Fit and Fab in Paris | Part 1: Gyms in Paris

As summer rolls around everyone starts thinking about getting in shape and working on their “summer body.” While we think every body is summer ready, regardless of shape or size, for those looking to make the most of summer and get fit, we’re thrilled to introduce you to our fitness partner, Kristin Merryman of Paris International Fitness. PinFit will be doing a 3-part blog series over the summer to talk about fitness, health, and wellbeing in Paris. If you’re interested in working with her just shoot us an email!

Photo by SFP

As a personal trainer and entrepreneur in the fitness and well-being industry, and founder of Paris International Fitness, I’ve spoken with many expats in Paris who say they find it more challenging to stay fit living here than where they come from.

It may seem that way, and I assure you, you can stay fit, very fit even, in Paris, all year long! You may not be doing the same activities as back home, but if you’re open to a new fitness lifestyle, there is no shortage of possibilities.  More gyms, exercise studios and ways to workout are becoming available constantly. It’s a market on the rise, and there are options for every age and preference.

For the first of our 3-part series about how to stay fit and healthy in Paris, I’d like to share with you some of my favorite spots and ways to workout in the City of Light.

Let’s start with gyms or “Salles de Sport

There is a wide variety of gyms from which to choose. At some you can pay monthly, without an obligation to take a full year membership, at others a year-long commitment is required with monthly, trimestrial, or one-shot payment plans available.

4bis rue Saint Sauveur, 75002
Metro: Sentier (3), Étienne Marcel (4)

This is a high-end club, home to fashionistas and serious fitness fans. It’s well worth the luxury price tag, if you plan to go often and enjoy pampering yourself. Klay requires a year-long commitment and offers several payment plans.

My favorite features are the 5 story layout, complete with a glass ceiling, high quality cardio and weight-training equipment, top-notch trainers and group fitness instructors, creative and cutting edge classes, access to all the rooms and equipment in the gym, and most importantly- the spa!
Both the men’s and women’s locker rooms have a full spa including a dry sauna, eucalyptus steam room, 15-meter swimming pool with jets for massaging the whole body, unlimited towels, and a crushed ice basin- it does wonders to relieve puffiness in the face and water retention in the legs.

Imagine doing a kick-butt workout and then relaxing in the spa. You will leave feeling like a king or queen!

30 locations around Paris 

Photo by Gymlib

As far as gyms with month-to-month membership policies, I recommend Neoness. The monthly membership fee is low enough that you’ll be able to justify trying out other fitness options around town in addition to your gym membership.

There are 30 locations around Paris and the surrounding suburbs, with more on the way. Each location is different, and the newer ones tend to be less busy and offer more space and nicer equipment. Here, you can choose to pay for towel service, and the showers require a payment of 60 cents each. It’s not luxurious, but it is convenient. You can stop your membership for a month if you know you’ll be out of town. You can always find a location close to where you are, and they have everything you need to stay fit. The one caveat- if you are looking for fantastic group classes, you may consider going elsewhere.
 
It’s wonderful to have a gym that you enjoy in Paris, especially during the winter, and when the weather is agréable, it feels so good to exercise outdoors. I’m from Boulder, Colorado and I crave nature. I get just the fix I need in the following locations:

 

Along the Quai

Photo by © Alexis Duclos for INSPIRELLE

Exercising by the Seine, watching the sunlight sparkle on the water, the seagulls playing and diving, and the lush green trees lining the quais is such a treat! The city of Paris continues to install more and more exercise and play equipment on the right and left bank along the quais, in east and west Paris. For example, if you go down to the quai from Bastille, following the canal, you will come to an area with lots of boats. Running along this section is beautiful, although you will be on cobblestone for a while-good for agility and mindfulness! On the left bank just across you may hear latin music booming from large outdoor speakers-tango and salsa dancers! As you continue, you’ll come to pavement and sidewalks, and all along the way you’ll discover newly installed workout equipment, mostly made of wood, for adults and kids, great for a parcours/running workout. There are pegs and beams to practice balance, a climbing wall for kids, and a soccer rink surrounded by net and wood. Further down the quai on the right bank, closer to Châtelet, there are ladders for climbing and wooden structures you can use to work your core. There are plenty of spots to do  your own HIIT style workout as well. Or bring elastics and use the wooden poles.

Bois de Boulogne
Metro: Porte Maillot (1), Avenue Foche (RER C), Porte d’Auteuil (9, 10)

If you’re looking to exercise outside and you’re closer to the west side of Paris, try going to the Bois de Boulogne. This forest/park is plentiful with running paths, lakes, many types of birds, including swans, peacocks, and ducks, and lots of greenery. It’s a nice nature fix and as close to a trail running as you’ll get in Paris. Throughout the trails there are spots with exercise equipment, so you can do some strength training as well. You’ll also find playgrounds and never ending opportunities for your kids to feed the ducks. Just be sure to bring some bread!

