Best Of 2014
We asked. You voted. Here are the people and places that stood out this past year in Austin’s health and fitness scene
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Best Outdoor Group Workout
1st) Camp Gladiator*
Get those competitive juices going in a group setting. When you need the support, you’ll also find trainers with a reputation for helping their gladiators.
2nd) Stronghorn Fitness*
This company offers a few options for outdoor workouts: Strides for the runners, Sweat Sessions for the boot camp athlete, and Vinyasa Yoga for the outdoor yogis.
3rd) Rogue Running
Join a solid team atmosphere to train for your next event. Rogue offers marathon training, half-marathon training, 5K/10K beginner running, and trail running.
+) Fit & Fearless Krav Maga
Combine self-defense with an intense workout at Fit & Fearless. The company takes the approach of building endurance and overall fitness while learning the basics of this martial art.
Best National Gym
1st) Gold’s Gym
Check out one of seven Austin-area locations with a membership here. The large franchise offers convenience and the ability to mix-and-match classes in so many locations.
2nd) Lifetime Fitness
This resort-style gym offers a fitness community with your needs in mind. Check out indoor pools, tons of fitness programs to join (yoga, running, cycling, etc.) and childcare until 8:30 p.m.
3rd) 24 Hour Fitness
Work out at a time that’s convenient for you with a large variety of classes and locations. Check online for different amenities at each location.
This community center is probably the best bargain for the amount of classes and seminars available for your fitness journey. The Y even offers income-based payments.
Best Local Gym
1st) Pure Austin
Pure offers the local gym feel without sacrificing the variety and equipment of a national gym membership. Check out their new Speed Shop location for athletic training.
2nd) Castle Hill Fitness
Tucked in the heart of downtown Austin, this local fitness joint offers a café, a cycling shop, specialty classes, an expansive gym space, boot camps, yoga, Pilates, a spa—you get the idea.
3rd) Camp Gladiator Arena
This first class boot camp has added an indoor space in recent years to much applause. Find the same high level of group fitness here without braving the winter weather.
+) Bigger Faster Stronger Training
Find a smaller atmosphere while still using equipment that you need here. Bonus: This family-owned gym is involved with one of our favorite nonprofits, Team RWB.
Best Apartment/Condo Gym
From cycling and circuit training to Zumba, yoga, and Kettleboxing—a hybrid activity combining Kettlebells with kickbox motions—you’re sure to find an FXfit Camp class that appeals to your fitness personality. Join the next training session at The Villages at The Domain, Domain Parkside, Cole, The 704, or the Lakeshore Pearl apartments.
Best Boot Camp
1st) Camp Gladiator*
2nd) Stronghorn Fitness*
3rd) Relentless Bootcamp
A cool aspect of this fitness company is their corporate wellness program; this includes nutrition education, weekly meetings, and more. Find other weekly classes online.
+) Heat Bootcamp
These bootcamps are offered indoors with packages for unlimited monthly classes. High intensity group training focuses on different areas of the body for daily variety.
Best Crossfit Gym
1st) Crossfit Central
Brought to you by the same founder of Relentless Bootcamps, Crossfit Central is heavily involved within the Austin community and offers several class times and locations to choose from.
2nd) Crossfit South Lamar
Also known as CFSoLa, this gym offers over 40 classes a week and the ability to choose your classes based on your schedule. Start the year with Basic Training classes offered here.
This five-year winner offers a variety of events and classes including the Women’s Throwdown. There are no machines here, since the focus is on high intensity functional workouts.
+) Crossfit Round Rock
Crossfit Round Rock will probably be a little pricier than a local gym because of the focus on quality. Look here if you are looking for a gym to take your health to the next level.
1st) Black Swan
This Austin staple is conveniently situated on 5th Street to help you sneak yoga into your day. They offer classes on a donation basis (minimum $7; suggested $10–$15) for those wanting to drop-in for practice. On Jan. 1, BSY began offering memberships for $88/month of unlimited yoga at all their locations.
