Five of Boston’s Most Popular Fitness Classes

The hardest part of these exclusive workouts might just be getting in.

exclusive fitness classes boston

Illustration by Eric Palma

In a culture of $100 leggings, green juice cleanses, and ubiquitous #fitspo, group classes are no longer simply about staying in shape—to some gym junkies, they’ve become legit status symbols. Over the past decade, Boston’s boutique fitness scene has exploded, sprinkling the city with Mercedes-level Spin, yoga, and kickboxing spots that have turned instructors into social media celebrities and packed waitlists with people eager to sweat with the best. “The way people feel when they leave a good class, that sticks with you forever,” says Kelly Brabants, whose lower-body-sculpting sessions sell out lightning fast. Want to see what all of the fuss is about? Sign up for one of these highly coveted classes—if you can get a spot.

Iyengar Yoga

Patricia Walden

Where to Take It: Down Under School of Yoga

Walden is one of only two North American instructors to hold an advanced senior certificate in Iyengar yoga, a slow, methodical style that emphasizes proper alignment. If you think you have the chops to join her intensive weekly class series, you’ll need to be patient. Each one of her exclusive workshops is currently sold out, and existing students get first dibs when new sessions begin. Word to the wise: Get on the waiting list now.

Starting at $300 per semester; 1054 Beacon St., Brookline,

Booty by Brabants

Kelly Brabants

Where to Take It: Boston Sports Clubs Lab; EverybodyFights

Brabants’s signature class—which sculpts a killer derrière through 50 minutes of choreographed squats, lunges, and other lower-body burners—is so popular, she’s parlayed it into a figure-flattering line of leggings, sports bras, swimsuits, and jackets. You can spot her colorful pants on “BBB Babes” all over town.

Starting at $32; 699 Boylston St., Boston,; 15 Channel Center St., Boston,

Kick It by Eliza

Eliza Shirazi

Where to Take It: The Kick It Pop-Up Studio; EverybodyFights

At 25 years old, Shirazi is well on her way to building an empire. She launched Kick It, a 13-round cardio kickboxing class, as a college side gig, and quickly attracted enough of a following to open a longer-term studio in Allston last year. Sold-out sessions eventually landed her a fitness ambassadorship from New Balance to boot.

Starting at $12; 267 Western Ave., Allston,; 15 Channel Center St., Boston,


James Lewis

Where to Take It: SoulCycle Back Bay, Beacon Hill, and Chestnut Hill

As if SoulCycle didn’t already have a massive following, this cream-of-the-crop instructor has rocketed to cult status thanks to a high-energy, choreography-heavy teaching style. Inspirational pep talks round out the class experience.

$30; 500 Boylston St., Boston; and other locations;

Pilates Mat

Jennifer Phelan

Where to Take It: North End Yoga

Expect wall-to-wall mats in Phelan’s Pilates classes—even at 7 a.m. on a Tuesday. If you can squeeze yourself in among the regulars, you’ll be treated to (and tortured by) 45 minutes of core-focused toning exercises. Phelan also teaches at Equinox’s posh Franklin Street location, for members only.

$16; 256 Hanover St., Boston,