Based in Lexington, KY, Johnna Wilford is a writer, running coach, and POP Pilates teacher. She helps LEXINGTON community members explore the city through sweat.

In 2019, this blog will make it easier to exercise in Lexington

In 2019, this blog will make it easier to exercise in Lexington

As if I don’t already have enough big plans in my back pocket, I decided to come up with another. This is the problem (or blessing?) of having such an active mind!

Starting in 2019, I want to try different gyms across Lexington and blog about the workouts that I love – and the ones that might not be for me.

When I was living in Los Angeles, I was lucky enough to have access to a wide variety of workout classes through ClassPass. Yes, it was more expensive than a gym. But I get easily bored with my workout routine, so I liked that I was able to change things up pretty regularly. Plus it was always easy to find out about a new workout because I could just open an app.

Flash forward to today.

When I first moved here, everything was new. I tried CycleYOU, I went to the climbing gym on a second date (which obviously worked, because now I’m married to the guy), I went to some running club meetups, hiking at the Gorge, and so much more. Now that I’ve settled into town, though, I’ve found myself doing the same old thing. Running outside or at the YMCA on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays. Yoga at LEF on Tuesdays. Circuit training at LEF on Thursdays. Since I’ve become a new POP Pilates teacher, I include that on any other days I need to fill. It’s a great workout routine.

But I’m ready for new adventures again.

I’ve been living in Lexington, KY for almost three years now, and I miss trying out new workout classes. I probably fell into my sorta boring routine because it takes a little more digging to find information about new classes here than it did when I had Classpass.

Okay…it takes a lot more digging.

Google “fitness lexington ky” and a whole lot comes up. But all of the results are websites from the fitness studio. Which is fine. That’ll be good for me as I search for new classes. But one thing I really appreciated about Classpass was the reviews from real people. And there are plenty of other websites like that in bigger cities, like Sweats in the City and Kayla in the City, both in New York. How unfair is it that there are two review sites in one city – and a city that has Classpass! – and none in Lexington? We can do better Lexington fitness enthusiasts!

I also like websites like aSweatLife that has a calendar for free workout classes in the city each week. If you did my Googling thing above…now try to Google “free fitness class lexington ky.” The top options are fitness studios that offer ONE free class for new students, and a post about free yoga from five years ago (although I think that still goes on), plus a list of free classes for older adults.

Heellllooo…we’re in a college town. College students want to workout, too. Not just older adults. But they’re broke. When I was in college, I was willing to spend money on a workout I really enjoyed, but only if I did a lot of research on it. And I probably tried the workout way more than once without cost before I took the plunge. But there’s no way for people in town to see what’s free that week unless they spend a lot of time looking.

I’m willing to do that work – so you don’t have to.

So, starting in 2019, I want to be a place that you can turn to if you’re looking for a free or cheap way to exercise that day. Or if you have a question about the fitness studio or class I suggest. Are there showers? Are cycling shoes provided or do you need to spin in your sneakers? Is the music too loud? Is the workout even any good? My goal is to answer those questions for you.

But first, I’m collecting a list of places to try! I already have a spreadsheet going (yay, another excuse for a spreadsheet!), but I could always use some input from you. What’s your favorite fitness studio? Which class is your favorite there? Is there a place you always wanted to try in town that you just haven’t gotten to yet? Let me know in the comments! <3

If you couldn’t guess, I’ll be relying really heavily on tip-offs from Lexington readers. I’m good at doing my research, but since I’m just one person, I can’t possibly know about everything. So please send me photos and fitness/exercise-related suggestions (classes, studios, events, etc.) directly! You can find me on Instagram at @johnnawilford, through email at, or call or text at 859-694-8860.

Free Workout Classes: December 24th-30th

Free Workout Classes: December 24th-30th

Free Workout Classes: December 17th-23rd

Free Workout Classes: December 17th-23rd