Fitness is everywhere. Meta goals, gym days, cheat days, social media pics, and “just do it” attitudes stamped on just about everything.

Give and take time and effort: to work out/hit the gym, or stay in bed? Maybe go to happy hour with co-workers instead? And all those people in peak physical condition. It’s intimidating to make a change. Something that “other people” do. A trend for trends’ sake? It sometimes seems that way.

You’re not alone.

ALTR opens in the North Loop

Founders Kari Ament and Vincent “Vinny” Amendola will be the first to tell you that it can be hard to get involved, especially with a busy schedule, or break an already-established routine.

That’s why they are bringing ALTR (pronounced “alter”) to Minneapolis’ North Loop.

After serving 10 years on the CorePower Yoga executive team, Kari and Vincent decided to take it to the next level, designing a concept that utilizes maximum exertion and various disciplines to make the most out of your workout.

North Loop's ALTR alters your body, mind, outlook

It’s a brand new platform that is not just about gains, or joining the fit, sweaty, Instagram-posting fitness masses simply because that is so hot right now. It’s much more than that. At least the mission behind it is.

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a buzzword you might have seen alongside countless other trending topics on your social media feed. Popular, sure. Catchy. But not just jargon or a selling point: It’s about working closely with trainers (called “pros” at ALTR), and finding the balance between activity and rest (recovery), and lowering the risk of injury. Think high-intensity interval training paired with the “mindfulness of yoga” for a more immersive and comprehensive group workout experience.

A modern ideal

And it’s also designed to fit into any schedule.

For travelers, on-the-go professionals, and anyone (everyone) with a busy schedule, it becomes far too easy to sacrifice health and well-being simply because we’re short on time.

50 minutes, you’re done.

But mostly, it’s about catering to you, the guest, the client. Your wants and needs. Part of the “concierge” experience that is a core tenement of the the studio and their mission.

“We want to go above and beyond,” Vincent says.

And make sure that getting to the workout doesn’t add any extra stress to your life; getting in and out without hassle. “You can pull up, park your car or bike, and come in a minute before class starts.”

Online “spot scheduling” empowers you to choose your own spot in the studio as well, so you have a guaranteed place where you’re most comfortable. And, perhaps more importantly, the same spot every time.

But it’s also an inward-looking practice: There’s nothing you need to be to benefit from this workout. A broad range of interests and skill-sets are welcome: Whether you’re the kick-ass, sweat-now-ask-questions-later type, or more an introvert that knows that the most important growth comes from within, this model makes anyone (everyone) feel at home.

The setup, and why it matters

Here is what it looks like:

The pro to client ratio is 1:16.

Using suspension training, rowing and Nordic skier machines, ALTR’s signature 50-minute classes will allow no more than 32 clients (again, balancing group and individual) to move quickly between intense workouts. Inside the studio, a state-of-the-art lighting system, a spring-loaded subfloor system (a floor designed to absorb impact and provide better, more natural support) and even a carefully-selected soundtrack will enhance the experience.

Every ambient has been designed to create the most pleasant of experiences. “Moodscapes” as Vincent calls them.

Besides the 1,850-square-foot fitness room, ALTR will also have an on-site communal locker room, cleverly called Social Change. Private showers and changing rooms will also be available, as well as blow dry bar.

North Loop's ALTR alters your body, mind, outlook
Head Pro Nicolas Zahasky shows off. Photo courtesy of ALTR.

Words like “comfort” pop up often, but also words like “community.” It balances social time as it is working toward individual goals, blending with the community in a way that few gyms ever could.

It’s both intimate and social. The best parts of both. The duality of fitness. Yin and yang.

It is meant to be, ultimately, “…an extension of your home,” where you’re just as comfortable as you would be in your own space, if not more so.

The ALTR future is important

Spending time on the latest fitness trend is saved for pop-up ads and the growing number of gyms looking to capitalize on trends and the fitness craze.

As we continue to stress, it’s much more than that. An immersive experience; everything down to the spring-loaded floor. Right. And the community aspect extends beyond the walls of the studio, as Vincent and Kari have spent time meeting their North Loop neighbors, bringing cookies and charm to nearby businesses to get to know their new home.

This is it: the future of fitness.

There are plans for expansion in the future as well. The Minneapolis location will be the first, yes, but locations in St. Paul and first-ring suburbs (“It’s an urban design,” Kari says, “meant for high-density areas.”) will show up sometime in the future.

But not until the first ALTR is perfect.

“We have to baby it [the first location] a bit,” Kari laughs.

It’s ultimately a philosophy as much as it is a business that will be spreading/taking root and growing across the Twin Cities and beyond.

ALTR can be considered advocacy for overall health and well-being, not just getting the perfect beach bod. It belongs alongside Hippocrates as much as Jillian Michaels. And this is the future towards which we are heading: Important to understand you can be healthy at any weight, with any background. Pushing yourself is up to you. It’s not an isolated event, and fitness is not elusive.

Understanding that, on some level, you can have your cake and eat it too. As long as it’s in moderation. | | |