SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESS is always easy to cross off our to-do lists, but not everything on those lists is as fun as shopping. Going to the gym or fitting a workout into your weekly schedule can be difficult, especially when you haven’t found a place yet that meets all your fitness goals, or gets you excited about getting active.
Well, we’re here to introduce you to your new favorite gym in Houston. From big gyms with all the general offerings of exercise machines, yoga, and spin classes, to boutique fitness spots, MMA training venues, and intense dance workouts, now you can finally find the exercise routines and spaces that fit you best, along with some expert training and advice from in-house coaches and trainers.
So no matter your workout style—whether you keep it low-key on the treadmill or are planning to become the next Olympic champion weightlifter—it’s probably time you visited one of these Houston gyms to break a little sweat (or a lot).
Best Overall Gym: Memorial Athletic Club
The MAC is an all-around gym in the Energy Corridor, outfitted with a pool, racquetball court, sauna, and weight room. It offers personal training programs to customize workouts for anyone, and 165 group exercise classes weekly (yes, weekly) in pilates, spinning, yoga, Parisi training, Zumba, aerobics, and more. The MAC is a family-friendly gym, too, offering kids and teen fitness and aquatics classes, and a “Good Life Program” for members over 60. If you’re looking for a women’s-only workout space, right across the street is MAC for Women, which offers treadmills and other workout equipment, along with yoga and pilates reformer classes in a smaller, more intimate environment.
Contact Memorial Athletic Club for membership prices.
Best Gym for Weightlifting: Kinitro Fitness
This all-inclusive gym in Westchase is a great place for adults and teens to casually work out under the guidance of coaches, or build hardcore weightlifting skills through personal training or strongman classes. Kinitro Fitness offers a range of unique exercises you can check out on their Instagram before you try them out yourself—many incorporating some obvious and not-so-obvious props, like heavy weights, barrels, and FITLIGHT (a line of exercise equipment that trains the body and the mind at the same time)—for a different workout every time you visit.
Contact Kinitro Fitness for information on membership rates.
Best Range of Fitness Classes: OAthletik Fitness
OAthletik in the Heights is another true all-around gym, boasting indoor and outdoor training facilities like a pool, sand volleyball court, MMA cage, and kickboxing studio. They offer a large variety of over 100 classes per week—including barre, yoga, sumo, and boxing—in addition to MMA “fight club” group sessions, friendly weekend volleyball games, and an extensive weight room, which they encourage anyone to try out with a supportive personal trainer who will teach proper lifting form. Some of their yoga, cardio, and weight training classes are also offered in a heated studio, which will fire up your fitness routine (not literally), and help to reduce injury.
Call OAthletik Fitness for membership rates.
Best Luxury Gym: Equinox River Oaks
Equinox is a luxury gym located in River Oaks, but don’t let the term “luxury” make you think their workout regimens are any less intense. Equinox offers treadmill running classes, lots of hot yoga, HIIT and cardio classes in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings, cycling, boxing, barre, and mat pilates…as well as a full-service spa for massages and facials, and a steam room. Membership can be pricey, but the extra services are worth the cost if you don’t want to look far for your post-workout detox sessions.
Membership rates begin at $202 per month. Find more information on Equinox’s website.
Best Outdoor Gym: Feast with Beasts
This Third Ward gym has a unique, indoor/outdoors setup which offers a variety of workouts across its space, no matter if it’s a sunny afternoon or starry evening. With classes held every day from dawn ‘til dusk (well, 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.), Feast with Beasts offers weight training, cardio, cycling, personal training, and more, and can help you meet whatever your fitness goals are—even if it’s victory at a local weightlifting competition, perhaps—in a supportive, community setting. Classes are somewhat themed by day (Tuesdays and Fridays are leg days, for example), but you can also switch up your daily routine as you see fit with their weight room and exercise machines.
Contact Feast with Beasts for info on membership and drop-in class rates.
