The fitness scene in New York is next level. Boutique gyms are on every street corner and a healthy brunch spot is bound to be on your doorstep. On my second visit to this concrete jungle I made it my mission to try as many of the fitness classes as I could so I could share my opinions right here on my blog. I hope that they inspire you to get moving, get sweating and try something new!
If I am honest, the only reason I went to this class was because it was near my hotel! However, it turned out to be one of my favourites. It is based around AMRAPs, circuits, timed intervals and team work. The fast moving class challenges your strength and cardiovascular fitness by combining bodyweight and weighted exercises with occasional rowing blasts.
In short, I loved it.
Mile High Run Club
As someone who doesn’t run, I was more than a little nervous for this class. However, I actually thoroughly enjoyed it and the class flew by! It takes a little getting used to, spending 45 minutes on a treadmill and learning what your personal optimal speed is, but it was an awesome challenge. It was definitely the most difficult class which I did in NYC but I think it would be much easier for seasoned runners, unlike myself!
As a regular Barry’s customer at their London studios, I knew I would love this class. The combination of treadmill work with bodyweight and weighted floor circuits means you get a full body blast. It is always tough, always challenging and always satisfying. However, I didn’t realise how intense New Yorkers are! In London is normal to walk between the treadmill intervals, in NYC every single person was jogging… now that is hardcore!
One word: TOUGH. This class is one of the hardest I have ever done, in the best way possible. It calls itself sports conditioning for athletes. I call it hell. I simultaneously loved and hated every second. I know that if I lived in NYC I would be there every damn day. Prepare to be pushed well and truly out of your comfort zone.
This is one seriously hyped boxing class. It switches between bag work and floor exercises, similar to Barry’s but with boxing bags instead of treadmills. The bag work is fun and empowering, who doesn’t love punching the living daylights out of something? The floor work is equally tough, and I appreciate how all the equipment you need is in your bench including a range of weights, super convenient. I did find the class really enjoyable, I would happily do it again, however it wasn’t quite as tough as some of the other workouts I did in NYC so it depends how hard you want to work!
I love the concept of this class. The coaches are ex-convicts and they train you in a “cell” using just your bodyweight, as you would if you were in prison. It’s pretty awesome, and intense! The workouts are done barefoot and combine circuits, intervals, strength work and cardio. They’re diverse and challenging, and even include team work such as plank circles and group squat holds. I left feeling well and truly pushed out of my comfort zone!
One of the most popular spin classes in NYC. Sessions with the head trainers are sold out weeks in advance. It is basically a party on a bike. Live DJs and huge beats mean you don’t even realise you’re working out! It admittedly isn’t half as hard as something like Tonehouse, but it is hella fun.
This unique workout is like nothing I have done before and it is pretty hard to explain. It is basically high intensity circuit training done in a room full of flashing lights, epic music and a dancing DJ. There is one head trainer and then 5+ other trainers who come around the room and correct your form. I have to admit, a few of the exercises were a little “faddy” and didn’t have much functional benefit except looking cool. However, the workout as a whole was super fun, challenging and sweaty. It is definitely worth trying just to experience the wackiness!
This challenging class combines bodyweight and weighted exercises in various circuits and then a “FHIX Finisher” – which was killer. Think rowing, ski-ergs, TRX rows and dumbbell thrusters. It was sweaty and satisfying; and I hugely respected the fact there were multiple trainers on the floor correcting participants form.
The Ones I Missed:
Even though I squeezed in as many classes as I could,, there were still so many which I didn’t have time to visit. These guys are on my hit list for when I return to NYC: Shadow Box, Soul Cycle, ModelFIT, Dogpound, Mark Fisher Fitness & The Class by Taryn Toomey.
Like this blog post? Check out my New York Active Travel Guide!