The Best Boutique Strength Training Classes

It can be difficult to find the motivation to get a sweat going when you want to get in shape. Heading to a crowded, neon-lit gym that hardly costs more per month than a latte might seem like the most cost-efficient option, but if you dread showing up for your workout, it likely won't be very effective. In recent years, there has been a major uptick in boutique fitness classes (via New York Times), leaving you with countless options when it comes to finding a workout you love. 

Booking a fitness class can be highly motivating, allowing you to surpass your normal limits when it comes to working out. At $20-40 per class, boutique fitness experiences aren't exactly a budget-friendly experience, but they can be worth the hefty price tag if you choose wisely and want to get your strength training in. With so many options to choose from, you're bound to find one that really aligns with your fitness goals and desired environment. Whether you're looking for a high-intensity workout or some relaxed, dimly lit yoga, all it takes is a little bit of research to make sure you're heading to the right place. 

Barry's Boot Camp offers a high-intensity workout

If you live in a major U.S. city, you've likely seen the black and white Barry's Boot Camp logo on the side of a building conveniently located a few feet from the doors of a Whole Foods or an organic juice bar. Since 1998, fitness enthusiasts have flocked to the studios founded by Barry Jay (via Barry's) to break a truly transformative sweat.

Upon entering a Barry's Boot Camp studio, you'll immediately notice the red mood lighting designed to enhance the aesthetic experience of the workout. It is, perhaps, a symbol of intensity, as each class can help you burn up to 1,000 calories (via Shape Scale). Throughout the class, the focus shifts from the upper body to the lower body, then to the full body and abs. Each class comes with a $32 price tag, which, while not exactly cheap, is arguably worth it. For your money, you get the highest quality fitness instructors, carefully curated playlists to align with your workout, a balanced sweat sesh complete with recovery time, and a community, their website suggests. 

Barry's may not be for the faint of heart, but if you're looking for intensity and results then this may be the class for you.

SoulCycle offers a deeper experience

If you're more of a cardio purist, then taking a SoulCycle spin class may be a life-changing experience for you. In addition to blasting tons of calories in a short 45-minute window and building lower body strength, many Soulcycle loyalists claim that the class is a therapeutic experience (via Vox). A bike in the front row is considered a status symbol among pedalers, and the brand even sells tanks with "Front Row" emblazoned across the chest for all to admire.

For the duration of the class, you'll find yourself pedaling along to the beat on an expertly crafted playlist. Turning up the intensity is on you as the instructor calls out commands to turn the knob below the bike's handlebars for an uphill trek. The class is incredibly challenging throughout, and you're guaranteed to break a sweat. You'll also enjoy your workout in almost total darkness with some soft mood lighting. 

Touting phrases like, "Change your body, take your journey, find your soul," (via Soul Cycle) the brand's aesthetic borders on cult-like. If you're trying to reach optimum fitness, then a cult mentality might be just what you need to stay on track!

Pure Barre has skyrocketed in popularity

Over the last few years, boutique barre classes have reached peak popularity. Some credit this surge to Pure Barre, the workout studio chain that brought barre workouts to the mainstream (via Shape Scale). Don't be fooled by its ballet-inspired roots, barre classes are no joke. Elements of ballet, yoga, and pilates come together for varying lengths of time for a serious full-body workout that can leave you sweating and sore (via Sweat 440). There's no need for a perfect tendu at this ballet barre — as long as you nail the isometric movements, you'll reap the full benefits.

Pure Barre isn't for the faint of heart, but if you're looking for a challenge to help you tone up all over then you might find yourself right at home in the studio. At $22 per class, Pure Barre is on the less expensive end of the spectrum when it comes to boutique fitness classes as well. 

CorePower Yoga offers an intense burn

Most of the time, people aren't leaving yoga classes feeling like they've had the most effective workout of their life. CorePower Yoga is different, though. These classes challenge even the most limber yogi to push their limits and achieve greater strength. CorePower Yoga offers a range of classes varying in difficulty levels such as CorePower Yoga 1 and 2, Yoga Sculpt, and Hot Power Fusion. The more challenging classes are usually held in heated rooms to maximize the burn as well (via Everyday Health).

Enthusiasts love the challenge of a CorePower Yoga class. The burn and the strength building are unparalleled by any other option on the market. The studio recommends that you bring a full-sized towel and expect to leave the studio looking like you just stepped out of a swimming pool. You can also expect to work hard and move from pose to pose quickly, but, as all yogis know, you can always pop into a child's pose if you need a rest.

Rumble offers an outlet for stress

If you want to get in shape while letting out some anger, then you'll likely be pleasantly surprised when you enter a Rumble studio. Incorporating HIIT (high-intensity interval training), strength training, metabolic conditioning, and elements of boxing, this challenging class is insanely satisfying upon completion, (via Shape Scale).

Over the course of 45 minutes, class participants get a warmup, five rounds each of boxing drills and strength training exercises, and a cool down for recovery (via Byrdie). The boxing rounds include six basic moves that are taught in class, so once you have those down you'll have a much easier time getting through the rest of the workout. Rumble reportedly promotes stronger physical and mental health, with many participants insisting that it's a thoroughly cathartic experience.

With so many options on the market, it can be intimidating to pick the right boutique fitness class for you. Once you decide what you'd like out of the class and do a little research, you can find something you'll want to truly commit to and reach new levels of health and fitness. Just remember to stretch and drink plenty of water!