From yogi to dancer — fitness studios offer variety

Pure Barre, Zoom among options for Charlottesville community


FlyDog Yoga offers a more diverse range of classes, and it offers 30 days of yoga for $30, which may appeal to a college budget.

Richard Dizon | Cavalier Daily

Charlottesville appears to be the latest city hit by the workout-class trend. Within roughly three miles of Thomas Jefferson’s iconic Rotunda lie 10 popular workout studios — offering yoga, spin, high intensity interval training, barre and more. For those students who are looking to try something entirely new or simply freshen up their exercise routine, Charlottesville is chock-full of options. Depending on what you’re looking for, you’re bound to find something in Charlottesville that appeals to your budget and workout style.   

For the cardio lover — Zoom and Purvelo

If you love cardio, consider trying spin — a popular and fun form of high-intensity cardio. Zoom and Purvelo are two competing spin studios near Grounds that are popular with students. Both follow the same class format — 45 or 60-minute choreographed rides to music using weights to sculpt and tone muscles. Instructors choose their playlists to match the high-intensity, heart-pumping nature of the workout. 

Zoom and Purvelo are very similar. The only noticeable physical difference in the studios is that Zoom has a mirror for participants to watch themselves as they workout, while Purvelo does not. 

Third-year Commerce student Grace Phillips, an instructor at Purvelo, said it is a healthy environment to unwind. 

“It’s really friendly, welcoming and casual,” Phillips said. “Nobody takes themselves too seriously — it’s a good place for people to just come and forget whatever else has happened in their day and take 45 minutes just for themselves.” 

Phillips recommends Purvelo for people of all skill levels looking for a serious but awesome workout in a great environment. 

For the competitor — Orangetheory and CrossFit

Orangetheory and CrossFit are full-body workouts that use a wide variety of exercises, weights and machines to burn calories and tone and strengthen muscles. 

According to its website, Orangetheory is “5 Zone heart rate based interval training using specifically designed and timed interval training blocks.” 

Orangetheory uses heart-rate monitored training, where participants wear heart rate monitors to see their real-time workout statistics displayed on screens throughout the room. At Orangetheory, you are your biggest competitor, as you try to keep your heart rate in the orange zone — zones four and five — to maximize the number of calories burned after the workout ends, known as the “afterburn.” 

Second-year College student Emily Klein said she has been going to Orangetheory multiple times per week since the studio first opened this summer. 

“I have taken a lot of other exercise classes before, such as SoulCycle, Purvelo and Tread Happy, but Orangetheory provides the most well-rounded workout,” Klein said. “I love that it’s an interval workout ... I not only get my cardio, but I also strengthen other core muscles.” 

In contrast to all this running, CrossFit brands itself as using basic functional movements of everyday life to achieve a high-intensity workout. 

Second-year College student Elizabeth Yoss said CrossFit provides unique workouts every time she participates.

“CrossFit is different every time,” Yoss said. “It’s a lot of weightlifting and running — a different workout every time you go in. They post the workouts online in the morning everyday.”

Similar to Orangetheory, CrossFit uses whiteboards as scoreboards to record workout results. Yoss sees CrossFit as revolving around a community. 

“CrossFit I like especially because there are a lot of partner workouts,” Yoss said. “For example, there will be a set number of reps but you build to that together. Even if they do more than me, we build to that number together and do everything together, which helps.”

For the dancer — Pure Barre

Pure Barre differs from spin classes, Orangetheory and CrossFit in that it is a low-intensity workout. Pure Barre uses isometric motions performed using a ballet barre. The exercises work the body to achieve lean, toned muscles. Classes at Pure Barre last 55 minutes. The exercises done always change from class-to-class, similar to the nature of classes at Orangetheory and CrossFit. Pure Barre offers specialty classes to specifically target certain areas of the body — abs, seat and inner and outer thighs. 

Second-year College student Cailey Folts said she likes Pure Barre because there is very little cardio involved.

“Barre is different than any other workout I've done,” Folts said. “It works such minor muscles that you never get to work in other workouts.” 

For the Holistic Athlete — Yoga 

Charlottesville is home to a number of yoga studios. Yoga is perfect for those looking for a low-impact workout that challenges the mind as well as the body. 

Opal Yoga is Charlottesville’s first vinyasa yoga studio. Hot Yoga Charlottesville offers hot yoga classes, where participants work out in 80-110 degrees Fahrenheit heat. Classes at Hot Yoga Charlottesville range from 60 to 90 minutes in length. FlyDog Yoga, similar to Opal Yoga, offers vinyasa yoga classes as well. 

Fourth-year College student Cameron Leventen said she grew up in a Southern California community centered on yoga. She began the practice seriously about eight years ago. 

“What really set me alight with yoga was when I was introduced to the concept of Pranayama, or the connection of breath to movement,” Leventen said. “It sounds like such a simple concept, but by enacting conscious breathing and connecting that to various postures, it changes your perspective to movement entirely.”

Having attended classes at Opal Yoga, FlyDog Yoga and Hot Yoga Charlottesville, Leventen knows the ins and outs of each studio. Leventen said that Opal Yoga is the most aesthetically beautiful studio, with natural light and air and hardwood floors. Opal Yoga classes are slower and more meditative, so they are better for those who are not looking for a sweaty workout. FlyDog Yoga and Hot Yoga Charlottesville are cheaper options that offer a more conventional yoga practice. The key difference between FlyDog Yoga and Hot Yoga Charlottesville is that Hot Yoga Charlottesville is entirely hot — or Bikram — yoga. 

“The heat at [Hot Yoga Charlottesville] flushes your skin almost immediately after you enter the room, and the sensation of detoxifying can be really powerful in a hot yoga studio,”  Leventen said. “I’ve also found that the instructors are consistently more my style at Hot Yoga Charlottesville, as I personally prefer more intense vinyasa flows that energize you by pushing you.” 

FlyDog Yoga offers a more diverse range of classes, and it offers 30 days of yoga for $30, which may appeal to a college budget. Its hot yoga offerings are not at as high of a temperature as Hot Yoga Charlottesville, and the instruction is a little more varied. Carpenter said she recommends the Power Vinyasa class at FlyDog, which is about an hour long.

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