It seems to me that the BSC South End has been the gym everyone has loved to hate, but in retrospect, despite the issues (and there were many), I will miss this gym. It is a large space with many windows and high ceilings, has a great indoor pool, large free weights and cardio sections, and when it first opened they had many great classes (I still miss Melany’s lunchtime abs classes).
Over the years, I met and made many friends there. Perhaps that is what I will miss the most with the gym’s closing. However, rather than leave BSC altogether like many have opted, I’ve decided to remain and will now work out at the Downtown Crossing location so perhaps I’ll see you there.
In recent weeks, there has been a lot of chatter about the future of the Boston Sports Club South End. Current and former employees have confirmed that the BSC would like to sign a new lease and the manager has indicated that negotiations with the landlord, GTI Properties are ongoing.
The current lease is set to expire this spring. If the BSC lease expires, it’s not clear if the space would be re-purposed, another chain would takeover, or if GTI would takeover the gym. While managing a gym would be a stretch for GTI, anything is possible. Last year, GTI Properties formed the SoWa Hospitality Group and hired Jeff Gates (former partner of Aquitaine Group) to manage food and beverage operations at the SoWa Powerstation, Brasserie, and Roma 500 (slated to open later this year). I hope the BSC and GTI come to some agreement. The uncertainty is frustrating, because it disincentivizes BSC from making any further investments or to improve the facility.
Regardless of the fate of the BSC South End, if the space remains a fitness center, the gym will need to do more to fend off competition from the many boutique studios that have opened. While these smaller studios are more expensive, their popularity increased during the pandemic.
During the pandemic two gyms opened blocks from the BSC SE, Elite Training Group (operated by former BSC SE trainers) and Epoc Studios. But these are hardly the only boutique studios to open. A quick Google search will show a dozen such gyms within blocks of the BSC SE — several of them owned and opened by former BSC South End trainers who’s clients followed them.
Personal and small group training studio in Boston’s South End
Yesterday, I wrote about the Elite Training Group, the personal traing studio I work out at 2x a week. I also wanted to give ETGs “sister studio” a shout out. Epoc Studios which opened this past summer is owned and operated by Kris Kranzky’s brother Kyle and his girlfriend Tatiana. The two relocated from Southern California to open this space, located just a couple doors down from ETG on Washington Street, across from Peter’s Park.
Epoc Studios specializes in small-group training, delivering customizable, challenging, and effective fitness experience for people of all ages and fitness levels. The sleek interior is definitely deceptive from its exterior. Their custom-designed workouts can include heart-rate monitors with a visual display shown in real-time on screens throughout the gym during class to see how hard you’re working out. Both trainers are very friendly, easy to talk to and a very welcome addition to the neighborhood.
With the days getting shorter and the holiday season approaching, it gets harder to carve out time to workout. One of the lessons I’ve taken from the pandemic is personal health can’t be taken for granted, but it also takes work. That work is easier thanks to expert advise from people like Kyle and Tatiana there every step of the way – all it takes is for you to meet them halfway. If you’re looking for a new gym or need to mix things up check out Epoc.
A little more than a year ago, personal trainers Kris Kranzky and Stephen “Stew” Stewart, opened Elite Training Group (ETG), a personal training studio, on Washington Street across from Peter’s Park in the South End of Boston.
Both worked for many years at the Boston Sport Club South End, cultivating a large and loyal number of clients (including yours truly). So when the gym opened early last fall, I signed up for sessions. I had gained what I referred to as the “Covid 19” and with the end of the pandemic nowhere in sight I knew I needed that extra attention you get from a good personal trainer.
Over the past year, I’ve gained more muscle and lost body fat. I’m down about 15 pounds. With the days getting shorter and the holiday season approaching, it gets harder to carve out time to workout. One of the lessons I’ve taken from the pandemic is personal health can’t be taken for granted, but it also takes work. That work is easier thanks to expert advise from people like Kris and Stew helping you. If you’re looking for a new gym or need to mix things up check out ETG.
I’ve been trying to get back into shape and recently I’ve turned to Lucas Rockwood, a well respected yoga trainer who offers several online training classes, including his his 21-Day Hip Opener Challenge. Each class only takes about 15 minutes but is harder than it sounds. I’m often covered in a sheen of sweat after holding these stretches for up to 5 minutes at a time.
The program is not intended to be a workout. Lucas describes it as a supplement to whatever you’re doing so I will often do this after going for a walk or run or after working out with my trainer. However, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t used the 15 minute stretching class as my “workout” for the day. I’ve noticed the class has helped my posture and my lower back feels stronger.
Because of the winter, I’ll be looking for creative ways to workout indoors. I’m open to suggestions / ideas to do my best to stay fit and somewhat active from my home so I don’t need to go to public gyms while the coronavirus is on the rise.
Due to COVID-19, Boston Sports Clubs were ordered to close. The company promptly fired all their staff (which is upsetting since many of their staff are friends), so when they charged Sergio and me our monthly fee I was both surprised and disappointed. This practice runs counter to what other chains in Boston have done and has changed my perception of how I view the BSC brand.
