Epic Hybrid Training Lives Up to the Hype

 Photo: Epic Hybrid Training

Photo: Epic Hybrid Training

It takes confidence to call your gym "Epic." Names like WheelHouse and Core40 and Basecamp don't promise you anything. You're ideally signing up for a serious workout, but you won't walk away feeling betrayed if it's only so-so. Epic, on the other hand, comes with a hefty dose of expectation; delivering "good" isn't good enough. But this is where Epic Hybrid Training succeeds. 

Here's the deal. Epic is a 45-minute, circuit-style, high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout combining cardio, strength, and mobility drills. Similar to Barry's, themes vary according to the day of the week, and instructors style their workouts within those themes. For Epic, that includes class names like Grynd, Blast, and Dynamic Core. Classes are small—in San Francisco, they're capped at 16 participants—and you exercise with a partner for the duration of the class.

Two things stand out when you enter Epic's SoMa location on Third Street. First, there are lots of toys hanging around: gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, swinging monkey bars, and more. Second, this is a shoe-free workout. You can take class in socks or bare feet, but you have to leave your kicks by the door. (Don't worry; the floor is lightly padded to absorb the impact of jumping.)

 Photo: Epic Hybrid Training

Photo: Epic Hybrid Training

In each class, there's a warmup and a rundown on the stations and timing before your workout. Trainers offer multiple difficulty levels for each station, so classes can be customized to any skill level. Challenges like hurdle jumps, lateral box jumps, and sandbag squats feel like obstacle course training. While there are some weights, like sandbags and kettlebells, most of the stations are designed around bodyweight exercise.

Pricing is on the more expensive side for San Francisco. A drop-in class is $35, (that's more than SoulCycle or Barry's), but the small class size means more personal attention. Regulars can purchase class packs, monthly, or annual memberships to drive down the price per class. (The studio is also available on ClassPass.) For now, the SoMa space at 604 3rd Street is the only location in the city, but I've heard rumors of a second Epic heading to Hayes Valley.

Epic Hybrid Training is sweaty and tough and will leave you sore for days. It's absolutely worth trying, particularly if you enjoy obstacle courses. Don't be fooled by the small space and barefoot antics; between the creative instructors and challenges, it is an epic workout.