How the Rise of Boutique Fitness Is Affecting the Business of Gyms

Working out used to be so straightforward: find a gym that’s close to you| get in| get out| and get on with your day. Not so much anymore. This year saw an explosive rise in both boutique fitness and class-booking services such as ClassPass and FitReserve ¡ª a rise that many speculate is eating away at the bottom line of traditional big-box gyms.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Benjamin Stone

I| myself| am a gym dissenter a fact that many of my friends find odd since I make a living as a fitness editor| and even outside of my job| I love to work out. Still| I haven’t set foot in a traditional gym since 2014. Endless rows of top-of-the-line treadmills and fancy eucalyptus towel service still can’t beat the feeling I get from working out at smaller studios. Amongst my friends| I am not alone more and more of them are leaving their health clubs in favor of small studio memberships| free at-home workouts| or opting for pay-as-you-go classes at well-known boutique studios. Could 2016 be the year that we all say goodbye to the gym for good?

By the Numbers

The International Health| Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA)| the trade association of the fitness industry| reports that of the 54.1 million people that had a membership to a health or fitness club in 2014| 42 percent were members of a studio. While some of these individuals held multiple memberships (most often a traditional gym coupled with a studio)| the number of studios opened in 2014 showed a 200-percent increase from the previous year. When comparing this to only a seven-percent increase in the number of new gyms that were opened| it suggests that the industry is shifting away from traditional big-box chains. In short: studio business is booming.

From 2012 to 2015| the number of SoulCycle studios grew by 500 percent. Image Source: SoulCycle

Take SoulCycle| the biggest indoor cycling chain in the country. In the last three years| it has grown from 12 studios in two states to close to 60 studios in eight states. And how’s this for a staggering statistic: in its recent IPO| the company reported it averages about 72|000 rides per week. Though one of the bigger success stories| SoulCycle is not an isolated phenomenon. National studio chains like Barry’s Bootcamp| YogaWorks| and Flywheel continue to expand| while just about everywhere in the country is seeing an increase in local fitness boutiques specializing in yoga| Zumba| and CrossFit.

Meredith Poppler| vice president of media and communications at IHRSA| cites the dramatic growth of studios as two-fold: for owners| the cost of running a small studio is less expensive when compared to the overhead of maintaining a full-service gym| and consumers are looking for more than what big-box gyms can offer ¡ª specifically| a more tailored fitness experience. “These studios are centered on a particular community of people with similar passions [Pilates| Zumba| boxing]| and provide a high-touch| personalized environment.”

The experience| however| doesn’t come cheap ¡ª class at many studios can easily cost $30 a pop. Yet| despite the high cost of participation| people are paying ¡ª now more than ever. As Racked reported on earlier this year| for more and more individuals| fitness has become a luxury item.

It’s Personal

The need for personalization is exactly what Payal Kadakia was banking on when she founded ClassPass in 2013. (Note: I am a longtime member of ClassPass and love my membership.) The business model of ClassPlass is brilliant in its simplicity: members pay a monthly fee (around $99/month)| which allows them to book classes through the ClassPass app or website at hundreds of studios and gyms in their area. Its growth has been nothing short of explosive. In 2014| ClassPass was in two cities and had 200 studio partners; today it is in 36 cities with more than 7|000 studios participating. Kadakia attributes the success of ClassPass to filling a void that was missing in traditional gyms ¡ª choice and flexibility. “Our platform makes fitting fitness into your schedule really easy as opposed to making a big commitment with little variety|” she says. “It’s also really motivating! So many of our members express that they’re perspective has changed ¡ª that they look forward to getting up and going to class as opposed to dreading to have to fit in a workout.”

The ClassPass mission? Let users “enjoy diverse and exciting ways to work out.” Image Source: ClassPass

When explaining why she loves ClassPass| Lyndsay Roush| an active member since 2014| is exactly the type of person Kadakia speaks of. When Roush belonged to a gym| she was lucky to make a few workouts a month; since being on ClassPass| she’s working out three to five times a week. “I love ClassPass because of the variety ¡ª I never get in a rut and I am taking classes I could never take at the gym|” says Roush. “Reserving the class in advance helps keep me accountable and I love seeing my friends at my favorite workouts.”

