barre code

The Barre Code is a fitness community designed for every BODY. Whether you’re an experienced athlete or brand new to fitness, their classes are specifically designed to challenge everyone’s body, mind & spirit and help each client find their strong.

barre code Some are ready to get back to school, but at The Barre Code GR, we’re ready to get BACK TO SWEAT! September is all about getting back into the swing of things and there’s nothing like a challenge to kick it into gear.

What is the Back to Sweat Challenge?barre code

Back To Sweat is the Barre Code’s annual fall challenge, where instructors encourage participants to find their strong by taking 18 classes in 21 days for the chance to win amazing local & national prizes.

The challenge begins September 17th and runs through October 7th. Anticipate an energizing and motivating studio with specialty classes, morning treats, and community events. If all of the hype isn’t enough incentive, work your way to the finish line for a chance to win prizes from Athleta Gaslight Village, Marie La Mode, Donkey Taqueria, or TBC GR. Time to bring it barre babes!

Cost and Perksbarre code

Members | FREE!
Non-members | Now’s the time to join, for just $85

Member Perks

The Barre Code’s monthly auto-pay members enjoy in-studio benefits that take their studio experience to the next level. When you join the challenge membership, you’ll have access to the exclusive member perks:

-Free water
-10% off all retail
-Free or discounted events
-Bring a friend to class (once during the challenge)
-1 waived late- cancel fee

Gain access to all member perks upon the purchase of a challenge membership. Now is the time to take advantage of these upgrades, get your sweat on, feel your best, and push yourself to the next level!

In-Studio Speciality Eventsbarre code

Fly ‘N Flow | Sunday, September 16th at 5:00 pm

This 75- Minute BarRestore class will be set to a 90’s R&B playlist to keep you feeling fly all of class. Then we’ll slow down your mind and flow through a restorative stretch. BONUS: This extended format will earn you 2-stamps.

Boxer Braids + Self- Defense Workshop | Wednesday, September 26th at 6:30 pm
Members: $20 | Non-members $30

Let’s knock out Wednesday by coming together for a self-defense workshop. To have you look the part we’re hosting a braid bar prior to class. Let’s rep some boxer braids and bring the heat on. BONUS: This workshop will count as 2 challenge stamps.

Rise & Grind

On each Wednesday morning throughout the challenge, Squibb Coffee & Wine Bar will provide coffee after class. Nothing says happiness like an endorphin boost and caffeine kick!

Sign-Up + Promo Codebarre code

Now is the time to kick off this year with diverse workouts, a community of dedicated women, and all the energy to keep you pushing long past the finish line. Are you ready?

If you’ve made it to the finish line of this post, use promo GRHL18 for $20 OFF the challenge membership  😎 Sign up by clicking here: ‘Back to Sweat 2018 Challenge Pricing Special $85′ (3 weeks unlimited) and enjoy this awesome challenge for just $65!! See you at the barre!

The Bare Code Grand Rapids
547 Cherry St SE | lower level of The Oakwood Manor | (616) 980-0842

Summer is filled with spontaneous road trips, fun nights with friends, one too many beach parties, and plenty of vacations – few people can say they stayed clear of all the sweet treats and indulgences. But with fall on the horizon, it’s time for a healthy reset. As the kids head back to school and the temperatures cool down, you may find yourself craving a more consistent workout routine and structure to get your sweat on! 

ACTIV8 Challenge – That Extra Push You’re Looking For!

mvp sports clubs

If you’re looking for some extra motivation with a fun group mentality and expert training, sign up for MVP Sport Club’s Activ8 Challenge. Kicking off on Monday, September 17th, this 8-week challenge will give you all the tools needed to build strength, lose weight, and kickstart your health & fitness journey. With the support of experienced personal trainers, you’ll experience small group training, nutritional guidance, and learn how to develop lifestyle habits. It also includes activity and body measurement tracking along with a supportive community that encourages you to do your very best.

Sometimes, it takes a group expecting you to show up, to actually show up. It’s that element of accountability we all love to hate, but it’s an essential component to see real, lasting changes. Plus, it’s more fun to workout with friends!


Here are a few inspiring testimonials from previous participants who not only conquered the challenge, but made INCREDIBLE lifestyle changes:

Amy Hutchinson

MVP sports clubs

When 2018 rolled around, Amy decided she needed show up and get fit. Choosing to participate in the Activ8 Challenge was the exact opportunity she needed to build a solid health foundation inside and outside the gym.

“There was a time when I would get on the treadmill and didn’t think I could do that speed or incline without hanging onto the bar. I needed to get moving and on a regular basis. I would put off trying to be healthier, thinking ‘Just one more day’, or ‘I’ll get started next week’. There is no better day than today to get started on being healthier. Activ8 provided the tools I needed for healthier habits, such as how to build and portion meals, and how to find my rhythm in working out while still pushing and chaellenging myself. Now I choose healthy every day! ”

Ryan English

MVP sports clubs

New to town and quickly gaining 10 pounds, Ryan knew he needed a change:

“I joined RDV and immediately jumped into the group fitness classes. When ACTIV8 started, I decided it would be a great way to achieve my fitness goals. I was new in town, I was new to the gym, but I never once felt alone during the ACTIV8 Challenge. From the friendliness of the front desk staff to the expertise of the group fitness instructors, everyone at RDV played a part in the success of this challenge. The program binder was great, the weekly challenges kept me on track and provided variety, but by far the best resource was my trainer, Jesse. He kept us accountable, inspired us to push beyond what we thought we were capable of and provided us with thoughtful guidance.”

