Functional Fitness Trend Spreading to Boston Area Gyms

Boston Sports Club locations will be adding UXF Zones to their gyms.


Now’s your chance to try out the high-intensity trend in a new way at your local Boston Sports Club. Workout image via Shutterstock.

If you like ending up on the floor in a puddle of sweat after your daily workouts, you’ve probably already found a CrossFit location or two to appease your intense workout cravings. There are plenty of CrossFit boxes in the Boston area, so you don’t have to look far. But if you’re like the majority of the population and the intense routines of pushups, burpies, sprints, and weightlifting in CrossFit workouts scare you, don’t worry. You’ll also be able to get in on the trend soon in a slightly more moderate way.

What do we mean? While CrossFit may be the newest hot topic in fitness, it’s not for everybody. But the “functional fitness” trend, which grew out of the CrossFit movement and is based on the concept of moving away from machines that simulate exercise and towards movements that require only your body, is a trend that works for almost everyone.

That’s why you’ll likely be seeing changes in your Boston gym this year. A report from Town Sports International Holdings, the owner and operator of 160 sports clubs including 25 in the Boston area, announced that nine Boston Sports Club locations have undergone renovation replacing rows of treadmills, ellipticals, and other traditional machines with green-turfed zones called “UXF Zones.” The zones will feature battle ropes, ladders, TRX bands, kettle bells, weighted sleds, and tractor tires.

According to the report, the UXF Zones will resemble CrossFit “boxes”, or gyms, but will offer slightly more moderate cross-training workout programs, something that many gym-goers have asked for:

“We’ve seen a huge shift towards functional training in the fitness world, but it’s typically offered by specialized gyms, which don’t often feature a diversity of other equipment and fitness programs,” Bob Giardina, CEO of Town Sports International, says in the release. “The UXF Training Zones have become so popular with our members that we’re now planning to install 50 percent more than the amount we’d originally projected.”

In these new zones, you’ll be able to participate in high-intensity interval training that is reminiscent of a CrossFit workout, but which takes place in a much different, more relaxed environment. The workouts are still difficult, though— they will incorporate cardio, strength conditioning and core work. So, if you’ve always secretly wanted in on the CrossFit trend, but thought it may be too intense for you, here’s your opportunity to try it out in a slightly less intimidating way.