What’s Ahead

Is Roush an example of a larger shift in the fitness world| or are new business models simply attracting an untapped and hungry crowd? Until the end-of-year numbers roll in from 2015| it’s hard to know for certain. Equinox| Planet Fitness| and 24-Hour Fitness all closed 2014 with earnings that exceeded the previous year| and more people signed up for new gym memberships in January 2015 than ever before. It also can’t be ignored that fitness studios primarily thrive in larger urban areas| so in some regions| gyms will remain the primary option for those needing a place to work out. And for others| the upwards cost of $20 per class is simply not possible or justifiable.

Big-box gyms have also remained successful by expanding on what it means to be a gym. When Club Industry| a trade magazine aimed at fitness business professionals| released its yearly report of top-earning gyms| there was a distinct pattern in the top 10. Though thought of as traditional gyms| almost all of the clubs on the list were much more than a collection of treadmills. Many are adapting to consumer needs by increasing studio space to allow for more specialized fitness classes. Given that others offer enticing extras like onsite healthy restaurants| juice bars| nutritionists| spas| and/or childcare| it might be more apt to call them wellness centers.

With numbers in the green| don’t count the gym out just yet. Image Source: Shopstyle Photography

Perhaps what is most telling about the future of the fitness industry is that gyms are working alongside services like ClassPass to coexist. In San Francisco| for instance| ClassPass users can book gym time at Crunch| 24-Hour| and other local gyms. “Some gym operators absolutely love ClassPass since it brings exposure to their facilities and programs and fills classes that might otherwise not be full|” says Poppler. And let’s not forget the traditionals ¡ª many people prefer the convenience of a one-stop fitness shop and appreciate the amenities found at gyms like showers| towel service| and lockers| which are often missing from smaller studios. Yet these same folks are still willing to drop $20 at a yoga studio while keeping their gym memberships intact. What is crystal clear is that fitness is a thriving multibillion-dollar industry that shows no sign of slowing down| and if all the players continue to adapt with consumer needs| it seems there may be enough to go around for all. As Kadakia said| what people most want are choices ¡ª be that the gym| SoulCycle| or a running loop in their local park.

Related:

11 Ways Ronda Rousey Completely Knocked Out 2015The 10 Reasons We All Became Obsessed With Ballet in 2015How Women Pushed Body Positivity to the Forefront This Year

Make Life Easier With These 5 Gym-Bag Must Dos

Going from home to work to gym can require a lot of forethought. Don’t make having an empty gym bag the reason you skipped a workout today.

Related: Time-Saving Tips For a Lunchtime Workout

    Always pack the night before: You don’t want to have to scramble to find a pair of socks when you’re already running late in the morning. Make a habit of repacking your bag every night before you go to bed; you’ll be grateful the next morning when you have one less thing to deal with. Don’t forget to fill your water bottle and keep it in the fridge to grab right before you head out as well.Wipes are your best friend: Whether it’s wiping off pore-clogging makeup before Zumba or giving yourself a quick refresh when you realize you’re late for a meeting, having a stash of face or body wipes will help you get where you need to be in a flash. We like the cooling, affordable Yes to Cucumbers face wipes ($8).And the extras: It always helps to keep a few extra items in your gym bag for those days when you realize you forgot something essential. Hair ties, band-aids, and a few nonperishable snacks are just a few extras that should find a home in your gym bag. Here are some more items to pack.Keep it separate: Wet swimsuits, just-used shower shoes, and sweaty workout clothes can breed bacteria. Keep a plastic or resusable wet bag in your gym bag ¡ª or designate an entire compartment for these items only ¡ª so you can keep damp clothes contained.Clean it out: For similar germ-related reasons, make sure you give your gym bag a regular clean out. Take some time every weekend to throw away any old tissues or half-eaten snacks that have made their way into your bag, clean those shower shoes, and wipe down or wash the bag itself in order to prevent germs from festering.