Ryan saw measurable results, losing 16 pounds and 10 inches!

“I look and feel better than I have in years, my energy levels are way up, I’m more confident and comfortable in my own skin. ACTIV8 is an investment in yourself with a built-in support system and a well thought out plan all laid out for you.”

David Miller

MVP sports clubs

Looking to jumpstart his wellness journey, David joined the ACTIV8 Challenge Challenge in February 2018. The eight-week challenge offered the training guidelines and accountability support he needed to get back into the routine of being active and making healthy choices again.

“The Challenge gave me constant encouragement from the trainers and staff, a great camaraderie with the small group I trained with, and a healthier attitude towards keeping fit in general. I had great gains in my endurance and realized that even as I get older, I have the capacity to push myself beyond what I think I am capable of. No matter where you are starting from, it’s important to keep focused on where you want to end up. The ACTIV8 program gives you an opportunity to kick things into gear and create a stable platform from which to move forward after its completion.”

Sign-Up Today

MVP Sports clubs

The ACTIV8 Challenge provides a unique and effective opportunity to help you fall back into a routine and ignite your health and wellness journey before the winter season. Not only will you see results and feel your best, the 8-week time frame will enable you to establish a realistic & attainable routine that you can incorporate for years to come.

Ready to sign up!? Simple click this link, register for a time, and you’ll be on your way to living a healthier & happier lifestyle!


Running solo can be zen-like and peaceful, but sometimes, it can also be plain boring! If your workout routine needs a little variety and socialization, joining one of Grand Rapids’ fun and local running groups may be right up your alley. There are a variety of running groups that are not only dedicated to getting their sweat on, but are also welcoming and focusing on community-building and friendship!

Accountability is a major part of keeping up with a regular running routine and by joining a community of runners, you’re pounding the pavement for reasons beyond yourself. You’re also inspiring others, making important community connections, and having a good time doing it.

Looking to crush the Riverbank Run, beat your PR, or join together for a pint and a cheers in Beer City post workout? There’s a group for that. Whether you’re training for the Boston Marathon, your next 5K, or something in between, there’s a community in Grand Rapids running at your pace and with your goals.

RunGRrunning groups grand rapids

RunGR is a Grand Rapids’ area running group who lives, trains and runs to become better athletes. They are a group of everyday people accomplishing amazing things together on the road and the trails. Their club training coach, Michael Wojciakowski, is a Level 2 certified USA Track & Field coach and has an awesome reputation in the local running community for asking for and getting the very best from his athletes.

RunGR is a membership based program with annual fees, but the membership grants you access to a ton of stuff including: coach led workouts focused on building strength, endurance and speed, Saturday morning long runs with water and gatorade stations, event specific training programs, and entry into the Lake Michigan Credit Union Bridge Run. If you’re serious about getting better as an athlete and want to join forces with some like-minded folks, this is the club for you.

Wednesday Night Hills & StairsGrand Rapids running

This group is in it to win it! Wednesday Night Hills & Stairs meets in front of Founder Brewing Co. EVERY Wednesday year-round, no matter the weather to tackle some gnarly hills (on Lyon, Fountain, and Michigan St.). Once that heart pounding session is over, the group gathers at the top of Michigan Street and heads over to the stairs by Division and Plainfield, doing as many sets of stairs as is humanly possible! (But they leave it up to each individual to decide that.)

From there, they zig zag  around downtown, ending back at Founders for some food and libations. The whole route is about 5.5 miles end-to-end and makes for a fun and challenge weekly workout! There is no cost associated, save for the beer post-run!

Westside StrideGrand Rapids running

Every Tuesday at 6:00pm, join Westside Stride at the corner of Summer and Bridge Street for a community fun run! The course is designed as a 5K and allows for running and walking at all paces. Post run, join the group for food, socializing, and high fives all around!

This is totally free to participate and the post run meetups change every week and include The Anchor Bar, Jolly Pumpkin, The Sovengard, O’Toole’s, New Holland Brewing, and more. P.s., October 30th is their Halloween Costume run – not to be missed!

West Michigan Trail RunnersGrand Rapids running

The West Michigan Trail Runners was born from the Gazelle Sports Dirty Herd and West Michigan’s community interest in running trails more often than just on Sundays. This group of fun-loving trail enthusiasts run on Tuesday and Thursday nights, as well as most Saturday mornings, when there isn’t an event in town. Their members cover a wide range of speeds and ability levels, and are always up for an adventure! Join their Facebook group to learn more.

Dirty HerdGrand Rapids running

The Dirty Herd is a trail running group put together by Gazelle Sports. They encourage all levels, novice or skilled single track navigator, to join them every Sunday at 6 pm for a woodsy adventure with friends! You can join them for sponsored trail runs in Grand Rapids (meet at

Robinette’s Apple Haus), Holland or Kalamazoo. To learn more, jump onto their Facebook group and get ready to run with the herd.

