Expens-ercise: Are pricey workouts worth it?


Jean Sanders

As Sophia Van Iderstine ’17 gets ready for her late morning exercise class on a Saturday, she laces up her sneakers, grabs a bottle of Smart Water and heads for the door holding one more item in her hands: a pair of boxing gloves.

These are the essentials for her regular class at Box ‘N Burn, an aerobic and strength training studio in Brentwood that specializes in kickboxing classes.

“I’m really into unconventional workouts,” Van Iderstine said. “I’m not really the type of person who likes to run on the treadmill for half an hour because I like to get active and get creative in different ways.”

Box ‘N Burn is just one example of the numerous high-end, specialty exercise classes that are becoming a weekly staple for some students.

[instagram url=https://instagram.com/p/-SUgXiM3Au/ hidecaption=true]

Although Box ‘N Burn gives a first class for free, each class after that is $30, with many students attending at least one class every week. Gyms such as the cycling studio Soul Cycle, the interval training gym Orange Theory, and the workout barre studio Cardio Barre are also at least $25 per class.

Despite the high price, some students regularly attend these classes.

In fact, approximately 30 to 40 percent of the clients of Burn 60, a luxury gym in Brentwood, are teenagers, Burn 60 personal trainer Nick Malizia said.

Katie Kim ’18 began attending hot yoga classes, in which the room is heated to 105 degrees, at SoCal Hot Yoga last summer, and it quickly became a staple in her workout routine.

The $20 per class cost or $150 monthly membership, she said, is worth it for the classes.

“The first lesson was really hard, and I didn’t want to go back, but it was so satisfying I just kept going, and I ended up going twice a week with my mom during the summer,” Kim said.

However, other students who have attended the expensive classes believe they’re not worth the money. After attending a $34 Soul Cycle class, Lizzie Litchmann ’17 was disappointed with her experience.

“It’s too hot inside the room,” Litchmann said. “It gets a little repetitive, because it doesn’t work out your whole body, and you never get off the bike.”

Henry Platt ’17, on the other hand, attends Soul Cycle class multiple times a week as he said the classes are beneficial for both his mental and physical well being.

“I find it very spiritual because all of the teachers say inspiring things,” Platt said. “I walk out feeling like I can tackle the day, which is very encouraging. Although it is fairly expensive, I think that the spiritual and physical gains that I get are definitely worth the money.”

[instagram url=https://instagram.com/p/8_cfQSH5xe/?taken-by=soulcycle hidecaption=true]

Malizia believes that classes also offer motivation that is unique to group exercise with a professional trainer.

“When you go pay for a class, what they are really paying for is an expert that’s teaching the class, the energy that he or she provides and the motivation through music and anything they have to say,” Malizia said. “There’s more motivation in going to a class than staying at home. That’s not to say that you can’t do it at home, it’s just that in a class you can feel all the energy of those around you.”