Fit and Finessin' in Soulsville
"I gotta stay flyyyyyyyy..."
- Juicy J
Memphis is known as a city with a lot of soul. That comes with no surprise. However, what you don’t hear as much about is the unique and robust fitness scene. Plenty of outdoor space thanks to Shelby Farms means there is no shortage of trails and marathons to run. Living along the Mississippi River means you can get into kayaking and paddle boarding. And, let's not even begin to touch the yoga scene. It's so big, the city is hosting its first yoga festival this year. Over the past few weeks, I've noticed a lot of expansion with boutique studios and chains like Nashville's Shed Fitness bringing their unique style to town.
Since moving, I’ve met some great trainers and gotten some sneak peeks at new studios. I plan to share it all over the next few months, but first I want to introduce you to a few of my "Soulsville" favorites...so far.
HardQore Fitness Bootcamp
Before moving, I was looking for training options where I could push myself further. A friend recommended I try out the HardQore bootcamps on Saturday morning and I am so glad I did. Every workout is different, and we get it all in – HIIT, Tabata, Strength & Circuit Training. Our trainer, Tim Williams, is patient, but he will definitely push you to go past our limits. I enjoy his style of training so much that I began personal training with him. Since working with Tim, I’ve seen great gains with muscle definition in my legs, which was a goal I outlined during our initial conversation. This is the first time in many years that I feel like an athlete, and I often leave our sessions feeling accomplished, or have identified an area of weakness that I need to work harder to strengthen..
Yes, I do teach at Zen, and I could gush all day about our studio, our instructors and owner. In my DJ Khalid voice, "They da best!" However, that’s not why I am including it as a favorite. I truly believe the traditional gym model will have to evolve or it will become obsolete. We are a generation who loves options and variety. When asked for fitness tips, my number one is to mix it up and find what you enjoy. A visit to Zen comes with the choice of spin, barre, yoga, sculpt, or bounce classes. Mix those with our fusion classes and you have well over 20+ ways to get moving and trick you muscles each week. I often joke about wanting to do “all the things," and Zen is the perfect choice for someone who is a busybody like myself.
Memphis Rox Climbing
Fun and fitness with a mission, that is what Memphis Rox Climbing adds to the scene. The premier indoor climbing facility brings healing and a renewed sense of hope to challenged communities through climbing and fitness programs. No one is turned away, regardless of their inability to pay. In addition to rock climbing, the gym offers yoga and meditation classes, a nutrition bar and full gym equipment on the second floor.
P.S. You can’t talk about Memphis and not discuss the good eats. There’s plenty of soul food to get into, but also some great vegan and vegetarian options. If you are looking for a healthy menu that doesn’t skimp on variety or flavor, check out Fuel Café.