Happiest and Healthiest: A guide to Nashville’s fitness studios

Happiest+and+Healthiest%3A+A+guide+to+Nashville%E2%80%99s+fitness+studios

Katherine Carbonell

Here is your complete list of all of the Vandy CHAARG-approved studios in Nashville! CHAARG is a national health and fitness org for college-aged women, and I have the privilege of leading our Vandy Chapter. The fitness scene here is thriving, which means we definitely haven’t been to every studio yet. That said, we go to a studio every week — of the ones we’ve tried, these are definitely the best.

Note: I’ve given each studio an intensity rating, with three being the highest. Of course, these ratings are based on personal opinion. Any workout can be modified to be the easiest or hardest workout you’ve ever done, and every studio offers modifications for beginners and seasoned athletes.

Boxing:

Pepper Boxing

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CHAARG take: Pepper is a new boxing studio that just opened up here in Nashville this past summer. They use water-filled, teardrop-shaped bags arranged in a unique circle formation to facilitate every student’s view of the instructor. Outside the boxing room, rings are available for advanced students. During our CHAARG class last semester, most of the time was spent boxing rounds, and one song was allocated to an arm workout with a weighted bar of our choice. I loved the room setup and the lighting, and the water-filled bags were much lower-impact for my hands and wrists.

Their mantra: “An old school vibe paired with modern day training methods, Pepper Boxing is the new industry leader for the ever evolving group fitness experience. By reimagining a boxer’s training ritual, we’ve created a full-body workout incorporating high-intensity rounds of shadow-boxing, heavy bag work and weighted bar exercises.”

TITLE Boxing

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CHAARG take: SO FUN. TITLE teaches you the basics of boxing, and just one class will leave you feeling like a badass. Classes start with a quick cardio warm up, followed by several “rounds” of boxing and an ab blast to finish it out. The room is set up with several rows of hanging bags, and rings are available for more advanced students. Although boxing targets your upper body, TITLE is a fantastic total body/cardio workout. In CHAARG’s past classes, instructors have been very encouraging and have challenged us one-on-one with punch paddles throughout the class. One of their studios is fairly close to campus.

Their mantra: “TITLE Boxing Club is the best and only authentic full-body boxing workout that changes your body, clears your mind and completely engages your spirit.

Our signature Power Hour utilizes the fundamentals of a true boxer’s workout to strengthen and tone your arms, legs, back, core and your confidence. Empowering, exhilarating and totally addictive—this is your new favorite workout.”

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT):

Barry’s Bootcamp

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CHAARG take: Barry’s is an amazing workout, and the Nashville studio has “great music, super encouraging instructors, and a really cool vibe,” according to CHAARGie Ivana Dulanto. The workouts are divided into classes that are half running, half lifting, and classes that are strictly strength-based. Workouts are also separated into upper body, lower body, and total body days. Barry’s swears by keeping your heart rate elevated throughout the class with cardio and alternate bursts of intense anaerobic exercise to raise your resting metabolic rate.

Their mantra: “This is the room where everything becomes possible. Where you push through the “I can’t’s” and “If only’s.” Where you run faster, lift more, lean out, quiet down. This is what transformation looks like. Where you become the best version of yourself.”

Fit Factory

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CHAARG take: Fit Factory is a high-intensity workout that is sure to help you build strength while getting your heartrate up. Founded by athletes, they focus on functional movement. In other words, you work out to train, not to look a certain way (which I love). The class is typically split up into several stations spread throughout their warehouse-style space. Fit Factory is located fairly close to campus and has a huge focus on community building. You’re sure to find a friend!

Their mantra: “When we say “Building a fit community, one friend at a time,” we really mean it!  Our gym is full of people with different experience levels and different fitness goals, coming together as a community to workout and encourage one another.  We don’t want a daily workout to feel intimidating, but rather empowering!”

getFIT615

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CHAARG take: getFIT615 is so close to our hearts as an organization. Our original founder, Barbara Puzanovova, is a trainer there, and the owner, Kate Moore, is an inspiration to us all (I highly recommend her blog). getFIT provides what is basically a 45 minute HIIT workout. You’ll rotate through stations including movements like box jumps, kettlebells, Bosu and TRX straps. getFIT615 is located super close to campus in the same building as Shakti (see below), and both offer an amazing $30 for 30 days unlimited deal for new students. The workouts are challenging, but instructors always remind students to stay tuned into their bodies. CHAARGie Irene Li says, “That’s what I liked most about the studio. You can go to a lot of places for a good HIIT workout, but getFIT probably has the most friendly and positive environment. Everyone is cheering and encouraging you.

