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7 Dark Fitness recommendations in Tokyo

These days in Tokyo, there’s a cool new exercise trend called Dark Fitness. It’s a new way to exercise that’s fun, fresh, and maybe right for you.

But what is Dark Fitness anyway?

The name may at first conjure up images of something vaguely sinister, but Dark Fitness is simply exercising in the dark. Often with up-tempo music played in the background, the overall direction is creating a dance club environment while you exercise. Why didn’t anyone think of this before!

Dark Fitness is Japan started with exercise bikes, but more recently, other genres have developed, like trampoline, yoga, and kickboxing, so now you have more options than ever in Tokyo.

What’s the appeal?

Japanese are kind of shy, and one thing about Dark Fitness is that it’s dark and no one can see you, so it’s not embarrassing. Are you sometimes worried about people judging you in a gym? Doing something wrong and having all eyes on you? With Dark Fitness, you can concentrate on exercising without worrying about those kinds of things, because no one can see you!

Exercise while immersed in the sounds of music

In Tokyo at least, Dark Fitness is usually done with high-volume, up-tempo music, making it the perfect form of exercise for club goers and music lovers. Some studios are very particular about their music, with DJs and specific styles, so you can choose the place based not only on the exercise styles, but also based on the music.

The overall environment is more like entertainment than a gym, almost like going to a club or concert, so it really blends nightlife with exercise in a way that hasn’t been done before.

You can do a lot of exercise in a short period of time

Dark Fitness is not only fun and entertaining, it’s often also very hard exercise. Studios say that you can expect to burn about 400 to 800 calories in 40-60 minutes, so there is a sense of accomplishment and sweat combined with a good time.

What are the different styles?

Fitness bikes pioneered Dark Fitness. Cycling while listening to DJ quality music in the dark, you feel pumped and it just becomes that much more easy and rewarding to work out and keep going.

Dark Muscle Training: work out your muscles in the dark, surrounded by music and club-style lighting, instead of silently at the gym. Following the instructor, you’ll probably feel a sense of excitement and exhilaration that you never felt before while doing muscle training.

Trampoline Fitness: trampoline-based exercises are popular in Europe, and have spread to Japan. By trying to maintain stability on a trampoline and following your instructor, you get a whole body, balanced aerobic workout. Even with the disco lights, music, microphone performance, and general lack of bright light, it somehow works out and is very fun!

Yoga: this is usually done with soothing Eastern-influenced music, so it has a different feel than the other Dark Fitness genres. By doing yoga in the dark, participants say that it’s easier to concentrate, and your mind and body feel calmer and more relaxed.

Kickboxing: not actual dark kickboxing matches (Japan isn’t the Fight Club), but kickboxing training for exercise, stress release, and maybe self-defense too! This gives you an aerobic workout and loosens stiff muscles.

So now that we’ve learned about the different types of Dark Fitness, let’s explore the actual studios in Tokyo themselves.

7. EXPA

This is a women’s studio brought to you by Lysap. Perform muscle training in the dark without the use of machines. Perfect for people who want to lose weight, because in addition to the exercise, there are also meal tips that make use of the Lysap method. 8 locations in the Tokyo area, including, Ginza, Yokohama, Mizonokuchi, Omiya, Matsudo, and Shinsaibashi

6. Cycle & Studio R Shibuya

This studio has two programs, VR Cycle, where you exercise on a fitness bike while enjoying music and VR images in the dark, and Live Training, where you do HIIT (high intensity interval training) in a club environment. Located in Shibuya.

5. Feelcycle

This studio started the Dark Fitness trend in Japan, and has the most locations in different parts of Tokyo. Focused on bike exercise, instructors say that some people burn 800 calories in one session, so you can expect an aerobic weight loss and even detox effect. 17 locations in Tokyo.

4. Jump One

This is the first trampoline Dark Fitness studio in Japan. While enjoying club style music in the dark, instructors train your whole body with trampoline exercises. Classes are divided according to difficulty level and music genre, so you can always find something that’s just right for you. 7 locations in Tokyo, including in Ginza, Funabashi, Sakae, Umeda, Abeno, and Sannomiya.

3. Playground

This studio provides a state-of-the-art training program that combines functional training (linked to activities in everyday life) with HIIT (high intensity interval training). Customers say that there is a nice sense of accomplishment in the group lessons from exercising hard together with the other participants. 4 locations in Tokyo, including in Ginza and Omiya.

2. b-monster

This takes Dark Fitness fighting to a new level, with full-scale boxing sessions under club music and semi-darkness. There are also less aggressive options, with a club dance program led by experienced performers, where you can expect to burn up to 800 or even 1000 calories in one session. Perfect for stress relief! 6 locations in Tokyo, including Aoyama, Omiya, Sakae, and Umeda.

1. Mittness

Kickboxing studio for women only. Since there are no men around, you can train as much as you want in a more relaxed (for kickboxing) women-only environment. Not actual fighting, but kickboxing training in a club-like space, perfect for burning calories and releasing stress. 1 location in Akasaka Tokyo, as well as locations in Namba Osaka, and Kobe.

 

Thanks for reading, and have fun exploring this fun new trend in Tokyo. If you can’t make it to Tokyo or Japan anytime soon, but have an interest in Japanese stuff, please take a look at my other blog posts, where I write about a variety of different topics related to Japan, and check out our online shop Allegro Japan, where we sell hundreds of unique and interesting Japanese products all over the world, with free international shipping on every order!

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