After pigging out over the holidays, many of us are searching for ways to start the new year by leading healthier lifestyles. For those who prefer non-traditional gym settings, we’ve pulled together some exciting alternatives.

Just throw it at the bag at Polk Street Gym. // Photo courtesy of courtesy Polk Street Gym.


Due to the intense cardio work, there are few workouts that help melt pounds quickly (with persistent practice, of course) like boxing, and San Francisco has several fine boxing gyms to choose from. Owned and operated by Irish transplant Simon Redmond who has fought in several Golden Glove Championships, Polk Street Gym is favored by beginners who never plan on setting foot in a ring as well as boxing enthusiasts. Novices are required to attend at least three “Beginner” classes, which teach the fundamental footwork, punches and include conditioning like jump roping, ab work and planks. The boot camps and circuit training classes are popular, and boxing classes for kids are also on the menu.


At $73 per month for individual memberships with no time contracts required, access to three facilities in San Francisco, Belmont and Sunnyvale, unlimited climbing, unlimited yoga, discounted classes and more, Planite Granite offers a sweet deal for those who like a little variety in their regimen. Beginners can get acquainted with rock climbing in a clean indoor setting with gorgeous views across Crissy Field. Climbing class topics include Belaying, Beginning Rock Climbing (four-week introductory course), Bouldering, Climbing 201, Anchoring and Rappelling and beyond. Several types of yoga classes are offered, including Vinyasa, Candlelight Yin, Foundations of Flow, Mellow Flow and Abs & Core.

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