Best Local Chain: Facet Seven Fitness
Facet Seven approaches fitness from a balanced, total body perspective, which doesn’t just emphasize one aspect of fitness (weight loss, muscle building, strength or flexibility training, for example), but embraces all of them, so you can keep your whole body healthy throughout your workout journey—whatever that looks like for you. In addition to providing members with a weight room, treadmills, and other exercise equipment at both of their Heights and EaDo locations, Facet Seven offers personal training with one-on-one, duo, and group options; plus, group barre, cycling, HIIT, boot camp, and yoga classes, which you can attend even without a gym membership.
Membership rates start at $60 per month. Drop-in class prices start at $20. Find out more about membership and class rates on Facet Seven Fitness’ website.
Best Overall Women’s Gym: The Women's Health & Fitness Center
Looking for a women’s-only gym space? With two locations in Humble and Stafford, The Women’s Health & Fitness Center (a.k.a. The Pink Room) specializes in female trainers helping female-identifying clients finesse their bodies through fitness. Owned by bodybuilder and Houstonian Felicia Lee-White, who transformed her own life through working out, The Pink Room is a gym where Felicia and other trainers approach your workouts hands-on, through their active presence in the gym space, Saturday morning boot camps, and supportive, friendly fitness competitions.
Visit Women’s Health & Fitness Center's website for more information on membership.
Best Maternity Gym: Elle Fitness
Elle Fitness is another all-female Heights gym offering personal training and nutrition services, as well as a diverse range of group classes, many of which focus on keeping up with your health and fitness before, during, and after pregnancy, like Maternity Zumba, Mommy and Me yoga, pregnancy-safe circuit training, and postpartum ab strength and HIIT classes. If you’re not expecting (or expecting to be expecting), there are also cardio, core, and strength training classes with upper and lower body focuses throughout the week, so you can still get your workout on in a safe and supportive space.
Contact Elle Fitness for info on membership rates.
Best Women’s Boxing Gym: Women’s Elite Boxing Club
Have a girls night out…or wait, a girls day out with a fun, calorie-burning boxing session at Women’s Elite Boxing Club, where you’ll learn all the basics of boxing as a workout, self-defense technique, or serious fighting style, in a group or private setting. Don’t worry about having to spar with anyone first thing—you’ll work with a punching bag to learn the foundation and techniques of boxing in their morning or evening classes, which also offer cardio and core exercises for a full-body workout. Girls ages 6 and up are also welcome to join in!
Contact Women’s Elite Boxing Club for membership rates.
Best Dance Fitness Gym: Inner Me Studios
Inner Me Studios is already one of our favorite unique fitness spots in Houston, with its amazing variety of dance, pole, strength training, spin, yoga, aerobics, and stretching classes. Their signature fitness classes (some of which, like chair and stiletto dancing, contortion, and twerking, double as self-love sessions that can also help open up your sultry side) offer intense workouts, great results, and a huge confidence boost. Enjoy belly dancing or hip hop yoga as an alternative to the regular gym game, but don’t expect a lighter dose of fitness from these classes—maybe just an extra dose of fun.
Monthly class passes begin at $59. Visit Inner Me Studios’ website for more info on class rates.
Best MMA Gym: 365 Fitness & MMA
GREATER OST/SOUTH UNION
Another all-around gym with a special bonus for UFC fans looking to get in the cage themselves for a change: accessible MMA classes for every level of fighter (or casual gym-goer). Jiu-jitsu, grappling, boxing, and kickboxing classes are offered for adults and kids throughout the week, but if you’re just looking for a space to work out alone, there’s a weight room, punching bags, MMA cage, and mat area also available for use, plus personal training and nutrition advice to fully roundhouse-kick start your fitness journey.
Day passes are $20, while membership rates start at $45 per month. Visit 365 Fitness & MMA’s website for more information on membership rates.
Looking for something a little more interesting? Check out one of Houston’s most unique fitness classes.