Image Source: lululemon

9 of the Most Embarrassing Gym Moments

9 of the Most Embarrassing Gym Moments

When you spend a lot of time at the gym working out, embarrassing moments happen. When these things occur, it’s important to laugh it off, pick yourself up, and stay on track. Hopefully these are simply memories of the past you can look back on and laugh at u2014 and nothing feels too fresh or painful.

9 of the Most Embarrassing Gym Moments

9 of the Most Embarrassing Gym Moments

When you spend a lot of time at the gym working out| embarrassing moments happen. When these things occur| it’s important to laugh it off| pick yourself up| and stay on track. Hopefully these are simply memories of the past you can look back on and laugh at u2014 and nothing feels too fresh or painful.

Why All Body Sizes Belong at the Gym

It’s a common misconception that people who work are most often thin. That’s obviously not the case, since strength doesn’t necessarily equate with skinniness. Our friends at Shape explain why the gym is for people of all sizes.

It’s a “Riots Not Diets” shirt kind of travel day! Headed to Dayton, Ohio to lecture at Miami University. (They’ll have books there for purchase BTW!) See you soon OHIO! #ThingsNoOneWillTellFatGirls #fatgirlscan A photo posted by Jes Baker (@themilitantbaker) on

We often think that quality exercise in our society happens at a gym, but for me, this has always been a traumatizing experience. Zero joy. Every time I’ve gone to the gym in my lifetime (there were points when I was there every single day), it has been a form of punishment: a place I needed to go because the current me wasn’t good enough, and I needed to run on that treadmill UNTIL I BECAME OK, DAMMIT! The gym became a torture chamber, no matter which one I tried (dozens), so gym-related exercise will most likely NOT be pleasurable for me.

But one day I transcended my sordid/ugly/angry/punishing relationship with exercise: it was the day, a couple of years ago, that I had a meltdown. A legit, sobbing, unable-to-fully-understand-what-was-going-on, shaky-body kind of meltdown . . . and it was all over a dance class. (Check out these tips to banish gym-timidation.)

A friend had invited me to Jade Beall’s African dance class, and I agreed to go with her; no problemo! But an hour before, my system suddenly realized that I had just signed up for a very new-to-me and very public exercise class, and I went into total shock. Guys, I freaked the f*ck out. I felt like I had a momentary break and lost control; it was so unexpected, and at the moment I couldn’t even have told you why. I panic-attacked all over my friend’s Facebook message box, and our messages back and forth went something like this:

Me, typing, at home in tears:

Nope. I’m not going.

Goddamnit dude, I’m too f*cking scared to go.

This body stuff is so HARD.

Nskjdgfsbhkassdfjwsbvgfudjsc.

And I feel totally guilty.

I’m the worst fat person ever.

I’m having a panic attack. Like crying and sh*t.

ALL OF THE CRISES.

Friend:

Okay, so what’s going on here? What are you really struggling with?

Me:

Lots of things.

I haven’t been in a dance class since college and I’m positive it will be harder than then and I’m already a physical failure

and I’m positive I’ll fail in this class and I don’t love my body today

and I feel like I’m supposed to go and my brain keeps telling me I have to or else I’m the worst fatty ever

and when I see you I’m just going to regret not going

and then I’ll have to sit on my fat ass all night knowing I didn’t do it

when I should have but I can’t.

I just can’t.

Friend:

Here’s the thing.

You’re not gonna be the only one. Last time I was there, the people were all different. There were kids and even an older man who couldn’t move as quickly as everyone else.

It was challenging for everyone.

You’re totally not gonna be alone.

And it was challenging for me too! At a certain point I had to decide that I was either gonna stick through it or get the f*ck out. But I decided to stay and it was amazing and after I finished I totally felt like I had a dozen orgasms.

Me:

I hate being fat.

I hate everything about it.

I hate how hard it makes daily living

and how many mental barriers I have to fight through just to do what others do.

And I hate having to justify everything to myself because I feel like I owe the world to lose weight or at least try and lose weight

or eat differently and lose weight . . . or something.

It’s just really hard and sounds crazy but it’s so common for me.

