Nicole Scoops Out Charlotte’s Affordable Fitness Options

Calling all “New Year, New You” subscribers and seasoned gym rats alike! I have some of Charlotte’s most affordable fitness secrets to share. Admittedly, I was a little hesitant to reveal some of my new-found fitness gems and risk having more crowded classes and less available equipment; but sharing is caring and, Scoop readers, I care especially about you! You might curse my name during some of these fat blasting, intense workouts, but I promise you’ll thank me later. Perhaps this summer when you’re relaxing on a white sand beach with a tropical drink in hand and Victoria’s Secret Angel-esque abs soaking up the sun. They say dream big, right…?



ClassPass: you might have heard of the uber-trendy gym membership that gives you access to a dizzying list of classes from yoga to crossfit and cycle to barre. For a monthly fee, you can enjoy 5 or 10 trips to area boutique fitness studios including Pure Barre, FlyWheel, and more. ClassPass also allows members to add on 3-class packs if you burn through your 5 or 10 classes before your month is over. Follow this link for $30 off your first month! Current ClassPass-ers: keep your eyes peeled for free single class referrals for your friends. After you book a class, a pop-up window like the one above will give you the option to text your friend an invitation to join you for your class. After they redeem, ClassPass’ 5-class base plan will be added to their account!



AIRCharlotte: one of my favorite ClassPass discoveries is AIRCharlotte. Owned and operated by the svelte and lovely Kerri Flanigan, AIR classes promises to make you feel like the strongest, most graceful blend of the a fearless (and toned) yogi and athlete you can imagine. You might get a little dizzy at first, but you’ll get the hang of it… GET IT? So loved by Charlotteans looking for a different way to workout, AIR is expanding from their original Myers Park location to a second Southpark location, opening in February. Get in on the fun with a one month new client special for $100 here.



MADabolic: with a sparkly new location in Elizabeth, the South End-based HIIT gym has gained national popularity and recognition since opening in Charlotte a few years ago. Now, they want you to experience the #MADlifestyle with a killer deal: $10 for your first 10 days! The clock starts ticking on your 10 days as soon as you take your first class, so make sure you schedule for a time when you’ll be in town and can take full advantage of the 5-station workouts. My favorite part is usually the boxing station which is a mainstay of all MADabolic workouts- how fun is that?!


Work for Your Beer: the creators of this easy-to-use website wanted to give Charlotte area fitness enthusiasts a place to find all fitness-related brewery events in one place. They have distilled (I am on a pun roll today… forgive me) any local fitness classes hosted by breweries in one community calendar and have everything from run clubs to yoga to CrossFit that help you to really work for your beer. These classes encourage attendees to stick around afterwards and grab a beer with your sweaty comrades sans judgement.  Some classes are free, others have a small fee, and some include a beer in their fee. I’ll tell you a little more about my favorite below!



Taproom Fitness at Sugar Creek Brewery: a CrossFit-style workout, the guys from Metro CrossFit coach you through a challenging workout that could include sled pushes, weighted lunges, running, burpees, pull-ups… WHEW… I’m sore just thinking about it. You will get dirty. You will get sweaty. You will get addicted to this free weekly class, hosted Wednesday nights at 6pm in Sugar Creek Brewery’s tank room. Wednesday nights are free and the fellas at Metro also offer newbies a deal for their first month of CrossFit: $49! My favorite part of this class is the inclusive approach the coaches take. Whether you think a burpee is something that happens after you drink too much soda or you’re working on a new heavy weight PR, they’re with you every step of the way offering encouragement and tips on form and execution.



NC Yoga Bar: I haven’t actually tried this one yet, but am dying to check out their Wednesday night class at the Mint Museum! Doesn’t getting your flow on amongst beautiful and inspiring pieces of art seem like a VIP experience? With NC Yoga Bar, you can feel like an insider for just $10 per drop-in class or $40-$100 for their 5-20 class packages. Mint Museum members can enjoy their Wednesday class for FREE! Monday and Tuesday nights’ classes at Studio Cellar in South End and Birdsong Brewing Company in NoDa have their perks too: $5 wine, beer, or stay for a 6×6 canvas at Studio Cellar and a free 12oz beer after class at Birdsong.



Charlotte Yoga: with 2 locations in Madison Park and South End, there are plenty of classes at convenient times for your busy schedule. New students get their first 30 days for $30 here and there is a 20% discount for K-12 teachers, students, military, fire, police, and seniors. Not only are their facilities clean and inviting, their instructors are friendly and helpful AND they offer equipment rentals from mats to Yogi Toes. Perfect for the casual yogi!



Yoga One: on top of their $31 new member monthly special, they also offer $5 classes daily at both their Central Avenue and University locations. Most classes are heated to 95+ degrees, so don’t plan on popping into the grocery store on your way home from class- you will be disgusting in the best way possible. I speak from personal experience on this one…



CycleBar Midtown: your first 30 minute ride is free at this high-energy cycle studio. During your class, you’ll ride to the beat while being coached on pace, resistance, and some daredevil strength moves. There is also a leaderboard for a little friendly competition. Love it? New riders can purchase a 3 class pack for $29 or 10 class pack for $99. As an added bonus, you get a free ride for birthday! I took advantage of my birthday ride and haven’t been back, but am itching to revisit one of my new favorite places.


YMCA: As a Y member since childhood I have not only sipped the Kool Aid, I have taken a cannonball into a gigantic vat of it. I love the Y. Depending on where you’re from, the YMCA might not be synonymous with excellent fitness facilities, a wide array of group exercise class offerings, and informative and friendly trainers and employees. Here in The Queen City, the Y is a behemoth in the fitness community. With 19 area braches, there is one near you. Even with the incredible experience the Y provides its members, it is one of the most affordable options around. Some of my favorite classes at the Dowd Y are Total Strength and Barre- both as awesome a workout as you’ll get at a Cross Fit gym or barre studio for a much lower price tag. Your membership rate is based on your income and you can calculate your monthly rate here. Get a group membership and each additional adult is added to your plan at a discounted rate. Current members get a month free when they refer a friend! Their guest policy for members is also incredibly generous with unlimited guests receiving 5 free visits per calendar year. See why I love this place so much?

So, resolution-ers and regulars alike, try something new in 2017 and be nice to your wallet with one of these affordable fitness facilities/activities!



Nicole Brantley
Nicole is a native Charlottean that loves the Queen City almost as much as running, writing, and type-A organization.