The presence of Under Armour, a world-class marathon and fitness aficionados in nearly every park across the city make one thing clear: many Baltimoreans love to stay in shape. Their perseverance makes Charm City the 52nd fittest city in the country, according to the American College of Sports Physicians.
This makes Baltimore and its surrounding counties a potentially lucrative market for boutique fitness brands. SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan acknowledged as much at the Baltimore Homecoming conference recently.
Whelan, who grew up in Baltimore, reportedly said she’ll be “looking at real estate and opportunities for us to open in Baltimore in the next few years.” A SoulCycle spokesperson declined to offer additional information, but Baltimore Homecoming executive director Dan Schochor did confirm that Whelan discussed location scouting plans, if not the exact words.
Regardless, locals who wants to try SoulCycle’s signature stationary bike-based spin classes must go to Bethesda or Washington D.C. Here are a few other major fitness brands that have yet to establish outposts in Baltimore city or the surrounding counties.
Equinox, SoulCycle’s parent company, has a national reputation for luxurious spa experiences and diverse workout options. Too bad you have to travel down the Beltway to experience it.
Flywheel uses a similar model to SoulCycle, incorporating high intensity interval training into cycling classes that many find more approachable than the notoriously intense SoulCycle. Also like SoulCycle: Flyweel fanatics must travel to Washington D.C. to find a studio.
New to the boutique fitness landscape, Stride alters the SoulCycle format by swapping the bikes for treadmills. The result is a full-bodied, comprehensive workout that participants can alter, depending on the class, to target specific muscle groups. Unfortunately for the runners among us, Stride only exists in Pasadena, California. The company plans to expand beyond into Southern California, Arizona and Florida soon, but hasn’t yet announced any northeastern locales.
Barry’s Bootcamp isn’t the only boutique fitness brand that takes after the synonymous rigorous training regimen for members of the military, but it’s one of the biggest. It operates studios throughout the United States, as well as Canada, Mexico and three of the world’s continents. That proliferation didn’t hit Charm City, though; the closest location is in Washington D.C.
People who find most traditional workouts intimidating but still want the energy and accountability of a group class may find 305 Fitness more approachable. The model, according to its website, revolves around non-choreographed dances, intimate lighting and body positivity—a rarity in an industry that often reinforces body shaming. Sound awesome? Well then you’ll have to head to...wait for it...D.C. Surprise!