The Rapid HerdGrand Rapids running

Also coordinated by Gazelle Sports, The Rapid Herd is a group focused on speed training and agility. They met once a week for one hour of serious speed power. If you’re ready to take your races to the next level, this is a great opportunity. The herd is led by a Gazelle sport coach and it’s completely free to participate. Try out a tempo run, long interval training, short track interval running, hill sessions, and more. They currently meet at the David D. Hunting YMCA every Tuesday at noon and run a minimum of six miles total! Taking your work break with the herd? All participants also have free access to the YMCA locker rooms afterwards to clean up.

Mikkeller Run ClubGrand Rapids running

The Mikkeller Run Club Grand Rapids Chapter is an international running organization with chapters all around the world! The big idea is to stay fit, run with friends, and drink good beer. Speed isn’t the big focus and everyone is very much into having fun and making friends, while getting a good sweat on of course. They have coordinated running events the first Saturday of the month and locations vary, but they always finish up at a bar or house that serves Mikkeller Beer. Join the Grand Rapids chapter, make some friends, get healthy, and enjoy a cold bevvie when it’s all said and done.  

Bagel Run GRGrand Rapids running

Bagel Run GR loves running, community and bagels. Members meet every Tuesday morning at 6 AM at GR Bagel in Eastown. The group typically runs 3-5 mile routes, and offers plenty of support for runners along the way, including bagels from GR Bagel following their run! If you’re an early bird with a penchant for cream cheese and carbs (you earned it!) this is for you.

Grand Rapids Running Club (GRCC)Grand Rapids running

(GRRC) is focused on promoting running for all ages and activity levels, supporting the community and working as a communications liaison between runners and events, helping encourage everyone interested in getting fit through running! The annual membership fee is only $25.00 and gives you access to regularly scheduled training runs, community events, mentorship groups and more! The club is also open to both walkers and triathletes. Get outside and have fun with GRRC!

Grand Rapids Running ToursGrand Rapids running


Grand Rapids Running Tours believes that the best way to experience Grand Rapids is by moving at street level, accompanied by a savvy guide who can share history, trivia and fun facts about the people and places you encounter along the way.  Each of their guided tours has been designed to maximize your exposure to Grand Rapids’ most interesting and beautiful sights. Their tour ambassadors lead the way as you traverse downtown and the rolling hills of the Grand River valley.  They offer many year-round tours as well as a changing array of seasonal tours (too many to list!) and provide participants with a great way to combine friends, fitness, and learning together!

You could probably run every day of the week with different clubs around Grand Rapids if you tried – seriously! We are so lucky to be part of such a vibrant and welcoming running community. Get out there and start making some RBFs (running best friends) and let us know how it’s going below!

Have you heard of 4G Athletic? If the answer is yes, there’s a high five heading your way! If it’s no, you’re really missing out! 4G took the best parts of any kind of fitness facility you can think of to create a one-of-a-kind space that revolutionizing boutique fitness today. For real.

The Facility

The space is just awesome. It’s modern and cool looking, with sleek designs and a very clean interior. It’s a fun motivator and a place that members looking forward to going to.

The Classes

4G Athletic

Unlike many boutique fitness centers that focus on one form of exercise, bet it yoga, Pilates, cross fit and the like, 4G stands for four fitness groups, meaning four different workouts that give you a nice variety. Each are structured within a 45-minute format and have their own dedicated grunt space, customized to their specific kind of workout.

Get Stronger with LIFT

4G Athletic LIFT

Combine strength with movement training, and you get LIFT. Grab a barbell, some plates and hit the bench to get stronger, build endurance, and gain some extra muscle definition. Oh yeah.

Get Flexible with FLOW

4G Athletic FLOW

Build strength, restore flexibility, focus on mobility and de-stress the body and mind. This is class is a mix of power vinyasa with a recovery at the end in a 75-85 degree heated room. First timers and experiences yogi are encouraged to attend. 

Get Cardio with BIKE

4G Athletic BIKE

Think big music, a get-it-done group mentality, and an awesome instructor challenging your power, speed, and distance – encouraging you to get better with every mile. It’s crazy fun, crazy hard, and totally worth it. BONUS: The bikes are state-of-the-art and in mint condition!

Find Resilience with MOVE

4G Athletic

The name says it all. Using HIIT style interval trainings, enjoy an always changing fitness variety including TRX, Ropes, Kettle Bells, Sleds, ViPR and more. This is all about challenge, fun, and, change.

The People

4G Athletic

Ali, the general manager, leads the pack of rad instructors who take the time to get to know you by name and ultimately challenge you to work hard and get the results you’re after. At 4G Athletic, they believe that people should “sweat in solidarity” and support each other in shared goals, building a community based on healthy movement.

4G Athletic

Something else to note, it’s for everyone. Like, really. Some gyms say anyone can go, then your boyfriend comes along with you to a yoga class and things get awkward. It’s not like that here. Men, women, and families all come to get a good sweat, participating in one of the four dynamic classes they offer on a rotational basis throughout the day. Just read through the testimonials on their community page and you’ll be clamoring to check out 4G Athletic too.