Their mantra: “We think that you should do something every day that makes you sweat because our bodies are made for movement and movement makes us feel good.

The most effective way to stay “fit” is to do movement that you love with people that you love. “Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” – Brene Brown”

Orangetheory Fitness

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CHAARG take: I personally have an Orangetheory membership, and I LOVE it. Orangetheory classes are special in that you’re given a heart rate monitor that uses bluetooth to display everyone’s heart rates on the monitors in the studio. Each student is challenged to get as many “splat points” (minutes spent) in the orange or red heart rate zones — the zones that definitely mean you’re working hard. Classes are divided into Endurance, Strength, Power and ESP (all of them combined) days, with about half of the time spent on cardio and the remaining half spent on strength. For me, the heart rate monitors offer a great supplement to my workout, especially since classes are very cardio-heavy. When I know my heart rate, I get a feel for when I can push myself harder and when I can take a breather, which is a great skill to have when you’re doing workouts on your own. I personally have a membership because I find that killer cardio workouts are easier (and more fun) in groups, and the trainers are super encouraging. The midtown studio is only a 12-minute walk from Kissam!

Their mantra: “Backed by the science of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (or EPOC), Orangetheory’s heart rate monitored training is designed to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. We call it the afterburn. Our members burn an estimated 500 to 1,000 calories in 60 minutes. And keep burning calories for up to 36 hours.”

SHED

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CHAARG take: SHED is a beautiful studio with its closest location in the Gulch. From my experience, a SHED workout definitely has the opportunity to make your muscles work hard, but cardio is the real kicker. Each day at SHED focuses on a different muscle group, with each class providing 3-5 stations of moderate-high intensity exercises. Think some free weights, some plyometrics and some curve treadmill running (a treadmill curved at the base so that it’s self-powered — by you!). SHED is super effective, and the class is so fun and fast-paced that it will be over before you know it!

Their mantra: “Experience high-intensity training at its best!”

Vigor Fitness and Wellness Studio

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CHAARG take: Vigor focuses on health as a whole and emphasizes strength, endurance, restoration and refuel. In addition to HIIT/strength workouts, they also offer yoga, barre, indoor cycling, a sauna, massage therapy and registered dietitians — truly a holistic look on health. Their HIIT workouts are circuit-based with plyometrics, TABATA and body weight/weight-based strength training.

Their mantra: “Vigor Fitness & Wellness Studio is committed to giving our clients an excellent experience in fitness with positive results. We believe that achieving a healthy and fit body encompasses many factors including strength training, cardio, proper nutrition, stretching, myofascial release, and restoring the muscles through yoga and cutting-edge techniques. At Vigor Fitness and Wellness Studio, we aim to provide all the components necessary for fitness success in one location in an uplifting and fun environment.  We provide excellent customer service for the best fitness experience mentally and physically.”

Cycling:

Verticity

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CHAARG take: Verticity is incredible. I always love studios that are committed to combining the spiritual aspect of fitness with their workouts, and Verticity does an amazing job. Their classes are very upbeat and are held in a smaller room in order for all students to feed off of the energy. Naturally, most of the work will come from your lower body, but one song each class is dedicated to arms. Verticity has the potential to make you super sore, but students are encouraged throughout the ride to go at their own pace.

Their mantra: “We believe in living our very best lives as our most amazing selves. We believe in inspiring others. We believe there’s enough room at the top. We believe that everything is possible.  We believe in Nashville. We believe in the power of music. We believe in the importance of community. We believe in putting one foot in front of the other. We believe that sweat is necessary for a healthy body and a full life. We believe fun and hard work must coexist. We believe in ourselves. We believe in each other.

This is our city. This is our pack. We are VERTICITY.”

