Exercise & Workout Classes

Parent Q&A

Looking for fun fitness class in East Oakland Jul 15, 2021 (1 responses below)
Exercise for out-of-shape mom? Oct 14, 2019 (18 responses below)
Exercise Class near Berkeley or Oakland BART Sep 30, 2019 (5 responses below)
ISO a workout group that doesn't involve my kids Apr 10, 2017 (3 responses below)
  • My husband and I are out of shape and still haven't fit in a good exercise routine after having our daughter 14 months ago.  We're hoping to find something good in or around East Oakland, where we currently live.  We're open to outdoor classes at a park or going to a gym with some fun group classes.  Looking for friendly, welcoming instructors that can ease us back into working out.  Thanks for any recs!

    I used to go to Inner Athlete Fitness on E. 14th just over the border in San Leandro. The group classes are very upbeat and fun. They’re super body-positive and the other participants are encouraging. It seems to be a small community. 

  • Exercise for out-of-shape mom?

    (18 replies)

    Is there a gym or other exercise studio near Piedmont that is not filled with women who are already in excellent shape? I'm a middle-aged, overweight, out-of-shape mom who is looking for a place where I won't stand out and look ridiculous because I can't keep up. Would like to see a variety of body shapes and sizes, ages, etc. Also need convenient/ ample parking - I know about the Oakland Y but the lack of easy parking is going to be a hinderance to me going regularly.  Thanks!

    May be far for you, but Happy Hour Fitness in Albany is very welcoming of all sizes, ages and abilities. 

    I highly recommend a peloton!  Get the bike.  With your subscription, you also have access to on demand strength, yoga, running, etc content.  There is a huge Peloton Facebook community.  If you join, you can find support/accountability partners and groups.   The community of people is made up of all shapes and sizes.  No one will shame you for being out of shape.  It’s all encouragement.

    The Berkeley ymca is full of all shapes, ages, and fitness levels. I like it because you can pick an exercise you like (for me it is dancing and the occasional “body sculpt” class) and participate at your level. 

    I entered as a super out of shape mom and am now a mildly in shape one. 

    I look at the 80 year olds in my class and think “if they can do it so can I”.

    once you find a class you like, other members or the instructors are generally able to point you to similar classes at that level. 

    Parking is ok— 1$ with validation after 4 pm and sometimes on the weekend. 

    Good luck getting moving.

  • Hi! I’ve searched online but am just not having luck finding an exercise class that meets the following requirements:

    • short walk from BART in Berkeley or downtown Oakland
    • a morning class that starts after 8:15
    • OR an afternoon class that ends before 3:00 
    • an on-site shower

    I prefer barre classes but at this point am open to anything. Thanks!

    Try the Berkeley downtown YMCA, they have a variety of classes scheduled all day long,

    and are walking distance from Berkeley BART.

    In Oakland there's Active Club in the city center at 1200 Clay St. https://activesportsclubs.com/

    In Berkeley there's the Downtown Berkeley YMCA at 2001 Allston Way cross of Milvia, across the street from the post office. https://ymcaeastbay.org/locations/berkeley-ymca

    Both should have what you're looking for.

    Great Western Power Company (a member of the touchstone climbing gym) is near the 19th street BART and has multiple lunchtime classes throughout the week including yoga, crossfit and TRX. They also have onsite showers.

  • Hello- can anyone recommend a group exercise class that meets on weekday mornings between the hours of 8:30 and 11:00AM?  I'm looking for some type of strength training and cardio exercise, and do best in a class setting, but everything I've found meets either in the early morning or evening hours, when I don't have childcare.  I'm willing to go pretty much anywhere in the East Bay if I can find the right classes or studio.  Thank you!

    The Dailey Method has classes during the time frame you're looking for with studios in Berkeley and Piedmont.  The "interval" and "fusion" classes both have a cardio component; the regular barre class does not (just strength).  They also have cycle classes which I assume are cardio intense, but I haven't done those.  I like the classes and have definitely built muscle (arms, quads and abs in particular) since I started. The instructors vary in terms of style but all adhere to the same basic philosophy/regimen. I have my favorites, but I think it's good to change it up anyway.  Another good thing is that it is easy to schedule using their app and you can cancel if something comes up, as close as an hour before the start of class, for most classes.  

    I just started working out at 9Round, a kickboxing-based circuit training gym in Emeryville.  It just opened a few months ago. Circuits start every three minutes and a trainer is always on hand to guide you through an intense half hour of exercise.  The gym is closed between 1:30-4pm, but you can drop in and work out mornings and evenings.  It is a small, but very welcoming and professional space.  It is also more affordable than Orange Theory, and other similar programs.  I am four classes in and I love it.  

