If you’re new to Amsterdam or just traveling through and looking to keep fit, you might like to consider some of my fave boutique fitness/ yoga/ pilates studios. I’ve given a variation of this list to friends and acquaintances over time, who’ve all found some of their favourites from here.
First off, my caveats:
I am not a muscle mary BEEFCAAAAAKE who likes weight machines. Free weights/ kettlebells/ bodyweight only.
I am a fan of functional training that works a variety of muscles at the same time rather than isolating muscles (see point 1 above).
I prefer the energy of a group class instead of training on my own. But a small class of up to 10 only. Hence, most suggestions here are for the boutique studios.
Before going into my list of suggestions, here’s the first thing you should consider if you’re new in town or want to switch up your routine but have no idea where to go:
It’s like Class Pass in the US. Pay 1 monthly fee, get access to many of the gyms/ studios in town. Go up to 4 times per place in a month. This allows you to check out all of the studios before you decide to commit to anyone.
Pay monthly, cancel when you want, no subscription necessary. So when you’ve found a place you want to go to more often, you can cancel Onefit any time - there’s no contract.
My €20 promo code off your first month here (instead of €69, it’s €49).
Note: I technically get a €10 kickback off my next month if you sign up, but I’m not subscribed to them right now. My friend promo code still works for you though.
Pro-tip: busy classes are booked out weeks in advance but check about 8-9 hours before the class coz that’s when people cancel/ drop out and free spots open up. Also book on the desktop website (not mobile app) as the desktop gives you access to an extra 2 days in advance than the app does.
Many of the suggested studios and gyms below are also hooked up to Onefit, so you can check them out through this.
Onto my 2018 list of best fitness/ yoga/ pilates studios in Amsterdam:
1. Delight Yoga - link here.
One of the most established Mysore programs in town if you’re into Ashtanga. Great vinyasa and yin too.
Their teachers tend to be more experienced, follow a particular lineage, and have a bit more depth (there are a lot of beginner teachers just out of 200-hour trainings in this town).
2. Equal Yoga - link here.
Hot yoga. 3 different fixed sequences, one of them loosely based around the Bikram sequence. “Strong flow” and “XL” classes tend to be more free-form vinyasa. Also yin and barre classes. They do an occasional yoga class with a live DJ too, if that’s your kinda thing.
It feels like they’ve made a considered decision to strip out all spirituality/ “woowoo” speak in their classes, so if you’re looking more for “yoga fitness”, this is your place.
Two branches: Rozengracht is in town/ west, Linnaeusstraat is in the east.
3. Conscious Club - link here.
This place has yoga, meditation, sound baths, martial arts classes, with more energy and spiritual practices than your typical asana classes only.
4. Svaha Yoga - link here.
If you’re looking for some kirtan, incense, chanting and harmoniums, this is your place. It’s way more hippy dippy but their sequences/ style are more Jivamukti-based, so it’s a solid vinyasa class by extremely well-trained teachers.
Level 3 classes are very good inversion/ arm balance classes.
5. De Nieuwe Yoga School - link here.
Beautiful location in an old school but the main studio is huge (up to 30-50 people in a class, I think?) The earlier morning classes tend to be more manageable/ have less people. They also have a couple smaller studios upstairs.
Michiel, one of their yoga teachers, has a beautiful massage studio upstairs that looks out into the courtyard behind. It’s called Tension Tamers.
Pilates (Reformer + Mat):
High intensity Pilates. Not your usual slow-moving reformer class. These guys will give your abs + ass definition. 👌
Barre classes: there’s a range of regular barre, HIIT-barre or ballet-barre (like “ballet fitness”), so check them all out. You’ll find muscles you never knew existed in your butt and legs that will BURN, BABY BURN.
7. Studio Anna Mora - link here.
They do small classical reformer classes (about 4 in a class), so you get a lot of attention.
There’s another room for group classes with Pilates mat work and all kinds of other cardio trainings. Check out their “jumping fitness” class - mini trampolines with handles you hang onto while rebounding, all while wearing bluetooth wireless headphones, ‘silent disco’ style. It’s pretty ridiculous and hilarious but very fun.
Traditional Pilates reformer and mat classes in a small group or private setting.
There’s also an Alexander Technique practitioner who’s great with working one-on-one to retrain the way you move/ carry yourself.
9. Soho House Gym - link here.
If you’re in the creative/ media industry and have a Soho House membership, this is the best gym in town. Plus free group classes from HIIT to Boxing to TRX to yoga and pilates, all with excellent trainers. It’s currently where I go to almost daily (also see: steam room + sauna). 😬
HIIT/ Cardio/ Cross-training:
Amsterdam’s version of Soul Cycle. They call it a “party on a bike” but it’s more like a spin class on steroids. You’re cycling with your bum on/ off the saddle, doing crunches/ push-ups against the handlebars and also using hand weights for the arms. A good all-round cardio-conditioning class in a dark room lit with candles. It sounds ridiculous but it’s really good fun. Get ready to be pushed to your limit.
High-energy instructors with great playlists. Everyone’s got a different style, so check them all out and see who you vibe with.
I’ve not been to the studios below, but I’ve been following what they do and really like their approach. I know friends who’ve been and highly recommend them though and they’re all on my list of places to check out:
11. Saints & Stars - link here.
White collar (posh) boxing. Like the boxing version of Rocycle. Like seriously - boxing in a dark room with UV light and designer round boxing bags. Hahaha. Gotta love it!
It’s like the running/ interval training version of Rocycle and Saints & Stars. It looks mega intense. I guess the recurring theme is these places do workouts in a dark room that’s UV-lit. LOL. I’ve got dodgy knees so a bit afraid of the treadmills and all those box-jumps, but really want to check them out!
45min HIIT training circuits. It’s a franchise from Australia.
14. Crazy Monkey Movement - link here.
These guys train in the Ido Portal method of “movement” (Ido Portal was Conor McGregor’s “movement coach” before the big Mayweather fight). Hard to explain what they do, but it looks like lots of bodyweight/ callisthenics/ gymnastics type of foundational moves (also: HANDSTANDS!!).
I love their Instagram feed, and that probably explains what they do better than I can.
That’s my round-up of boutique fitness studios in Amsterdam for 2018! What did you think of this list? Agree/ disagree/ got other recommendations? Share and let me know in the comments below, or tell me over at Instagram or in my community group!
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In the meantime, you might also be interested in these previous blog posts: