Dogs, Heavy Metal + Headlocks: 6 Workouts that Won’t Leave You Bored


Sure, you can join a different gym, start a new running regimen and trade your desk chair for an exercise ball (good luck with that). But even the most dedicated fitness fanatics among us need a little more than the usual dose of exercise-related excitement now and again.

Whether you’re looking for an entirely new physical pursuit to immerse yourself in this year or an occasional diversion to spice up your regular workout routine, we’ve got five super-fun workouts that won’t leave you bored.

Bootcamp with your dog:
Get in shape alongside your favorite four-legged friend with Thank Dog Bootcamp weekday morning fitness classes held at San Francisco’s Wag Hotel. Dogs and owners alike burn calories, while pooches hone their obedience skills in this twist on the traditional bootcamp experience. A fitness instructor and dog trainer are both present during each session. And for those with dog-envy, you’re in luck. The program’s borrow-a-dog feature will match you with a canine participant who’ll be more than happy to work out with you.

Midnight yoga: Each Friday night, eager practitioners of all levels head to the Laughing Lotus studio in the Mission for a two-hour session that ends when the clock strikes 12. Accompanying live sounds from different music-makers each week range from electronica to the distinctive didgeridoo.

Heavy metal aerobics:
Who says aerobics need be accompanied by bubble-gum dance tracks and late ‘90’s trance music? A new high-energy workout from D.I.Y. haven Workshop combines metal and movement. Instructor Donnelle Malnick leads the class in a combination of aerobics and yoga to a sonic backdrop of metal favorites from bands such as Metallica, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.

Real-life combat and self-defense skills:
Self-defense gets seriously hardcore with training in Krav Maga, an international defense and combat system espoused by such highly-skilled groups as the Israeli Defense Force, Israeli Police and over 350 U.S. law enforcement agencies. Newcomers to San Francisco’s Bush St. training facility start with level one and progress through advanced levels designed to teach techniques from punches and kicks to specialized headlocks and hair grabs.

Hiking yoga:
If you’re constantly torn when it comes to choosing cardio or yoga, you can get both in one 90-minute session on Saturday mornings with hiking yoga excursions that alternate steep city hill climbs with yoga breaks. But that’s hardly the only reason to try one of these classes this year. Along with the two-bird-with-one stone class ethos, you’ll be enjoying San Francisco’s many outdoor vistas (albeit while sweating profusely) and have a weekly excuse to explore the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, where classes begin and end.

Wicked Workout: To celebrate its fifth anniversary on January 19, Equinox is teaming up with the cast of Wicked for one very exciting day of working out. Add a little spice to your gym routine with either a spin or boot camp class taught by a surprise actor/actress from the show—extra points if you wear ruby slippers to the gym. Enjoy appetizers, beverages, spa specials, giveaways and a live DJ while you do your thing and then stick around for a special performance from the musical. Friends and family get in for free. If you're not already a member, take advantage of the day's $5 initiation fee. And remember, "There's no place like Equinox."

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