Acro-yoga at Hoosier Heights. Photos by Rodney Margison

The second in a series about fitness facilities in Bloomington.


Smaller fitness facilities may not have rows of cardio and weight machines, basketball courts, or running tracks, but what they lack in multiplicity they make up for in specificity. Here are four smaller fitness facilities with very individualized ways of getting you in shape.


Ethos Cycling
1705 N. College

Tatiana Kolovou opened Ethos in January 2018 and has been steadily growing the business ever since, recently adding personal training. “Your performance on a bike, it is pretty individual,” she says. “That crosses over into personal training. You have to meet people where they are.”

Kolovou is a Schwinn master trainer. “I’ve trained fitness instructors for the last 25-plus years,” she says. “I develop a lot of the educational materials Schwinn sends to clubs and trainers around the world.” The studio also has five nationally certified personal trainers who lead classes and work individually with clients.

Most classes are 45 minutes. Beginners can take up to three Gear Up classes to become acquainted with the bike. The first regular class is also free. After that, clients buy memberships or passes to take any of the nearly two dozen classes offered each week.

Unique to Ethos: Kolovou says the technical component of indoor cycling keeps it authentic. “Plus, it’s climate controlled and safe,” she says. “As a female, I sometimes question riding outdoors on my own. This is very efficient. Intense rides can be done, with useful data, indoors.”


Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping
430 S. Landmark Ave.

Pam Green and Theresa Geary have owned this kickboxing and strength training franchise for four years. “Theresa and I went through the 10-week program together seven years ago,” Green says. “That 10 weeks changed my life. I loved the workouts—they were challenging and fun. I loved the accountability and support.”

At Farrell’s, there are three components that help clients achieve their goals: kickboxing for cardio, strength training with resistance bands, and nutritional support. “We don’t focus on weight loss,” Green says. “We do focus on body fat loss and getting stronger.”

Clients can sign up for a free week of classes before beginning a regular 10-week challenge. Workouts alternate between cardio and strength training, six days a week. “We encourage people to come to the same class time, but we have flexibility in the schedule,” Green says. 

Unique to Farrell’s: Each 10-week challenge wraps up with a group celebration—and a $1,000 prize given to the person with the most significant transformation.


Hoosier Heights
1008 S. Rogers St.

Hoosier Heights general manager Tyler Bartle says there probably is an upper age limit for climbing, but he can’t name it. “One of our volunteer route setters is in his early 70s,” Bartle says. “All ages can climb.” In fact, children 5 and under climb for free at the facility.

Both bouldering and rope climbing are available. In the rope room, beginners start with the auto-belay system, but staff are on hand to train guests on top-rope climbing. Advanced climbers can challenge themselves with lead climbing. “You want to be comfortable with belaying first,” Bartle says. “But [lead climbing] is really rewarding and a lot of fun.”

There are also free yoga classes (available for a fee to nonmembers), climbing-specific classes and coaches, a weight room, and cardio equipment.

Unique to Hoosier Heights: A bouldering league for members. “It’s a friendly competition, about eight weeks long,” Bartle says. “Every week we have a new set of boulders and they have the whole week to finish as many as they can. It gives normal people a sense of what professional climbing is like—without the pressure.”


Urban Fitness Studio
582 E. Hillside Drive

Spouses Anna and Chris Branam bring complementary strengths to this co-owned endeavor. Chris has a weightlifting background; Anna is a certified yoga teacher. Their trainers bring other assets. “We have a nationally competitive Olympic weightlifter, a four-year varsity collegiate runner, and a strength and conditioning coach who works with Indiana University athletes,” Anna says.

Urban Fitness Studio offers personal training plus group and private yoga. The workout area can be divided into two or three smaller studios, so every client gets a private space with similar equipment—dumbbells, kettlebells, Swiss balls, medicine balls, TRX, and other personal training gear.

The focus is on developing functional movement patterns. “Squatting, hinging, pushing, pulling,” Anna says. “We need to be able to train these movement patterns so we are strong in our daily life.”  

Unique to Urban Fitness Studio: “We are a team of professional trainers,” Anna says. “Everyone we hire has a degree in kinesiology as well as certification in personal training. That sets us apart.”

Ethos Cycling.

Coming in October/November: CrossFit in Bloomington.