As exercise enthusiasts readjust from pandemic-induced gym closures to the reopening—and grand opening—of old and new gyms and exercise facilities, it’s no secret that the Triangle offers a multitude of unique fitness options that may just spark a desire to change up your routine. Why not give these workouts a try?
Stepping into a gym can feel intimidating. Fitness Unscripted and TRX Freestyle co-founders Paul Baron and Elizabeth Gaddy wanted to change all of that. Baron is a former U.S. Marine who completed 19 Ironman finishes and has a Ph.D. in human movement science, as well as certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association, American College of Sports Medicine, CrossFit and TRX. Gaddy, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, is a certified TRX instructor who has completed a Sandman Triathlon and multiple 5K and 10K races.
Both co-founders wanted to create a fitness concept that addressed the intimidation and overall environment of a typical gym, so they started customizable group concierge fitness classes. Designed for all ages and fitness levels, the classes utilize suspension straps, sandbags and kettlebells. A large number of classes are offered outdoors, presenting an exciting deviation from the norm, and a mobile fitness option is also available for events and parties.
“We aim to offer fitness with flair, and the ability to spice up your sweat sessions,” Gaddy says. “As we begin the new year, remember, fitness is a lifestyle. To be successful you need to set goals and create a plan that is sustainable and consistent.” Learn more at fitnessunscripted.com and trxfreestyle.com.
Row, Row, Row
Rowing has emerged as a popular low-impact option on the Triangle fitness scene—and for good reason. It safely exercises 86% of your muscles, according to Row House Raleigh Midtown General Manager Scottie Helm. Classes at this Midtown East facility are not spent entirely on rowing machines, but also feature free weight movements and stretching. A Polaroid wall displays photos of class participants achieving milestones, which enhances the studio’s culture of encouragement and support. Classes allow for all ages to experience a unique team challenge that encourages participants to keep moving and believe in their strength. Learn more at therowhouse.com/location/raleigh-midtown.
Accept and Express
Dancing is often overlooked as an effective way to incorporate exercises that target different parts of the body, while also increasing mental wellness. Prior to opening Express & Release Therapeutic Dance, which is based in Durham but serves the Triangle, founder Gabrielle Rivero envisioned a resource that would encourage people to accept and express their emotions.
“Starting as children, we are told to contain ourselves—to contain our emotions, to not cry or express our anger; to have control over ourselves and our emotions,” she says. “While this language creates a society that is quiet and well-behaved, it also forces us to disconnect from our bodies, and become numb to ourselves and our surroundings. Through movement we are able to release stress, emotions, toxins (through sweat) and pain from our bodies. Our bodies were created to move.”
Rivero’s words speak for themselves, but she has followed through by achieving her mission to create a space where people can experience a physical and emotional connection. She offers workshops, retreats and one-on-one sessions. Her classes provide not only technical information on dance, but also ways to express emotions and release stress. Learn more at expressnrelease.com.
Six Foot Fit’s founder Brenna Doyle wants to make it clear that her gym is not anti-fitness, anti-wellness or anti-hardworking. Her mission is to offer fitness classes that are noncorporate and nonjudgmental; experiences that aren’t the “same old” fitness routine you’ll find just about anywhere. “Six Foot Fit will help you stay physically fit and mentally focused,” Doyle says. “You can surround yourself with amazing people who truly care about each other.”
Doyle and her team have sought to create an inclusive community where all are welcome, regardless of their fitness level or ability. Located in Cary and Apex, Six Foot Fit also offers a large number of classes outdoors, which packs in extra vitamin D. This bright and positive vibe transcends the fitness aspect by encouraging laughter and fun. For example, you can even participate in a “Family Feud” class.
The mental focus component of Six Foot Fit’s group fitness classes is at the company’s core—and not forgotten. The ability to make friends while working out, Doyle says, “feels powerful inside and out.” Learn more at sixftfit.com.
When incorporating different movements in a workout, the question often becomes, “Where do you begin?” SPENGA puts equal focus on what it views as the three essential pillars of group fitness—spin, strength training and yoga—via 60-minute group fitness classes. With locations in Raleigh, Apex and Chapel Hill, SPENGA features aromatherapy and DJ-inspired beats to create a positive and refreshing atmosphere. SPENGA’s mission is, “All the burn, without the burnout.” Learn more at northraleighnc.spenga.com.
Work, Rest, Repeat
Located in Raleigh’s Warehouse District, MADabolic takes a “work, rest, repeat” approach to training, guided by science and technology. “MAD” stands for momentum, anaerobic and durability.
Momentum results from fusing energy and endurance, and gradually building the workout’s pace. Anaerobic is all about taking that power and coupling it with speed. Durability combines strength and stamina.
MADabolic’s classes begin with a detailed explanation of each training session, followed by intentional warmups tailored to specific workouts. Each session features different combinations of work-to-rest periods. Goals include torching body fat, increasing strength and promoting lean muscle mass. Outside of these goals, MADabolic’s mission is to create a culture that produces a group of go-getters. Learn more at madabolic.com.
The instructors and trainers running all of these fitness programs would probably agree that there is no wrong way to go about exercising when a positive attitude and commitment to wellness is present. As 2023 begins, why not switch things up? Transform your fitness routine into a new chapter that will lead you to an inspiring and unique way to express and surround yourself with positivity.
Spice up your workout, take a three-pillar approach and simply be open to trying something new.
No gym required.