Next up is the Chattanooga Upchuck Challenge on Groundhog Day on Saturday, Feb. 2, a special two-hour class that sounds like Thrive’s version of an Iron Man competition and offers cycling, yoga and circuit training.
Another popular class is the Raunchy Ryde, held every Friday at 5:15 p.m., where stressed out professionals climb aboard one of their Ryde cycles to sweat off the pressures of the week. The lights go down, a disco ball begins to spin and the instructor eggs on riders by “talking dirt,” Gavin said with a wink, all set to pounding music that would not be out of place in Alan Gold’s.
I asked Gavin about the rise of fitness-related businesses in Chattanooga: Why now?
“If you think about it, you’ve got aging baby boomers out there,” she said. “That fuels a lot, but we’re all in various stages of losing our youth. The new generation is amazingly fit and intends to stay that way.”
Thrive is located at 191 River Street in Coolidge Park. For more information, call (423) 800-0676 or visit thrivestudio.net.
After spending time at Thrive, I reasoned I might want to repeat some of this training at home. But I’d rejected most home workout machines I’d considered in the past—you know the machines of which I speak, the Ab-Masters, Thigh-Masters and other such equipment advertised ad nauseam on late-night infomercials that practically seem designed to injure you before you can begin to see results.
Heading over to Hamilton Place, I found Physique Fitness, Chattanooga’s largest high-end fitness equipment retailer. Physique has been in business for six years and opened their Shallowford Road location about a year ago, but they’ve been servicing health-club level exercise equipment for more than a decade. When the company recognized the need for a specialty fitness store that offered both sales and service, Physique stocked its showroom with the kind of quality exercise machines you’d find only in a health club or gym, but designed for home use.
“We sell higher end, health-club-level equipment you see in clubs made by the same manufacturers for home use and we service all models, even ones we don’t sell,” Physique’s Jay Jackson said.
These machines aren’t cheap, but are designed for the home workout enthusiast who wants to mimic a fitness studio-style workout on the same quality equipment.
Not surprisingly, treadmills dominate, because “it’s something anyone can do,” Jackson said. But Jackson said he sees a trend in the development of cross-training products and a huge emphasis on quality ellipticals.
“We’ve sold more in the past year,” he said. “There’s such a nice variety and people are hearing better things about them. They weren’t reviewed in the past but now such reviewers as Consumer Reports are including them.”
One such popular item is the Elliptigo, Jackson said. “It’s a lot of fun. There are three different models, but the eight-speed will help conquer Chattanooga hills—not Lookout Mountain, but it’s a great overall workout that engages all your senses.”
Physique Fitness is located at 7200 Shallowford Road. Call (423) 499-0842 for more information or visit physiquefitnessequipment.com.
My fitness trail veered north from Hamilton Place to Hixson, to the Chattanooga Jiu-Jitsu Academy. Like many, I’d always been attracted to the martial arts thanks to the fast feet and fists I’d witnessed in TV shows and movies starring Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. I’d even been exposed to some training in the military, but that was years ago and I wanted to see what was new.
Hixson, I curiously observed, has more than its share of martial arts studios for a community its size, but only one jiu-jitsu academy. CJA is the largest in the region teaching self-defense techniques with the added benefit of a fun, high-energy workout.