If CrossFit is already old news, your everyday gym might as well be full of dinosaurs (metaphorically speaking, it probably is). Young people these days are looking to get more from their workout. It’s not necessarily more sweat, prettier people, or better trainers they’re looking for. What they actually want is one thing: community.

People are looking less for gyms and more for, dare I say— cults to join. Sounds a little nuts, but the thing is—these places are actually great. They have a way of bonding people together over super-intense workouts, creating the sort of band of brothers and sisters that only tackling intense challenges in small spaces can (there’s also a reason escape rooms are big)!

So without further adieu, here’s our top 5 suggestions for HUGE workout cults commitments you can make in 2019!



Hot 8 Yoga

The first time you go to one of Hot 8’s intense classes (we recommend Sculpt, though it is not for the faint of heart), you will leave with one thought in your head: “I don’t know what the hell just happened. Was that even Yoga?” Although Hot 8 has more traditional Bikram Classes, people flock to it for it’s HIIT-like classes in hot rooms that have people jumping and sliding all over their mats. They’re really, really fun—if you don’t pass out.


SoulCycle is more like a really good interactive DJ Set than a spin class. The instructors are more like performers than teachers, and with everyone bobbing, weaving, and lifting weights in unison, the whole thing feels like military training meets a rave…which is why it’s the most popular new spinning gym in the country.

Tough Mudder

Tough Mudder isn’t a gym, it’s a race. But unlike boring old 5ks or even Marathons, at Tough Mudder you get electrocuted while you run. Yes, really. Tough Mudder obstacle courses run the length of many miles which teams of (perhaps crazy) people smash their way through ice cold water, spiked walls, and electrified rope forests. Afterwards, there is a 0% chance you’re not getting drunk with your teammates.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

This is the bro-tastic pick of the list, made famous by the fact that Joe Rogan is incapable of mentioning it at least once on any given episode of his mega famous podcast. It’s sweaty, stinky, close, and involves a lot of man on man straddling—which is apparently missing from the lives of a lot of frustrated young men. Just make sure to wash yourself thoroughly after swimming in a liter of Brad the Banker’s sweat in your after-work class.

Barry’s Bootcamp

The O.G. of workout cults is Barry’s Bootcamp, which has been around for 18 years. This HIIT-based workout involves a lot more running than the others, and is widely known for it’s no-mercy approach that asks you to repeatedly look in the mirror. No wonder it’s the celebrity favorite.


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