Latin Soul Studio
What It Is: Dance power couple Sakina and Mike are behind Latin Soul Studio, teaching Salsa, Cuban Salsa, Bachata, and Kizomba. Sakina is a top female salsa dancer in China with over 8 years of Latin dance experience. Mike is from Japan and studied dancing in LA with instructors Laura Canellias, John Vazquez, and others. He's the guy behind the El Tuesday salsa night at Unico. Classes are split up in various levels of expertise and start at 80rmb for drop-in classes. Packages start at 1400rmb for 20 classes. Alternatively, you can get memberships with unlimited classes from 3600rmb for 3 months. Private lessons are 600rmb an hour. They also do dance getaway trips to the likes of Suzhou, Japan, and Phuket. The facilities include a bar area on the first floor and the dance studio upstairs.
First Impression: The studio is simple, but it gets the job done. Pricing is very reasonable and you're learning from some very qualified instructors.
What It Is: Taylor's Gym took over the former Z&B space next door, was remodeled, and recently reopened as SmartFit. They only offer private personal training classes and they focus on muscle function, balance, posture, core strength, and training under special circumstances (such as injuries). Most exercises use your own body weight to fix problems in your musculature. The hourly rate is 500-600rmb an hour for senior personal trainers and 300-400rmb for junior trainers. In addition, the company is working on a computerized personal training system, using sensors and cameras to monitor heart rate, motion, and other aspects of your workout, while providing live feedback and instructions. They've set up several of these stations in the space that they took over from Z&B, but they're still fine-tuning the software and that won't be available for a few more months.
First Impression: SmartFit seems like a great solution for people who need tailored workouts to work around or even solve injuries and muscular problems. The computerized personal trainer is an interesting concept and something to keep an eye on in the future.
What It Is: Located on the 27th floor of an office/apartment complex, Warzone is an aptly named Brazilian Jiujitsu gym that also teaches boxing, self-defense, wrestling, Aikido, and kickboxing. The gym is run by Saulo, a down-to-earth Brazillian fighter, who competes regularly and has over 10 years of Brazillian Jiujitsu experience under his (brown) belt. Supporting him are four other instructors that cover the various other disciplines. Memberships start at 1000rmb for men and 600rmb for women per month. With that you get unlimited classes -- it's a steal. Saulo says it's cheaper for women because he wants to encourage them to take up martial arts, a discipline currently largely dominated by male participants. The gym has only been open for four months and they're already running out of space due to membership signups (partly due to how small it is), so expect an expansion soon.
First Impression: Unlike some martial arts gyms, the environment is very friendly and not aggressive. The space is simple and utilitarian, but that's probably a good sign for a martial arts gym.
What It Is: Golden Gloves opened their new location in October, featuring a space several times bigger than their previous spot on Xinqiao Lu. The gym was originally founded in 2012 by Shane Benis and Alfonso Cuadra. Benis is also behind White Collar Boxing and Brawl on the Bund. Currently, the new location features over 18 trainers doing personal training and group classes, but they'll soon expand that, adding more trainers and a variety of fitness classes in addition to boxing. Those will include kettlebells, conditioning, and TRX. Benis says the gym is still 75% of what they want it to be as they continue to improve it by adding equipment and classes. A 10 class package is 1500rmb. Memberships start at 3388rmb for 3 months, and average monthly price drops significantly for longer memberships. You can try the first class for free.
First Impression: The new gym is certainly better than their previous one, offering tons of space, and two boxing rings. A good choice if you want to get involved with their amateur competitions and Shanghai's boxing community.
What It Is: Style Fitness is with two separate studios in the basement of the Ambassy Court. Style Performance focuses on Crossfit and performance training classes and Style Wellness offers pilates, boxing, and dance classes. Owner and head coach Mauricio emphasizes that the gym's goal is on functional performance and not appearance, although that comes with the training. Since opening, they've built up a community of fitness-minded individuals that support each other in their healthy lifestyles. Style Fitness doesn't do single drop-ins, so you'll have to get a package or membership (though they do allow you a first trial class for 130rmb). Packages start at 20 classes for 3000rmb and goes up to 60 classes for 6000rmb. All-you-can-train memberships start at 4500rmb for 3 months and go up to 12,600rmb for a year.
First Impression: A good choice for those who want to surround themselves with health-conscious people. Probably one of the top Crossfit gyms in the city.