The GR Fitness Destination

4G Athletic

That’s it in a nutshell. Located just 15 minutes outside Grand Rapids with free parking, a state-of-the-art facility and hands-down the best fitness classes out there, 4G isn’t a place you hit up if you have time on your way home from work. People plan their day around the class they want to go to; it’s the anchor in their schedule, and something they seriously look forward to.

4G Athletic

Why? Because the unique fitness platform works, and people are starting to notice. The variety is an essential motivator, it’s an easy-to-get-to location, the instructors are the best out there, and the facility is really fun. It’s a no-brainer.  

Check out 4G Athletic online, learn more about their classes, the schedule, the instructors and schedule your first class for free. We promise it won’t be your last!

If you’ve been to 4G Athletic, share your comments below – what do you love about it?


Transform your Mind, Body & Spirit with an energy therapy and nutritional cleansing session. Sam Kalawart is a Certified Energy Therapist & Nutrition Practitioner working out of her home studio, The Healing Space in Heritage Hill near downtown, Grand Rapids. This form of self-care, brings your wellness full-circle and allows you to strengthen your mind+body connection in a new way.

the healing space

Discovering Body Peace

After a high-stress job left her with facial paralysis, Sam used several natural modalities to fully recover within 21 days. Through her own health journey, she realized the power of an integrated approach with both nutritional cleansing and healing habits to achieve sustainable Body Peace.

For many women, eating right and exercising on a regular basis has become second nature. Yet they are still left feeling disconnected, anxious, chronically fatigued and burnt out. Energy Therapy works to address this missing link and bring your body back to its natural state of balance.

energy therapy

If you have tried every diet under the sun with no success it may be “life toxins” or “emotional tension” getting in your way. When mental, emotional, or spiritual challenges are standing in your way, they can block your progress and undermine your health.

If cortisol (our stress hormone) is too high, diet and exercise may not be enough to achieve weight loss which is why stress-reduction and creating balance in your life is KEY to your success.

What to Expect

During an Energy Therapy session, suppressed emotions are released from your body, which naturally lowers stress. It is a gentle and supportive method that supports the release of negative patterns and built up emotions of the past. This modality of therapeutic touch truly empowers you as you let go of what is no longer serving you and revitalize your mind-body connection on all levels.

energy therapy

Similar to getting a massage, you will lay on a table, fully clothed and faced up. Gentle spa music plays in the background as aromatherapy and light healing touch ensures a safe and relaxing state of mind. This is your time to completely decompress and be fully present in the moment. Emotional release during these sessions is common and welcomed. As the body purges emotional blocks you may feel strong emotions such as sadness, grief or anger released through tears. Most will stay in a relaxed meditative state or even fall asleep.

energy therapy

Take Your Health to the Next Level

After the session, you will receive recommendations customized specifically for you. Because every aspect of our lives impacts the other, Sam look’s at strengthening not just your nutrition, but also your daily habits, self-care, stress, mindfulness and beyond to establish balance in both mind+body.

energy therapy

Sam gives you the same tools she used in her own healing journey so that you can become your own healer. You will deepen your own intuitive knowing to understand which foods, supplements, guided meditations, morning affirmations and healing habits are needed so you can thrive in all aspects of your life and achieve the Body Peace you deserve!

energy therapy

Learn More

If you are ready to deepen your own mind+body connection then click HERE to learn more about The Healing Space. Sam also hosts monthly workshops on Intuitive Eating, Natural Stress Reduction and more. She also leads Guided Emotional Release Meditations throughout Grand Rapids.

Follow Sam on Social Media for weekly tips on Intuitive Wellness & Nutrition!



Wellness Blog

We love the changing seasons (that’s a requirement living in Michigan, right?), but nothing beats  a beautiful summer day. And what makes summer even better – you guessed it – outdoor yoga. In this neck of the woods, it’s a real gift to get outdoors and practice yoga with friends. Fresh air and mindfulness works wonders on the soul, and here are the top outdoor yoga classes happening this summer in Grand Rapids. Add them to your calendar and start unrolling that new yoga mat – here we go!

Yoga on the Green with MVP

Dates: Every Wednesday Evening from June 13th – August 15th

Cost: Free

Location: MVP Athletic Club, Crahen (115 Crahen Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Well, this is the best thing ever. Join MVP every Wednesday evening this summer for a free outdoor yoga class open to the public at MVP Athletic Club, from 7-8pm. Participants must be 12 years of age or older. No pre-registration required, just show up!

BYOM (Bring your own mat.)

Yoga at Meijer Gardens with Dean Jeffery

Photo Credit | @deanj914 Instagram

Dates: June 19th, July 24th, August 21st, and September 15th

Cost: $7.00 per session for members, $17.00 for non-members

Location: Fredrick Meijer Sculpture Park

Meet up with friends at Fredrick Meijer Gardens for a refreshing and meditative session of yoga with well-known instructor, Dean Jeffery. Each class will feature a different outdoor location at Meijer Gardens including Michigan’s Farm Garden, The Sculpture Park, and the Japanese Garden. Open to all levels and ages, bring a yoga mat and get ready for some fun! Pre-register online here.