Creativity and a sense of Austin are both infused into the practices here. Aside from a large offering of classes, this yoga studio is heavily involved in ATX music and arts.
3rd) Yoga Yoga
Stop here for several aspects of life balance, including family yoga, a variety of yoga practices, and health and wellness consultations. Also find yoga vacations for ultimate relaxation.
+) CorePower Yoga
Come to Core Power Yoga for the physical nourishment and stay for the emotional. Cool outreach like Karma Yoga Projects give this studio a supportive, community feel.
This superstar trainer and self-described seeker-of-truth received a landside amount of votes from AFM readers to take the title of Best Cycling Teacher and Best Pilates Teacher in Austin. Catch her in action (and squeeze in the workout of your life) at her home base, place of business, and our Best Pilates Studio winner, Kor 180.
2nd) Pure Pilates
“Pilates on crack” describes Pure Pilates’ combination of cardio, strength-training and traditional Pilates. These classes focus on giving you the most out of a 45-minute session.
3rd) Joy Moves
Small classes of 6-8 give an intimate feel to the classes you’ll find at this Westlake studio. The teachers here focus on classical Pilates for a traditional fitness routine.
+) Ballet Austin
The classes here are an extension of Ballet Austin’s focus on community engagement. Check out classes so focused on health that Scott & White Healthcare is underwriting.
1st) Pure Barre
A community of women teaches classes here that will tone and sculpt lean muscle through ballet technique. Look for specialty classes as well as Pure Barre staples.
These studios combine Pilates, Yoga and Barre technique to create a low impact workout. Focus on controlled, targeted movements, isometric workouts, and dynamic motions.
3rd) Mod Fitness
This local fitness hub offers barre classes that combine innovative strength training, cardio and stretching exercises to sculpt your body. Routines continually evolve and MOD instructors use a variety of props that will keep you interested, while seeing results.
+) The Bar Method
This studio offers classes that are good for your health and easier on your body. You can still expect to blast calories here, but the bar method will also protect your joints.
1st) Fit & Fearless Krav Maga*
2nd) CG Arena*
3rd) Omni Fight Club Austin
We think we’re allowed to talk about this fight club? Nestled in West Campus, this gym offers cardio kickboxing classes that scorch through 700–1000 calories per hour.
+) Three Way Tie:
Eastside Austin Elite
Impact MMA Fitness
Best Youth Fitness
1st) CG Victory
This nonprofit inspires kids toward health with these children’s workshops and camps. Through games and activities as well as competition, campers may forget they’re exercising.
3rd) Marathon High
This free five-month after school training program gives students the chance to train for their first marathon together. During their training, students also learn how to live healthy lifestyles.
+) Young Guns
Young Guns programs teach proper running technique, endurance, cycling and a love for fitness to children at several elementary schools and other community outposts.
Best Free Community Workout
1st) Stronghorn Saturday Sweat Sessions*
2nd) Camp Gladiator Saturday Workouts*
+) Woodward Crossfit*
+) Crossfit Round Rock Free For Alls*
Best Short Road Race
1st) Statesman Capitol 10K
The breathtaking view of the capitol in the last stretch of this race has become an Austin spring necessity. The funds go to local charities in this community must-run.
2nd) Thunder Cloud Subs Turkey Trot
Thanksgiving Day would not be the same without a chance to kick start the metabolism with this Austin tradition. All of the proceeds go to a local charity.
3rd) Run for the Water
Produced entirely by the Gazelle Foundation, this race benefits citizens of the other side of the globe. All proceeds go to helping citizens of Burundi, Africa get access to clean water.
+) Maudie’s Moonlight Margarita Run
This is the Trail Foundation’s annual fundraiser 5K followed by a party in the moonlight. If the romance of a night-time run isn’t enough, remember there‘s Tex-Mex after.