 

The number of fitness hybrid offerings, through creative teachers who are taking working out to new and trendy places, are continually increasing. You can find most any type of yoga class you ever thought of and new ones you didn’t know exist. There is also a wide range of Pilates style workouts, and although it seems less popular in Paris, there are studios dedicated to intense training, such as Crossfit. Here are some of my favorites in each category:

Yoga:

13 rue Simon Le Franc 75004; Metro: Rambuteau (11), Hôtel de ville (1, 11)
17 rue du Faubourg Montmartre, 75009; Metro: Grands Boulevards (8, 9), Cadet (7)

You may already know about Bikram Yoga– 40 degree celsius, 90 minute intense yoga sessions. There are two studios in Paris. This is not for everyone. It is for those of you who desire an intense, practically out of body workout that will get you flexible like Gumby, release even the most intense stress, and make you feel like a million bucks afterwards. It’s like combining a workout and hammam in one.  Just make sure sweat and practically naked bodies in close proximity doesn’t bother you.

61 rue du Faubourg Poissonnière, 75009
Metro: Cadet (7)

Photo by Fly Yoga

Talk about fun!
Fly Yoga may be on the opposite end of the yoga spectrum of Bikram. It’s playful yoga in suspension. There are classes for beginners to advanced students, and those who want to learn circus tricks. The class is based around a fly yoga hammock, which hangs from the ceiling- yoga in suspension. The feeling of being supported by this simple piece of fabric will bring you back to childhood. It’s soothing, fun, and depending on your flexibility and level of fitness, it can be low to very challenging. You can also try fly Pilates.


Pilates:

Pilates Fusion– W Hotel Paris Opera
4 rue Meyerbeer, Paris, 75009
Metro: Opera (3, 7, 8)
We’ve all heard of Pilates, but do you know about Pilates Fusion? The creator of this new style of Pilates, which combines classic Pilates movements, dance, stretching, and barre au sol, is the lovely Adèle Van Damme. She also offers her classes at Klay. This is the right workout for you if you want to sculpt a long lean body with gentle intensity-always with a great playlist.

 

Intense:

71 avenue Victor Hugo, 75116
Metro: Victor Hugo (2)
The Dailey Method is a specific style of barre workout, developed in San Francisco. The original founders of this technique have a studio in the 16th arrondissement. This type of workout deeply tones the entire body and improves flexibility, using a mat, ballet bar, and light weights. It is low-impact and their are also classes that include cardio training.  The instructors are vigilant, experienced and focused on the proper alignment of the students. This type of training is great to strengthen, lengthen and get in touch with your body.

 

Dance:

They are many dance studios in Paris. I can confidently say that Parisians in general are better dancers than they are fitness adherents. I’ve seen their step classes. Yes, step. Remember that 90’s phenomena in the U.S.? Well, it still happens here, and you’ve never seen it like this. The French routines are very complex and fast. I’m a fitness junkie, and I gave up! I had never seen step taken to such a high level of dance.

41 Rue du Temple, 75004
Metro: Rambuteau (11), Hotel de Ville (1, 11)
But I’m not talking about step classes. I mean real dance, for every level. One of my favorite studios is
Centre de Dance du Marais
. They offer one the largest selection of styles in Paris, with every level and an international group of teachers. NIA, which is a free flowing, get in touch with your deeper self kind of dance from the U.S., is also available here. They have Flamenco, tap, modern jazz, ballet, hip-hop, and much much more. The studios are in a beautiful and old Parisian building in the city’s historical center. It’s worth trying a class there just for the experience. Be advised: When the class is labeled niveau moyen (middle level), it’s probably the most advanced middle level you’ve tried. Like I said, Parisians know what’s up when it comes to dance. Don’t be intimidated though. The instructors are generally kind and willing to work with you from where you are. Their are also fantastic classes for children and adolescents, all week long.

Customized Workouts

Sometimes it’s more convenient to have your fitness come to you. This is our specialty at Paris International Fitnessoffering luxury in-home, at work, or outdoor trainings. Our small company, founded on American style customer service, caters to an international clientele. We will match you with the trainer who is the best fit for your desired workout style and personality. We offer specialised personal training, Pilates, Yoga, barre method, dance, fitness dance, and martial arts for individuals or small groups. What clients enjoy about Pinfit is that they will let you change your schedule weekly, and either keep or change instructors as often as you like. This way you get to try different specialties and continued to be challenged by new coaches. For example, you could have one in-home Pilates session per week, meet up with a running coach in the Bois de Boulogne a few days later, and then finish up the week with restorative yoga class in your living room.
Share

Recommended Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Free Events Calendar Plugin