Free Outdoor Yoga Series with Grand Rapids Parks & Downtown GR Inc.

Dates: Throughout the summer

Cost: Free

Locations: Across the city!

Grand Rapids Parks and Downtown GR Inc. are teaming up to offer a free outdoor yoga series at participating parks below. Find the nearest location to you and join in!

Heartside Park – Wednesdays, 12:15 – 1:00 pm, throughout the summer

Look Out Park – Thursdays, 7:00 – 7:45 pm, throughout the summer

Grand Central Station – Thursdays, 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm, throughout the summer

6th Street Park – Mondays, 12:15 – 1:00 pm, throughout the summer

Blue Bridge – Wednesdays, 5:30pm – 6:15pm, throughout the summer

Funky Buddha Yoga Summer Series

Photo Credit | @funkybuddhayoga Instagram

Dates: Sundays, June 3rd – August 26th

Cost: Free

Two locations: Centennial Park in Holland (5:30-6:30) and Wilcox Park in Eastown (6:30-7:30)

Come join fellow yogis and Funky Buddha aficionados every Sunday in Holland or Grand Rapids for some power flow and fun! All classes are free to attend and are taught by Funky Buddha’s excellent staff and trainees. All ages are welcomes (family friendly!) and no pre-registration is required. Get the whole family outdoors to stretch, sweat, and breathe.

AM Yoga Summer Series at Donkey

Photo Credit | @donkeytaqueria Instagram

Dates: One class per month starting 6/10/18

Cost: Donation based

Location: Donkey Taqueria (665 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Start summer right with AM Yoga and Donkey Taqueria. They are here to show you that yoga and tacos make for the perfect combination. Offering one class a month (starting June 10th at 8:30 am) AM Yoga is offering a donation-based yoga sweat session on the patio of Donkey. Bring a towel, mat, water bottle, and a friend! They are kicking it up a notch this year with raffles for Donkey and AM Yoga swag at each session – see you there.

Waterfront Yoga at Reed’s Lake with Seva Yoga

Dates: Thursdays throughout the summer (9:00 – 10:00 am)

Cost: Regular class rates for Mind Body apply

Location: John Collins Park on Reed’s Lake

Join Melissa from Seva Yoga for awesome outdoor morning flow sessions at John Collins park every Thursday morning throughout the summer. Pre-register with Seva and sign up early – only 15 people can attend each class!

Yoga at Fulton Street Farmer’s Market

Photo Photo Credit | @fultonstmarket Instagram

Dates: Every Tuesday at 10:00 am throughout the summer

Cost: Donation based

Location: Fulton Street Farmer’s Market

Have your veggies and yoga too! Fulton Street Farmer’s Market is offering donation-based yoga classes on the Market plaza all summer long. These sessions are suitable for all levels and take place every Tuesday at 10:00 am starting June 5 and ending August 28. There are a number of different local yoga studios and teachers donating their time to lead these sessions, so you’ll get to experience a fun variety of yoga styles and instruction!

Yoga Flow & Trail Run at Robinettes

Date: Saturday, June 23rd 9:30 am – 11:00 am

Cost: $15

Location: Robinettes

Create the perfect marriage of yoga and trail running! Join Yoga Fever for a 40 minute all levels yoga flow followed by a 2-mile trail run at Robinettes. The yoga class will be on the front lawn of the apple orchard, bring your yoga mat and your best running pal to join in the combo fun!

Yoga in the Park with Yoga Blue Studio

Photo Photo Credit | Instagram

Dates: Tuesday’s at 7:15 pm

Cost: Donation-based

Location: Heritage Park (4264 Canal Ave. SW, Grandville, MI)

Join Grandville stretch staple, Yoga Blue Studio, for an awesome outdoor yoga session at Heritage Park every Tuesday throughout the summer. Bring your family, friends, your mat and a water bottle. There’s no cost associated, but donations are accepted.

Did we miss an outdoor yoga event you’re looking forward to? Please tell us about it by commenting below!


Spring has sprung ya’ll! Blow the dust off those running shoes and line up your favorite playlist because it’s time hit up some scenic running spots in Grand Rapids. Whether you’re in the mood to pound the pavement or explore a new West Michigan trail, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our list of top 10 scenic spots that keep us fit, recharged, and coming back for more!

Reeds Lake

reeds lake

How could we not kick off our list with Reeds? It’s a must. Head over to East Grand Rapids to enjoy this incredibly scenic 4 mile run around gorgeous Reeds Lake. A total runner’s hub, you’ll also encounter power walkers, those out for a Sunday stroll, and lots and lots of dogs. There’s a paved trail around the entire lake with well-marked pedestrian signs so you won’t get turned around. Enjoy the super cute cityscape, drool over the amazing home architecture, and feel a refreshing breeze coming across the lake. This place has it all.

