• September 10, 2023
  • Lauren Critzer
  • 0

Here, we dive even deeper in our quest to introduce you to Austin’s veritable treasure trove of fitness facilities, putting the spotlight on each of these establishments to help you pick out the gym that best complements your interests and fitness needs.

Castle Hill Fitness: Your Fitness Kingdom Awaits

As indicated earlier, Castle Hill Fitness is a proud Austin-born gym that has made significant strides in transforming the fitness landscape of the city.

Facilities and Equipment

Founded on a structure that once housed a recycling center, Castle Hill Fitness factors in the ‘fitness is a lifestyle’ mantra right into their architecture, donning a blend of brick and metal, with glass windows allowing natural light to wash over their exercise space. As for equipment, they have cardio machines that cater to all forms of cardio workouts – from treadmills to recumbent bikes, rowing machines, and ellipticals, each equipped with individual TVs. Their dedicated strength training section is decked with top-notch weight machines, free weights, and squat racks. Beyond this, they house a full-fledged Pilates studio, which is unique among Austin fitness clubs.

Classes and Programs

Having a range of classes and programs isn’t unique to Castle Hill Fitness – but the breadth of their offering surely is. From Yoga and Pilates to Spin, Barre, and functional fitness, their menu of classes is exhaustive. But they didn’t stop just there. They introduced a roster of original classes that you’d be hard pushed to find elsewhere, including Circus Circuit, a pure strength workout mimicking exercises performed by acrobats and other circus artists.

Atmosphere and Community

Castle Hill Fitness has curated an inviting atmosphere of ‘everyone fits’. Encouraging inclusivity and fostering a robust camaraderie between all members and staff, it’s a place where the community ‘trains together and entertains together’. Thanks to their dedicated team of trainers, each an expert in their domain, Castle Hill is a gym where relationships are deep; where trainers know you by name, your fitness history, and the nitty-gritty of your workout plan.

Central Athlete: Personalized Fitness at Your Service

At Central Athlete, fitness transcends being a routine. Their whole enterprise is built on the belief that fitness stems from having a purpose, a reason for each movement that goes beyond superficial gains.

Facilities and Equipment

Rather than being a ‘traditional’ gym, Central Athlete is more of a training ground. The essential vibe here is workman-like, with an open-floor plan that allows for unhindered movement. Among the standard equipment of kettlebells, barbells, medicine balls, and dumbbells, you’ll find a few unexpected additions. These include ski ergs, assault bikes, and sleds – equipment that supports their tailored workouts.

Classes and Programs

Central Athlete distinguishes itself by moving away from universal fitness programs, preferring to tailor programs per individual. Their enrollment option ensures you’re assigned a dedicated coach who crafts your workout, nutritional, and lifestyle plans, while accounting for your fitness goals, exercise history, body composition data, and more. They accommodate individual permutations of strength, endurance, and mobility exercises to optimize your health and fitness outcomes.

Atmosphere and Community

When it comes to atmosphere, Central Athlete embodies a culture of purposeful training. With a team of passionate, knowledgeable coaches, their approach is professional yet friendly. Every achievement, big or small, is celebrated, propelling you forward in your fitness journey.

Austin Bouldering Project: Athletic Ascent, Reinvented

At Austin Bouldering Project, fitness is a playful pastime. Simply put, it’s an adventure – an activity designed to challenge even the fittest, while delivering a fun, unforgettable workout experience.

Facilities and Equipment

The primary fitness activity here is bouldering. As walk-in members, you’re presented with a bouldering orientation that acquaints you with safety rules and offers initial climbing tips. Besides climbing, they have a workout area featuring a complete suite of cardio and strength equipment, power cages, kettlebells, and more. The fitness floor also doubles as a yoga studio, which is used for all their yoga and fitness classes.

Classes and Programs

Climbing classes here start with the basics: grip, footwork, and fundamental climbing techniques. Also on offer are various fitness classes including Functional Fitness, Core Burn, and Spin, in addition to several engaging Yoga classes.

Atmosphere and Community

Austin Bouldering Project succeeds in fostering a friendly community where socializing is an intrinsic part of your workout. This is reflected in their fixtures that include lounge areas, a child care zone, workspaces, and even a café. Members often find themselves not just working out here, but spending their free time engaging with the community.

I Love Kickboxing: Experience Fitness with a Punch

I Love Kickboxing (ILKB) is an exciting place for a workout, where every session is a kickboxing party.

Atmosphere and Equipment

It’s a lively, high-tech, and high-energy place with a clean, roomy workout area. At ILKB, you won’t find rows of cardio machines or weightlifting racks. Here, you’ll have a personal heavy bag, gloves, and the energy of a fired-up crowd.


Their kickboxing sessions are about an hour long, beginning with a 15-minute, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) warm-up followed by stretching, bag work, and partner drills. ILKB provides personal fitness consultations and meal planning guidance to optimally support your health and weight loss goals.

RO Fitness: Invigorating Indoor Rowing

RO Fitness brings the thrill and benefits of rowing from the shores of Austin’s famous Lady Bird Lake to an enjoyable indoor setting.

Atmosphere and Equipment

Decked with top-tier Concept2 Indoor Rowers, RO Fitness allows you to experience the physical benefits of rowing, all in the comfort of an indoor gym. Additional equipment includes dumbbells, weight sleds, and TRX bands.


Offering a variety of class structures such as Row & Weights, Row & Run, Row & Flow (rowing and yoga combo), the workouts are designed for different fitness levels, focusing on endurance, strength, and full-body conditioning.

Dane’s Body Shop: A Fresh Take on Fitness

Dane’s Body Shop is a one-of-a-kind fitness entity that promises a blend of practice, theory, and play.

Atmosphere & Equipment

Operating from what was an old auto repair shop, this ‘body shop’ keeps the automotive nostalgia alive with its service bay doors and metal beams incorporated into its architecture. A welcoming atmosphere paired with equipment that includes weighted sleds, rowing machines, and more, makes for an enjoyable workout experience.


Unique classes on offer like MOVE (mobility-based), SWEAT (HIIT focused), and BUILD (strength & conditioning) guarantee challenging workouts for everyone.

In conclusion, Austin doesn’t just offer gyms – it provides platforms for transformative fitness journeys. Be it through traditional workouts, personalized fitness regimes, adventure-filled exercises, or offbeat, fun-filled routines, Austin’s fitness core has something for everyone. Hopefully, with this local’s perspective on the best gyms in Austin, you stand better equipped to embark on your quest of embracing the authentic Austin fitness lifestyle. And as always, remember – your fitness journey is always about finding your rhythm!

Lauren Critzer

I was born in Charlottesville, Virginia and after college, I moved to San Francisco to explore new opportunities and broaden my horizons. I fell in love with the city's vibrant culture and unique atmosphere, but eventually, I moved again, this time to Austin, Texas.

As much as I loved living in different parts of the country, having a baby boy brought me back to my hometown in Charlottesville, where I now live with my husband, our little one, and two furry friends. I enjoy going to wineries, taking my pups everywhere, and spending quality time with my family.

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