GYM CRASHER: BODI
Location: Scottsdale, AZ (Old Town)
What they offer: Group classes centered around high intensity interval training (pick your sweet poison: STRENGTH or SWEAT; either option will leave you sweaty, exhausted, and sooo ready to come back for more). They also offer boxing, stadium/track workouts at a local high school, and a running club. If you’re ready to push your own limits, they’re ready to push you even harder.
Known for: High energy, no nonsense, hip-hop thumpin’, group workouts that leave you sweaty, but yet, kinda feeling like you just left a hangout with your friends. I actually enjoy these workouts; no joke, the 60 minutes FLIES by—and by the time I walk out I’m feeling like I totally earned a bottomless mimosa brunch with my girls.
Crowd + Vibe: Young-ish coeds, half hungover partiers and half getting-serious-about-my-liferers. Let’s remember we’re in Old Town Scottsdale, so the 20-30 something year old crowd is STRONG. What I love about this place is that the upbeat nature brings all the girls (and boys) to the yard… most of whom walk from their (overpriced) apartments, and a few of whom (me) drive all the way from the suburbs.
Cute couples holding hands (#swolemates), new friends meeting outside the front door and exchanging hugs, old friends with smudgy eye makeup and half empty bottles of overpriced water… the mix ends up being a fun, yet cohesive, Lululemon-clad bunch. Once the beat drops, the mood gets serious pretty quick and everyone falls in line though. We’re all there to get our sweat on, whether it be to expel vodka from our system or to get our endorphins pumping; one goal… DO WORK…to look cute for next weekend’s outfit.
Equipment: Looking for a gym with all the standard cardio equipment and weight machines… totes wrong place. This gym is for GROUP fitness. Think, a cross between a circuit type of training facility & a crossfit gym. There are pull-up bars, battle ropes, dumbbells, resistance bands, bosu balls, stationary bikes, rowers, medicine balls, open turf… all the things that make it possible to do large group circuits. You don’t need the latest and greatest in equipment for this type of workout, just the right type of equipment + energetic instructors to lead. This place has both!
Hours: Weekdays 6AM - 8 PM (perfect for those of us who are working peeps, as well as those of us who have bartender/server/nurse/trust fund baby schedules and can do afternoon classes). Weekends 9 AM - 1 PM (this includes Sundays y’all. Yay!) See BODI class schedule here.
You will need to book your classes in advance!* Expect waitlists for the most popular morning time classes (like 6AM on weekdays and 9AM on weekends). Do not despair if you are waitlisted though; remember, we are in Old Town, where the drinks flow heavily, so cancellations last minute are all the rage (i.e. there’s a good chance you’ll get in regardless).
*Expect full class sizes.
Pricing: $$— Very fairly priced; I’m actually kind of surprised it isn’t higher… especially considering the location. Expect to pay under what you would for a Crossfit gym, but more than you would for a standard gym membership. A year agreement will run you in the range of $100+, but there is always the option of purchasing drop-in passes in groups of 5, 10, etc. Pre-paying annually will save you the most money (breaks down to just under $100/month), while a 12-month agreement is very fairly priced, and the least committed (but most expensive) option is to pay as you go month-to-month. Each of these options is for unlimited classes/month.
FINAL THOUGHTS: You definitely get the bang for your buck at this gym. The trainers are experienced and energetic, the workouts are intense but can be modified to fit beginner to advanced fitness types. The vibe is day club mixed with brunch crowd mixed with pool party. The gym itself is spacious, yet tight enough to keep the groupy feeling, and industrial, yet homey-ish feeling. And they have nice, clean bathrooms!
I consider myself a somewhat experienced (ok, very experienced) fitness fiend, so finding classes that push me and keep me interested in a group setting (especially when lifting weights is involved) usually have me pretty skeptical. This mix of cardio + HIIT + strength training though, was a very welcome surprised… and I even found myself having to take it down a notch and modify my movements in rounds 3 and 4 of the circuits to keep pace. Well done BODI, well done.
VERDICT: I feel as though the true testament of a place is whether or not you return. And, well, I have already been back once and have 2 classes booked out for this week (and have a pack of 7 more classes to use up before I have to decide if I want to become a member or need to hold off because I literally can’t buy memberships to EVERY gym… damn budget restrictions).
Regular ol’ HIIT and cardio can get boring, especially during competition prep when I am doing 2-a-days frequently. The type of group class that can get me excited to wake-up and sweat it out in the morning before the sun is even up… that’s impressive. I actually think this type of gym is missing from most suburban areas and would be a welcome addition to Chandler, AZ (ahem… are you guys franchising?!) I am a big fan of this type of HIIT training, large group workouts that actually work you out, and instructors that teach REAL strength training and circuits in a group setting. You guys even had me doing push-ups and crunches. Kudos.
In true HGTV fashion, I’m gonna LOVE IT.
A couple shots from my intro visit to BODI with my friend Carmen. The stairs that lead up to the boxing studio, and the actual gym itself.