Riverside Park

running spots Grand Rapids

Riverside Park, we love you. Located on the West Side, Riverside is classified as the largest urban park in the Grand Rapids parks system. This awesome green space has an abundance of paved pathways, perfect for an evening run. It’s also flat (for those who hate hills as much as we do) and situated along the Grand River. Fun fact: this is longest river in the state of Michigan! Along the way you will run into walkers, bikers, and probably a few disc golf enthusiasts here and there. Pack some treats for a post-run picnic; it’s easy to spend the day there.

White Pine Trail

kent park trails

This one is a doozy. Recently renamed the “Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park” thanks to a generous donation, it’s a rail trail that extends from Ann Street in Grand Rapids (Riverside Park) to Cadillac (92 miles) and lies on the path graded for the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. The paved section you would most likely frequent in Grand Rapids is a 22 mile stretch between Comstock Park and Sand Lake. The entire trail passes through 15 Michigan cities. It’s a great escape from busy roads and distracted drivers. GR tip: use this trail for a cross training bike day, you will love it!

Provin Trails

provin trails

This little gem of a trail run is tucked away off 4 Mile Rd between Dean Lake Ave and the East Beltline. A real reprieve from city living, enjoy many interconnected loops of natural-surfaced, sandy colored trails in a heavily wooded forest. Find some serious nature here and gear up for inclines, declines, roots, and of course, relaxation.

Ah-Nab-Awen ParkAh-Nab-Awen Park

Once the site of a Native American village, this fun, foot-trafficked park located in the heart of downtown GR draws tourists and locals alike. Start your run here and dive head first into side streets and cityscapes or run along the beautiful Grand River. The possibilities are endless.

John Ball Zoo – Kent Trails

kent trails

A fun family space, this is also where the Grand Rapids Running Club meets for many of their coordinated group events! From this starting point, it’s a cinch to jump onto the Kent Trail System, a 15 mile rail trail in Kent County that is part of a network of trails in and around Grand Rapids. It stretches from John Ball Park and Millennium Park all the way to Byron Center. If you’re looking for a scenic space with lots of options that isn’t too far away, you struck gold.

Millennium Park

millenium park

This awesome Grand Rapids staple is part of the Fred Meijer Millennium Trail Network, offering 12 different trail options and running routes ranging from 0.3 to 4.1 miles. Some are paved shoreline trails while others offer a more natural surface, this a great place to run un-abandoned, without a plan, and without getting lost. Bring your swimsuit along for the ride and cool off at the Millennium beach after you get your sweat on.

Roselle Park

roselle park ada

A hop, skip and a jump away from Grand Rapids, Roselle Park is part of the Ada Park System and is comprised of 240 acres of natural preserve. The main trail is paved (2.5 miles) and features an overlook and canoe landing on the Grand River. There’s also a fun silo climbing wall, natural streams and many well marked trailheads to explore and enjoy.

Cascade Peace Park

cascade peace park

Looking for quick, non-paved trails that are easier on the joints? Then Cascade Peace Park is a great option! Weave your way through 8 trails that interconnect so you can easily find your way back. The main trail is 1.6 miles and you can find the trailhead on either Grand River or Bolt Dr.

Egypt Valley Trails

Egypt valley trails

Not only can you hit up this  7.1 mile trail for a breath taking run, but it’s also phenomenal for hiking and biking.  Egypt Valley Trails are located near near Ada and feature beautiful wild flowers, wooded terrain, and minimal traffic. They’re accessible year-round and you’ll see numerous activities along the loop. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on leash.

What’s your favorite running spot in Grand Rapids? Please comment and add the list below, we’d love to hear from you.

Now stop reading and start running!

Get unlimited classes in June for $79!

Better than a barre studio and more than a yoga lounge, Alkalign Studios in Ada presents an invigorating fitness approach that focuses on the whole body and self-improvement from the inside-out. How? It’s called functional fitness, and it can help you find a dynamic life balance, grounded in strength and serenity.

What is Functional Fitness?alkaline studios

Functional fitness emphasizes core stability while preparing your body for daily activities. By incorporating balance and coordination with strength and flexibility, Alkalign helps participants train for life.

Alkalign offers holistic classes that focus on strength, alignment, cardio, and nutrition training. In each class, elements of barre, yoga, Pilates, and even physical therapy are integrated in a way that feels completely fresh.

alkaline studios

The instructors at Alkalign strive to educate, empower, and inspire people to be a better version of themselves. Their classes are mindfully presented with hands-on instruction and a focus on physical function.

7 Functional Movementsalkaline studios

Each class at Alkalign incorporates 7 functional movements: squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, rotate, and walk. To properly exert these movements, the body requires strength development, flexibility, mobility, and balance. Alkalign builds upon the foundation of these areas with the repetition of functional movement, so clients walk away from each class noticing immediate results.

alkaline studios

What you practice at Alkalign translates to life. Whether it’s a sport, hobby, or mastering daily tasks that were always rooted in pain, Alakalign instructors work to break that pattern, while helping you live a healthier, happier life!

June Special!

Interested in trying Alkalign for yourself? This awesome studio is offering an incredible deal for the month of June. Sign up for unlimited classes for just $79!  Just click the following link and sign up for your first class. Alkalign now, thank yourself later!

Get unlimited classes in June for $79!

