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Hop to it: StudioHop's new type of gym membership 

Gym-hop till you drop

click to enlarge M Fit Studio offers TRX suspension training, which can be done at home after professional training.

Photo courtesy M Fit Studio

M Fit Studio offers TRX suspension training, which can be done at home after professional training.

It's happened to many of us.

 We make a resolution to get more exercise, and we start out strong ... but a few months in, we lose steam in our new fitness routine and want to shake things up without spending a small fortune on membership contracts at multiple gyms.

 "Your body gets used to doing the same activities," says Natalie Wolfe, CEO and co-founder of StudioHop. "You're not challenged anymore and you get bored."

 In August, Wolfe became part of New Orleans' booming health and wellness movement with her StudioHop fitness program, which allows members to book classes at a number of participating gyms citywide. In 2014, Wolfe and her husband Ryan founded StudioHop in Dallas, Texas. Wolfe wanted to experience different types of workouts at different gyms and studios, but didn't want to pay the hefty drop-in fees at every location. She also wanted the efficiency of being able to book classes at different places from one website.

 "StudioHop was basically the solution to my own problem," she says.

 StudioHop offers three membership levels, starting at $50 a month for a four-visit bundle that allows members to work out at up to four studios, with a maximum of two visits at any studio. There's an eight-visit bundle for $110 per month, and the third option is $135 monthly, which allows users to visit a studio a day for the entire month. The StudioHop app lets members log in remotely, book classes (even in other cities with gyms that participate in the StudioHop program) and control membership preferences.

 The service is run by seven employees, and the small scale keeps the business personal. Recommendations come from friends and current members.  

 "The lure of StudioHop is the list of curated studios," Wolfe says. "We do our homework and go into the cities and personally vet the studios. We have a rubric and check things such as cleanliness, class difficulty and available amenities."

click to enlarge The StudioHop app allows users to book classes at any participating studio or gym. - IMAGE COURTESY STUDIOHOP
  • Image courtesy StudioHop
  • The StudioHop app allows users to book classes at any participating studio or gym.

M Fit Studio features TRX suspension training and is one of the many boutique gyms participating in the StudioHop program locally. M Fit Studio owner Emily Frischhertz has practiced TRX for 10 years.

 "There is an option to do a TRX strong class, a high-intensity interval training class or TRX Fit, which is a cardio-intensive class," Frischhertz says. "We work on flexibility, mobility endurance, muscular endurance and cardio endurance so everyone gets an overall workout."

 Frischhertz explains that all classes are kept small to cater to clients' needs and fitness levels. Accommodating many budgets was one of the reasons M Fit joined StudioHop.

 "StudioHop makes fitness more affordable," Frischhertz says. "It gives members the opportunity to program their lives around their finances as well as their fitness goals."

 A StudioHop membership allows users to take a class anywhere there are participating gyms, so travelers need not pause their exercise routines while away from home.

 "I'm excited about Studio- Hop," Frischhertz says. "I suspect StudioHop will give us an opportunity in the tourism business that we have yet to tap into."

Grace Pilates + Yoga also offers access to its yoga and Pilates mat and equipment classes through StudioHop. Grace Pilates opened last November.

click to enlarge Grace Pilates + Yoga studio keeps class sizes small, - so instructors can closely monitor students’ progress. - PHOTO COURTESY GRACE PILATES + YOGA
  • Photo courtesy Grace Pilates + Yoga
  • Grace Pilates + Yoga studio keeps class sizes small, so instructors can closely monitor students’ progress.

 "We just want to get our name out and have everyone come and experience Grace," says studio manager Lauren Layman.

 StudioHop has expanded to Austin, Fort Worth and San Antonio in Texas, to Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma and now, New Orleans. Members can surf classes on the StudioHop website or through the app.

 "Everyone can benefit from being able to mix up their fitness routine and make it more fun," Wolfe says. "It makes a difference by changing your body and challenging you."

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