Fists fly amid a regulation sized boxing ring as the stern commands of an on looking coach keep the fighters in check. Though there may be gravel in his voice, each demand is intended to motivate students of all levels as they hone their boxing skills during small group boxing sessions at Peter Welch's Gym. And leading the pack of coaches who "… will motivate you, but never intimidate you," as told to the Boston Common by Melinda Sarkis—is the owner himself, Peter Welch, a Golden Gloves champion and fighting coach for UFC fighters Kenny Florian and Brock Lesnar. With decades of "old school" boxing experience tucked into his belt, Peter has developed a hands-on boxing program that teaches novice fighters using the same workout as professionals, while instilling confidence through effective conditioning and coaching.
His namesake gym recently moved to a new location that boasts a free weight area, flat screen TVs, and spacious locker rooms. The gym's week-long schedule is open to all including men and women of any age, and has even had visitors such as Anthony Bourdain.
The Athletic Club, located in a renovated warehouse at 653 Summer, has a variety of weight loss options beyond standard workout machines. Consult with their staff dietician about your unfortunate lard-only diet, and she can guide you towards the in-house restaurant for some healthy alternatives. Da Club (as it's known by clever patrons) offers classes like “Group Kick” (martial arts and boxing), yoga, pilates, cycling classes, and the non-ancient art of “Zumba”— a Latin/Merengue/Reggaeton dance-fitness fusion, or the new millennium’s answer to the 90s sensation of “Cardio Funk”. Lovers of both fitness and dismemberment can partake in a “Legs, Butts and Guts” toning class.
The success of Zumba, the Latin-inspired dance-fitness program, begged for spinoff workouts. Today eight Zumba variations exist, seven of which are taught by the licensed instructors at The Z Spot. The troupe teaches original Zumba, as well as Zumba Toning, Zumba in the Circuit, Zumba Gold for seniors, Zumbatomic for youngsters, Zumba Sentao for centaurs, and, at an offsite facility, Aqua Zumba. Each workout engages exercisers with a mix of energetic rhythms, continuous motion, and support from other exercisers in the group.
O2 Yoga provides a mind and body-calming sanctuary for benders and stretchers of all experience levels. Advanced Yogi Bears can reach the uppermost plateau in an advanced-level power class, while beginning Boo-Boo's can dip stiff toes into the peaceful, limbering world of yoga for the first time with a basics class. Those falling in the in-between can develop the strength and flexibility necessary to tame the tiger that refuses to leave their kitchen by dropping into an intermediate class. O2 also offers classes in astanga-style yoga, if you're looking for a change of pace from the classic flow of vinyasa.
Tango Embrace is bringing a little piece of Buenos Aires to Boston with authentic, entertaining Argentine tango classes. The improv-heavy dance is set to beautiful music, with partners periodically swapped, and is tailored to dancers of all ability levels. The internationally traveled AnaLinda Marcus leads the charge, offering her students patient and clear instructions.
The creators of Paint Nite started their on-location art parties as a way to bring people together over a mutual love of art and cocktails. Events take place at bars in New York, Los Angeles, and more than 20 other cities, and have been touted by New York Magazine as the Best Friend Date and profiled by The Daily Beast. During each two-hour session, participants create a 16”x20” reproduction of the night's chosen artwork while sipping a beer, mixed drink, or glass of wine purchased from the bar. Paint Nite supplies all other materials, including paint and brushes, canvases, easels, and aprons. They even supply a local artist who guides participants through each step of the painting process, such as choosing a color palette.
At Bikram Yoga Boston/Harvard Square, an certified Bikram Yoga School, athletes of all levels can sweat it out during daily 90-minute Bikram yoga classes that incorporate a series of 26 therapeutic postures. Studio co-directors Jill Koontz and Brad Koontz have both practiced Bikram from more than 10 years, finding that it was the ideal fitness and health practice for their bodies. They lead a team of certified Bikram teachers in a contemporary studio equipped with quality heat and air filtration systems to help clients loosen muscles, prevent injuries, and build up enough sweat to slip 'n' slide home. The center also offers Eastern-inspired massages that incorporate breathing techniques.