We get it. Staying in shape can be hard. It can be especially difficult in New Orleans, where there is mouthwatering food all around you, all the time. And temptations aside, many run-of-the-mill gyms can get monotonous, leaving us unmotivated, bored, and wanting to change things up. That’s why we decided to write about some of our favorite NOLA gyms that add that an extra layer of fun and excitement to our workouts!
Fitness instructor Jon Sloan created Swoot (a portmanteau of “sweat” and “woot”) to restore joy and excitement to workouts. This revolutionary gym is an exhilarating, neon-drenched haven where everything from HIIT and indoor cycling to boxing and yoga are designed to maximize both the experience and the results. The gym’s seven different workout programs also include step aerobics, but not the kind you’ll remember from 90s VHS tapes: this updated-yet-nostalgic class will leave you sweaty, energized, and ready to step up the challenge next time. Swoot should be at the top of your list if you’re looking for a new way to exercise and build community. Sessions can be booked individually, in bundles, or through several membership packages. Whatever option you choose…get ready to Swoot!
Cypress Fitness in the Lower Garden District specializes in group fitness and personal training using body weight, kettlebells, dumbbells, TRX, cardio training, and more. The space is a converted warehouse (insulated with A/C) that’s divided into a main class section with a padded floor and perimeter space for working out, warming up, or stretching while a class is going on. The space itself is just right: not too cramped but also not cavernous and intimidating. The instructors’ level of professionalism and friendliness will keep you motivated and coming back for more. During class, they’ll happily offer modifications that can increase or reduce difficulty to keep you challenged regardless of your fitness level. The classes can be tough, but we’ve never once regretted finishing one!
Located in the heart of the St. Claude corridor, New Orleans Boulder Lounge is NOLA’s premier bouldering gym. Bouldering is a form of rock climbing, but instead of being harnessed into a pulley and climbing towering walls, you’ll be free climbing (no harness) on shorter walls. To account for all levels of bouldering ability, each climbing path is color-coded to let you know which walls are for beginners, which are for intermediate climbers, and which ones are for experts. The best part of this gym is it doesn’t even feel like you're exercising, but it is in fact a full-body workout—with an exceptional focus on your forearms.
New Orleans Athletic Club (NOAC)
This is one of the oldest fitness centers in the country and one of the coolest gyms we’ve ever been to. NOAC is housed in a historic building that was erected in 1929, but the club itself dates back to 1872. Today, NOAC still features a full bar right in the center, so you can enjoy your workout before winding down with a martini. Members can enjoy over 50 free classes, including group sessions that take place in a breathtaking ballroom with towering 18’ windows. Other amenities include a pool, boxing ring, and several workout rooms with machines and free weights. If you’re looking for a gym that not only breaks the mold but also acts as a historic New Orleans time capsule, there’s no better place than NOAC.
3823 Magazine St.
In the mood for high-intensity indoor cycling with a soundtrack of your favorite tunes? Look no further than CycleBar Uptown. Classes accommodate all fitness levels and prioritize empowerment throughout several trials of strength, endurance, perseverance, and concentration. The expert trainers know how to push you to (and past) your limits while encouraging an atmosphere of support and excitement. Plus, classes themed around favorite pop divas and musical genres allow you to pick a session that gets your energy up and your heart pumping.
These are just some of our favorite workout spots throughout the city. Of course, there are so many other awesome locations and programs that can help you get in and have fun doing it.
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