Getting your sweat on is one of the best feelings in the world. That euphoric moment at the end of a hard workout is always worth it! The key to real change though (we all know this) is consistency and dedication – and therein lies the rub. To help keep you motivated, here are 15 of the best sweat spots + fitness studios in GR that focus on sustainable change, serious sweat, and building a community of fitness fanatics that will keep you coming back for more!

Allegro Coachingfitness studio

A boutique studio in the heart of Eastown, Allegro Coaching believes in conditioning the body, mind, and spirit through fun and effective fitness classes. In musical terminology, Allegro means “fast and fun” and the 40 large group classes offered here weekly truly reflect their namesake. From Pilates and TRX to BODYPUMP, Boxing, Team Shred, and Tai Chi, Allegro infuses their studio with a variety of classes making the dreaded fitness plateau a thing of the past.

Title One Kickboxingfitness studio

Located in Kentwood, Title One Kickboxing will make you drip within the first 10 minutes – no joke. Their kickboxing workouts incorporate kicking with punching (yelling is optional!) for a dynamic and uber-challenging experience. They also offer Power Hour (a true boxer’s workout) and Mixed Martial Arts. Title One believes in digging deep and seeing what you’re really made of. If stumbling out of a workout in a haze of sweat and satisfaction is what you’re looking for, this is for you.

F45 Fitnessfitness studio

F45 stands for Function 45, as in 45 minutes of functional, no-nonsense, air-gasping fitness. Hailing from Australia and located near Woodland Mall, F45 training merges three separate fitness styles (High-Intensity Interval Training, Circuit Training, and Functional Training) into one heart pounding, station-based workout. The fusion of these three training concepts has led to the development of 27 different workouts that rotate throughout the gym on a regular basis. If you’re looking for a punch in the gut with a side of variety, F45 Fitness is for you.

FLEXcity Fitnessfitness studio

FLEXcity calls Downtown GR its home and is a HIIT focused studio blending leading techniques into a one-of-a-kind training concept. Built for ALL fitness levels, FLEXcity sessions are 56 minutes and interval based, incorporating cardio, strength training, and flexibility into each and every class. This signature FLEX56 workout was created to make exercise fun and effective. If you don’t have time to pick and choose between 50 different classes and want to place your chips on a sure thing, check out FLEXcity.

Orange Theory Fitnessfitness studio

Located in Kentwood near the Woodland Mall, Orange Theory Fitness takes your workout to a whole new level by incorporating data into the science behind getting sweaty. Each session is one hour and combines cardio with strength training using treadmills, indoor rowers, hand weights, and floor exercises to get serious results. During your gym session, you wear a heart-rate monitor that displays the data in real time on a screen, letting your trainer know how you are doing and keeping you accountable too. The goal is to hit the “Orange Effect” or the level where there’s increased energy and calorie burn up to 36 hours after the workout!

Grit Life fitness studio

Grit Life focuses not only on physical conditioning, but also nutrition, recovery, and mindfulness. It’s a community more than a workout class, and when it comes to fitness, there’s strength in numbers. They offer daily classes both indoor and outdoor that focus on boxing, full-body strength, and circuit training. Drop in classes are only $15.00, making it an affordable option anytime of the year.

Burn Boot Camp GR fitness studio

Ok, you’re a busy parent with a full-time job – how are you supposed to find time to work out? Enter Burn Boot Camp GR. Each class is only 45 minutes but boasts an average burn of 700 calories per session! AND they offer free childcare at select times throughout the week. They also provide members with Focus Meetings every three weeks, or one-on-one time spent with a trainer to help you track fitness, nutritional, even personal goals. It’s a true lifestyle transformation program that helps busy families make time to get their sweat on.

 MVP Sports Clubsfitness studio

If you want big-time variety and amazing amenities, MVP is your place! Offering over 400 complimentary group fitness classes each month, MVP Sports Clubs provides its members with classes to fit even the busiest schedule. From Group Power to Yoga, Aqua Fit to Zumba, they have what you need to get moving and get motivated! It’s anything and everything you would want in a workout facility.

Friction CrossFitfitness studio

It’s no secret that CrossFit has been taking the nation by storm, but have you checked out Friction CrossFit yet? At Friction, they leave the fancy equipment at the door and focus instead on great coaching and personalized attention. It’s group class, but the coaches and community at large are focused on helping you achieve optimal results by pushing you to the ultimate limit – and then a little bit further.  If you’re looking for a no-frills, personalized workout, head to Friction.

Fzique Lifefitness studio

Housed within the 616LOFTs on Michigan St., Fzique is the ultimate fitness party. If you’re jonesing for a nightclub experience (that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’ve been hit by a train the next morning) this is a must-do! In their indoor cycling classes, the lights go down for an ultimate full body calorie-burning workout. If cycling isn’t your thing, check out FZIQUE X, a fresh take on HIIT training. Immerse yourself in the music and get in the zone with Fzique Life.

CKO Kickboxing fitness studio

CKO offers 30 group classes per week combining kickboxing with conditional drills for a total body workout. Located in North Downtown with free parking, their trial deal is unbeatable – 3 classes and kickboxing gloves for $20.00. Get all the stress of the day out at CKO and pack it into your punch!

