Fitness: Gonna Make You Sweat

9 Portland Gyms & Fitness Studios to Know

Squats and burpees? Spin bikes and club vibes? Old-school kettlebell swings and snatches? No matter your style, this city has something for you.

By Rebecca Jacobson, Tuck Woodstock, Kelly Clarke, and Fiona McCann December 28, 2017 Published in the January 2018 issue of Portland Monthly

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Studio X

Studio X

2839 SE Stark St
THE DRILL: Studio X’s staple is a no-frills, boot camp-style workout—group classes that send participants through muscle-scorching bursts of box jumps, kettlebell swings, pistol squats, and—of course—burpees. You will sweat, a lot, but instructors provide precise demos and will interject (kindly) to correct your form.
THE SCENE: Enter through a mysterious black door on SE Stark and pad down a blindingly orange hallway to the fitness studio, where raw concrete walls recall the building’s former life as a mattress factory. The young, fit, and tattooed are in ample supply, though far from the only ones around. 
THE DAMAGE: A $20 trial gets you two classes and an hourlong private training sesh. Drop-ins are $22, a 10-class card is $170, and monthly unlimited is $175. Happy-hour classes run $10.  RJ


1218 NW Marshall St
THE DRILL: Revocycle’s 50-minute spin class doesn’t cater to the SoulCycle crowd: don’t expect dance parties, flashing lights, or pounding speakers. Instead, instructors encourage good form and introspection as students pedal along on fancy freewheel bikes. Bonus: body-positive teachers promise never to reference “problem areas” or “bikini season.”
THE SCENE: The studio contains tiered rows of spin bikes and not much else, perfect for a meditative flow state.
THE DAMAGE: An individual class is typically $23, with 30-minute lunchtime classes for $12. Dedicated spinners can pay $200 per month for unlimited classes, or purchase a class card starting at $99 for 5 classes. —MW


Multiple locations
THE DRILL: Ten years ago, Portlander Sadie Lincoln launched her Pearl District studio, serving up a blend of yoga, Pilates, and cardio anchored by a ballet barre. Barre3 now counts more than 100 locations nationwide (including five in the Portland area), and it’s inspired countless barre-based spinoffs. Expect lots of tiny, quake-inducing movements—pulsing squats, bicep curls—interrupted by low-impact cardio bursts.
THE SCENE: With classes running from 6 a.m. past sundown, Barre3’s sleek studios churn with activity. Parents, there’s a “play lounge” for the wee ‘uns.
THE DAMAGE: First-timers get three classes for $40 or two weeks unlimited for $60. After that, classes run $28 apiece, with class packs available. Monthly membership: $175. —RJ

Bleeding Hearts Kettlebell Club

2043 SE 50th Ave
THE DRILL: Strength and speed classes revolve around intense, old-school kettlebell movements like the explosive hardstyle swing, the snatch, and the burly-yet-balletic Turkish get-up. In between, expect “animal movements,” or maybe “tattoo sprints”—literally sprinting to the tattoo shop at the end of the block and back. In the rain. Multiple times.
THE SCENE: Ragtag, fun, and fiercely supportive, the gym’s name is no joke—it boasts both an intersectional feminist book club and a tractor tire spray-painted with the words “TRUMP” and “NAZIS” that members (from lesbian mamas to pastors with arms like hams) sometimes bash during class.
THE DAMAGE: $15 for a drop-in class. Class packs start at $49 for 4, and monthly unlimited is $129. —KC

Firebrand Sports

500 NW 14th Ave
THE DRILL: Firebrand’s signature workout is Lagree Fitness, which involves a “Mega-former”: a frightening spring-loaded machine with bungees and sliding panels. You’ll squat and crunch and lunge your way through 50 quivering minutes. It’s low-impact—you’re not swinging kettlebells or slamming medicine balls—but definitely demanding. Also on offer: rowing, barre, and spin workouts.
THE SCENE: Bare-bones but upscale, with peppy instructors and devoted members in special grippy socks (to prevent Megaformer mishaps).
THE DAMAGE: An individual class is $30 (new visitors pay $15). Class packs start at $135 for 5, and monthly membership ranges $99–220. —RJ 

Burncycle ur0wfx



910 NW 10th Ave; 4811 Meadows Rd, Ste. 109, Lake Oswego
THE DRILL: Ready to join an army of sweating, fervent cyclists in the dark? Climb aboard a stationary bike, click your feet in, and wait for the music to crank. Be not afraid: your instructor will connect you to your better, faster-pedaling self. You will ride like the bejesus for 45 pulsing, heart-pumping minutes to heavy beats, and it will feel, somehow, transformative.
THE SCENE: Sculpted instructors with big smiles give pep talks and affirmations in the dark. Like a rave on wheels with added endorphins. 
THE DAMAGE: A drop-in class is $22 (new visitors pay $15). Class packs start at $45 for 3. Monthly unlimited is $220.
NEW IN 2018: This month, BurnCycle opens “The Lab” ( in Southeast’s Goat Blocks. Bikes and club vibes: out. Cross training and big windows: in. —FM

Me Fitness

4943 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
THE DRILL: A friendly neighborhood gym with the amenities of a spendy athletic club, Me Fitness offers 24-hour access to members, plus a roster of more than 60 classes each week. Expect standard fitness fare (yoga, spin, circuit training, Zumba) plus options like moon yoga and the Portland-born “Booty Luv.”
THE SCENE: Located in a relatively diverse swath of Portland, the gym is big, bright, and welcoming to folks of all backgrounds.   
THE DAMAGE: $45 per month for gym access or $65 for gym and unlimited classes, with discounts available for Portlanders 62 and older. Or, skip the membership and purchase classes for $15 each (or $170 for 20). MW

The Refinery

4803 NE Fremont St
THE DRILL: There’s a dizzying slate of classes—yoga to spin to barre—but the emphasis here is on circuit strength training. A workout called “The Burn,” offered 10 times a week, might ask you to flip tires and lift free weights, then hop on the rowing machine and do crunches atop a Bosu ball. It’s not aggro, but you’ll for sure feel it.
THE SCENE: Inspirational quotes on chalkboards, big street-facing windows, and chatty instructors make for surprisingly mellow vibes.
THE DAMAGE: First class is free. After that, lots of class-pack and monthly options—5 hourlong classes for $100, unlimited for $190 monthly, or commit to a four-month plan for reduced rates. —RJ

Point Gym and Kitchen

1115 SE Salmon St
THE DRILL: Point exists to prepare its members for outdoor adventures—think 5ks, summit hikes, or cyclocross races. The agility class uses cones, ladders, boxes, and hurdles to strengthen stabilizer muscles and help reduce injuries.
THE SCENE: Like many Crossfit-style gyms, scrappy Point sits in a windowless warehouse with a roll-up garage door. Before you judge the makeshift squat racks too harshly, keep in mind that the co-owners built the whole thing themselves.
THE DAMAGE: $20 for a drop-in or $135 monthly unlimited classes. Potential members can sign up for a free week of classes. —MW

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