The Bay Area is home to many national fitness chains: Crunch, Soul Cycle, The Bar Method, and the YMCA are just a few. But there are also plenty of small, locally owned fitness studios that offer more personalized workouts. And many of these local gyms are owned and operated by women, some of whom started their businesses as a way to get back into the workforce after having children or to foster their love of fitness.
TAYLOR FIT STUDIO
Taylor Jenkins, owner of Taylor Fit Studio, has a background teaching ballet barre, spinning, and circuit training at some of the big-name studios. Her customized, hour-long classes combine elements of each discipline to offer fast-paced, high-intensity core, cardio, and resistance training for a full-body workout. By limiting each class to 10 to 12 students, Jenkins provides one-on-one attention.
“I always wanted to have my own studio,” Jenkins says. “I wanted to create a workout for a tightly knit group of people, almost like a private group training session, with lots of personal attention. Each of my classes combines a warm-up, cardio, and resistance training to help clients have a challenging, safe workout.” Jenkins teaches all of her classes in her neat, well-lit studio, incorporating ballet barres, resistance bands, and free weights.
Jenkins offers one to two classes morning and evening Monday through Thursday, one class Friday, and a 9:45 a.m. class on weekends. A single-class drop-in is $25; a five-class package is $115; a 10-class package is $240; and a 20-class package is $400. Private training sessions are $100 per one-hour session. An unlimited training pass is $180 per month with a six-month commitment (2159 Filbert Street, 415-500-2759, taylorfitstudio.com).
ON POINTE TRAINING
Founder Kaitlyn Rhoades, a former professional ballet dancer with well-known companies such as American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Ballet, and the Milwaukee Ballet, founded her Pilates and personal training studio, On Pointe Training, to promote “health and happiness.” Rhoades has an impressive resume, including a BA in performing arts, a master’s in rehabilitation science, and certifications in Pilates, TRX, and other personal training programs.
Pilates classes help to lengthen muscles and improve posture. On Pointe offers Pilates classes designed to tone and strengthen muscles and joints without impact by using the newest equipment (such as the “chair” — a small piece of equipment that uses more of your own body weight — and the “tower”). Pilates OnPointe, developed by Rhoades, starts with a warm-up to activate small muscles and transitions into a high-intensity interval training (HIITS) class. Other classes use different equipment to target the core, the lower back, those with injuries, and a low-impact cardio circuit.
Classes are offered Monday through Thursday starting at 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Friday and weekend mornings through midday. Private training sessions are taught by a small, versatile group of trainers focusing on strength training, corrective exercise, and pre- and postnatal workouts.
A single-class drop-in is $26, pricey, but if you buy a package of four or more classes, the prices drop to $25 a class. A private training session is $135, which can also be purchased in packages of 10, 20, or 30 classes; 20 sessions cost $85 per session. Another option is OnPointe’s online training auto-pay, which bills your credit card based on how many sessions you take a month (3248 Scott Street, 415-379-0814, onpointetrainingsf.com).
The Company is a new dance cardio workout based in the Presidio that opened in March by co-founders Lindsay Meyer and Kara Goldenberg. Meyer has two decades of dance experience, including national dance competitions as a teenager and dancing at the University of Notre Dame. A former venture capitalist, Meyer previously taught barre classes in the Marina. Goldenberg, a full-time parent with a background in dance, cheerleading, and boutique fitness, is the choreographer behind the dance fitness combinations.
All classes feature a high-intensity dance workout designed to accommodate all experience levels, to avoid repetitive movements, and to engage the mind and body so the classes are fun.
Goldberg and Meyer currently teach three days a week at 7:15 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. but plan to add more classes. Company 45 is a beginner-friendly, 45-minute class with two different sequences broken down into approachable segments that seek to burn calories by keeping the heart rate high. A cool down, some toning with light free weights, and a stretch conclude the class. The hour-long Company 60 class begins with a dynamic workout and moves into 30 minutes of high-intensity, choreographed dance routines, with an added toning segment and 15 minutes of body-intervals. As a seasoned group workout junkie with a dance background, I found learning the routines in the 45-minute class plenty challenging and an excellent cardio workout. I would second Meyer and Goldenberg’s recommendation of starting with the shorter class first (386 Moraga Avenue, 415-683-6832, thecompanysf.com).