on for #fitspiration.
Picture this, if you will: 20 minutes in the gym, and your full workout is done. That’s the promise of Body20, a new tech-based workout that uses electro muscle stimulation to mimic the natural actions of the central nervous system. A wearable suit sends a series of electrical impulses to contract deep muscle fibers. During your workout, the impulses work the muscles in your arms, legs, back and abs as a trainer takes you through an array of low-impact, highly effective exercises. The electrical stimulation pro- vides 150 times more muscle contractions than a typical workout, giving your 20-minute session the impact of a much longer one.
3202 Henderson Blvd., Unit 204-B
Previously only available as part of an employer-sponsored health plan, the Peerfit app allows users to visit studios and gyms across the city (and even the country) through one simple subscription. You pay $8.95 per month to access Peerfit’s network of participating fitness locations, then $3.50 per credit for your selected class or activity (which range from one credit for a gym’s day pass to four credits for a spin class). Users aren’t tied down to a subscription or package at any one location, allowing them to try new activities without wasting money on classes they’ll never use. Peerfit is one of the most successful Tampa-based startups of all time, securing more than $40 million in funding since moving to the city in 2014.
Inspired by his collegiate rowing background, Bradford Stevens launched VKNG Row last year, offering HIIT-style circuit classes that mix indoor rowing with core, upper body and lower body strength exercises. VKNG’s full- body, low-impact workouts are designed to both improve functionality and prevent injury, making them perfect for people dealing with muscle or back pain. Classes are offered daily, with a range of studio packages and memberships available.
1221 W. Cass St.
ONE TO WATCH
Mantra Fitness co-owner Jeannie Abreu is up front: It’s tough balancing family, work and staying physically fit. That’s why she helped bring Mantra to South Tampa in 2014. The studio specializes in the Megaformer workout, a version of Pilates that incorporates core, cardio and strength training while improving balance and flexibility, all in one 50 minute class. More importantly, Abreu says, the classes encourage positivity and boost both your physical and mental health. “It’s so satisfying to see the confidence and strong bodies that this workout creates and know that myself and my team have helped deliver it,” she adds.
1710 S. Dale Mabry Highway
The celebrity-loved indoor cycling studio has arrived, opening its first Tampa location in Hyde Park Village in early August. SoulCycle will house 60 bikes that tend to get booked up quickly; members of the studio’s cult-like following know that bike booking opens each Monday at noon for the upcoming week, and the most popular class times and bikes (that’s a thing) go quickly. The studio’s signature class — simply called SoulCycle — is a 45-minute ride set to music that works your full body while you have a little fun at the same time.
1628 W. Snow Ave.
Rather than focusing solely on working out, the six-week X-Force Body program takes a whole-body approach to fitness. To start, 3D technology captures your baseline measurements, and a nutritional program relies on decreasing calories and increasing water consumption over the six weeks. Coach-led workouts are only 30 minutes, twice a week, and focus on negative training, where emphasis is put on the lowering part of the exercise movement to build muscle and burn fat. Best of all? The most important part of the X-Force program, the coaches say, is sleep.
4007 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Tess Partridge knows that it can be difficult for parents to find time to sneak in a workout while wrangling young kids, so she designed a workout that gets little ones in on the act. iStroll classes use a stroller, resistance bands, body weight, dumbbells and high-intensity interval training to create a full-body workout in 60 minutes. The goal is to keep kids moving while giving parents both a physical outlet and a social one; an optional 30-minute parent-child play date follows every iStroll class, and iStroll hosts monthly meetups and social gatherings (some are even kid-free). Class locations rotate between Kate Jackson, Julian B. Lane and Ballast Point parks and are held four to five times per week.
Tampa Bay Club Sport
The perfect way to get some exercise in while making a few new friends, Tampa Bay Club Sport offers leagues that range in seriousness from just having fun to seriously skilled. Venues around South Tampa — including the Hyde Park softball fields and Gadsden Park — host a variety of sports, like kickball, softball, soccer and bowling. Seasons start throughout the year, so pick your sport, find a location, and sign up as an individual or with a group of friends on Tampa Bay Club Sport’s website.
Locations vary | tampabayclubsport.com
Serious fitness fiends know the importance of quality footwear, and the team at Feet First have been focused solely on helping people find the right athletic shoes for 40 years. The store carries mainstream brands like Nike and Adidas along with running-specific makers like Brooks and Mizuno, and the staff will you find the right shoe and fit for your preferred activity. Feet First also stocks supportive insoles and high-tech socks for serious athletes and weekend warriors alike.
3401 W. Bay to Bay Blvd.
It’s South Tampa’s hottest workout — literally. HOTWORX uses infrared heat absorption to supercharge 30-minute isometric (think yoga or Pilates) and 15-minute HIIT workouts, speeding up your metabolism and recovery while detoxifying the body. Participants follow along with a virtual instructor as you row, cycle, squat or do yoga in a 125-degree infrared sauna, and each session is limited to two to three people. HOTWORX members have 24-hour access to the studio and saunas.
2208 S. Dale Mabry Highway
ONE TO WATCH
After developing a love for American football growing up in London, England, strength and conditioning coach Steve Harrison pursued a life of helping people get better through physical fitness. He’s now a co-owner of the Tampa Sports Academy, where he trains athletes and regular people alike to make whatever it is they do in their day-to-day life easier — whether that’s throwing touchdown passes or safely lifting the groceries out of the car. Harrison is all about getting people moving and expending energy. That, coupled with tangible goal-setting and a high intensity level, is how to truly get better at what you do, he says. “It’s an old saying that you either get better or worse, you never stay the same,” Harrison says. “I feel that every time I work with someone, they’re getting better, physically and mentally.”
Tampa Sports Academy
4539 S. Dale Mabry Highway, Suite 100
Tampa Rowing Club
Tampa is one of the best places in the country for rowers, and the Tampa Rowing Club gives recreational scullers the opportunity to hit the water all year long. A club membership provides unlimited access to the TRC’s boats stored at the University of Tampa’s boathouse, located directly on the Hillsborough River. The club periodically hosts Learn to Scull workshops, where new rowers can learn the basics of sculling (or rowing one-person boats) with expert guidance on and off the water. Stay tuned to the Tampa Rowing Club’s website for that schedule, along with full membership details.
362 UT University Drive