 GR Challenge Center

Located on Monroe in the heart of Grand Rapids, the GR Challenge Center is more than a traditional fitness facility. It offers challenging, sweat-worthy classes such as Yoga, Strength, and Total Body workouts, but brings a community element to the class that isn’t easy to imitate. As a member, you are embraced by a family of fitness and health providers dedicated to helping you find your best self through understanding, coaching, and training. If you don’t want to be another face in the crowd, check out GR Challenge Center. 

YMCA of Greater GR

 fitness studio

Who doesn’t love the YMCA? Nobody. With multiple accessible locations peppered throughout the Grand Rapids region, a ridiculous amount of fitness classes for any ability level, child care, robust aquatics programming (the list goes on!) there’s something for everyone here. Get your sweat on exactly how you want to, without breaking the bank, at the Y.

Fit Body Boot Camp (GR NE)  fitness studio

What differentiates this boot camp class from the pack? It’s only 30 minutes! Located in NE Grand Rapids on the East Beltline, this heart-stopping workout is designed to burn fat from the word go. Fit Body Boot Camp is home to the Afterburn workout, a group program that combines HIIT interval training with active rest training where you get high energy, fun, and challenging workouts meant to burn maximum fat and tone your entire body in 30 minutes. If you’re always pressed for time and want to optimize your sweat session, this is for you.

Armentality Movement Arts Centerfitness studio

Find a low-stress workout that stills makes you sweat at Armentality Movement Arts Center. Joy, laughter, meditation, strength, and friendship are woven throughout every program at Armentality. Offering dance, yoga, concert dance, martial arts, global culture themes, fitness classes, and more, this facility is a place where you can get fit physically while also growing mentality at the same time. Feel energized and refreshed at Armentality.

Grab a towel, water bottle, and a friend to check out one of the 15 sweat-worthy hot spots in Grand Rapids. Share your favorite workout program or place with us in the comments below and be sure to subscribe to GR Healthy Living for all our latest updates and health happenings in the GR area!

When Monday night rolls around, I’m always psyched to cruise over to CKO Kickboxing, where I get to sweat, glow, and challenge myself with every kick and punch!  There’s nothing better than a motivating trainer, hype music, and punching some bags to lift me out of the Monday funk.

Over the past few months, I’ve been taking classes at CKO Kickboxing and I’m officially addicted to the heart pumping cardio, combat moves, and intensity of the class. The best part!? IT’S FUN! There’s never a dull moment with the constant push to amp your fitness and lively atmosphere.  During my first class, I definitely felt intimidated, but as soon as the instructor cranked the music and got the momentum going, I found my groove and quickly caught on.  Though it takes time and commitment to truly learn the techniques, push yourself to new limits, and build strength, here are a few reasons why I absolutely LOVE kickboxing and why you should give it a shot!

It’s a Huge Stress Relief

cko kickboxing

Photo | Instagram @ckogr8

If you have any pent-up stress or aggression, kickboxing is an AWESOME outlet. Instead of internalizing a stressful event or bad day at work, take it out on the bag–or put a face on it and punch your least favorite person into oblivion. There’s extreme satisfaction that comes with hitting the bag a little harder each time or launching it further after a few powerful kicks. After just 30 minutes of class, my adrenaline and anxiety significantly subside. I feel more empowered, confident, and relish in the afterglow of the much-needed endorphin and serotonin boost.

Build Physical Strength & Endurance

cko kickboxing

Photo | Instagram @ckogr8

In addition to the mental benefits, kickboxing engages all of the muscle groups in your body through high-intensity training.  The martial art techniques combined with bursts of explosive energy can burn up to 750 calories an hour. At CKO, the trainer breaks down each technique in preparation for several combos which typically include jabs, uppercuts, roundhouses, sidekicks, and backhands.  Toward the end of class, we finish off with squats, sprints, and intense ab work. PHEW! I’m always a sweaty mess and ready to collapse during the final minutes.

Social Benefits

cko kickboxing

Photo | Instagram @ckogr8

Another awesome component of the class is the camaraderie. Not only do I get to workout with a few friends who hold me accountable, the atmosphere of CKO is highly motivating and encouraging. The instructors work with you to achieve proper form and maximum strength, the music is off da hook, and the adrenaline of each workout is enhanced by the group aspect. When John G (our Monday night trainer) shouts, “Don’t get tired, get busy!” the extra effort is contagious and keeps everyone going.

cko kickboxing

Kickboxing is an invigorating way to develop yourself physically, mentally, and socially. Since attending CKO, my back, shoulders, and arms are more sculpted and I’ve improved my cardiovascular endurance. Maybe you never pictured yourself ferociously taking out your aggression on an innocent bag, but if there’s one thing that makes us better at being human, it’s surpassing all the expectations we have of ourselves. If you’re craving something new and ready to get busy at the gym, we have a SWEET kickboxing studio right here in GR! Or you can check out any of CKO’s +65 locations all over the United States. For more insight on the benefits of boxing, read this inspiring interview with an accomplished kickboxing champMaureen Shea