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Barry's Bootcamp
Photograph: Courtesy Barry's Bootcamp

The best gyms in Boston

Boston has a range of gyms to suit whatever fitness routine you seek—from boot camps to barbells

Written by
Cheryl Fenton
Written by
Time Out Boston Staff
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Life in the time of COVID-19 has pushed our lives (and our waistbands) to the limits. Whether it’s working from home during 2020 or delving back into the restaurant scene a little too enthusiastically, it’s possible that you aren’t feeling or looking your healthiest. From personal training and cutting edge equipment to the latest group workout trends and mind-body connections, Boston’s gym game is strong. When you’re done with a tough workout, unwind with a treatment at one of the best spas in Boston or reward all that hard work with a meal at one of the best restaurants in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

The best gyms in Boston

  • Sports and fitness
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Boston

Equinox takes the gym experience up a notch with innovative signature fitness classes, highly-skilled personal trainers, luxurious spas and on-site cafes and boutiques. Multiple locations throughout Boston include standard offerings, plus additional features like an indoor pool and a running lab in Chestnut Hill, or a rooftop training area in Copley Square.

  • Health and beauty
  • Spas
  • North End
  • price 3 of 4

Exhale, with locations in Back Bay and Battery Wharf, combines fitness studio and spa in one location. In addition to top-of-the-line fitness equipment, there are classes such as barre, cardio, yoga, HIIT and cycling. Once your workout is complete, enjoy services like a massage, facial, mani/pedi or acupuncture, or simply unwind in the hammam, sauna or zen lounge.

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  • Sports and fitness
  • Seaport District

Founded originally by George Foreman III, EverybodyFights is more than just about rings and bags. Modeled after a real boxer’s training camp, the authentic, boxing-inspired group fitness brand offers circuit training, ROAD treadmill classes, MITTS technique classes, weights and more. The recovery room is all about mindfulness, and trainers explain the why behind the work. The gym has three Boston area locations and opens at 5am, so no more fighting a busy day to get in a workout.

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  • Sports and fitness
  • Back Bay

In the case of this intense workout spot, seeing red is a good thing. Half treadmill, half strength training, workouts are held in all-red rooms bursting with energy. Workouts alternate anaerobic exercise to raise your metabolic rate and build lean muscle. With three locations in and around Boston, consider this an exercise in pushing your body to its limits. Stop at the Fuel Bar for a protein-packed gourmet shake to refuel.

  • Sports and fitness
  • Gyms and fitness centers

More athletic resort than gym, the newly built Life Time Northshore is the first of its kind in the Greater Boston area. A 120,000-square-foot, three-story mecca of good health, each level welcomes you to the next stage of your wellness journey, including: 400 pieces of cardio and resistance equipment; yoga, pilates, and spin rooms; two basketball courts; LifeCafe and LifeSpa. Water enthusiasts enjoy hot tubs, cold water plunges, lap pools and an expansive seasonal outdoor aquatic center, complete with a leisure pool, water slides, cabanas and a bistro. For parents, the onsite Kids Academy is a dream.

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  • Sports and fitness
  • West End

Need to get a handle on your workout? With Stages bikes and QSC sound, the energy at The Handle Bar is high and the bass is bumping. Look for monthly twists to their signature Cycle ride, like past classes that have included HEAT with live DJs and a mega heated room or Rise & Rave, a coffee-driven glow stick adventure. Go the extra mile with Handle with Care, their non-profit that raises mental illness awareness. Joining their four other sites of this female-owned and operated business is the new Prudential location.

  • Sports and fitness
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Back Bay

For women who prefer working out in an all-female environment, Healthworks is there, with several locations throughout the city. The gym has well-appointed facilities and offers personal training, nutrition coaching with a registered dietitian and group fitness classes that range from high intensity workouts to mind-body focused yoga classes. Daycare is offered as well to help out fitness-minded mommas.

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  • Sports and fitness
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • West End

This local chain of gyms prides itself on cultivating a friendly, neighborhood vibe where members are treated like regulars at a bar. A full range of group classes meet all fitness levels. Gyms feature state-of-the-art cardio equipment and weight machines. The original location, across the street from the TD Garden, includes Combat Sports Boston, an MMA academy where you can learn jiu-jitsu, grappling, striking, Muay Thai and judo.

  • Sports and fitness
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • South Boston

For a no-frills but highly-effective workout option, Peter Welch’s Gym comes through with an old school attitude towards fitness. Friendly staff and a hands-on approach make this boxing gym welcoming for all ages and all fitness levels. From boxing instruction and conditioning classes to strength training and circuit workouts, this gym offers a no-nonsense path to building strength, stamina, agility and more, all in a community-focused environment.

More local standouts for wellness

  • Health and beauty

Feeling stressed out or a bit ragged? It happens to everyone, and everyone deserves a little pampering and relaxation now and then. At the best spas in Boston, you can unwind and nourish yourself mentally and physically, from your skin to your muscles to your mind.

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