A handful of fitness studios are now flexing their publishing muscle, creating blogs that generate buzz for their workout method while peppering readers with all kinds of studio culture and intel that their community really cares about.
Some blogs share paparazzi-style insight into their what instructors are really like or which exclusive new tank tops the studio’s currently stocking, while others provide oodles of fitness and nutrition tips that mesh with the studio’s workout philosophy.
Barry’s Bootcamp star Joey Gonzalez explains the phenomenon, saying, “Fitness enthusiasts are always looking for fresh information from sources they trust. And where better than the place you work out and the people with whom you do it?” (Other than Well+Good, of course.)
We’ve created this guide to the ones updated often and worth reading… —Rosa Levitan and Melisse Gelula
Blog: The Bari Tribe
What they do well: This blog is geared the self-proclaimed “Bari Tribe.” It’s loaded with recipes (love the “Back on Track Winter Soup”) and dietary advice from Bari’s in-house nutritionist Sarah Levy, plus short Bari-made videos. It’s also full of enthusiastic posts about client challenges.
Topics they don’t touch: The blog doesn’t really touch much on fitness news, issues, or trends, except its own.
How often they update: Bari devotees should check the site several times a week for new posts. But non-members might find it worth checking monthly for the occasional healthy recipe or bit of Bari gossip.
Blog: The Intel
What they do well: Since its July ’12 debut, the blog’s functioned as an extension of the popular studio with fitness inspiration presented in a flashy, fun style Barry’s is known for. Instructor playlists make up a whole Music + Entertainment section, and there tips-based articles like how to run the right way, and reminders of the brand’s celeb following.
Articles can be seriously funny, such as “The Sweatiquette Guide,” written by Barry’s blogger Minsun Park, about her beef with badly behaving people during a workout.
Topics they don’t touch: Per the bootcamp ethos, you won’t find coverage on slowing down, or recipes that don’t include protein powder. Oh, except an excellent one for Fronanas.
How often they update: Contributions from instructors (at all Barry’s locations) and bloggers are added several times a week.
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Blog: Slim and Strong Blog
What they do well: Ariane Hundt, the founder of Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp, single-handedly writes this super-intelligent blog. The fitness expert shares tons of tips about how to eat for weight loss and answers reader’s questions about their eating habits, a factor of her master’s degree in nutrition.
Topics they don’t touch: There’s little fluffy, lifestyle-driven, eye candy here. Just serious advice.
How often they update: Demonstrating her stamina for blogging as well as for workouts, Hundt blogs almost daily.
Hundt uses the blog to offer tons of support and encouragement to her Slim and Strong program attendees. But the advice is so smart and solid, it’s helpful to anyone looking to lose weight or get in better shape.
Blog: Inside Physique 57
What they do well: The blog just launched this fall, but already it’s shaping up to be a solid source of (very polished) news on the super-popular barre workout. Examples: Holiday gift picks from founders Tanya Becker and Jennifer Monavi, tips on fitness form (pictured), and photos from a Physique master class taught in Dubai (though we wish they were larger).
Topics they don’t touch: We want to know more about Physique’s fit and gorgeously coiffed instructors. And we’d love to read about the trend-setting studio’s take on fitness in general, like why heavy weights are used at the start of class. And why thigh dancing is so much harder than it looks. But again, the blog’s just two months old.
How often they update: About six times a month.
Blog: Life: Refined
What they do well: Written by the studio’s whipsmart creator, Brynn Jinnett, this blog serves as a bulletin board for all the latest news concerning the Refine Method. Price specials, limited-edition Refine apparel, and new instructor hires and bios are all posted here.
Topics they don’t touch: Currently Jinnett sticks to all things Refine and doesn’t touch other topics. Although we’d welcome the return of her posts on controversial topics, like how to really get a dancer’s body and if working out causes weight loss or diet does.
How often they update: When there’s studio news; about one or two times each month. But we’re hoping Jinnett gets more time at the computer in 2013.
What they do well: The People Magazine of the popular spin studio is full of Paparazzi-style photos of its theme rides and celebrity fundraisers, plus inspiring client successes (called “Soul Stories“), copious instructor bios, and sweet studio news (like two SoulCycle riders who got engaged). It all fuels the cult-like devotion of the studio’s loyal following.
Topics they don’t mention: While the blog is a great resource for anyone thinking about trying the workout (or who’s obsessed with their instructor), there isn’t a single post that doesn’t include the word “SoulCycle.”
How often they update: Short posts are added several times per week.