THIS IS ALL OF THE HARDS.

Friend:

I get it.

I totally get it.

Body issues are all of the sh*t and IT IS ALL OF THE HARDS.

But do yourself a favor, okay? Don’t do it for the weight loss. Just go for the orgasms.

So, “for the orgasms” I went. The night turned into a spiritual experience, one that really altered my perspective. Jade is incredible in person. Her infectious energy reminded me that it’s important to love others, and even more important, to love yourself. And you should see her shake that incredible booty on the dance floor. God. Damn. And I would estimate that I doubled my friend’s record of 12 orgasms in a night. It was. Amazing. (P.S. There is a link between happiness and weight loss.)

I had to force myself to put on my dance pants while I was talking to my friend so I wouldn’t back out at the last second. I then turned my brain off and focused solely on my promise to just show up for the warmup, but I of course stayed for the entire thing. I allowed myself to make mistakes, friends, and a fool out of myself. I wasn’t worried about the steps, for the most part, because I had triumphed over my biggest insecurity just by being there.

Now, today, I think back on those Facebook messages without any trace of that emotion. It’s hard for me to understand how something as simple as going to a movement class could shake my world so much that I would lose my ability to function. But it did. And it was real. And that sort of freakout is so common.

So often, we fat ladies feel the social pressure to “better ourselves” by losing weight, but then feel ostracized in a workout setting. We feel obligated to join the Perfect Body Factory (OK, maybe you call it a gym), but once there, we feel out of place and pushed into a competition we’ve failed at before even setting foot inside. It’s a mindf*ck and scares a lot of us sh*tless. The act of combining a fat body and exercise can resurrect a lifetime of shame. One of the most powerful kinds of shame in the world. (Find out how fat shaming could be destroying your body.)

I was convinced I would fail that night. I would have bet everything I had in my bank account on it. But I DIDN’T FAIL! I finished the entire class and loved every single minute of it. There was one arm move that confused the sh*t out of me that I couldn’t get down, but that wasn’t because of my weight. It was because my brain was like, “WHATTHEF*CK, COUNTING ON OFF-BEATS IS HARD.” Sweat was never so rewarding, and I had a lot of it. Well, we all did. I am lucky to be able to see my “before” and “after” emotions and realize that none of this is about obligation, weight loss, or skill sets.

It’s about feeling good.

And feeling good is not exclusive. Endorphins are not just for those who have perfectly toned bodies. I am allowed to move my body in any way I like and not apologize for the way it looks while doing so. I don’t have to be perfect, and I don’t have to go for the purpose of changing my body. I can go because I want to. Because I like to work the machine I live in. Because I want to feel amazing. Because I deserve to feel amazing.

My advice to every woman who wants to participate in a cycling, aerobics, yoga, Jazzercise, Pilates, swimming, dance, or Zumba class but is scared to try?

Don’t go for the weight loss. Go for the orgasms.

¡ª Jes Baker

Excerpted from Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living by Jes Baker. Published by Seal Press, members of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright ? 2015.

Check out more great stories from Shape:

I’m 200 Pounds and Fitter Than EverHow Much Exercise You Need Totally Depends on Your Goals12 Stages of a Fitness Class ObsessionImage Source: Instagram user themilitantbaker

Why All Body Sizes Belong at the Gym

It’s a common misconception that people who work are most often thin. That’s obviously not the case| since strength doesn’t necessarily equate with skinniness. Our friends at Shape explain why the gym is for people of all sizes.

It’s a “Riots Not Diets” shirt kind of travel day! Headed to Dayton| Ohio to lecture at Miami University. (They’ll have books there for purchase BTW!) See you soon OHIO! #ThingsNoOneWillTellFatGirls #fatgirlscan A photo posted by Jes Baker (@themilitantbaker) on

We often think that quality exercise in our society happens at a gym| but for me| this has always been a traumatizing experience. Zero joy. Every time I’ve gone to the gym in my lifetime (there were points when I was there every single day)| it has been a form of punishment: a place I needed to go because the current me wasn’t good enough| and I needed to run on that treadmill UNTIL I BECAME OK| DAMMIT! The gym became a torture chamber| no matter which one I tried (dozens)| so gym-related exercise will most likely NOT be pleasurable for me.

