New Sports Club/LA Opens in Chestnut Hill
Chestnut Hill is getting a 2.0 makeover. This month, The Sports Club/LA opened its first new location in more than a decade along Route 9, featuring its signature Jewel Box concept. The difference between the Jewel Box concept and the downtown location is that it has a more intimate and modern experience. The new location is 33,000 square feet, which may seem massive, but it actually smaller than other locations. The squash and basketball courts, restaurant, and pool—amenties at the downtown location—are missing from the new space. But with all the other frills, you may not miss them.
“Jewel Box takes the real gems from the big club and scales them down to a more precious and more intimate experience,” says Smaiyra M. Million, CEO, Millennium Partners Sports Club Management. With that in mind, the club focuses on the latest technology, sensory experiences, and more functional training options.
When you first walk in, members are greeted by a warm fire, a flat screen television with the club’s Twitter feed scrolling across, and iPads for checking in. Throughout the gym there are small areas to socialize. The locker room features a special area for relaxation with lounge chairs and a flat screen. Wireless internet is available throughout the club, making the changing room an unlikely hangout.
The REV cycling studio (image above) features 40 bikes with heart rate monitors that face a panoramic screen used for creating simulates rides and races across world. This experience is not only unique to the Boston area but also pretty rare across the country. It may be a little nauseating for some riders, but others looking for an outdoor experience without the traffic or elements will find it in a league of it’s own. “We thought a lot about the younger demographic in looking at technology,” Million says.
Most of the cardio equipment is also capable of keeping track of members workouts so that they can track progress, set weekly goals, or save a favorite workout on all Precor machines (see photos below). Distance, speed, calories burned, and more can be saved every time a member uses a machine.
The gym offers more than 80 classes a week, featuring a variety of classes like different kinds of yoga practices and barre bootcamp. There is something for everyone, even CrossFit devotees, like an 80-foot strip of indoor Astroturf perfect for mimicking all those sweat-inducing workouts you see on The Biggest Loser, like using heavy ropes and power sleds. The club also designed its own CrossFit-esque workout called “Blitz”. Million says that such equipment required for CrossFit-style workouts prominently displayed would have been a turn off for potential members in the past. “Now, it’s acceptable for a luxurious gym to have our Blitz programming in the middle of the gym.”
When asked why Chestnut Hill, Million says that when members would cancel at the downtown location the reason was often that they were moving out to the suburbs. While she said they had the option to go north or south, research showed that most members were moving west to the Chestnut Hill area. For this reason, admittedly, so is her competition. Equinox will be opening a Chestnut Hill location soon as well.
The Sports Club/LA in Chestnut Hill is located in The Street, at the intersection of Route 9 and Hammond Street (55 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 617-975- 2020; sportsclubla.com). Memberships are $140/month with childcare services running at $13/hour to watch the kiddies while you sweat. With the brand new Shake Shack next door and a variety of other new businesses, including Treat Cupcake Bar and Be Styled blow dry bar, Chestnut Hill is the new hot spot.