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Top fitness trends for 2019: Local studios, new chain locations add to area’s fitness offerings

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Neighborhood Barre

A Friday morning class at Neighborhood Barre (Rover/Dylan Aycock)

The start of the new year is when we traditionally set resolutions for the year ahead. Start fresh. Set new goals. Discover local resources to help you achieve your fitness objectives.

In this issue, Rover rounds up new, innovative and tried-and-true health and wellness options in Green Hills and Belle Meade — and what they can do for you in 2019.

To give you a holistic look at the year ahead, we’ve tracked down the major players in the fitness scene, skin care trends you should know about, where to find a healthy meal, and even the CBD option.

Boutique fitness

Once dominated by big-box gyms and nationwide chains, the fitness industry has a new look. Boutique fitness options are changing the way workout enthusiasts burn calories.

The boutique boom has been steadily growing nationally over the six years now represents 35 percent of the $25.8 billion U.S. fitness market.

Once unique to L.A. and New York, cities like Nashville — including suburbs like Green Hills and Belle Meade — are becoming hotbeds for the boutique fitness trend.

Boutique facilities include everything from yoga to innovative workout regimens such as barre, pilates, indoor cycling, kickboxing and personal training.

Since 2013, 22 fitness and yoga studios have opened in Green Hills and Belle Meade, with more than half opening in 2017 and 2018, according to business listings collected by the Davidson County Clerk’s office.

Local studios are generally no larger than 3,500 square feet and focus on one or two specific fitness areas in a group setting. Their specific appeal is drawn from a sense of common purpose and community, ample class offerings, and even free childcare.

“Having recently moved here, it’s tough not having a full sense of community yet,” said Green Hills resident Sage Nozko following a morning workout at Neighborhood Barre.

Before Nozko moved from Connecticut last year, her former instructor helped her find a Nashville studio to fit her needs: friendly instructors, a welcoming environment and an involved small-business owner.

“I go to both Green Hills and Brentwood studios,” she said, adding the barre workout is for all ages and body types. “The owner (Kelly Phillips) is always at both locations teaching and taking classes, which really adds a personal touch.”

Chain, independent studios moving in

The fitness centers that have opened in recent years are a mix of franchises and independently-owned studios.

Four new fitness options opened in the second half of 2018: CorePower Yoga, SculptHouse and The SET Studio — all located at Vertis Green Hills — and Evolve Barre and Fitness, which opened on Bandywood Drive.

CorePower and Orangetheory are national brands that offer multiple classes weekly. CorePower instructors teach nearly 80 classes a week. Orangetheory Fitness offers 50 high-intensity workouts with groups of up to 25 people

Neighborhood Barre and KrankFit lead 35-45 weekly sessions. Studios with one or two locations generally offer fewer classes per week.

Shaking things up in 2019

While chains offer similar experiences at each of their locations, independent studio owners have more freedom to shake things up.

When KrankFit opened on Bandywood Drive in 2012, the studio only offered spin classes before later adding a strength component. With the latter becoming more popular, the studio will renovate its strength room in January following the launch of a new concept giving clients more choices.

“It's really organic here, and we don't have to really follow any rules because we’re independent,” said personal trainer and cycling instructor Sarah-Jane Hill. “With the new concept, everyone will start out in the spin room and choose whether to keep cycling or move on to strength.”

“Being a local small business, we can be entrepreneurs,” added studio manager Nikki Jo Boston. “We can do what’s best for the studio on our own terms. It helps us keep moving and growing.”

Similar to KrankFit, Neighborhood Barre clients can expect a new class beginning in January called barre-POWER, a fast-paced workout with more cardio and resistance, said owner Kelly Phillips.

Kelly Phillips - Neighborhood Barre

Neighborhood Barre's Kelly Phillips

“In a traditional barre class, everyone's heart rate is doing something different,” Phillips said. “With barrePOWER, we wanted to offer a new challenge for people looking to increase their cardio.”

New year, new offerings

A high-profile opening in January is looking to not only stir up the fitness scene in Green Hills, but also change the way people work out across the U.S.

Franklin-based company Manduu utilizes FDA-approved electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) technology to deliver a low-voltage current that activates more than 90 percent of your muscles. The workout promotes strength training and weight loss through a low-impact session of flexing and resistance movements.

During the session, trainers hook up clients to a body suit for a 15-minute workout that stimulates muscles and boosts fat-burning metabolism. The workout is equivalent to lifting weights for seven hours, said Wiley Robinson, the company’s chief operating officer. They recommend clients visit every five to seven days.

Robinson said Manduu has been popular in Europe for years, with more than 2,000 locations.

“We think we can place 5,000 locations across the United States,” he said. “We’ve had great success with our first two locations, and we’re looking forward to adding to more Nashville locations (Green Hills and West End) in January.”

Robinson said the company is working with a developer to place 50 studios in Houston, with plans for San Antonio, Austin and Dallas in the coming years.

“People are wondering why this didn’t happen here 10 years ago,” Robinson said. “It all came down to FDA approval.”

“The workout is so personalized to how much electricity it takes to stimulate your muscles,” added Manduu trainer Nikki Gittens. “That means you can have someone who is 18 years old work out next to someone who is 72 years old.”

Green Hills Family YMCA

Green Hills Family YMCA, located at 4041 Hillsboro Circle, is a community-focused wellness facility for those looking to work out in a group setting. The family-friendly fitness center sees thousands of visitors every day seeking services like free group fitness classes, personal training, nutrition counseling and equipment inside its 10,000-square-feet wellness center.

YMCA - Kevin Meier

Sr. Program Coordinator at Green Hills Family YMCA Kevin Meier

“One of our main goals here is to be accepting of anyone who comes here,” said Kevin Meier, program director of the Green Hills location. “We’ve been adding more programs and areas that cater to everyone, whether that’s wheelchair accessible equipment, classes that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy and other programs.”

This story is featured in Rover's January print edition, which includes features on fitness, health and wellness, as well as tips and other information from cover to cover. Find the full edition here.

Dylan Skye Aycock is a Nashville-based journalist and photographer. As a reporter for Rover, Aycock follows transportation, housing and retail trends, as well as other hyperlocal and city-wide issues that affect residents in Green Hills and Belle Meade.

She previously contributed written and visual content to The Murfreesboro Pulse, American Songwriter Magazine and The Tennessean. Aycock earned a journalism degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where she honed her craft as editor-in-chief of Sidelines, the university's student-run publication. When she's not out on assignment or live-tweeting city council meetings, you can find her discovering new local spots or catching a show at one of Nashville's many music venues.


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