January is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and think about the goals we want to set for ourselves in the New Year! Many of us use this time of reflection to think about improving our health by setting goals to start exercising or to develop a more consistent exercise routine.
A great way to jumpstart a focus on healthier habits is to try out some of Irving’s fitness, yoga, and wellness studios. I visited several local studios to see what stood out about each one. Whether you enjoy sweating and pushing your body to loud, beat-driven music or prefer a quieter, more relaxing, slow-flow yoga class, you can find the perfect studio to help you reach your health goals right here in Irving. Now, let’s get moving…sweat is optional!*Not local? Not a problem. Most offer first free classes to out-of-towners or accept memberships from out-of-town clubs. Please contact each studio to confirm the accuracy of studio offerings and membership specials prior to your visit.
7640 N MacArthur Blvd. #5
Orangetheory is a heart-rate-based HIIT (high-intensity interval training) total-body group workout that combines science, coaching, and technology to guarantee maximum results from the inside out. Each class incorporates cardio intervals on a treadmill (a few bikes and striders are also available), a full-body workout on a rower, and strength training exercises with dumbbells and TRX equipment. Optional OTbeat™ exclusive wearable heart rate monitors are available for purchase to get real-time feedback on the intensity of your workout and to “compete” with other class members.
I found Orangetheory classes to provide a fun, challenging workout suitable for all fitness levels. The coaches are helpful, motivating, and encouraging. The music is fun and energetic - I enjoyed singing along to a few of the songs…when I wasn’t too out of breath! If you’re motivated by competition and pushing yourself to achieve a new PR (personal record), then Orangetheory is a great place to try for your next sweaty challenge!*Free first class applies to local residents only; others pay a drop-in rate *Orangetheory membership can be used at most other OTF studios
4000 N MacArthur Blvd., Ste. 100
Row House offers six different class types to help members build strength, endurance, and confidence. Their website promises that “each synchronized group fitness experience champions a sense of purpose, one that provides a fun, team-oriented environment that encompasses a true sense of community.” Programming varies for each class to help members avoid plateaus, and the rowing machines measure the amount of energy each rower uses so they can set goals and measure progress (against PRs and other class members) through real-time results.
I tried both the 45-minute Signature class, which includes rowing intervals alternated with low impact, strength-building floor exercises and the Restore class, a 45-minute class that alternates rowing intervals with dynamic stretches to help restore balance to the body - as a Yoga teacher, this class speaks my (body) language!
Row House provides a fun, challenging, full-body workout. The coaches are high energy, give clear instructions on safely and effectively using the rowing machines, and keep members motivated throughout the class. Row House will appeal to those who want a team-oriented “crew” experience, enjoy energizing music, and thrive in a competitive environment, whether competing with their former PR or fellow crew members.*Free first class for local residents and out-of-town visitors *Unlimited membership can be used at other Row House locations
6761 N MacArthur Blvd., Suite 140
Pure Barre features four group class formats that deliver a total-body workout focused on low-impact, high-intensity movements that lift and tone muscles and improve strength, agility, and flexibility.
I attended the Foundations Intro class, which gives new, potential members an introduction to the basic movements included in Pure Barre workouts, as well as instructions on how their techniques work on toning and strengthening muscles. The class was challenging, but just when I thought I might not be able to do any more reps of an exercise, the instructor switched to a different activity targeting different muscle groups. Pure Barre is a great option for those who want to engage in low-impact but challenging exercises in a small group setting to build strength, endurance, and flexibility in their bodies.*Free first class for local residents only; visitors can pay drop-in rates or take advantage of specials (like BOGO) when available *Memberships are location-specific
7300 N. MacArthur Blvd., Ste 105
Fit Theorem’s website states that four FITT elements are incorporated into every class: the Fighter element (kickboxing combinations with a standing kickboxing bag); the HIIT (high-intensity interval training) element using bodyweight movements; the Strength element (resistance training with kettlebell movements); and the Flow element, based on quadruped animal locomotion movements.
As promised, the class was a fun, challenging, high-intensity workout that mixed bouts of cardio exercise with strength training exercises. The coach led the class through several boxing/kickboxing sequences using the bag, intermixed with cardio/strength exercises and short water breaks. As someone of a certain age with a “cranky” foot and knee, I especially appreciated the padded floor, which allowed me to perform high-impact exercises that would normally cause pain in my foot and knee.
