January 2010: The Hunt: You Say You Want a Resolution: how to get fit

By Tanya Pai | Boston Magazine |

FOR THE REFORMING COUCH POTATO Whether you’re schlepping back to the gym after hiatus or you’re a full-on newbie, a lower-intensity workout is the key to sticking with an exercise program. That means revving up your body without burning it out. The beginner’s Gyrotonic class at the Movement Center in the Back Bay incorporates principles of swimming, tai chi, and gymnastics, building core strength and flexibility without wreaking havoc on joints ($180 for six to eight classes; 38 Newbury St., 617-723-8090, movementcenterofboston.com). Another low-impact option is the Exo Chair workout at Boston Body Pilates, which uses a machine that sculpts every muscle group ($20 per class; 8 Newbury St., 617-262-3333, and other locations, bostonbody.com). Or try Zen Spin: Billed as the spin workout for spin haters, the class, also at Boston Body Pilates, combines mellow cycling with gentle stretching to help you shed pounds, not tears ($20 per class).

FOR THE DRAGGER What’s the point in forcing yourself to the gym only to waste time with a lackluster workout? The Rev Galaxy Ride at the Sports Club/LA makes half-assing virtually impossible. Since participants wear monitors that display their heart rate on a central TV, it’s easy for the instructor—and the rest of the class—to see who’s slacking ($99 members/$125 nonmembers for six classes; 4 Avery St., 617-375-8200, thesportsclubla.com). Looking for structure without the public shaming? Life in Synergy’s eight-week Total Makeover program provides all the tools needed for transformation: 16 classes of your choice (from belly dancing to self-defense), eight personal training sessions, and daily Web lessons on water intake, calorie needs, and workout techniques ($800; 867 Boylston St., 617-867-6500, lifeinsynergy.com).

FOR THE TIME-CRUNCHED
 Getting in shape doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your whole life schedule to the gym gods. Thirty minutes of high-intensity cardio will torch calories, boost your metabolism, and still leave time to pick up your dry cleaning. The Helix, a machine created by Bay Village resident and competitive-cyclist-turned-gear-manufacturer Lenny Snyderman, gets the heart pumping and targets inner and outer thighs more than a traditional elliptical does, trainers say, because it moves side to side. Try it at BodyScapes in Brookline (day pass $20; monthly memberships start at $89; 1285 Beacon St., 617-232-1010, bodyscapesfitness.com), or hit the 30-minute session at Revolution Fitness (day pass $20; monthly memberships start at $69; 209 Columbus Ave., 617-536-3006, revfitboston.com).

FOR THE GYM RAT IN A RUT A stale routine can lead to exercise fatigue even for the most dedicated exerciser. Equinox’s old-school gym class, Whipped, is one way to shake things up. Combining rope and circuit training with strength tools like kettlebells and stability balls, it makes for a boredom-busting, stamina-building sweatfest (monthly memberships start at $118; 131 Dartmouth St., 617-578-8918; 225 Franklin St., 617-426-2140; equinox.com). Yogi types might want to check out Zenergy at the Sports Club/LA. The class blends the balance- and endurance-building aspects of traditional yoga with athletic moves like squats and pushups, resulting in intense cardio and strength training with nary a barbell in sight (monthly memberships start at $155; 4 Avery St., 617-375-8200, thesportsclubla.com).

FOR THE PRESSURED PARENT When you’re blessed with a brood, finagling workout time can seem impossible, but Equinox and the Sports Club/LA will keep your tot entertained while you get in the zone. Both gyms offer membership-included childcare services (Equinox monthly memberships start at $118; Sports Club/LA monthly memberships start at $155). If you can’t bear to leave your little angel for even an hour, look into Healthworks’ Mommy and Me classes (monthly memberships start at $65; 441 Stuart St., 617-859-7700, and other locations, healthworksfitness.com).

  • Tara

    The Helix classes at Revolution Fitness are awesome, they really target my inner and outer thighs as well as my butt! So much fun, I love them!