With the small size of commercial spaces in San Francisco, gyms and other indoor workout spots often have to specialize in order to accommodate. It's great news if you're looking for personal attention in your Pilates class, but if you're an exerciser who craves novelty, trotting from gym to gym to mix up your routine can be wearying (and expensive). Studiomix, a new shrine to physical culture near the intersection of Van Ness and Geary, is hoping to change that, offering seemingly every conceivable workout experience in a single gym with a single membership fee.
Housed in an expansive, 30,000-square-foot space (it's in the same former Cadillac showroom that contains Tommy T's Comedy and the 14-screen AMC Van Ness theatres), Studiomix is so big that the first exercise area visitors see on their way in, a three-story rock wall, becomes almost an afterthought once inside. Yoga devotees who've had to fight for an extra three inches of space will swoon at the enormous studio, and spin aficionados won't have to worry about fighting for a bike: they've got 34 of them. Traditionalists can still hit the elliptical or free weights, but with yoga, Pilates, TRX, climbing, boxing, Zumba, barre workouts, Muay Thai, belly dancing, and more on offer, it's hard to resist the pull of sampling something new.
Those worried about getting lost in the whirlwind can take comfort in the presence of the friendly, energetic staff, many of whom double as teachers. "We're here to help people challenge their bodies mindfully," says Adesina Dowers, a yoga teacher and the gym's Director of Member Services. "I want people to feel like they can be connected to their workouts, and not like they're being left behind." Personal trainers are available, but even visitors to the weight room will have a friendly face to help them navigate esoteric strength-training options like sandbags, battle ropes, Indian clubs, and the city's largest collection of kettlebells (with classes provided by a staff member who's also an international kettlebell champ).
After working out, Studiomix members can hit the locker room for a sauna or steam, or book an appointment with the on-site massage staff, who specialize in everything from Thai massage to shiatsu to reiki and energy work. An organic cafe is under construction, while a kid's club will allow busy parents to drop off their tots while they squeeze in a workout.
This level of space and variety comes at a price: a basic monthly membership, which includes access to all classes, runs $135, plus a $75 enrollment fee. Packages with built-in personal training sessions and a monthly massage and nutrition consultation range from $395 to $695 per month. That said, for those keeping up memberships to a traditional gym, a yoga studio, and a third interest like boxing or tai chi, combining everything into one location can mean a big potential savings in time and money.
Those interested in checking out Studiomix's offerings can get a free day pass on their first visit, good for visiting an unlimited sampling of classes that day; subsequent day passes are $20. (According to Dowers, exercisers considering membership will often come for a morning class, head to work, then return for a different type of class in the evening, which is completely kosher.)
"We want this place to be accessible and comfortable," says Dowers. "People who have never exercised before have joined. I've had people tell me, 'I feel like I can be here.' I love that."