Keeping a fit and trim waistline in Pittsburgh isn’t easy. Between fries on our sandwiches, our butter fried pierogies and excellent independent pizza places around every corner, we can certainly pack on the pounds. While working out feels like a chore, we’d all rather have more fun by gobbling down pretzels and popping pepperoni rolls. But life is short, and with all of that unhealthy food, it’s going to be even shorter. So how are you suppose to get all of the fun out of life with the boring, typical workout programs offered at most gyms? Now, thanks to a new crop of exercise and dance studios/centers throughout the Pittsburgh area, burning off those calories has gone from frustrating to fun.
Jazzercise Scott Township Fitness Center
1100 Washington Ave., Route 50
Carnegie, PA 15106
Owner and certified Jazzercise Instructor Tamara Dzeskewicz has dedicated years to teaching Jazzercise in the Pittsburgh area. She originally taught at Jazzercise Center in Carnegie, which she took over three years ago when the previous owner, Mary Ann Gustafson, retired. The popularity of the center quickly outgrew the space, so last year she moved the entire operation to Scott Township.
Open daily, with 13 instructors and over 40 classes a week, Tamara’s Scott Township center offers something for everyone’s schedule. From Jazzercise’s calorie-burning fusion of “jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and kickboxing,” to body sculpting and a quick, intensive, 30-minute lunchtime express class students have dubbed the “nooner,” you can find a class that works for you.
In addition to the multitude of classes, the Scott Township center holds special events and classes. Last summer it hosted Jazzercamp for younger patrons, and for Valentine’s Day, Jazzercisers are encouraged bring their significant others to see if they can keep up. Last year, Tamara brought her own fiancé Scott, and he enjoyed it so much that he’s stuck with the class. “So far he has lost 65 pounds!” said Tamara.
Stout Training Pittsburgh
2020 Smallman St.
Suite 324 & 325 (3rd floor)
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
The Gracie family revolutionized the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, with family member Renzo Gracie having ushered in the technique to Mixed Martial Arts as both a competitor and trainer. While Renzo’s own training academies are located in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, those seeking team Gracie training are in luck thanks to Stout Training Pittsburgh.
Located in the Strip District, Stout Training offers not only MMA and team Renzo Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but classes in Muay Thai Kickboxing, KettleBell Fitness, rope throwing and body weight exercises. For younger training, Stout has a youth martial arts program, kids camps and even anti-bullying courses.
Both group and private classes are available for all levels, from adults to children. For those curious to try Stout’s unique services, it offers free trials and private or semi-private beginner classes.
5608 Walnut St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
As one of the largest fitness clubs in the Pittsburgh area, there seems to be no limit to the offerings at X Shadyside. From “200 pieces of weight-training equipment” as well as a group fitness studio, yoga and Pilates studios, a cardio area, cycling studio and its new “Personal Training Core and CrossFit studio,” you could exercise all day, every day, and never run out of things to do. Of course, let’s also not forget X Shadyside’s extensive fitness/dance/workout classes.
X Shadyside offers over 40 weekly classes as part of the club membership. While it always has the typical workout classes such as Pilates, yoga and cycling, it also has the Zumba dance fitness, Les Mills Body Attack and BodyPump programs, and for older adults, Silver Sneakers Classic classes.
Once the workout is over, X Shadyside has massage services, from deep tissue and relaxation to sports massages. As a bonus, its sister company, Planet Smoothie, is right next door. Just be careful not to overdue it and put back on those calories you just worked off.
Oh My You’re Gorgeous By Brittny
222 Mars Valencia Road
Mars, PA 16046
Just 30 minutes north of Pittsburgh, Oh My You’re Gorgeous offers workouts as fun and unconventional as their name. Oh My’s primary draw is the pole fitness program, a strength-training, body-toning workout that evolved out of Vegas-style pole dancing. It also offers the latest exercise sensation that is quickly growing in popularity, hula-hoop dancing, which combining the childhood toy into a full-body aerobic workout with special customized weighted hoops.
The list of additional unique workout classes at Oh My is epic, from Cardio Belly Dancing and Bollywood-inspired classes, to Burlesque, Cardio Kick Boxing, Cheerleading Dancing/Aerobics and Hip Hop Aerobics. It also includes all-original workouts such as Flirty Fight Club, Stiletto Strut and even a Line Dancing workout. For those less adventurous, you can sample the more traditional exercise classes including yoga and Pilates.
Oh My You’re Gorgeous also offers many services beyond exercising, including hair and make-up workshops, bachelorette and birthday parties and fantasy photo shoots.
Fullbody Fitness Club
4070 Brownsville Road
Brentwood, PA 15227
You might recognize Darieth Chisolm as one of the anchors from WPXI local news here in Pittsburgh, but she is also the owner of one of Pittsburgh’s most unique and personal fitness clubs – Fullbody Fitness Club.
Offering up numerous out-of-the-box classes and programs that follow a “go-at-your-pace learning philosophy,” Fullbody Fitness delves into new-style workouts, such as Turbo Kick, LaBlast Fitness, Bokwa and Pole Dance.
The most unique signature programs are taken from a dance style you may have only previously seen on episodes of “America’s Got Talent.” Aerial Yoga, also known as Patvan yoga and Aerial Silk Dance, are Fullbody’s signature workouts, utilizing fabric hammocks hanging from the ceiling, used for balance as you literally work out in the air.
Related: Best CrossFit Studios In Pittsburgh
David Cohen is a freelance writer whose work can be found on Examiner.com.