I Worked Out at a Super-Exclusive “Influencer Gym” — and It Was Shockingly Empowering

Fitness

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If you’ve spent any time on the wellness side of TikTok, you’ve probably seen videos of celebrities and fitness influencers working out in a beautiful gym with all the workout equipment a fitness lover could dream of, a trendy black color scheme, and truly impeccable lighting. If you have a really sharp eye, you may have noticed the distinctive logo wallpaper too. The fitness center in question is Alo Gym — yes, that’s Alo, as in the chic activewear brand — and it’s even dreamier than your favorite TikTok stars make it look on-screen.

The likes of Glen Powell, the Beibers, and Kylie Jenner have all been spotted at the exclusive gym space, while TikTokers like Alix Earle and Jake Shane have shared full videos of their experiences.

As a health and wellness journalist who spends an unsightly amount of time digging into every corner of the wellness world on social media, I was naturally very curious about the gym that kept gracing my feed. After some light investigating (ahem, falling down a TikTok rabbit hole), I quickly learned that this isn’t any old gym you can just walk into and become a member — this is an invite-only workout space located at Alo Headquarters in Beverly Hills. (Note: It’s a different space than the Alo Sanctuary studios, which you may have also seen online.)

Upon learning that Alo Gym isn’t open to the public, I logged it away in my brain as a cool workout space, and didn’t give it another thought. That is … until, out of the blue, I got THE email. “Reaching out on behalf of Alo Beauty & Wellness to invite you to a 1:1 personal training session at their Beverly Hills HQ,” it read. Thus began my experience at the Alo Gym — and, since we don’t believe in gatekeeping at Popsugar, I’m taking you along for the journey.

My Experience at the Alo Gym

After responding with an enthusiastic “yes” to the email invite, I scheduled a 1:1 Pilates training session in the weeks that followed. On the day of, I pulled up to the brand’s discrete yet grand building in Beverly Hills, and was greeted by complimentary valet.

As bizarre as it may sound, even the waiting area by the valet oozed cool, with a mural of the Hollywood Hills, a white leather couch, and, oddly, a motorcycle. But it didn’t even hold a candle to the rest of the Alo HQ building.

After riding the elevator from the parking garage to the main floor, the doors opened to reveal a lobby that was simultaneously dramatic and calm. The ceiling stretched six stories high, with dramatic windows that spread soft sunlight across every corner of the room. As my eyes swept from right to left, I spotted a majestic fig tree, meticulously curated racks of Alo apparel, a massive “alo” sculpture, and multiple seating areas that looked like they’d been plucked directly from a Restoration Hardware catalog. At the far left side of the lobby, I found the reception area, where I checked in for my class (admittedly, an uncharacteristic two hours early — hey, I wanted to take full advantage of the amenities!).

I was told to wait wherever I liked in the lobby, so I plopped myself down in a nice sling chair to get through some work. Since I had some time to kill, I asked if there were any food spots nearby where I could grab lunch — and then I was kindly offered a salad from Goop Kitchen, which was unbelievably tasty. I really want to stress that at this point I hadn’t even left the LOBBY, and I was already wildly impressed.

When it came time for my class, my instructor found me and asked if I needed any Alo gear for the workout — but being the overachiever I am, I’d opted to wear an Alo set I already owned to my appointment.

She led me through the brand’s now iconic gym space. Let me paint a quick picture for you: At the entrance, there’s a wall of “alo” branded boxing gloves on the left and a full mirror on the right. Then you weave through a few layers of strategically placed planters with palm trees before entering the gym space. The center floor of this gym is pretty much wide open (leaving space for boxing or other floor workouts), while the walls are punctuated by every fitness machine you could imagine. We, however, swung a left and walked into a private alcove tucked in the back right of the gym, equipped with three Pilates reformers.

I asked if it would be okay if I filmed and took some photos of our session together, and the instructor looked at me as if I’d asked if I could eat food in a restaurant. Not only was it okay, but she was ready to help me get that content — she literally offered to take photos and videos of me as I moved through her class. So, I took her up on that offer.

She called out moves to me and gave suggestions on spring settings, just like any other Pilates class. However, every so often — once she ensured my form and alignment were correct — she’d grab my phone and take some photos and videos at different angles around the Pilates reformer. It’s pretty clear she had this down to a science, knowing which moves and angles were best. At first I was a little weirded out by my instructor playing the role of videographer — but after the first or second time I didn’t even think twice about the camera, and just leaned into the whole experience.

Don’t be fooled, though — this class isn’t simply a photo opp. After spending an hour moving through various moves on the reformer, my abs, arms, and legs were burning. I will note, however, this isn’t your classical Pilates class — it skews more on the modern, rigorous, fitness-forward side of the sport.

At the end of the workout, I got a tour of the rest of the Alo wellness space — because the gym is only a fraction of everything they have at HQ. There are cold plunges, infrared saunas, a cryotherapy chamber, a snack station, recovery suite equipped with skincare and hair tools, a movie theater, and even a recording studio. Each space looks like a film set in its own right, with logos sprinkled throughout and a moody, organic modern aesthetic that falls somewhere between a spa and a nightclub.

The cherry on top: I was gifted a cozy Alo sweat set to change into, along with some skincare products and accessories (in the brand’s iconic gray tie-dye bag, of course).

In short: the Alo gym is a true wellness wonderland.

What It Was Honestly Like to Work Out at an “Influencer Gym”

I’ve taken a lot of fitness classes over the years, and I’ve seen plenty of people prop up their phones to record themselves — but it’s often met with varying degrees of annoyance from instructors and fellow class-goers.

This Pilates sesh at Alo, however, was an entirely new experience: Filming was not simply tolerated, but actually encouraged. At this particular gym, this policy is obviously in their best interest — it’s great marketing when celebs and influencers post fitness videos with the activewear brand’s logo splashed across the background. But this experience did get me thinking: Is there some benefit to a gym space that’s primarily intended for influencers?

Admittedly, as a journalist who’s a bit newer to this whole “content” game, it was kind of, well, freeing. I felt significantly less self-conscious about having a camera pointed in my direction as I moved through pikes and planks.

Sure, it helped that I was the only attendee in the Pilates class, and I didn’t have to worry about making anyone else uncomfortable. That said, just around the corner there were a few other people working out in the main gym space. But I didn’t once feel awkward or worry about them judging me since, you guessed it, they were snapping photos and taking videos, too.

It was (dare I say) empowering to be in a space where I could uninhibitedly capture video of my experience. And honestly, with the camera rolling, I was even more conscious about maintaining proper form than I usually am — and I’ll take that as a win any day.

Does this mean we all need to unapologetically film our workouts in the name of confidence-building? Absolutely not. But, for anyone interested in recording a sweat session for social media — be it for a job or hobby — I think there may be a case for these types of spaces. Somewhere like Alo or other anointed “influencer gyms” are places where content creators can film away, without disrupting anyone else’s workout. Perhaps, as strange as it may sound, these types of spaces can create a more universally positive workout experience for all.

But, in the meantime, I’ll happily hang at the dreamy Alo gym anytime — documented or otherwise.

Kristine Thomason is a lifestyle writer and editor based in Southern California. Previously, she was the health and fitness director at Mindbodygreen and the fitness and wellness editor at Women’s Health. Kristine’s work has also appeared in POPSUGAR, Travel + Leisure, Men’s Health, Health, and Refinery29, among others.

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