Free Sporting Club Passes for Rittenhouse Square Fitness Club Members in June

The pool at the Sporting Club at the Bellevue

Well, isn’t this a nice gesture? The Sporting Club at the Bellevue is extending free passes for the remainder of June to Rittenhouse Square Fitness Club members, who learned earlier this week that their club will be shuttering as of June 15th. The Bellevue’s marketing director Angela Denby said they’ve had a few calls from RSFC members looking for a new gym to join, so they decided to let them use the Bellevue’s facility free for the rest of the month.

If you’re an RSFC member, all you have to do is show proof of your old gym membership. Then, at the end of the month, you can choose to sign up at the Bellevue or not—no pressure.

As it is, RSFC memberships will be automatically transferred to Weston Fitness, as explained here, but this gives you another option—or at least allows you to explore other options for a few weeks. More info on the Bellevue’s offer is here.

Rittenhouse Square Fitness Club Is Closing, Members Transferred to Weston

Rittenhouse Square Fitness Club // Photo via Yelp

In an email sent to members this afternoon, the Rittenhouse Square Fitness Club announced that it will close its doors for good on June 15th. “We would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your loyalty to our club and the RSFC community,” the email reads. “Whether you were part of our cheerful staff or one of our loyal members, it was our rare combination of people that made RSFC so great all these years.” The family-owned gym, located at 2002 Rittenhouse Square, has been open since 1982 and claims to be the longest-running health club in Center City.

According to the email, RSFC has teamed up with Weston Fitness at 19th and Market to transfer memberships: “You are welcome to use Weston Fitness on Market Street as soon as you would like! The amenities and services at Weston are new and impressive and we are confident that you will benefit from this arrangement. We hope that each and every one of you will get the most out of this beautiful facility, as the staff there is ready and eager to assist you in any way they can.”

Below are the details on how the transfer process will work (and how to opt out if you so choose), from the email announcement:
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Sporting Club at the Bellevue Adds an Airbrush Tanning Studio

At the end of this month, Skin Palette airbrush tanning studio at 19th and Sansom will move five blocks east to the Sporting Club at the Bellevue. The tanning studio is the latest local business to join the Bellevue’s on-site network; the gym also houses Centerpoint Pilates, Paganos Market and Bar, NovaCare, Petrelli Chiropractic and the Athletic Spa, all of which are open to the public.

Skin Palette customers will be able to use the Sporting Club’s facilities free of charge during their visit. (We highly recommend checking out the über-luxe locker rooms, even if you don’t stay for a workout.) They can also get discounted parking in the Bellevue’s parking garage.

The studio will officially  leave its 19th street location on May 29th. Its first day of business in the Bellevue will be May 30th.


RowZone Now Offering On-the-Water Rowing Lessons

If rowing on the Schuylkill is on your bucket list, listen up: RowZone’s Manayunk location is offering a “Row on the Water” program that’ll get you out for, well, on-the-water training. This season marks the second run for the rowing program.

Note that you actually only get one river session as part of the package, but, hey, one turn at the oars is all you really need to check this activity off your personal “I tried it” list, right? The rest of the training sessions will take place at the RowZone studio on erg machines; you’ll get 20 RowZone group classes and two rowing technique sessions. You’ll be coached by RowZone’s athletic director Sean Clarke, who also coaches at the Vesper Boathouse on Boathouse Row and works with elite rowers. The package also includes a ticket to the Fourth of July Vesper Boathouse Tour and Social, where you can watch the fireworks (and score free drinks—woo!).

The package costs $299. You have to complete 20 studio group sessions and two rowing-technique sessions before going on the water. And of course, you have to know how to swim. The on-the-water sessions will be offered from 9 a.m. to noon on May 12th, 19th and 26th. Sign up here if you’re interested.

RowZone is located at 4401 Main Street in Manayunk.

New Flywheel Studio in Bryn Mawr to Open by Early May

When I posted in February about the opening of Philly’s first Flywheel studio, I alluded to a second outpost on the Main Line. Now, I’ve got some more details.

The area’s second studio will be at 711 West Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr, according to Flywheel regional manager Hayley Broder. She added that they expect to open shop by the end of this month or early May, though an exact opening date hasn’t been pinned down yet.

I’ve also learned—by way of grapevine whisperings and a Flywheel Facebook posting—that the studio will be include FlyBarre classes, a first for the area. It’s an hourlong, interval-based sculpting class that’s been dubbed “a barre class for athletes” and uses light weight training, dance (hence the barre), and core-strengthening exercises to sculpt long, lean muscles. I’ve not tried it, but from the descriptions I’m reading it sounds like a boot-camp-meets-barre class, which is an interesting concept. The class is meant to be taken in conjunction with Flywheel’s signature Spin classes for a well-rounded fitness routine.

The new studio will be less than a mile down the road from Haverford’s Lithe Method and Barre Focus Fitness studios, which opened within weeks of each other last year.

