The new year brings with it the sort of overambitious, all-out zealous resolutions and goals that are almost impossible to reach, let alone maintain as the year kicks into full gear with work commitments and busy schedules.
But you needn't wait until January 1 rolls around again to get on the road to a better you! With a range of alternative health and fitness workout programs (no drill sergeants here) unrolling for autumn. Here are our top picks in Sydney.
Youtopia Spin | Rushcutters Bay
With a studio conveniently located in Rushcutters Bay, Youtopia aims to break the mould of big, corporate-style gyms by helping clients reach their own personal health and fitness goals. Here, cycling is king, but this is no ordinary spin class: trainers encourage rather than yell; they assist and guide rather than whipping; and with only 14 modern bikes in an open room filled with natural light, it's a far cry from the sweaty dens we've come to associate with regular gyms. Another point of difference at Youtopia is that the gym understands a peron's schedule is forever changing, and thus there are no contracts or upfront membership fees, allowing you to train when, and for as much or as little as suits you.
OK, it may have bootcamp in its title, but fear not: this holistic four-week program is created by two of Sydney's top fitness experts—Emma Seibold of Barre Body, and health writer and coach Yasemin Trollope—and isn't necessarily about a quick fix, but an ongoing approach to living well and feeling better. Exercise, eating right and positive thinking are at the core of this program. There are two different levels: a gentle program incorporating four hours of exercise per week (such as barre-based cardio classes) or six hours of exercise with a more defined eating plan. What's best is that with a range of DVDs, you can choose to exercise in the studio or at home.
Flow Athletic | Paddington
Paddington fitness studio Flow Athletic has fast gained a dedicated crowd who swear by its balanced approach to working out, with a program combining strength, fitness and yoga classes. In essence, it offers flexibility, cardio and mindful benefits without the intensity of other gym programs. If you like to get outdoors when working up a sweat, Flow X is a class in Centennial Park for those wanting to really up their heart rate and feel great.
Sydney Dance Company
Whatever your fitness level, Sydney Dance Company has something for everyone in its open classes, offering some 70 dance classes every week for adults 16 and over. Choose your style—from classics like ballet and tap, through to contemporary street styles like hip-hop and jazz—add your desired level (beginners through to advanced) and simply turn up. Casual visits are an affordable $20, but you can buy multi-ticket books if you plan on making repeat visits. There's a lot of fun to be had in these 90-minute classes, taught by some of the industry's best.
Origin of Energy
This unique establishment in Bondi Junction is less a gym and more a community-spirited fitness resource centre, its mission is to bring health and wellbeing to a wider audience. Aaron McKenzie founded Origin of Energy as a way of overcoming his own health issues, and as a personal trainer has developed a holistic model that connects fitness and food for a sustainably healthy lifestyle. One-on-one sessions are available and advisable for newcomers, while group classes consist of whole body workouts comprising different movements, weights and apparatus. An on-site organic wholefood café and health shop makes keeping up the healthy lifestyle easy.
Top image: Tali Sutra