The fitness culture on the Westside of Cincinnati may not be that of New York City [with a boutique fitness studio seemingly on nearly every block], but it is a motivated, tight-knit community nonetheless. Over the past few years, the Westside has blossomed from solely generic gym franchises to a variety of studios, like PureBarre and Plank Pilates Yoga. In 2018, Living Fitness joined this list.
Founded by Maureen Groll and Jennifer Sferrazza, Living Fitness offers a variety of fitness classes and training programs, from cycling and TRX to yoga and pilates. My favorite, though is the bootcamp, offered at 5:15 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 8 a.m. on Saturdays. Never the same exact workout twice, this hour-long session got my heart rate up and left my muscles shaking.
Like all good bootcamps, Living Fitness focuses on total body strength training combined with cardio intervals. The particular bootcamp I attended was at the end of 2019 and was appropriately structured into 20 moves performed for 19 reps each [and, as if that wasn’t challenging enough, four hill runs outside]. Each move was conveniently printed on a sheet of paper for each person to take from station to station as Groll offered demonstrations, tips and encouragement.
The variety of classes that Living Fitness offers actually played to the bootcamp’s advantage, and the workout wasn’t limited to just a few pieces of equipment. The workout incorporated exercises I hadn’t done much before, like medicine ball squat tosses, yoga ball supermans and bosu ball roll up jumps as well as standard dumbbell moves. Suffice to say, my entire body was shocked by the new movements, but left begging for more.
With only a $10 drop-in fee, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try out another class while I was home for break, so I chose pilates [a longtime favorite training style of mine]. As expected, the pace of the workout was a stark contrast to bootcamp, but Sferazza’s meticulous curation of classic pilates moves [think, a LOT of planks and isometric lower body work] left me sore for [literally] days.
Regardless of which class you opt for, one thing is for sure: Living Fitness has found the balance between trendy, boutique-style fitness classes and intense, sweat inducing box gym-style sessions.