UPDATE: Aw, bummer. Hayley just confirmed with me that the new Bryn Mawr studio in fact won’t have FlyBarre classes after all. She says that was a consideration at one point, but they’re no longer going that direction. She also reassures me that I’m “not going crazy” for thinking FlyBarre would be there, since it had been in the works at one point. Phew. Flywheel Spin classes, of course, will still be offered, which is not such a bad consolation prize, if you ask me. I’ll post an exact opening date once they’ve pinned it down.

Unite Fitness Launches New Virtual Boot Camp

Alright, ya’ll. We’re 108 days out from the official start of summer—that means you have 15 weeks to get your butt into shape. If you’d like to head into bikini season with more body confidence than you’ve had since high school (wouldn’t that be awesome?), I’ve got an idea: virtual boot camp.

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Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace Worked Out at Philly Power Yoga and Thrive During Dead Man Down Filming

Remember last summer when Philly went all Hollywood on us, and actors Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace holed up here while shooting Dead Man Down, the set-in-New-York-but-filmed-in-Philly crime thriller due out March 8th? Yeah, that.

Well, Thrive Pilates’s Lauren Kelly just sent me a fun email with a photo (right) of none other than Noomi (a.k.a. the original Lisbeth Salander) posing with instructor Chelsea Gilday, who, it turns out, kept Noomi lean and fit during filming. The two reportedly worked together for months, and Noomi even invited co-star Dominic Cooper to join her lessons. Lauren also said Colin Farrell joined in on sister studio Philly Power Yoga’s Sunday afternoon class two weeks in a row while he was here.

What a bendy group! (And would you look at those abs on Noomi?!)

Flywheel Is Coming to Philly (and Soon, the Main Line)

Flywheel Sports‘s 21st studio will officially open in Center City on March 3rd at 1521 Locust Street. Yes, that’s right—the indoor cycling “experience” our New York friends have been raving about for two years is finally coming to Philly.

The studio’s biggest selling point is its curved, stadium-style layout, with bikes set on risers to give each rider an unobstructed view of the instructor. The Philly location will have 45 bikes, all of which display and monitor real-time performance so you can view and tweak your RPM, resistance and calorie burn. You can also get a little competitive by opting to have your data projected on a big screen in front of the class, where it’s ranked against other people in your class. Which means you’ll finally have proof that you are, in fact, working harder than that annoying blonde chick in the back (just me?).

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RIDE Cycling Studio Now Open in Bucks

A mural is painted on the wall at RIDE Cycling Studio // Photograph courtesy of RIDE

When Kristy Levy and her husband, Bret, set out to open a fitness studio last year, they wanted to create a place that married the best parts of a boutique studio (the small class sizes, individualized attention, instructors who know you by name) with the amenities of a big gym (showers, space to change, et al). The result: Southampton’s first yoga-and-Spin facility, RIDE Cycling Studio, which officially opened on December 3rd.

Among the studio’s perks are plentiful towels, yoga mats and gel-seat covers for the bikes, so you don’t have to bring your own; a shower for a quick rinse if you’re headed to work or a date after class; and a blow-dry station stocked with hair dryers, dry shampoo, hair ties, headbands and deodorant. “We’re a small studio so we weren’t going to be able to put in a whole locker room, but I wanted to make fitting in time for a workout as easy and convenient as possible for people,” says Kristy. “I really pushed for that shower.” (Ed. note: I told her it was a good call.)

The 22-bike studio offers Spin-only classes, hot yoga classes, and yoga-and-Spin combo classes. The latter entails 40 minutes of cycling sandwiched between 10 minutes of yoga at the beginning and end of class. Spin-only classes are 45 minutes or 60 minutes long.

Your first class is free, and after that, drop-ins are $15 (class-card packages are available, too). Check out the studio’s blog for monthly specials.

RIDE Cycling Studio, 245 Second Street Pike, Southampton, 267-988-4876.

Why All the Lithe Method Girls Are Wearing Trash-Bag Diapers

They’re called Calorie Trashers in Lithe Method parlance, and they’re the latest rage among the studio’s many (many, many) apologists. So what’s the deal with these trash-bag diapers everybody’s wearing?

“Ballet dancers wear trash-bag pants to warm-up—to loosen muscles, increase flexibility,” says Lithe’s director of operations Melissa Weinberg. “We started offering them for our High Waisted class in December, but people have been using them for our other classes, too.”

The pants fit like knickers, sitting at the waist and extending to the knee with elastic on both ends. They’re 100 percent nylon and 100 percent non-breathable—meaning they make you sweat like nobody’s business. So in addition to making you more limber, they can help you shed some quick water weight, too.

Because the pants are so sweat inducing, they aren’t recommended for cardio workouts but are great for sculpting and conditioning. I’m told the Trashers are sold at Lithe’s Rittenhouse, Old City and Main Line studios but as of last week were sold out everywhere, except Old City. The pants go for $25 each.

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