Of all the classes I tried, I was the sorest - in a good way, of course - after this class. If you’re looking for a challenging, high-intensity workout and want to feel your sore muscles for several days after the class, Fit Theorem is likely the perfect “FITT” for you!*Free first class for local residents and out-of-town visitors *Membership can be used at all Fit Theorem locations
5910 N. MacArthur Blvd., Suite 145
The 9Round kickboxing fitness gym offers semi-private instruction with a trainer as you move through nine “rounds” of kickboxing, boxing, and strength training circuits. One huge benefit of the 9Round model is that you can show up on your own schedule - you don’t have to fit designated class times into your busy life. When you arrive, you check in and gear up for your semi-private training session, in which you’ll spend three-minute rounds at nine different training stations to achieve a full-body workout. My favorite round of the circuit was getting to spar with the trainer!
If it’s difficult to fit class times into your busy schedule, you enjoy a lot of variety in your workouts and want to feel like a real boxer sparring with your coach, then you’ll want to “get in the fight!” at 9Round.*Free first class for local residents and out-of-town visitors *Membership can be used at locations with the same owners (currently Las Colinas, Murphy, and Lake Highlands)
114 E. John W Carpenter Fwy 150, Suite 150
Do you like to sweat? Then this is the studio for you! HOTWORX provides a unique, innovative studio experience offering infrared saunas and eleven different workouts led by fun, encouraging virtual instructors. Members have 24/7 access to the studio; although the studio is not staffed 24 hours, you can check their website for staffed hours if you prefer to go when the staff is present. Pre-recorded class videos are scheduled to run at specific times throughout the day, including in the middle of the night. There are multiple saunas that can be used for 30-minute Barre, Pilates, Yoga, and other isometric classes, and several saunas that offer 15-minute cardio workouts, including two saunas equipped with three bikes for spin classes. Depending on how busy the studio is when you visit, you might have a sauna to yourself, or you might share it with one or two other people. Plus, the FX Zone (Functional Exercise Zone) provides members with resistance bands, weights, and other strength training equipment to use before and after their workout sessions.
I’m usually not a fan of hot yoga, but I enjoyed the 30-minute yoga class in the 112-degree heated room (members can heat the room up to 125 degrees, but a lower temp is suggested for guests and new members). No surprise…I sweated a lot! I enjoyed the stretches offered at the end of the class, including myofascial release with a foam roller, and the class ended with a short, silent meditation.
If you love the feeling of a good sweat, want a lot of freedom when scheduling your sweaty sessions, and prefer to squeeze an effective workout into a short period, HOTWORX is a great option!
*First session complimentary for local residents and out-of-town visitors *Sweat Everywhere memberships can be used at all studios; Sweat Here memberships can also be used at other locations, but a reciprocation fee will apply
4000 N. MacArthur Blvd., Ste. A122
The Club Pilates website promises “a workout without the hurt” - the Reformer-based group Pilates classes are complemented by TriggerPoint, TRX® springboard, EXO-chair, and other equipment designed to build strength, mobility, and stability. Guests and new members are invited to attend the Intro class for free to become familiar with the variety of Pilates equipment and experience a sampling of exercises that members can expect during a regular class.
The instructor leading the Intro class I attended was incredibly knowledgeable and provided educational information along with exercise instruction, pointing out specific muscles worked during each exercise and the benefits of those exercises. The class was fun but challenging and flew by! A full schedule with a variety of classes is offered, so everyone can find a class that fits in their schedule and provides the right amount of challenge.
If you’re looking for a low-impact, full-body workout led by highly trained instructors, and you like individualized attention in a fun, small group setting with other people who know that “on life's journey, it's best to stay flexible,” give Club Pilates a try!*Free first Intro class for local residents and out-of-town visitors; drop-in rate applies to other classes *Unlimited Membership can be used at other “partner” locations with the same owners
975 W. John Carpenter Fwy.
SunstoneFIT offers more than just yoga - they also offer barre, Pilates, and fitness classes in warm to hot rooms and, according to their website, promise to help their members “learn to train smarter, not harder.”
Instead of offering a free class, Sunstone asks potential members to sign up for a one-month trial at a reduced price (although you also have the option to pay a drop-in rate if you don’t want to sign up for the trial). The one-month trial option, which costs less than a typical drop-in rate at most boutique studios, allows you to sample a variety of classes with different instructors to get a better feel for whether the studio is a good fit for you.
