Workout Wanderers

Most people know Northeast Ohio for its great restaurants, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, LeBron James and lakefront living. What most people don’t know is that the area is a hotbed of fitness trends. Cleveland is booming with the cool, new workout classes you would expect to find in NYC or LA. We checked out five unique (and crazy fun) workouts that you must try. We promise the list below will leave you smiling, sweating, and saying “I can’t believe this is in Cleveland!”

Animal Style

Most things in life are better with a furry friend by your side, and working out is no exception. Soza Fitness & Wellness in Parma takes “downward-facing dog” to a whole new level with their yoga and Pilates classes that incorporate animals. They offer special events throughout Northeast Ohio, like kitty yoga, puppy Pilates and baby goat yoga. As you move through your vinyasa flow, adorable fluff nuggets move around your space, crawling under your bridge pose or hopping on top of your plank position. Many of these classes benefit local animal shelters (and the puppy and kitty classes include adoptable pets), so these events work your body and your soul. These classes are for all levels, and there is no judgement if you take a break mid-pose to pet a puppy. Soza offers animal classes at least once a month, but space at each is limited, and it sells out fast.

Circus Fitness

Fly through the air and challenge yourself with Cirque Fit, a circus-style acrobatics class. Barre Fly in downtown Cleveland (also located in Canton) offers this unique and FUN class. Build your strength and flexibility through body weight exercises using the lyra hoop and aerial silks. This class incorporates hammocks and hoops suspended from the ceiling to work your core and improve your stability. Build major strength in your upper body while having all your gymnast and circus dreams come true. Part workshop and part fitness, this class will leave you feeling accomplished and confident. Bring a friend with you for partner tricks and come in with an open mind. No prior experience is needed, but you will leave having done things that you thought weren’t possible!

State-of-the-Art Indoor Rowing

With Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River, Northeast Ohio has a lot of opportunity for water-based activities. But we also get a lot of cold weather and snow. The Foundry in the Flats provides a way to get on the water year-round. The facility houses two water tanks that hold 55,000 gallons of moveable water powered by 40-horsepower motors to simulate a current. Alongside the tanks is space for 36 rowers to practice sweep (single oar) or scull (two oars) rowing. The Foundry is mostly reserved for use by local high school teams, but they offer “Rowing for Fitness” classes where you can learn the basics and practice your stroke. Start now and maybe by spring, you’ll be ready to get out on the open water.

Cardio Climbing

Think Hollywood-level workouts are only available to celebrities? Turns out we have a studio created by a personal-trainer to the stars right here in C-town! Rise Nation, located on Euclid in downtown Cleveland, is a high-intensity cardio workout that uses stair-climbers (1980s throwback!), fast beats, and pulsing lights to get your heart pumping. Celebs like Jennifer Aniston, Emma Stone and Cleveland’s own LeBron James swear by Rise Nation’s Versaclimber workout. By moving vertically at a fast-pace and adjusting the machine’s resistance, your whole body gets a workout. The best part is that each workout is only 30-minutes long. You can definitely find a half hour in your schedule to get your sweat on (and you will definitely sweat with this one!).

Jump Around

Trampolines are for kids – or are they? Sky Zone, an indoor trampoline park, lets you be a kid for an hour. With convenient locations in Westlake, Hudson, and Highland Heights, you can find a Sky Zone no matter what part of town you live in. Each location offers a weekly Turbofit workout class (check local listings for the schedule) that will have you bouncing your way into fitness. Turbofit is a heart-pumping cardio class good for all ages and fitness levels. The class uses free weights, slider discs, and TRX bands to get the most of the workout. It can be challenging and you definitely work up a sweat, but it’s a great option for the winter months when you are getting cabin fever. Bring the kids along so they can blow off some steam while you hit up a Turbofit class. It’s hard not to smile when you’re on a trampoline!

If goats, trampolines, or fitness machines from the 80’s aren’t your thing, there are plenty of traditional workout options around Northeast Ohio. But we promise you this – all of the wacky workouts in CLE provide both fun and unique experiences that you will be talking about for a while! Grab some water and your best pal and head to one of these classes stat.

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Erin Murphy and Elise Yahner

Erin and Elise are the founders of, a blog that explores gyms and fitness classes in Northeast Ohio and beyond. Our goals are more about burning off taco Tuesday than reaching a target weight. If we inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, help you discover a new passion, or just make you laugh at our fitness follies, we’ll have done our jobs.

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