But one day I transcended my sordid/ugly/angry/punishing relationship with exercise: it was the day| a couple of years ago| that I had a meltdown. A legit| sobbing| unable-to-fully-understand-what-was-going-on| shaky-body kind of meltdown . . . and it was all over a dance class. (Check out these tips to banish gym-timidation.)

A friend had invited me to Jade Beall’s African dance class| and I agreed to go with her; no problemo! But an hour before| my system suddenly realized that I had just signed up for a very new-to-me and very public exercise class| and I went into total shock. Guys| I freaked the f*ck out. I felt like I had a momentary break and lost control; it was so unexpected| and at the moment I couldn’t even have told you why. I panic-attacked all over my friend’s Facebook message box| and our messages back and forth went something like this:

Me| typing| at home in tears:

Nope. I’m not going.

Goddamnit dude| I’m too f*cking scared to go.

This body stuff is so HARD.

Nskjdgfsbhkassdfjwsbvgfudjsc.

And I feel totally guilty.

I’m the worst fat person ever.

I’m having a panic attack. Like crying and sh*t.

ALL OF THE CRISES.

Friend:

Okay| so what’s going on here? What are you really struggling with?

Me:

Lots of things.

I haven’t been in a dance class since college and I’m positive it will be harder than then and I’m already a physical failure

and I’m positive I’ll fail in this class and I don’t love my body today

and I feel like I’m supposed to go and my brain keeps telling me I have to or else I’m the worst fatty ever

and when I see you I’m just going to regret not going

and then I’ll have to sit on my fat ass all night knowing I didn’t do it

when I should have but I can’t.

I just can’t.

Friend:

Here’s the thing.

You’re not gonna be the only one. Last time I was there| the people were all different. There were kids and even an older man who couldn’t move as quickly as everyone else.

It was challenging for everyone.

You’re totally not gonna be alone.

And it was challenging for me too! At a certain point I had to decide that I was either gonna stick through it or get the f*ck out. But I decided to stay and it was amazing and after I finished I totally felt like I had a dozen orgasms.

Me:

I hate being fat.

I hate everything about it.

I hate how hard it makes daily living

and how many mental barriers I have to fight through just to do what others do.

And I hate having to justify everything to myself because I feel like I owe the world to lose weight or at least try and lose weight

or eat differently and lose weight . . . or something.

It’s just really hard and sounds crazy but it’s so common for me.

THIS IS ALL OF THE HARDS.

Friend:

I get it.

I totally get it.

Body issues are all of the sh*t and IT IS ALL OF THE HARDS.

But do yourself a favor| okay? Don’t do it for the weight loss. Just go for the orgasms.

So| “for the orgasms” I went. The night turned into a spiritual experience| one that really altered my perspective. Jade is incredible in person. Her infectious energy reminded me that it’s important to love others| and even more important| to love yourself. And you should see her shake that incredible booty on the dance floor. God. Damn. And I would estimate that I doubled my friend’s record of 12 orgasms in a night. It was. Amazing. (P.S. There is a link between happiness and weight loss.)

I had to force myself to put on my dance pants while I was talking to my friend so I wouldn’t back out at the last second. I then turned my brain off and focused solely on my promise to just show up for the warmup| but I of course stayed for the entire thing. I allowed myself to make mistakes| friends| and a fool out of myself. I wasn’t worried about the steps| for the most part| because I had triumphed over my biggest insecurity just by being there.

Now| today| I think back on those Facebook messages without any trace of that emotion. It’s hard for me to understand how something as simple as going to a movement class could shake my world so much that I would lose my ability to function. But it did. And it was real. And that sort of freakout is so common.

