Fitness Horoscopes


Consider me the Miss Cleo of your fitness future. While I’m no fortune teller (hey, neither was she), I am an expert on group exercise trends—and a social animal who gets to know many different personalities at local studios and gyms. (I also happen to be a Sagittarius who lost 50 pounds last year.) So behold! Your resolution-friendly 2015 Fitness Horoscope, featuring motivational classes to help you slim down, pump up or chill out.

March 21-April 19

You’re more ram than lamb and enjoy workouts where you can blow off steam and get serious results. But who needs Insanity DVD star “Shaun T” (or his shiny six-pack) when you have petite powerhouse “Shana H” (that’s Harris) who teaches his technique in a women’s-only class at the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Park Heights? Work at your body’s max capacity in 3- to 5-minute intervals, with just a few secs in between to gulp some air or water. Or as I like to call it: “Burpee till you Barf!” One-day pass, $15.

Still Crazy: BeachFIT Baltimore in Fells Point also offers 30-minute Insanity (you may still barf); plus Insanity Strength and Core, which limits jumping and pumps up plyometrics. Or hang ten with instructor Jessie Benson, who recently adapted her FloYo paddle board classes for the studio’s SurfSet equipment. No bathing suit required! Single class, $10-$15. Monthly passes available.

April 20-May 20

Oh, sensual Taurus, you’re no Raging Bull. You usually end up on the couch eating bonbons—or texting your impressive list of lovers. Resolve to get ring-ready with Technical Boxing (think Boxing 101) at Knockout Fitness in Federal Hill. Competitive boxing pros/bros Chris and Jason Nissley will treat you with kid gloves—teaching you proper technique in a fun “no judgment zone.” Bonus: They’ll even prepare clean meals for you! (Jason’s a nutritionist.) Single class, $15-$18. First class free. Monthly passes available.

Waiting to Exhale: If your “flight or fight” response is already on overdrive, try a Healing Breath workshop at Sid Yoga in Towson, where the handsome guru will train you to use everyday oxygen for “emotional release, mental clarity and physical freedom.” Next session: Jan. 25. Fee, $35-$45.

May 21-June 20

Two-faced? Not a chance. Indecisive? Maybe a little. The twin sign gets bored easily so you need variety in your workouts. Get to REV Cycle Studio in McHenry Row for Rip & Ride with “Crazy” Eddie DeVaughan —the only man who can make this writer get out of bed at 5:30 a.m.! It’s 30 percent cycling paired with 70 percent toning—using hand weights you lift while still pedaling the bike. That adds up to 100 percent TLC for your upper and lower body (not to mention your heart) from Charm City’s most lovable instructor. Single class, $15-$18. Monthly passes available.

Get Cheeky. You’ll never get bored at “butt school.” That’s what die-hard devotees call Pop Physique in Mount Vernon, where no Pop Sculpt class (an intense Pilates/ballet hybrid) is ever the same. Who knew there were so many uses for little pink balls…or profanity? Single class, $16-$18. Monthly passes available.

June 21-July 22

You’re a gentle soul who can be sensitive at times, so a military style boot camp might make you crabby (or even cry). Chin up, buttercup. You were born to take Becky Kelly’s Power Pilates Mat class at The MAC in Timonium. This tattooed sweet-talker will make you laugh (I swear, she reminds me of Rosie from “The Real Housewives of New Jersey!”) as she challenges your core and validates your feelings. It’s amazing how much self-respect you can muster, while pretending to hold a winning lottery ticket with your (tightly squeezed) tush. One-day pass, $15. Free membership trials available.

Fast and Furious: Brick Bodies now offers “Quickies” (love the name!), 30-minute versions of its most popular classes and small group programs. Try Metabolic Training with Charlie Pistorio at Belvedere Square who’ll send any Cancer “homebody” home in a jiffy still burning calories—after she schools you on the battle ropes, of course. Small group quickies, $10-$15 per session. Other quickie classes free for members. Complimentary trials available.

July 23-Aug. 22

You’re a lioness, a leader and a self-motivated showoff. (No surprise your celeb sisters are J-Lo and Madonna!) Unleash that sexy at Body Jam with Franchesca Ski, who teaches the video vixen-worthy class at Merritt Athletic Club on Fort Avenue. While Ski’s “regulars” range in age from 20s to 40s, what we all have in common is the confidence we’ve gained from learning her challenging choreography. (And the realization that we can twerk way better than Miley Cyrus.) One-day pass, $25. Free membership trials available.

Turn Down for What? If fancy footwork intimidates you, try WERQ-ing out with Sonja Burns, who teaches the beginner-friendly dance class at Brick Bodies in Owings Mills and occasional Saturdays at the Athleta store in Towson. The only guessing you’ll do is what color her hair will be (blue? purple?) when you show up.

Aug. 23-Sept. 22

Virgos are whip-smart but sometimes shy and self-critical, so you’d rather die than ask someone how to use that newfangled Stairmaster at the gym. Take baby steps in Barre Lite at the new Inline Barre studio in Perry Hall. Perfect for coming back from an injury, new moms and gals with a “bun in the oven”—or anybody who wants more detailed instruction on the workout craze du jour. Single class, $10-$15. Monthly passes available.

