Active H-Town

The ultimate guide to Houston's best free fitness classes

Pilates gets a HIP, innovative spin at this Houston studio. Courtesy photo

Originally appeared on CultureMap


If you have commitment issues or FOMO when it comes to finding that perfect place to sweat, burn, tone, and tighten, be sure to check out these hot spots that promise a sweat-inducing workout and deliver results, all while letting you give them a trial run.

Orangetheory Fitness
With 14 studios in Houston and six more set to open this year, this 60-minute high-intensity interval-based workout is equal parts cardio and strength training, incorporating treadmills, rowing machines, and a strength floor with free weights, TRX straps and abdominal equipment. Designed for all fitness levels, clients wear a heart-rate monitor during class striving to keep their heart rates in the target zones throughout the class.

First class: Free

Pricing: Membership and package options range from $7/session for unlimited monthly training to $28 for a drop-in session

SWEAT 1000
SWEAT stands for Specialized Weight Endurance Athletic Training, with 1000 representing the number of calories burned in a groundbreaking full-body one-hour workout. SWEAT 1000 integrates components of interval training, functional training, core stability work, athletic, and agility training into a dynamic, action-packed class that is different every single time. The studio is outfitted with high-end equipment including world-class FreeMotion Incline Trainers, which are capable of an incline up to 30 degrees. The fitness regimen is intense enough for the most extreme fitness enthusiasts with enough variance to cater to beginners.

First class: Free

Pricing: Founders Launch — $200/month unlimited for 1 year, $30/class (single class), $29/class (5-class pack - $145), $27/class (10-class pack - $275), $25/class (20-class pack - $500), $22/class (50-class pack - $1,100).

EaDo Fitness
Offering 30-minute HIIT/ Quick Fit classes utilizing a variety of dumbbells, kettle bells, running, rowing, and more in a typical boot camp style, these workouts are indoors, allowing for year-round classes. EaDo Fitness offers a beginner’s fundamental class, CrossFit classes and also yoga and commits itself to providing a supportive and exciting experience for all members – whether first timers or veterans.

First class: Free

Pricing: $99/month (no contract)

Defy Pilates Studio
These 50-minute fusion reformer classes will, without out a doubt, kick your butt (and get it in shape while doing so)! The skilled and energetic instructors at Defy will lead you through a sweat inducing routine combining elements of both classical and high intensity Pilates. The best part: workout while jamming out to super fun tunes in an intimate environment.

First two classes: Free

Pricing: Varies, single class is $30

O Athletik
This all-encompassing facility offers a wide range of classes including circuit training, weight lifting, agility, yoga, barre, kick-boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, sand fit, hill fit, kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, kids wrestling, kids yoga. Also offered are soccer and volleyball leagues included in the monthly membership fee. 

First class: Free

Pricing: $145/month

9Round includes everything you need: a full-body workout that's fast, effective and fun, personal trainers to help you along the way and expert nutritional guidance that’s based on the latest exercise and nutritional science. Perfect for people seeking a unique and flexible environment, the kickboxing themed fitness program incorporates functional, interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training regimens. The best part: no class times – just drop in when you can and get to work for half an hour.

First class: Free

Pricing: $79-129/month for unlimited workouts

HIP Fitness
HIP Fitness (High Intensity Pilates) offers a 45-minute workout that works out every muscle in your body using the Megaformer. Exercises are heart-pumping, muscle burning and there is no stopping until your body is shaking. Classes are limited to 10 clients at a time to guarantee every client the attention he or she deserves. HIP Fitness offers a total-body program that combines cardio, strength training and Pilates to burn up to 700 calories in each session. Workouts are intense, low impact, and efficient. Strengthen, tighten, tone and elongate your body quickly and safely through 100s of different exercises.  

First class: Mention CultureMap and first class is free

Pricing: Pricing varies (one month unlimited passes $195-$265/month)

The Preserve Houston 
One of the newest and most beautiful gyms in River Oaks now offers more than 70 classes a week — everything from ATC and Metcon to yoga and Pilates with a bit of cycling in between. Cycling variations include Rhythm Ride, a 45-minute indoor studio style cycling experience (think party meets workout) and Performance Ride, a 45-minute indoor cycling ride where HIIT training with climbs, drills and intervals meeting incredible tunes.

First class: Mention CultureMap and first class is free

Pricing: Membership fee $229/month

Led by former MLS player Michael Chabala, SPHERE is a soccer-inspired fitness class designed to connect people on and off the field while using a ball to do more than just score goals. The two most popular classes are SPHERE – the signature non-stop soccer-inspired fitness class designed for all skill levels from beginners to pros that takes place at local parks and indoor soccer venues around Houston and POWA — 30-minutes of interval cardio treadmill routines and sideline strength training that uses the ball to shred your fitness goal and is an exclusive class only offered at the Four Seasons.

