Fitness: Five Unique Places to Get Healthy

With so many fitness options in Philadelphia, it is tough to find a place that offers unique programs and experiences that you cannot get elsewhere. Several places around the city allow for a different way to help you feel your best.

Warrior Gym – South Philadelphia

Located in South Philadelphia near the corner of 12th and Mifflin streets, Warrior Gym allows patrons to stay in shape while chasing their passion – boxing. The gym boasts more of a club atmosphere, one in which members of all ages can learn from professional boxer and gym owner Josue Rivera.

“It is a great time, a great atmosphere, and we are all here to learn,” Rivera said. “We are not looking to take your money. We are looking to make you a better person.”

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Crossfit Center City

Nestled in the heart of Center City, Crossfit Center City, on 12th and Chestnut streets, opened its doors in 2009 as the first Crossfit affiliate located in Philadelphia. The gym offers a variety of programs and activities that you just cannot get anywhere else.

“A lot of gyms are going to be setup to offer a workout or a class that will be coached. We offer that, but much much more,” trainer Wylie Belasik said. “We feel that for most people we need more than one type of class…you still need a lot of other stuff to be a well-rounded athlete.”

There are several dozen gyms that offer Crossfit training in the Greater Philadelphia area, but Crossfit Center City is the only one that offers such depth in its programming. At Crossfit Center City, you can use the gym for more than just organized classes. And with its proximity in Center City, those who work in the Center City area have an accessible gym to work their schedules around.

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Halycon Floats – Northern Liberties

Located on Second Street and Girard Avenue in Northern Liberties, this one-of-a-kind fitness stop is one of two floatation therapy locations in Philadelphia. Halycon Floats offers two tanks at its Northern Liberties location and another two at its newly opened Roxborough location. Each tank is filled with 850-900 pounds of epsom salt and 10 inches of water.

The experience is for people who are looking for a full rejuvenation of their body, both mentally and physically.

“It is complete sensory deprivation,” general manager Kaitlynn McCaffrey said. “So you don’t hear anything, see anything, smell anything, for 90 minutes. And because of the sensory deprivation, your body is able to get into the most relaxed state that is possible. You are able to reach a theta state.”

Prices range from $55 to $79 per 90-minute session, depending on the membership option you choose. You can also pay per session a la carte without a membership. 

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Row Zone – Manayunk 

Row Zone is not the typical gym with just treadmills and weights. Instead, the gym is filled with rowing machines. This type of exercise allows the athlete to reap the cardiovascular benefits of a running workout while still building up muscle through this full-body workout.

“It’s unique in that you get a full-body cardio and strength workout and it’s not high impact on your joints,” instructor Anthony Fittipaldi, a former Drexel rower, said. “You use your hips and your ankles but the machines go pretty easy on them.”

This allows those with weak joints to still work out their core muscles without putting too much stress on their body.

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Hot Box Yoga – University City

The practice of yoga has many different forms, but when it comes to escaping the frigid temperatures of a Philadelphia winter, Hot Box Yoga is a very popular place. Located at the intersection of 35th and Lancaster streets, the temperature of the University City yoga studio is set to 90 degrees Fahrenheit during each session. It’s where everyone breaks a sweat.

“This style has not only the ability to change your body but your whole life and how you face challenges in it,” owner Brad Young said. “The workout from hot yoga is not only intended to be a physical one, but mental as well.”

–Text and images by Aron Minkoff and Jamie Gray.

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