The Hottest Fitness Trends—Boston Style

New York City may get everything first, but sometimes, it turns out, it's really been here all along.

studio photos

Btone, Life in Synergy, and Burn Fitness photos by

Although Boston is on the forefront of biomedical research, teaching hospitals, and higher education, it’s no secret we are a bit behind the times when it comes to fitness trends. A studio opens in New York City and L.A., and then slowly…eventually…wait for it… makes its way to Boston, such as Barry’s Bootcamp, Flywheel, SoulCycle, and more.

But, this always struck me as odd since we are consistently ranked in the top 10 of pretty much every health and fitness list in existence. Still, when I was reading some of my favorite publications that were covering the latest fitness trends, it turns out, low and behold, these “new” trends are already here! In fact, many have been here for years.

Perhaps we aren’t as far behind as everyone thinks.

Below, the evidence:

SLT: The New York Times describes it as, “[It’s] designed to offer the benefits of Pilates along with a rigorous, calorie-burning cardio element. A machine called the Megaformer is the central component of 50-minute classes at SLT for no more than 10 people. The machine, with its sliding platform, adjustable handlebars, resistance bands and bungee cord, helped work the core and sculpture the entire body without adding bulk.”

Find it in Boston: Btone Fitness, locations in the Back Bay, Sudbury, Lexington, and Wellesley, 617-578-8663 

Btone uses the same Megaformers found at SLT. The equipment, which has been described as a Pilates reformer on steroids, is designed to strengthen, tighten, and tone the body quickly and safely. The workout is based on Pilates, but also emphasizes strength training and cardio. Personally, I found that doing moves on the Megaformer felt heavier than a reformer, even when using the same resistance. Not sure if that’s good or bad, but I was definitely sore the next day.

Model Fit: Vanity Fair describes it as, “ModelFit offers multiple classes that work to create long, lean muscles; tiny waists; and pert bottoms. The signature Sculpt class uses two-pound weights for arms, and either ankle weights or resistance bands for legs. Movements are small and slow, to help engage the muscles. Throughout the hour, all parts of the body get tweaked with purposeful movements.”

Find it in Boston: Life in Synergy, 867 Boylston Street, 617-867-6500

Life in Synergy uses its proprietary Synergistic Fitness Method to tone, lengthen, and strengthen all with small, low impact movements. In order to produce lean muscles, the class uses weighted balls and resistance bands that stimulate joint stabilization and strengthen the core. I loved using the straps to enhance a deep stretch, and small, weighted balls to sculpt my arms. I left feeling limber, but not sore. The gorgeous Pru view didn’t hurt, either.

Rowing (on land): NYC has Row House, Brooklyn Crew, and CityRow, three businesses dedicated to group rowing classes. Well and Good describes Row House as, “Classes will include lots of intervals on the rowing machine. In Row House Cardio, you’ll also do cardio-based calisthenics like burpees and jumping rope; in Row House Core, expect planks galore; and for Row House Full Body you’ll encounter weights like kettlebells and resistance training like squats and push-ups.”

Find it in Boston: Burn Fitness, 547 Columbus Avenue, no phone

Burn Fitness is a new boutique gym in the South End that offers a group rowing class called, Indo-Row. It’s a total-body, interval workout that simulates on-water rowing. It’s designed for everyone—no worries if you never were on the crew team—for a calorie-torching, muscle sculpting class, that is, most importantly, fun!