First class: Mention CultureMap and first class is free

Pricing: SPHERE: $15/class, $100 monthly or $200 for 3 months unlimited; POWA: $20/class, workout includes complimentary valet, use of steam room, shower, pool and hot tub at Four Seasons Hotel Houston  

Not free, but check out these first-timer deals and get ready to sweat:

This next generation indoor cycling experience embodies the essence of invigorating fitness, unparalleled service and maximum burn in a luxurious boutique environment. RYDE is well known in Houston for its exhilarating music and highly skilled and energetic instructors.

First class: $15

Dance House Fitness (DHF) 
If you didn’t know dancing can burn some major calories, meet Dance House Fitness (DHF), which offers some of the most exhilarating and Instagram-worthy stories in a fitness environment. DHF offers 60 and 90-minute classes like dance cardio, choreography, lower body activated, interval training, yoga and more. No dance experience necessary — just positive vibes and a willingness to #werk (or #twerk).

First class: $29 for a week of unlimited classes 

Try this 45-minute indoor cycling class that features high-intensity cardio, muscle-sculpting strength training, and rhythm-based choreography. Created to make fitness fun, inspirational, and community-driven, SoulCycle's classes are designed to transform both bodies and minds. The combination of world-class instructors, dark candlelit spaces, and high-energy music along with a full-body cardio workout fuels riders to move together in unison to create what they dub the "energy of the pack."

First class: Texas locations are offering a buy one get one class (two for $30)

RacePace offers interval-based group running classes led by certified running coaches catered to runners of all abilities. The calorie-torching classes are comprised of a variety of speed and hill intervals to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of your training. Regardless of your experience or ability, clients can benefit from the instruction, support and energy that the RacePace coaches and fellow RacePacers provide. Whether you're a first-time runner or an Olympic miler, this is a good spot to work on your running and fitness goals.

First class: $10

ROW Studios
Recently featured on TLC's My 600-Pound Life, ROW is a high-intensity, interval training studio in West U. Hosting more than 60 classes a week for all fitness levels, classes incorporate the rowing machine (the "erg"), where you'll be on and off the erg throughout class. All Body is their signature class, which they suggest new clients take first to get a feel for the workout.

First class: 30 Days for $49


*Pricing above reflects new clients only and varies by studio/location. 

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Jae'Sean Tate had himself a night. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.

No Christian Wood. No Kevin Porter Jr. No Jalen Green. No problem. Jae’ Sean Tate became a complete superhero for the Houston Rockets versus the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

He recorded 32 points, 10 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 5.0 blocks, and 2.0 steals and shot 73 percent from the field. With that stat line, he joined former Rocket Hakeem Olajuwon and other historic big men from the past, which Tim MacMahon reported.

Tate is known for his leadership and the ability to be humble. When a reporter asked Tate about the stat line, he said, “How many turnovers? Nah, 25 assists, that’s what sup! Can’t be mad at that.” An expression like that shows the importance of putting his teammates first before taking all the shine. Tate is providing more passion with communication and being the rock that the "Baby Rockets" can lean on.

Coach Silas' confidence in Tate is something built from last year and it shows. Those two have constant dialogue throughout the game, and it’s seen before the huddle or when Silas is standing on the sideline before he calls a play. Silas has run consistent sets for Tate, as he did that within the 15-game losing streak. He dialed up an out of bounds action with 33.4 seconds left, so Tate could make a clutch layup towards the rim.

“Long, long, long ago in his rookie year…we definitely have a bond and with those two guys out, we needed some scoring,” Silas said. “He was the guy who was playing the hardest from start to finish and down the stretch we ran that elbow iso for him. And he just went through his defender and finished. And he made some huge plays in the 4th quarter, which is what you need. Yeah, I trust him as much as anybody else, and he has earned that, and he deserves it.”

“That just shows the confidence Coach Silas, and my teammates have in me,” said Tate. “We lost some of our primary guys tonight. And not only me, but everybody also stepped up.”

His usage rating is slowly going up, which is posted at 18.9 percent per NBA stats. In isolation, Tate is averaging 1.00 points per possession, which puts him in the 75th percentile(!) per NBA stats. Tate is seeing more action out of the corner, so it can allow him to get to his left hand on offense. The elbow iso action is a play that Tate has run since high school, college, overseas, and in the NBA now. He mentioned that the set allows him to get comfortable when his number is called.

“That’s not my primary role and I think everyone knows that,” Tate said. “I am very confident [in] what I bring to the table offensively. Not only scoring wise but seeing the floor and being able to make [a] decision in space. And that kind of helps me when they overlook the scouting report.”

“[I've] been running that play since I was [in] high school. At Ohio St. I ran that. Even when I was overseas, Will Weaver, that was a play he put in. To have that called tonight, it felt familiar and it’s one of my strengths. And playing in the mid-post area and getting to my left hand.”

Tate was excellent for the Rockets on both sides of the ball, as he had a 116.9 offensive and 108.5 defensive rating with an 82.5 percent in true shooting versus the Thunder. Hopefully, Tate can be the leading catalyst again, as the Rockets face the Orlando Magic and New Orleans Pelicans, which are winnable games. It should become a six-game winning streak, as John Wall might play if his condition is right.

Up next: The Rockets face the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

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