by Kate Wilke
You head to class excited for your favorite type of exercise, led by a high-energy, skilled, and highly motivating instructor. When you arrive, you know you will be surrounded by energetic people in an intimate and modern atmosphere that fits your style. The space is aesthetically pleasing and upscale. The music is on point as usual, and you are guaranteed to push your limits while having a blast. “Intimacy, community, accountability, one-on-one attention, and a genuine investment in the neighborhood”— these are just a handful of the ways the Nashville community would describe their obsession with the gyms they attend at least five days a week with enthusiasm. How did we go from setting five alarms because we can’t wake up for that dreaded workout, to jumping out of bed because “Amy,” the trainer, is counting on you to show up?
Boutique fitness has emerged in Nashville and continues to thrive because it addresses the whole body—the physical, mental, and emotional. When you walk into a gym, cycling studio, yoga studio, or any other innovative boutique fitness space, you are seen, heard, and you will find a home and sanctuary.
In contrast to larger, less personal gyms, boutique fitness studios place an emphasis on personal relationships. There is something empowering about friendship and a trainer who knows both your name and your dog’s name. Due to the more intimate nature of a boutique fitness space, trainers have the ability to give more attention to individual clients. This means your progress is tracked and celebrated. Your goals will be remembered and realized. You find your trainer and maybe your “counselor” all in the same place.
Committed to the Community
It comes as no surprise that a boutique fitness studio invested in the lives of each client would also care to invest in the surrounding community. A common theme at these studios is the effort to giving back. At cycling studios, you’ll find charity rides, while at yoga studios you’ll see donation-based classes that dedicate the practice to a good cause. When the community is involved, there is added accountability and participation.
In addition to giving back, boutique fitness entities take their workouts outside of their modern studios and bring them to fresh venues, like rooftop bars, parks, and even restaurants, breweries, and wineries. The movers and shakers in the boutique fitness scene know their clients love to try new things and mix their love of fitness with their love of socializing. Why take an impersonal group fitness class with a less than energetic instructor when you can head to a distillery with some other “regulars” and sweat it out to an intentional playlist followed by a free cocktail and extended happy hour? You see, boutique fitness clients are choosing this environment because they are not only getting a personalized workout, but they are also meeting new friends, exploring Music City, and finding fun ways to relax, socialize, and kick back.
Worth the Investment
If boutique fitness is so great, why isn’t everyone jumping on board? The most difficult obstacle to overcome is usually pricing. Boutique fitness memberships are typically more costly compared to your generic gym membership. However, when you factor in one-on-one attention, discounts to major events, the ability to grow your network of friends, high-energy instructors, and often times sound advice on nutrition, cross-training, and injury prevention, you’re signing up for far more than you’re paying for. That community you are “paying for” is really a community of educated professionals jumping at the opportunity to better your life and excited to offer their own expertise. Whether it’s the chiropractor you sit next to on Thursday nights, the girl at the front desk with a graphic design degree, or the instructor with a gluten allergy and nutrition certification, your individualized needs are met in ways outside of the 5:30 workout, meaning you come back five times a week and truly get your money’s worth.
Find Your Tribe
As humans, we all seek out a deeper connection. Even if we have occasional mundane days and countless chores, we can always count on that workout to either kick off our day with the right mindset or end our day feeling detoxed and refreshed—even better when we’re surrounded by the same group of people at the same time who are also showing up with their own stress and busyness, but somehow still manage to add to the group energy. With that positive reinforcement, the entire class works toward something bigger than just themselves.
So perhaps the greatest benefit of all is that boutique fitness provides you with a tribe of people that make you accountable to show up, perform your best, leave your negative energy at the door, and finish that workout knowing you’ll leave a better person. There is a magnitude of differences between working out isolated versus working out as a team alongside a fiercely loyal instructor. When you get into a routine at your choice of the many boutique fitness studios in Nashville, you will no doubt invite your greatest potential and transformation.