As a busy college student, it can sometimes be hard to fit time into my schedule to move my body. But, as someone who relies on a good sweat as their personal form of therapy, exercise is something I prioritize. This summer, with a little more time on my hands and the inspiration of my best friend and fellow fitness fanatic, I endeavored to try the slew of free trial classes that the fitness community in Austin has to offer. Now, as I do with many life-changing, amazing, phenomenal new promises I make to myself, I fell slightly short of completing my goal. However, I still collected a valuable folder of intel and I’m here to fill you in on it today.
This one was a hit, no pun intended. To begin with, I love a generous deal. As a broke college student pinching pennies and chasing (healthy) endorphins, a free week of unlimited classes is angelic. If I was really dedicated to the grind, I could do, like what? 3 classes a day for 7 days straight and get super shredded before the next big date event. Anyways, as far as the actual class content goes, they’ve got it all. I tend to get a little bored with yoga – no matter how much hippie mom tries to get me on the zen train – but CorePower took the glorified stretching to a whole new level. It’s heated, so there’s no doubt you’ll get nice and slimy, and the variety of classes offered means there’s something for every type of day you’ve had or plan on having. My personal favorite was the Yoga Sculpt, which was essentially a 45-minute HIIT class with some mindful pauses in between exercises to stand like a warrior or ball up like a child.
Honestly, I’m not a huge fan. I’ve tried various cycle studios over the years, and I would say this one was near the bottom of my tier list. There wasn’t anything especially atrocious about the experience, I just didn’t really dig the class. That’s obviously super subjective, so you might choose to test my theory yourself. It could have been the instructor or the specific class format, or maybe just me and my mood swings, who knows? I will say, however, that the studio was super nice. Bright and big, welcoming front desk and get this – free coffee after class and as many bananas as you can fit in your gym bag on the way out. No need to worry about cramping, they’ve got potassium on lock.
If you’re someone who gets bored easily, this one’s for you. Get the toning benefits of working muscles you didn’t even know existed while listening to a banger playlist. For me, the fast pace and loud music were overwhelming, which made it hard to get an effective workout in. I felt like I was just going through the motions, a little rushed and with the wrong technique. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun – painful fun – but fun nonetheless. The problem was that the perfectionist in me who wanted to master every move and hit all the right steps wasn’t satisfied when I hopped off the reformer.
This studio is new to the Austin area, originating in San Francisco, and you sure can tell they hail from the Golden Coast. Walk in and the aesthetic is off the charts, all sleek and modern but relaxing and yogish at the same time. The staff was super kind and accommodating and handed out free class passes like they were the nasty yogurt-covered raisins nobody wanted on Halloween. I took the Hot HIIT Flow class, which rivaled my experience at CorePower in all the right ways. I loved both studios, but I would describe this one as a little more off-beat, like a special find that the cool indie girl who drinks matcha and wears black Converse religiously would go to.
So, there you have it. What will it be? Aesthetic matcha yoga, fun hip-hop pilates, or some sweaty, confidence-boosting HIIT with a side of Om and complimentary lavender towels. Whatever you may choose, the excuses pinned on the economy are out the window for at least 2 weeks because you can download the ClassPass app and activate a two-week free trial, just don’t forget to cancel it at the end of your sweaty bender like I did.