Houston Citi Book Bust a Move with new SWEAT 1000 studio in the Heights


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It’s a new year, time to sweat. Luckily, the boutique fitness fad is in full swing, and there have never been more clever — and fun — ways to work out.

Fitness, like dieting, is prone to fads. In the ’80s, it was all about aerobics — leotard, leg warmers and all. In the ’90s, we were introduced to the Stairmaster and the big-box gyms like 24 Hour Fitness and Bally’s. And while we were generally obsessed with Tae Bo around Y2K, Houston fell off the fitness bandwagon in the early 2000s, and then again in 2012, when Men’s Fitnessnamed us the “Fattest City in America.”

But now it’s 2018, H-Town is healthy once more, and the boutique fitness craze has never been hotter. From ballet barre to boot camps, and pilates to cross fit and spinning, Houstonians are turning to personal-trainer-style, specialized small-group fitness to tone and firm, with studios and concepts spawning all over the city at record speed.

The most buzzed-about new studio is SWEAT 1000 in the Heights. The facility, which opened in December, comes to Houston by way of South Africa, thanks to husband-wife duo Jordan Strouse and Ana Barron. The couple, who met in Houston and now reside just blocks away from their first flagship location, began taking SWEAT 1000 classes while living in Cape Town in 2015.

Initially skeptical about taking a group class, Strouse was totally blown away after his first session. “It was like nothing I’d ever experienced before in terms of the intensity and the programming,” he says. Combining treadmill exercises at a 30 percent incline, floor work, weights and boxing — all at high intensity intervals of about six to seven minutes each — the concept made devotees of Strouse and his wife. When it came time for them to return to Houston, they approached the owners about opening a U.S. spinoff.

“There’s nothing like it in Houston,” says Strouse of the method. “We are doing full-body training every time, burning as much as 1,000 calories during a 60-minute class,” he says.

And the really great thing about it? “It’s adaptable to everybody,” he says. “We would be in there with Olympic gold medalists, Springbok players, Victoria’s Secret models, and then on Saturdays there would be couples in their 60s. Don’t be intimidated. Come to us for a month and then look in the mirror. It works.”

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