    I really enjoyed working out with Lift and Sprint this past summer.  They meet behind the library in Kensington at 9:30AM on Weds.  It is a great workout and the classes are small enough that they will accommodate you at whatever level of fitness you are.  It is also nice to get outside! I am taking a hiatus right now because I'm pregnant, but looking forward to going back post-partum!

  • Hi,

    I would love to join a group / circuit workout that's fun, will make me sweat and doesn't involve me bringing my stroller full of kids. I need to expend energy and be with adults and be challenged and have fun.

    Are there any good outdoor groups or boot camps in the Elmwood / Rockridge area? I was an athlete before 3 kids, and now I'm late 30's, work full time and need to feel strong in my body again. <cry for help>


    If you're at all interested in a barre class, Remedy Barre & Foam Rolling just opened last month on Telegraph at 48th. It's a great, sweaty workout that will definitely leave you feeling strong and confident. The teachers are great at correcting form and giving feedback, as well as being mindful of different levels of fitness and injuries. They also have foam rolling classes that focus on myofascial release and helping sore and tight muscles relax. 

    SWEAT fitness is awesome. There's a location on Solano Ave in Albany and one on College Ave in Oakland.

    I've been a regular there for a bit over a year. I go 2-4 times a week depending on my schedule and kids. The classes are High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes. They're super challenging and really fun. The trainers are all really impressive too. I've been really really happy with the change in my body over the year I've been working out there. www.sweatoften.com

    You're describing BeFit! It's an interval training group exercise class that meets twice a week (you can add on more). We are almost all mothers and can empathize with one another about making time to take care of ourselves. Tiffany is very encouraging and supportive, and the classes are tough! http://www.balancedfitnessformoms.com/programs

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Outdoors workout?

March 2009

I went to a Pilates workout outdoors in SF today with a friend. I'd love to find something similar here in Oakland. Here's what I'd like, a full body, hour long exercise class at Lake Temescal or the cemetery, that meets once or more per week. Does anyone know of anything like that? I saw the Women's Boot Camp website but it seems expensive. Still if you loved that I'd like to hear it.Thanks! ready to get in shape

You might check out Montclair Outdoor Fitness (http://montclairoutdoorfitness.com/), which meets in Montclair Park on Moraga Ave. I see them out there weekday mornings and they look like they're having fun. Montclair Mom

I don't know which bootcamp you have tried, but I highly recommend Oakland Adventure Bootcamp. It is all women, meets at Lake Temescal at 9:30 am or Lake Merritt at 5:30 and 6:30 am. It is a full body workout with cardio, Pilates, kick-boxing, bands, free weights - you name it. It is run by two great women, both moms, who inspire women to push themselves. It is not cheap but you can choose to do three days a week which is the least expensive. Having done this for some time I can't imagine going back to a gym - even these last couple of weeks when it was pouring down rain during the workout. Trying to be fit

Early morning exercise classes

Feb 2009

I'm looking for an early morning exercise class in the Albany/North Berkeley area to get back in the swing of working out after having two babies in three years. Having a specific day and time scheduled in advance should help motivate me to get out of bed and work out before the kids and hubby wake up. I'm planning to call the Albany YMCA about a Monday morning boot camp class they offer (if anyone is taking that and has feedback, do share!). I'd also love to hear any of your recommendations for early morning pre-work classes or any gyms that offer classes that I should check into. Ready to Get Fit

The Ice Chamber in Albany has awesome 6, 7, 9, and 10 a.m. bootcamp classes that will make you feel like a million bucks. www.icechamber.com 9 a.m. bootcamper

There are so many choices!! Crossfit in Oakland/Emeryville border is great (every morning at 6am, you can look at Crossfit website to see what their philsophy and program is, http://www.crossfitoakland.com ). Many like Ice Chamber in Albany (www.icechamber.com). Good luck! like to exercise in the AM, great start to the day!

The Ice Chamber in Albany (558-0807) is great for early morning ''boot camp'', as well as personal training. I know that Jessica and Steve are terrific trainers. Go there. gym rat

I highly recommend the Ice Chamber! It's the first gym that I love going to. Every class is different and fun, and all the people there are so supportive and encouraging. Here's the link to the website. http://www.icechamber.com/ finally fit

I take bootcamp classes at Phoenix Fitness gym in West Berkeley and highly recommend them. They have classes in the a.m. 6:30 and 9:30 M, W, and F. The classes are an hour long (and they use every minute), intense and very effective. The classes are really small right now (5 -6 people) so you get lots of attention from the trainers. The fitness levels of the people in the classes vary - some are very fit and some are just getting back into shape. But the trainers know how to tailor the workout for everyone. Plus, they are really nice and funny (and evil but in a good, sick way). Every class is different which keeps it fun and interesting and you won't believe what they can coax out of you. The people in the classes are supportive which means you all suffer together. This isn't one of those yelling at you boot camps. Kelly, Juliet and Dmitri want you to excel and know how to get you there. Like they say on their website, ''it's badass hard work but it is fun and rewarding.'' check out their website and call/e-mail them today. You won't be sorry. http://phoenixfitnessgym.com/about.html

Some of the Ice Chamber's former trainers opened their own gym. Phoenix Gym offers hour-long bootcamp classes at 6:30 and 9:30. I signed up for the 6:30 class, which lets me work out in the morning and still get to work by 9:00. It's hard and I am really sore. But I feel stronger already and my body is changing and I've only been doing it for a couple weeks. I've always worked out but never been happy with the results. Now I see that I haven't really pushed myself enough. The Pheonix trainers push me until I can't go anymore. We do all sorts of things like stair running and kick boxing, weight lifting and rowing, squats and push-ups so it never gets boring. And the trainers, Kelly, Juliet and Dmitri truly love what they do. Highly recommend them. http://phoenixfitnessgym.com/about.html 415.260.1112 info [at] phoenixfitnessgym.com getting back in shape

Oakland Y and club one have fitness classes starting pretty early (they open at 5, but I can't remember how early classes start). Berkeley Y probably has early ones too. janet

I missed the original post but if you are looking for early morning exercise classes, you should definitely check out Phoenix Gym in West Berkeley. It's a small space but the bootcamp classes are awesome. They are a full hour, they are different every day and they are always challenging. There are always two trainers so you get a lot of attention - especially with form so you don't get hurt. I love getting my exercise out of the way and feeling energized for the entire day. Their classes are 6:30 and 9:30. http://www.phoenixfitnessgym.com/bootcampinfo.html Bootcamp addict

I've been going to the Oakland Y for Bootcamp for the past year and love it. It's at 5:30am (the only time I can get away as I am SAHM of 3 under 4). Every day is different. Sometimes in the gym, sometimes outside. There are three instructors (2 are volunteers) and there are about 50 people in the class. Everyone knows everyone else's names and the support is fantastic but not obnoxious. I couldn't run a block before and and know I can run 4 miles! Check it out! Finally getting in shape again.

Exercise class I can take my toddler to

Oct 2008

Hi there, I am looking for suggestions about exercise with my 2-year-old. I just moved from San Diego, where I was a regular at ''Stroller Jam'' sponsored by the YMCA there. It was a great way for me to get a workout without having to put my son in childcare. I was disappointed when I realized the Berkeley Y doesn't have a similar program. Does anyone know of a group (Stroller Striders-type thing or more informal) that meets in Berkeley, North Oakland, Albany, or El Cerrito? I would also like to find some classes that he and I can do together such as parent-toddler yoga, dance, etc, something that provides activity for him and at least a little exercise for me. Thank you! Rebecca

W.O.W. baby is perfect for you! It's the newest outdoor parent and baby interactive fitness class to come to the Oakland area. We have classes five days a week at two locations in Piedmont and Oakland. After our workouts we have guided play time with a parachute, songs, bubbles, and story time. The first class is free - come check it out!!! www.workingoutwithbaby.com Thea

There is a stroller exercise class called Working Out With Baby (WOW Baby) that meets Monday - Thursday and Fridays in Oakland. Check out the schedule at www.workingoutwithbaby.com anon

Drop-in classes

Does anyone out there know of any aerobic or similar classes running in North Berkeley or environs which you can attend as a drop-in rather than signing up for a session? They would have to be either in the evening or with child-care during the morning.a Childcare and family committments make signing up for a session very difficult - and I would prefer to attend a class for motivational reasons rather than just drop in at a gym. Catherine

No Sweat on Solano Avenue has a drop-in policy for their many various classes. There isn't child care available, but they have kickboxing, hiphop, salsa, and samba dancing (along with other kinds of stuff). Lots of fun and definite communities in some of the classes. It costs $9/class, but it's cheaper if you buy a multiple class card. They're at 1831 Solano Ave. (next to Peet's). 528-1958. Ilana

Cal-FIT on campus (you can get info from Health*Matters, among other places) offers a drop-in card that you can use on some of the classes (depends if there's space). You don't have to be a student or employee either--community members are allowed; it's just that students or staff get a slight discount. Call 642-5151 for more info. Dawn

There is NoSweat on Solano (more or less in front of Andronico's). They have drop-in classes for several kinds of things (hip-hop, aerobics, etc) and (if I'm not mistaken) they cost $9.00 each. hope it helps! Denise