Beginner’s Luck: If you’re scared to lift weights, but you still want to build muscle (hint: ladies, it improves your metabolism!) Les Mills’ Body Pump, at several local gyms, will turn that barbell into your BFF. I love Mark and Sue Ortiz’s tag-team approach at Merritt Fort Avenue, where the married couple divides up teaching the class and providing individual coaching.

Sept. 23-Oct. 22

Balance is your bag, baby. But ditch the scales of justice and just try balancing yourself in Kimberlee Strome’s playful Stability Ball Blast class at LifeBridge Health and Fitness in Pikesville. Social Libras will love her creative, high-energy cardio/core approach where you’ll bounce around doing jumping jacks on the ball, not to mention chest flies, curtsy lunges and even belly dancing moves. Free with membership. One-day pass, $30. Complimentary trials available.

Hold On: Or try TRX the club’s Navy SEALs-inspired suspension classes, where you’ll use simple yellow straps to perform hundreds of functional exercises (not all in the same session). While several area clubs offer trendy TRX training, LifeBridge is the only one we could find that includes it free with membership. Nice perk!

Oct. 23-Nov. 21

You may seem like an Ice Queen (or King) who’s calm/cool/collected on the outside, but there’s a fiery intensity burning deep inside of you. (Steamy Scorpios include Matthew McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio.) Sweat out your demons at M. Power Yoga’s Melt Hot Fusion, practiced in a 101- to 104-degree studio with 40 percent humidity. It’s great if you want to lose weight—or that chip on your shoulder. Single class, $12-$18. Monthly passes available. Free 10-day trial for all new students.

Hips Don’t Lie. Dance parties trump pushups, which is why Zumba remains a worldwide phenom. But instructors can vary widely—shake it, don’t break it! My fave is smiley Dana Cala, who’ll turn you into a Zumba narcissist—vying for mirror time to see your caliente self in action. Catch the lovely Ms. Cala at Mt Zion United Methodist Church on Liberty Heights Avenue ($5 walk-in), as well as MAC Harbor East and Baltimore Fitness and Tennis.

Nov. 22-Dec. 21

The jovial archer—always looking to the sky—you get down when people try to control you or point out your natural limitations. Forget those naysayers in Air Yoga at the Canton Club, a Cirque du Soleil-esque class where you’ll warrior, pigeon and downward facing dog using a purple silk sling that’s suspended from the ceiling. Newbies, choose fun-loving Cecelia Bellomo, who’s not too snooty to clown around but will make sure you’re safe. At the end of class, she’ll wrap you in the silk hammock, turn on soft music and give you a gentle push so you can swing for savasana. Free for members. One-day pass, $20. Thirty-day club trial, $29.

Second Act: Or try Red Velvet Yoga (sorry, cake not included) at Fit! in Towson, where ruby colored silkies hang from the gym’s Queenax monkey bars system. Single class, $15 for members.

Dec. 22-Jan. 19

Like a determined billy goat, Capricorns believe they can climb any mountain. Prove it in a six-week Peak Performance Training course at Earth Treks in Timonium or Columbia. Your PPT team will meet twice a week to work on “fitness, movement and motivation” (including visualization exercises and how to manage fear). Not that you’re ever afraid.  Members, $199. Nonmembers, $299.

Being Green. Caps are good with money (many become bankers; financial advisers) and tend to be thrifty or even, well, cheap. Invest in your well-being at Charm City Yoga’s $6 cash-only “community classes” at all seven locations—they’re a bargain for wannabe yogis (or workaholics) on a budget.

Jan. 20-Feb. 18

You’re a brainiac who loves technology and gadgets. So your fitness fetish is anything that utilizes the latest geek-chic equipment. Enter the MEGAbarre—a feat of engineering so dark and imposing, the staff at Barre in Quarry Lake calls it “diabolical” right on their website. Hop onto this Transformer-looking beast as your instructor (we love Nan Rehfield) guides you through a series of lengthening-and-strengthening maneuvers that’ll have you sweating more than a scene from “The Devil Wears Spandex.” (Seriously, bring a towel—and nubby, no-slip socks.) $20-$30 per session.

Newton’s Law: Or try Gravity at Bare Hills Fitness and Tennis. Originally designed for physical therapists, the GTS platform glides and inclines to give you full range of motion that won’t stress your joints during this small group class led by a personal trainer. Six-week session. Members, $120. Nonmembers, $150.

Feb. 19-March 20

You’re a go-with-the-flow person who prefers not to make waves. Embrace your escapist tendencies with a visit to Haven on the Lake, the new Howard County retreat featuring movement classes by the Columbia Association and holistic treatments by The Still Point Spa. Find bliss in the 86-degree pool doing Aqua Tai Chi then reward yourself with a mani/pedi or detoxifying wrap. (Aqua Pilates and Aqua Barre also available.) Single class for members, $25. Nonmembers, $55. Packages and monthly memberships available.

Just Breathe. If the “spa” vs. “gym” mentality does it for you, consider yoga or Pilates mat classes at Ojas Wellness in Pikesville and Mount Washington. Their $79/month WellPass entitles VIPs to unlimited monthly group classes—plus discounts on massage, spa services and more.

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