If you’re a member of the BSC and have been charged a monthly membership fee, let me know by leaving a comment and contact our Attorney General’s Office to file a complaint with BSC / TSI. You can do that by calling 617.727.2200 to let them know that BSC charged you a monthly membership fee and you want a refund, or you can file a complaint online like I did. It takes less than five minutes and you can do it right from, here.
Do you like to be naked? Do you like to do yoga? Then maybe you should check out Naked in Motion, which has been hosting weekly naked yoga classes in Boston each Saturday afternoon; general admission tickets are $25.
In less than a week 30,000+ runners will undertake one of the most difficult marathons in the world when the 122nd Boston Marathon takes place. It is hard not to be inspired by these people but for the majority of people a jog around the Charles River might be all you can commit to.
For those of you who may be looking for an excuse to be more active, I wanted to suggest checking out the Boston Frontrunner’s chapter. This club meets each week and has a social element following their Saturday runs, which gives you the chance to get to meet and connect with others. Do not worry about needing to be some amazing runner to keep up. Different distances are available for you to choose what is best.
I want to feature the LGBTQ groups and organizations that help people connect and enrich Boston’s gay life. If you’d like to have your club / team featured, please email me at email@example.com or via FB messenger.
Enjoy a guilt-free Thanksgiving holiday weekend by signing up to take a fitness class (or two) with one of Boston’s best personal trainers. Yovanny (Furry-Friday worthy) is hosting two outdoor bootcamps this week that will have you burning so many calories you will be able to double up on all the mashed potatoes, stuffing and desserts your heart desires.
Yovanny’s classes are on Thursday, November 23 from 7:00 – 8:30AM and Saturday, November 25 starts at 10AM at Joe Moakley Park in Dorchester. These classes are the last YofitYolife outdoor bootcamps of the year/season!
Pre-Registration is necessary for headcount & equipment so register early while space remains and get in a couple of great workouts with my friend Yovanny.
It has been a long time since I’ve shared a workout but with the holidays upon us, and overindulging a reality I cannot (and maybe you too) escape, I wanted to share a workout I read in Men’s Health. It will take about 20 minutes to do but will have you feeling the burn for several days after.
1 – Box Jumps: (100 reps) The article adds as a reminder to be sure to swing one’s arms while jumping to maximize height.
2 – Dumbbell front squat push press: (100 reps) Hold one dumbbell in each hand over your shoulders, squat, then use the momentum as you come up from your squat to press the dumbbells up above your head. The article suggests using 25lbs dumbbells but use whatever you think you can manage.
3 – Wall balls: (100 reps) Stand facing a wall with the med ball in hand; squat, and on your way up, throw the med ball up over your head and against the wall.
I’ve yet to do this but plan on trying a modified version of this workout later this week (with half the repetitions and breaking it into two sets). I doubt I can do this workout without customizing it and you should do the same. The article has a handy video that I couldn’t figure out how to embed so if you’d like to watch it link here: Watch the Workout Video Here.
Are you looking to do something social that gets you outside so you can enjoy the gorgeous weather this weekend? Ironsides is Boston is hosting a rugby boot camp on Saturday morning from 10AM – 1PM and all are welcome.
The Ironsides annual boot camp promises a great workout and may turn you on to the sport of rugby. After boot camp, you can also enjoy the social side of Ironsides as those who are interested generally head to a local bar to hydrate and socialize. A small fee of $25 will get you an Ironsides tank top and beverages at the “drink-up” after boot camp.
About Boston Ironsides: For over 20 years, the Boston Ironsides has brought together men from a tremendous range of backgrounds. We are players just out of college, seasoned rugby veterans, and men of every age who’ve just taken up the sport. We are accountants, engineers, bartenders, designers, students, and more. We are native Bostonians and players from all over this country – and others. We are gay, straight, and somewhere in between. Our differences make us stronger as a team, and every new member adds to that strength.
Did you know there is something called The Greenway Fitness Program that is free for you to attend? Presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the fitness classes are free and open to the public. To see the full schedule of classes (dates, times and locations) visit the Greenway website or link here.
Gareth Johnson is a writer who I read regularly via Medium. Earlier this month he had an interesting article on Frontrunners, the LGBT running club that was inspired by the novel, The Front Runner, first published in 1974 and would go on to sell more than 10 million copies. The book is noted for being the first contemporary gay novel to achieve mainstream commercial and critical success.Even more impressive than the book’s critical and commercial success is how it served as an inspiration to establish gay running clubs, initially in San Francisco and Los Angeles, but then through out the U.S., North America and eventually the world. I didn’t count but there are more than 50 International chapters and easily as many chapters here in the United States.
Aside from how inspiring the story is (one I didn’t know until I read Gareth’s article on Medium), I wanted to give the Boston chapter a shout out. Often I hear people lament how difficult it is to meet up and connect with people. This club meets regularly and has a social element following their Saturday runs which gives you the chance to get to meet and connect with others. And one needn’t be some amazing runner to keep up. Different distances are available for you to choose what is best for you. For more information about Boston’s Frontrunners’ Chapter visit the following links.
Apologies for those of you who may feel like my blog is giving too much time to men in kilts but I’ve been following Stephen and Rab a.k.a. the “Kilted Coaches” videos on YT for a couple of months and their recent exercise video on how to strengthen your glutes is so much fun to watch.