Indoor gyms may not be open where you live, and even those that are open are probably offering fewer or smaller classes – if at all – or have moved equipment outside (which can make for a great workout, actually.)
But until things fully get back to normal, joining an online fitness class may be one way to stay fit–and to connect with others like you.
Thankfully, some also offer the opportunity to share the experience with other members of the LGBTQ community.
Brewer Street Yoga
Based in the heart of Soho, London, Brewer Street Yoga offers sessions dedicated to gay men. It offers smaller classes, contending that “Yoga is about a healthy body and mind. And we think yoga is a great way to develop new friendships and build community. Many of our members, especially from our men’s classes, make new friends with frequent post-class social gatherings.”
For those who can’t get to the classes in London, Its “Yoga for Gay Men and Friends” is available live online and On-Demand for those who want to play catch-up. As an added incentive, it also offers several Men’s Naked Yoga classes.
The online classes are open to all, anywhere in the world, provided you have an internet and Zoom connection.
This is physical spin class has built up a hardcore membership and is now gaining a much wider following thanks to its online presence.
“Spinder is the first and friendliest social gay spin class,” says its founder, Rich Allsop. “It’s all-levels and everyone is welcome. We cycle, sweat, and singalong on a bike to a 45-minute themed playlist like divas, Kylie v Madonna, Cher v Celine. Half-way through we have a ‘dance break’: an easy dance routine for your arms and a breather for your legs.”
It’s now offering Zoom home workouts on Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays, with no equipment needed.
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Queer Gym is based in Oakland, California. Before 2020, it offered a range of classes and organized various social events, to help build a supportive environment for its members. It’s particularly welcoming of trans, non-binary and genderqueer individuals, and even offers tailored training for trans clients preparing for gender-confirmation surgery.
In COVID times, it’s moved all its training online via Zoom. Sign up as one of a group of 20 for its 28-day challenge to help kick-start your fitness journey in the best way possible.
You’ll get meals plans, Zoom classes, weekly check-ins, and coaching. Classes include ‘Kick Ass’ and ‘Hardcore Homo’!
Gentle Bear Yoga
Some people may feel particularly self-conscious about joining a fitness class if they’re carrying extra weight. If that sounds relatable, you might be more inclined to dip your toes into the water with ‘Gentle Bear Yoga’ or ‘Gentle Bear Fitness.’ Both are Zoom classes organized by men’s health and wellness coach, Jon Fischer (@coach.cub). He launched Pawed (@pawedNYC), a wellness group designed for the bear community, in 2016. It’s recently also launched its own “The Bear Wellness Podcast.”
No experience is necessary for these classes, with the yoga offering gentle stretching and breathing techniques – perfect for beginners. You’ll get to share the experience with other gay bears, with the inclusive group welcoming all body types and gender identities.
Hurdle Health and Fitness Group
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Hurdle is a small gym space in Toronto, Canada. It offers one-on-one training by appointment. However, it also now offers virtual classes – which can be booked by individuals or friends in different households to take part in at the same time. Among its trainers is Caden Catena, a founding member of the Trans/GNC group training program – someone with personal experience of how challenging it can be to feel at home in your body. These are individually-tailored, individual, private sessions for those wanting to take their fitness to the next level.
“We are using Zoom to do one-on-one queer-focused coaching,” co-founder Ryan Wolmer told Queerty. “So educational sessions and check-ins one-to-one to keep the focus on their workouts, food, sleep, digital health (screen time) and just to make sure we stay connected during the pandemic and people don’t feel alone.”
Drag queen Dolly Trolley has been building quite a following with her weekly drag aerobics classes via Zoom in recent weeks. You can keep abreast of information via her Instagram (@dollytrolleydrag).
“We workout and feel our inner divas!” she tells Queerty. “It’s a one-hour session starting with a warm-up, and then turning up the sweat and the sass with follow-along dancercise routines to camp classics, pop diva hits, workout anthems, the best of the 80s, noughties cheese, and even sometimes a bit of Disney. It’s suitable for all levels and our main focus is to keep moving, have fun, and feel fabulous while we’re doing it. Neon lycra strongly encouraged, and participants can do the class with zoom cameras on or off!”
Lastly, there are millions of personal trainers putting videos on YouTube, but we do recommend the team at OUT-FIT. This LGBTQ-run organization empowers athletes “to stay fit while being out and proud.”
It used to run Zoom meetings but found that for many of its followers around the world in different time zones, tuning in at the same time wasn’t possible. It’s now putting new videos on YouTube each week, and they’re aimed at everyone – with some using no equipment or some just utilizing one piece of equipment, such as a kettlebell.
If you’re fortunate to live in New York, you can physically attend OUT-FIT’s Workout Of The Day sessions.