Best gyms in Miami
Anatomy at 1220 is as Miami as a Miami gym can get. Though the facility is outfitted with shiny new equipment—dumbbells, squat racks, a pilates studio and a beautiful rooftop workout area—the really good stuff is in the bells and whistles. Aiming to be more of a lifestyle club than a straight-up gym, Anatomy offers services such as a salon, infrared sauna, IV therapy, chiropractors and massage therapists and more. In yet another Miami twist—not just anyone can join. You’ve got to apply for membership (which starts at $189 a month) and hope the Anatomy membership committee (which is a real thing) give you the thumbs up.
This tucked-away Design District gym is a favorite of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and a host of other professional athletes (and some celebrities too). There’s a reason why elite athletes choose DBC Fitness. The facility roots its training in hard science, assessing each client with a team of movement analysts, soft tissue specialists and good ol’ strength and conditioning coaches. The result is a comprehensive, chic gym that prioritizes results over everything—and can have you ready for either the football field or the beach with equal efficacy.
Barre workouts have taken off in a major way around the country but Pure Barre in Coral Gables is the studio that’s set the trend for locals. The 50-minute class—which is broken up into various muscle-toning sections (arms, core, thighs, seat)—follows the rest of the franchises’ routines but this location is continuously raising the bar with themed classes, bonus workshops and experienced instructors not afraid to up the ante with new moves. Recently, the studio added new cardio-focused Empower classes, a high-intensity, calorie-torching workout that uses wrist and ankle weights to complement the traditional isometric exercises.
This celebrity-endorsed boot camp, which has slimmed and toned the likes of Kim Kardashian and Jake Gyllenhaal, was a natural fit for South Beach with its slew of sexy trainers (famous in their own right) and taut-and-trim clients whose good looks only rival their stamina in class. Workouts are broken up into sections—treadmill and weight training to target different muscle groups happen simultaneously—and are led by tough but encouraging instructors who somehow keep tabs on both halves of the class without ever skipping a beat. If 30 minutes of running at top speeds wears you out, recharge at the juice bar before crawling back to your car. Barry’s has a second location in the Shops at Midtown Miami.
#NoDaysOff is more than just a slogan, it’s a mantra for Legacy Fit owner Manning Summer and his team of trainers, who run this neighborhood boot camp gym. Workouts are tough—consisting of outdoor runs, weightlifting and circuit training—but think twice before you quit. If the camaraderie among fellow classmates doesn’t encourage you to keep going then the wrath from them might. For every straggler who fails to complete a workout, the entire class must run laps. Talk about motivation!
Following a similar cardio-plus-strength-training model as Orange Theory and Barry’s Bootcamp, Fitbox Method aims to burn fat and build muscle during a fast-paced, 60-minute session. The reason you should try this one instead of the others is for the bonus stress relief—rather than sprinting to nowhere on the treadmill, cardio here consists of a 30-minute boxing session led by eager instructors who correct your form and yell “Dale!” to keep you motivated (this is Miami, after all). Fitbox has recently added a spinning studio, where you watch music videos to keep you motivated as you ride.
Coral Gables has fully taken to SoulCycle’s cult-like fitness empire—high-priced classes and all. SoulCycle Coral Gables takes spinning to new levels, with wild, energetic instructors, calorie-torching choreography and playlists filled with songs you lose yourself in (many have compared a cycling session here with a visit to a therapist—that’s just how cathartic the whole experience feels). The waiting area is tight, and just before class you’ll find there’s a mad rush in the locker area to put your things away, which can get a little uncomfortable, but no one seems to mind.
This is not Instagram boxing. At Matt Baiamonte’s, you learn how to throw a proper punch (and, occasionally, take one too). The gym is run by real boxers with the noses and cauliflower ears to prove it. And they’ll put you through the same workouts that they used to go through themselves—which can be quite punishing. Boxers are some of the most well-conditioned athletes on the planet and after one class here, you’ll understand why.
The chic, modern gym specializes in “aqua cycling,” which is exactly what it sounds like: an underwater spin class. Classes range from 45 to 55 minutes. Patrons are asked to bring a bathing suit and aquatic shoes, which are available to buy at Element’s studio. Private showers are available for a post-workout rinse too. Available classes include a strength and coordination circuit called “Aqua Power,” a meditation class and a pre-natal class as well.
Don’t be surprised if five minutes into class beads of sweat drip from your nose as you find yourself out of breath and struggling to keep up—JetSet is not your typical Pilates class. This particular muscle-lengthening exercise is performed on a megaformer machine, which is roughly twice the size of a conventional reformer, and combines cardio, strength training and Pilates for a core-crushing workout. Sessions are kept small and are generally attended by fit women whose lithe bodies seemingly glide on the carriage as they push, pull, lunge and squat in ways traditional Pilates does not allow.
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