A Spate of Luxe New Gyms Caters to Berkeley's Fitness Obsessed
Bold is a boutique gym that focuses solely on Lagree—a Pilatesesque workout that uses a machine known as Megaformer. (Courtesy of Bold)

A Spate of Luxe New Gyms Caters to Berkeley's Fitness Obsessed


Who says you can't break a sweat in style? Trendy, luxury gyms are popping up all over Berkeley, drawing the Lululemon set for workouts with amenities—even the famous SoulCycle hopes to open a location here next year. Until then, check out five modern fitness centers, from boutique studios to high-end mega-gyms, opening this fall.

Pilates on Steriods at Bold

A father-daughter venture may sound adorable, but the intense workouts here are anything but cute. Located at the corner of College and Alcatraz, Bold is a boutique gym that teaches Pilates-style classes based on the principles of Lagree, which utilizes a Megaformer machine for strength and resistance training. "I've watched more clients reach both mental and physical goals through Lagree fitness than any other method," says owner/instructor Kate Miclean. "This method works, and that's why I fell in love." // Classes start at $15, first month membership is $149; 3167 College Ave. (Berkeley), beboldstudios.com

CycleBar, a nationwide brand that started in Boston, emphasizes the energy of its instructors, music, and environment as important factors for a good, and fun, indoor cycling workout. (Courtesy of cyclebar.com)

Ride on the Cheap at CycleBar

Marin County residents Heather Branstetter and Chuck Schneide are bringing the popular Boston-based franchise CycleBar to Berkeley—the University Avenue address will be the brand's fourth in the Bay Area, joining locations in Novato, San Jose, and Los Gatos. Similar to SoulCycle (think high energy and DJ beats), CycleBar studios are designed in theater-style tiers to guarantee all riders a clear view to the action up front. No need to buy your own fancy cycling shoes—kicks (as well as water, robes, and other locker room amenities) are provided at no extra charge, perfect for Cal students who lack the budget for uber-pricey classes. Riding into Berkeley is a no-brainer, says Branstetter: "It's diverse, has great energy, and the people of Berkeley care about health and fitness." Look for 11 days of free public rides when CycleBar opens later this month. Give it a whirl! // Free intro sessions; 1929 University Ave. (Berkeley), berkeley.cyclebar.com

Anything and Everything at City Sports Center

City Sports Club touts itself as a high-end metropolitan fitness center and, with locations practically everywhere (nationwide, including 11 in the Bay Area), it's your neighrborhood one-stop-club for state-of-the-art equipment, basketball and racquetball courts, and laps in the indoor pool. If you're feeling ambitious, sign up for a personal trainer, or check out their slew of group classes, including Boot Camp Conditioning, Kickbox Cardio, Zumba, and more. City Sports Center is slated to move into the renovated Marchant Building on San Pablo Avenue in early November. // City Sports Club Berkeley is offering presale membership online for $39 a month. 3100 San Pablo Ave. (Berkeley), citysportsfitness.com

Equinox will be opening in the newly-constructed Parker Place Apartments building, and offers panoramic views of downtown Berkeley.(Courtesy of equinox.com)

Treat Yourself at Equinox

Opening its first East Bay location right in downtown Berkeley, the new two-story Equinox is being billed as an urban retreat, with panoramic views to go with your downward dog. And, with so many class-A offerings, the sleek-and-chic space is designed for the high-style gym rat: There are dedicated spaces for yoga, Pilates, and cycling, a spa, juice bar, shop, and cafe, and even a Kids Club where you can drop the little ones. // $130-$220month; 2598 Shattuck Ave. (Berkeley), equinox.com

Treadmill training is just one part of the 60-minute workout that Orange Theory Fitness calls The Orange Effect. (Courtesy of orangetheoryfitness.com)

Get in the Zone at Orangetheory Fitness

If orange is your color (hey, Giants fans!), then you'll love Orangetheory, the workout craze that started in Florida and is now sweeping the globe with locations in 12 countries and every U.S. state. Strap on a heart monitor and join the crowd in a 60-minute workout that color codes your level of exertion and beams it up on the flatscreen TV. Once you reach the orange zone—above 84 percent of your maximum heart rate—you'll know you've peaked; now hold it there for at least 12 minutes. At this point, your body will be pushed into excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (not to get into the scientific nitty-gritty), which stimulates metabolism and increases energy. In other words, you'll keep burning calories after you leave the gym. While you move between indoor rowing, treadmill training, and weights, your stats show up on a scoreboard for everyone to see. Let your competitive drive kick in and push yourself to the max. Orangetheory will soon light up the Dwight, a brand-new apartment complex, on Shattuck Avenue. // First session guest passes available; 2475 Shattuck Ave. (Berkeley), orangetheoryfitness.com

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