So often| we fat ladies feel the social pressure to “better ourselves” by losing weight| but then feel ostracized in a workout setting. We feel obligated to join the Perfect Body Factory (OK| maybe you call it a gym)| but once there| we feel out of place and pushed into a competition we’ve failed at before even setting foot inside. It’s a mindf*ck and scares a lot of us sh*tless. The act of combining a fat body and exercise can resurrect a lifetime of shame. One of the most powerful kinds of shame in the world. (Find out how fat shaming could be destroying your body.)

I was convinced I would fail that night. I would have bet everything I had in my bank account on it. But I DIDN’T FAIL! I finished the entire class and loved every single minute of it. There was one arm move that confused the sh*t out of me that I couldn’t get down| but that wasn’t because of my weight. It was because my brain was like| “WHATTHEF*CK| COUNTING ON OFF-BEATS IS HARD.” Sweat was never so rewarding| and I had a lot of it. Well| we all did. I am lucky to be able to see my “before” and “after” emotions and realize that none of this is about obligation| weight loss| or skill sets.

It’s about feeling good.

And feeling good is not exclusive. Endorphins are not just for those who have perfectly toned bodies. I am allowed to move my body in any way I like and not apologize for the way it looks while doing so. I don’t have to be perfect| and I don’t have to go for the purpose of changing my body. I can go because I want to. Because I like to work the machine I live in. Because I want to feel amazing. Because I deserve to feel amazing.

My advice to every woman who wants to participate in a cycling| aerobics| yoga| Jazzercise| Pilates| swimming| dance| or Zumba class but is scared to try?

Don’t go for the weight loss. Go for the orgasms.

¡ª Jes Baker

Excerpted from Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living by Jes Baker. Published by Seal Press| members of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright ? 2015.

Check out more great stories from Shape:

I’m 200 Pounds and Fitter Than EverHow Much Exercise You Need Totally Depends on Your Goals12 Stages of a Fitness Class ObsessionImage Source: Instagram user themilitantbaker

The 13 Worst Fitness Instructors Ever

If back-to-school time has inspired you to get more serious about your workouts and you’re a hit-the-gym-for-a-class kind of girl, I’m sure you’ve experienced your fair share of fitness instructors ¡ª some good, and some not so good. And then there’s this group . . .

The FlirtImage Source: New Line Cinema

This person thinks everyone wants to date him or her; they’re all touchy-feely, winking left and right, and giving away their phone number like class is happy hour. And they never get the hint that you’re not interested.

The High and MightyImage Source: Apatow Productions

We get it. You’re great at what you do, and people love you for it. Please get off your pedestal and come down to sweat with the rest of us.

The Insane Hard-AssImage Source: Lionsgate Television

This teacher is so crazy-intense, you wonder if you walked into an actual boot camp by accident. Your body shakes, your sweat is pooling on the floor, and she makes you do an extra set. And don’t you dare reach for your reusable bottle ¡ª water is for wusses!

The SingerImage Source: Fox

Oooh, I love this song, who sings it?! Beyonc¨¦, you say? Let’s keep it that way.

The ScreamerImage Source: NBC

This teacher believes that motivation is measured by decibels in their voice ¡ª the louder they scream, the more reps you’ll do. But we really don’t need you to do that the entire 60-minute class, thanks.

The OversharerImage Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures

There’s a fine line between connecting with your students and sharing information you’d only share with your doctor, your mom, or your BFF. Sorry, but no, I don’t want to hear about your bathroom issues or any other issues for that matter.

The Show-Off

Inspiration is one thing, but when we’re struggling to get through 20 squats and you’re like, “Look how many I can do while holding this 20-pound medicine ball above my head,” we secretly wish that ball would fall on your head.

The All-Up-in-Your-SpaceImage Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Helpful adjustments are always appreciated, but it’s totally creepy when you walk by and lay a lingering hand on me every two minutes. Also ¡ª that’s my boob, not my shoulder.

The DorkImage Source: NBC

It’s bad enough that he’s embarrassing himself up there with those awful moves, but what’s even worse is he wants you to follow along.

The StinkerImage Source: NBC

Stinky breath, stinky cologne, stinky I-know-you-haven’t-done-laundry-in-weeks gym clothes ¡ª it all stinks.