Since I took advantage of the one-month trial, I was able to attend a couple of classes, including the Yoga Core class, which, in my opinion, was light on yoga and heavy on core work but would be great for those interested in a challenging core workout. I also attended a Hot Yoga Lite class, which is a slow-flow vinyasa-style class held in a smaller, warm (not hot) room. For me, this class provided just the right balance of challenge and relaxation. Since they also offer a variety of other class formats, including barre, Pilates, and fitness classes, there’s something for everyone at Sunstone!*One-month reduced rate trial offer for local residents, good at all locations; out-of-town visitors pay a drop-in rate *Membership can be used at all locations
1041 W. Rochelle Rd.
Mind, Body & Soul Fitness is a locally owned, stand-alone gym offering Boot Camps, Strength Training, Personal Training, and Kickboxing classes. I tried out the kickboxing class, which incorporated boxing and kickboxing moves using a free-standing kickboxing/punching bag for one station, alternating with other cardio and strength training exercises at a different station. If you have them, you’ll want to bring your own boxing gloves, as they are recommended to protect your hands while repeatedly punching the bag.
If you’re looking for a local community gym with standard cardio and strength-training equipment, along with a variety of class options in which you can relieve stress by punching and kicking a heavy bag, give Mind, Body & Soul Fitness a try!*First class free for local residents
4000 N. MacArthur Blvd. Suite 104
YogaSix offers six different class types, from hot and powerful to slow and mindful, in their beginner, slow flow, power, sculpt, hot, and restore classes. Teachers are trained in the YogaSix methodology to provide a consistent but creative experience for each class type every time. Teachers pride themselves on teaching in a way that is easy for everyone to follow and understand. Classes provide yogis of all levels and abilities with a sensory, mind-body yoga experience that leaves everyone feeling challenged and successful.
Whether you’re brand new to yoga or have been practicing yoga for years, at YogaSix, you’ll enjoy a practice that is energizing, empowering, fun, and accessible.*Monthly introductory specials for local residents and out-of-town visitors *All Studio Access Unlimited memberships can be used at other Y6 studios
3636 N. MacArthur Blvd., Ste 150
Full disclosure: I’m a former Jazzercise instructor, and I am proud to count many of the instructors at the Irving Jazzercise studio as my friends! There are many reasons I loved Jazzercise enough to attend the rigorous training program required to become a Jazzercise Instructor…I’ll highlight a few of them.
First and most importantly, Jazzercise is so much fun! Each class includes a variety of choreographed routines incorporating a combination of aerobic exercise, HIIT cardio, and dance moves that are safe and effective for all ages and fitness levels, along with strength training exercises and stretches for a well-rounded, full-body workout. Don’t feel intimidated if you think you’re not a good dancer…it doesn’t matter! The instructor will guide you and help you feel confident and successful as you learn how to chasse and plie your way through a fun, energizing class! One thing that sets Jazzercise apart from some other group exercise classes is that original music is used, so you’ll enjoy shaking your hips to a variety of music genres, including some of your favorite artists.
Did I mention the prizes? Oh yeah, there are often monthly or seasonal challenges to encourage regular class attendance, for which you can earn fun prizes! And last but not least, you’ll find a community that’s truly like a family at your local Jazzercise studio. Come check it out and dance your way to better health!*Free first class for local residents and out-of-town visitors *Membership can be used at all locations
5981 High Point Dr., Ste 110
New to Las Colinas! With a soft opening on January 3rd and a grand opening targeted for February, the brand new StretchLab is located at 5981 High Point Dr., Ste 110, near the Starbucks and P.F. Chang’s To Go at the intersection of 116 and 114., near the Starbucks and P.F. Chang’s To Go at the intersection of 116 and 114. Since the Las Colinas space was not yet open, I visited the Coppell location, which is owned and managed by the same team.
According to their website, at StretchLab, you don't just stretch - you get stretched by a highly trained Flexologist® who will provide a deeper stretch than you could ever achieve on your own. Even as an experienced yoga teacher trained in effective stretching, I have to agree that there are many muscle groups for which it’s difficult, if not impossible, to achieve a deep stretch on your own. As a member of StretchLab, you’ll enjoy 25- or 50-minute one-on-one stretches that are customized to fit your individual needs, focusing on problem areas or specific muscle groups based on the quick assessment you complete before your stretching session.
I enjoyed some great stretches during my 25-minute appointment, but I definitely would have benefited even more from a longer 55-minute stretch. Whether you need to stretch as part of your recovery from other workouts, you have tight muscles from spending most of your day sitting at a desk, or you just need to relieve stress and increase flexibility and range of motion, everyone - and I do mean everyone - can benefit from the deep stretches provided at StretchLab!*Local residents can take advantage of the pre-opening special for one free 15-minute demo stretch *Introductory specials offer the first 25-minute or 55-minute stretch for half price *Memberships can be used at Las Colinas and Coppell locations