Best Long Road Race
1st) Austin Half/Marathon
Arguably the largest running event of the season, this sprawling run offers the perfect training goal. Join up to 17,000 athletes to support your favorite local charity.
2nd) 3M Half/Marathon
3M’s event this year will support Girlstart, a nonprofit dedicated to helping advancement of girl’s in science. According to Runner’s World, the half is one of the best in the country.
Run for the Water 10 Miler*
Best Short Triathlon
1st) The Rookie Tri
Split into two waves, this triathlon is designed to give a safe place for newbies to start in the triathlon world and for more practiced athletes to sprint their triathlon.
2nd) Jack’s Generic Tri
Held in the middle of scenic country east of Austin, this low-key triathlon provides a great experience for the athletes at beautiful Lake Pflugerville.
3rd) CapTex Tri
This triathlon sells out every year for Memorial Day Weekend. The downtown bridge views will make for a scenic race for first time athletes and experienced pros.
+) Couples Triathlon
Not only for the romantically involved, the Couples Tri gives participants the flexibility to compete as a team but finish the triathlon solo and get scored individually.
Best Long Triathlon
1st) Kerrville Tri
Located in Kerrville, this triathlon is off the beaten path, but the fun is enhanced because of its remoteness. Swim in Nimitz Lake and the Guadalupe River in this race.
2nd) Austin Tri Rock
Among other dazzling amenities, this triathlon series offers a swim in Lady Bird Lake, a bike ride on Congress Avenue, and a run along Auditorium Shores.
3rd) CapTex Tri*
+) Austin Longhorn 70.3
This Ironman race attracts world-class athletes in what has become a destination event for the entire globe. As a bonus, this November race finishes indoors.
Best Off Road Event
1st) Rogue Trail Series
Heavily involved in the running community, you can trust this company to put on events that runners will find exciting, challenging and worth the training.
2nd) Bandera Trail Races
These races are not for the faint of heart. Set in the rough and rocky terrain of Texas, the distance runs range from 25K‘s to 50K‘s and 100K‘s.
3rd) Dirty Du
This jot through intense, tumbling terrain is the trail runner and mountain biker‘s dream. Relays are also available for teams who specialize in one sport or the other.
+) Capt’n Karl’s Trail Series
These long distance runs in the beautiful Texas Hill Country wind through scenic wilderness in the moonlight of summer. Almost makes a 60K sound like fun.
Best Adventure Race
1st) Spartan Race
Come prepared to be electrocuted, to climb, to duck, to dodge and to cheer on your teammates in this adventure race made for both the newbie and the longtime athlete.
2nd) Tough Mudder
This race is more of a long distance obstacle course than a sprint through adventure. There are several challenges to overcome, but Tough Mudder provides an excellent training program online.
3rd) ROC Race
Have you always thought you would make a really great game show contestant? This race is the perfect place for you—the obstacles are all inspired by game show antics.
Best Body Building Competition
1st) Texas Shredder Classic
In 2013, this event featured over 300 athletes in a drug-free body building competition. The crowds flocked to see what is becoming a growing Austin classic.
2nd) Naturally Fit
The Naturally Fit bodybuilding event is nestled into the wider event of Naturally Fit Games. The Expo is held by a leading fitness modeling agency and is the largest of its kind in Texas.
Best Fitness Competition
1st) AFM Fittest
Hey, we don’t want to be those guys that like to talk a lot about themselves, but what can we say? This was an anonymous survey and the people have spoken.
2nd) Fittest Games
Held by Crossfit Central, this event celebrates the community at large as well as the tight-knit Austin Crossfit community. Compete as a team or in one of three other categories.
3rd) CG Games
Hosted by Camp Gladiator, expect to find the team atmosphere and collegiality you can find at their boot camps and arena. Also expect to find a butt-kicking challenge.
+) Missfit Mayhem
This is another locally based Crossfit competition with a heavy focus on the individual ability. Check out some of the expected events online.