The Doesn’t-Practice-What-They-PreachImage Source: Twentieth Century Fox

We don’t expect you to do 100 push-ups without a break, but you probably shouldn’t let everyone see you down a Snickers bar and Coke before class.

The Late BloomerImage Source: ABC

We all struggle to get to class on time, but we don’t expect the teacher to be later than us.

The Walking ColdImage Source: RKO Radio Picture

No cold or flu keeps you from class, but we wish it would. Really.

The 13 Worst Fitness Instructors Ever

If back-to-school time has inspired you to get more serious about your workouts and you’re a hit-the-gym-for-a-class kind of girl| I’m sure you’ve experienced your fair share of fitness instructors some good| and some not so good. And then there’s this group . . .

The FlirtImage Source: New Line Cinema

This person thinks everyone wants to date him or her; they’re all touchy-feely| winking left and right| and giving away their phone number like class is happy hour. And they never get the hint that you’re not interested.

The High and MightyImage Source: Apatow Productions

We get it. You’re great at what you do| and people love you for it. Please get off your pedestal and come down to sweat with the rest of us.

The Insane Hard-AssImage Source: Lionsgate Television

This teacher is so crazy-intense| you wonder if you walked into an actual boot camp by accident. Your body shakes| your sweat is pooling on the floor| and she makes you do an extra set. And don’t you dare reach for your reusable bottle water is for wusses!

The SingerImage Source: Fox

Oooh| I love this song| who sings it?! Beyoncé| you say? Let’s keep it that way.

The ScreamerImage Source: NBC

This teacher believes that motivation is measured by decibels in their voice ¡ª the louder they scream| the more reps you’ll do. But we really don’t need you to do that the entire 60-minute class| thanks.

The OversharerImage Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures

There’s a fine line between connecting with your students and sharing information you’d only share with your doctor| your mom| or your BFF. Sorry| but no| I don’t want to hear about your bathroom issues or any other issues for that matter.

The Show-Off

Inspiration is one thing| but when we’re struggling to get through 20 squats and you’re like| “Look how many I can do while holding this 20-pound medicine ball above my head|” we secretly wish that ball would fall on your head.

The All-Up-in-Your-SpaceImage Source: Walt Disney Pictures

Helpful adjustments are always appreciated| but it’s totally creepy when you walk by and lay a lingering hand on me every two minutes. Also ¡ª that’s my boob| not my shoulder.

The DorkImage Source: NBC

It’s bad enough that he’s embarrassing himself up there with those awful moves| but what’s even worse is he wants you to follow along.

The StinkerImage Source: NBC

Stinky breath| stinky cologne| stinky I-know-you-haven’t-done-laundry-in-weeks gym clothes ¡ª it all stinks.

The Doesn’t-Practice-What-They-PreachImage Source: Twentieth Century Fox

We don’t expect you to do 100 push-ups without a break| but you probably shouldn’t let everyone see you down a Snickers bar and Coke before class.

The Late BloomerImage Source: ABC

We all struggle to get to class on time| but we don’t expect the teacher to be later than us.

The Walking ColdImage Source: RKO Radio Picture

No cold or flu keeps you from class| but we wish it would. Really.

Why Daenerys Targaryen Should Be Your Fitness Inspiration

Why Daenerys Targaryen Should Be Your Fitness Inspiration

Game of Thrones badass Daenerys Targaryen has been one of my favorite characters since the very first season. She is mentally strong as an ox and does not back down in the face of pressure u2014 just like actress and Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive Emilia Clarke who plays Daenerys Targaryen in the series. The next time those final reps or that last mile feels impossible, channel your inner Khaleesi. It’s weird, but it works.

Why Daenerys Targaryen Should Be Your Fitness Inspiration

Why Daenerys Targaryen Should Be Your Fitness Inspiration

Game of Thrones badass Daenerys Targaryen has been one of my favorite characters since the very first season. She is mentally strong as an ox and does not back down in the face of pressure u2014 just like actress and Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive Emilia Clarke who plays Daenerys Targaryen in the series. The next time those final reps or that last mile feels impossible| channel your inner Khaleesi. It’s weird| but it works.