America’s Best Absurd Workout Classes this Fall
Get in Shape with 5 Non-Traditional Fitness Options
by Chelsea Vincent
Americans are always trying to be more innovative, when it comes to how we move our bodies. Today, streaming classes offer seemingly endless options for creative workouts. But if you love the group fitness atmosphere, there’s nothing like getting sweaty – and weird – in person. As we head into fall, here are the bizarre fitness trends to know about, as well as where to find them.
The Midwest – Mermaid Training 101
With locations in Canada, as well as Illinois, Michigan, and elsewhere, Aquamermaid gives students the opportunity to test out workout routines made for mermaids. Born out of a love of mermaids and a passion for swimming, the owner envisioned something a little different than the traditional swim class – and, well, clearly has an audience.
Mermaid tails – complete with monofins (naturally) – are worn during classes, which take place in a meticulously selected pool. The company is staffed by a combination of lifeguards, synchronized swimmers, and water fitness instructors. Bonus: there’s even a section of the website devoted to hiring various merpeople, sortable by services offered and tail type (with sequins, neoprene, and other choices available).
The Northeast – (Truly) Chilled-Out Yoga
A few years ago, cryotherapy started gaining popularity, as devotees claimed that blasting the body with below-freezing cold for three minutes could aid in faster muscle recovery, by constricting blood vessels. But move over, cryo chambers – New York’s Brrrn now offers entire classes in cold temperatures.
The studio offers three signature class offerings, which include yoga-inspired strength and mobility, core and cardio work on a slide board, and a high-impact battle rope and weights class. Each class is done in temperatures ranging from 45-60°F, which the company claims helps you to burn more calories and fat, while building a tolerance to cold and limiting fatigue brought on by heat.
The Southeast – Popstar for a Day
Enter Banana Skirt Productions, which offer classes to help you groove your way out of your head and into the spotlight. If you’ve ever dreamed of being a backup dancer, this might be for you.
At their Washington, D.C., spot, you can channel your inner diva, using various dance-inspired classes – including Beyoncercise, Rihannacise & Janetcise, themed HIIT classes which join signature artist moves with calisthenics.
The Southwest – Obstacle & Survival Training
For endurance athletes and those with a competitive streak, over the past few years, options like Tough Mudder and Spartan Races have offered fun ways to get fit. Now, there’s a workout routine designed just for such competitions. Mylo Obstacle Fitness, located in Texas, is an “outdoor obstacle fitness course gym.”
Comprised of members who call themselves the MOFia, Mylo offers various challenges and camps, which encourage team building and physical fitness. With 30 acres and over 25 obstacles on location, you can brush up on rugged tactics at Adult Survival Camp, or enter your kids in their Kids Ninja Warrior Competition. They also offer online training, if you’d prefer to prep for the Zombie Apocalypse at home.
The West – Laser Tag (Pew! Pew!)
Leave it to the Golden Coast to come up with a workout that is both sweaty and entertaining. Focused on blending laser tag, a nostalgic childhood pastime, with Parkour-style running, climbing, and free-flying, California-based Lazrfit has created something unique.
Upon entering the lobby, participants are able to warm up and go through core exercises with coaches. Then, players head into two rounds of intense laser battles, where adults engage in cardio and endurance training, as they track down opponents, while trying to shield their own lit-up targets. The 45-minute class can also be complimented by shorter, small-group interval sessions, meant to improve conditioning.
Gone are the days of relying only on treadmills and stairmasters for workouts. As technology and creativity continue grow, these and other fringe fitness experiences should allow even the most gym-averse folks to find workout routines which they can dig – or, at the very least, try out – while visiting a different part of the country.