CycleBar

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CHAARG take: CycleBar is a great workout for those with a competitive edge. Although participation is not mandatory, each CycleBar student has the opportunity to have his or her stats displayed on the screen in the CycleTheatre. Each bike also comes with a monitor for students to keep track of their gear and RPM. Throughout the class, students are challenged to races, and final rankings are displayed at the end. CycleBar is set to the beat of the music and provides a super fun, upbeat workout!

Their mantra: “Rock your ride, each and every time.”

Barre:

The Dailey Method

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CHAARG take: TDM offers a range of traditional barre classes in addition to cardio barre and spin. Barre classes offer challenging sequences and test your endurance as you hold poses to build strength. Their studio is kept very clean and is conveniently located close to campus. CHAARGie Abby Chopoorian says, “I actually found it one of the hardest barre classes I’ve been to.”

Their mantra: “Smart, welcoming, authentic, purposeful, passionate, fun, committed. If it sounds like a great date, that’s because it is. We embrace the ultimate in exercise science giving you the confidence to know you are participating in the safest, most effective workout on the planet.”

Barre3

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CHAARG take: Barre3 instructors are always so upbeat and happy to help with our events. Their workouts focus on creating proper alignment before using both small movements to work deep in the muscle, and large movements for functionality. These classes are very lower body-focused.

Their mantra: “Barre3 mixes athleticism, grace, and the latest innovations designed to balance the body. Whether you have ten minutes or an hour, each full-body workout optimizes every moment with moves that adapt to your body for maximum results.”

Yoga:

Shakti Power Yoga

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CHAARG take: Shakti does an amazing job of bringing it back to the basics. In my opinion, many yoga studios are getting very glamorous and modern — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing! The more modern studios are a ton of fun, but Shakti brings yoga back to its roots and its true, spiritual purpose. My word for describing them is “organic.” Class difficulty varies from instructor to instructor, and the heated power flows can be very challenging. Unheated classes, including restorative classes and yin yoga, are also available. Music is typically soft and acoustic. Their studio is super close to campus and has a great $30 for 30 days unlimited deal for new students. They also offer $5 Community Classes throughout the week. Can you tell this is my favorite yoga studio in Nashville?

Their mantra: “Shakti Power Yoga’s mission is to be in full expression of love & gratitude for life.We impact our local & global communities through the powerful practice of yoga, and empower each other to live an INSPIRED life.”

CorePower Yoga

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CHAARG take: CorePower offers 4 levels of heated flows in addition to restorative classes and classes that are designed to build lean muscle. Appropriately named, CorePower classes focus on building core strength. Classes are both unheated and heated, ranging from 85-103ºF. CHAARG Treasurer, Sydney Friedopfer, says, “The C2 series is hard, but it’s definitely my favorite flow I’ve ever done.”

Their mantra: “Inside our yoga fitness studios, something amazing is happening. With this high intensity workout, you’ll push past physical boundaries with an open mind and a beating heart, turning doubt into security, strangers into friends and stress into sweat.”

Hot Yoga Plus

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CHAARG take: HYP offers heated power flows, traditional hot classes, a 44-minute express flow and unheated restorative classes. Heated classes range from 85-100ºF. Although style varies from instructor to instructor, the music tends to be more pop and upbeat. Their studio is located conveniently close to campus. I can personally report that I almost passed out after one of their classes (don’t be like me and be sure to take breaks if needed)!

Their mantra: “Yoga is aimed at uniting the mind, body and spirit. We believe that when a person can find harmony between these three things, he or she can find healing, health and joy. No wonder so many people consider yoga their therapy!”

Inner Light Yoga

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CHAARG take: ILY has one of the prettiest studios in Nashville. Their fresh take on yoga reminds me of popular spin classes in that they use the beat music to set the pace of the flow. ILY classes are high energy, incorporate plyometrics to rev up your practice, and encourage each student to take the flows at his or her own pace. The studio also offers classes with themed music, and often holds classes with live local bands.

Their mantra: “We are bold, fresh, and filled with love. Our energy is high, our music is turned up and we really like you. As Nashville’s first music-based yoga studio, we offer creative vinyasa classes that move to the beat, push you to your limits and allow you to get lost in the flow. We believe in the collective of people, and that together we are strong and can pursue sweat daily.”