I remember the first time I wandered into the weights section at the gym. It was a decade ago, and I was the only woman for miles, it seemed. With palpable trepidation, I picked up an eight-pound dumbbell and did some biceps curls. It was the only strength-training exercise I knew how to do.
Two hours later, at dinner, I went to pick up a saltshaker—and couldn’t. “Look! I can’t pick this up!” I said gleefully to my dining companion. Yup, I was hooked.
These days, I’m far from the odd woman out at the weight rack. “Women today want to be more shapely than straight-line,” says Jewel Kessler, manager and certified P90X trainer at Horsham Athletic Club’s Gravity Center. Beyond just looks, weight training strengthens your bones and builds stamina, coordination and balance—all of which enhance your cardio training, too. (Hello, marathon PR.)
Ready to join me in the weight room? Check out these four awesome local classes that are sure to pump you up.
Boxing at Joltin’ Jabs
Owner and former pro boxer Joey DeMalavez’s hour-long circuit-based workouts will have you going hard for three-minute rounds. And yes, you’ll be punching the daylights out of a bag. $25; 4303 Main Street, Manayunk, 215-482-4802.
ONE AND DONE
Cross training at Unite Fitness
Okay, so not everybody wants to spend every waking hour at the gym. Gavin McKay, co-owner of this studio, understands—which is why his 75-minute cross-training classes combine cardio, conditioning and yoga. $25; 105 South 12th Street, Midtown Village, 215-733-0633.
RZ Boot camp at RowZone
I agree—erg machines get old fast. Fortunately, this three-location studio is offering new 45-minute boot-camp classes that combine time on the indoor rower with conditioning exercises using kettle bells, TRX bands and your own body weight. $30; locations in Rittenhouse, Manayunk and Newtown Square.
Barefoot Boot Camp at Yoga Garden
Yoga meets boot camp at this oh-so-Zen yet oh-so-sweaty 45-minute class. You’ll work on core stability, posture alignment and proper breathing while using interval training to tone muscles. A win-win. $16; 131 North Narberth Avenue, Narberth, 610-664-2705.