I wish I could say I’m that person you’ll see running around Central Park at the crack of dawn every morning but instead you’re more likely to find me on a bench, coffee in hand, out of breath just watching them. I think it’s safe to say my motivational skills are somewhat lacking, don’t get me wrong I love to exercise, I relish in that feeling you get after an early morning work-out or that dull ache the next day that makes you feel like you’ve achieved something. But I quite as easily fall out of my ‘healthy routine’ as I fall face first into a cheeseboard.
It’s hard to stay motivated, especially if you’re traveling or first move somewhere new and lose your usual pattern, so it’s important to make sure you enjoy what you’re doing otherwise exercise is hell. I don’t care what people say, you have to make it fun and enjoy it otherwise that bikini body doesn’t seem worth it when you’re half way through a workout and you’re ready to give up and crawl back to bed.
So here are some of the most fun and unique exercise classes I have found in New York so far – these will definitely make exercising a different experience, who says you just have to tie yourself to a treadmill to see results? Why not try one of these, after all exercising should be fun and enjoyable, how else are you going to get through it?
How often do you tell your friends you spent the morning at a Trapeze School? I’m going to assume not a lot? Not only is this a ridiculously unique experience but it’s also a great core workout. Trust me, after a few hours swinging back and forth imagining you’re in Cirque du Soleil it really works those arms, and you are really going to feel this in the morning! My arms didn’t know what had hit them. The closest thing they usually get to a workout is lifting my latte up and down.
A flying trapeze class takes all the stigma and boredom out of your generic exercise classes, after all it’s basically two hours of fun. I doubt you’ll find a friendlier more relaxed environment, the staff are lovely so if this counts as exercise then that’s more than okay with me. A workout without even realizing it? Now we are talking.
I can’t recommend booking a class enough, or maybe you are just looking for something different to do, this would make a great activity, maybe even a date? If you have friends visiting and want something unusual then why not take them here. I mean did I mention how fun it was? Plus you’re guaranteed a good Instagram photo at the end of it and who doesn’t want that.
Find TSNY here:
353 West Street, NY
When I first thought of Barre class I was thinking something along the lines of an adult ballet-style class, I might even have foolishly thought this would be relatively laid back and dare I say easy? I could not have been more wrong- karma came and kicked me into shape big time.
1 hour at a Barre Class with the guys at Physique 57 and you might need assistance walking up the stairs the next day. Okay maybe that’s slightly dramatic and don’t be scared off but this class made me feel like I’d really worked out. It was tough, don’t get me wrong, but I felt like I’d achieved something, and more importantly it was different – the atmosphere in class was upbeat and the teachers really make it. They’re positive and lively enough without being annoying and I desperately need that energy and encouragement when I’m ready to give up. But thankfully just when it seems like you can’t do one more squat the set is over and you stretch it out, which genuinely feels like the best thing ever at the time. You really push yourself and make your body work and if it’s your first class you may struggle like I did at first but who cares, it’s your first attempt and I came away from this class wanting to go back and do more and get better.
This class covers lots of different areas without you even realizing it, and it keeps it fresh by constantly changing it up and the sets go by so fast you don’t have time to death stare the teacher through the tears.
I definitely feel that signing up to one of their studios and becoming a regular would really show a difference after even just a few classes. Well worth visiting these guys and getting them to put you through your paces.
When you think of surfing, you might be picturing a clear blue ocean, maybe watching a beautiful sunset as you relax on your board after catching a few waves. Let’s get that tranquil image out of your head right now. I wouldn’t have been able to see it through all the sweat running down my face.
This class is really going to get your heart rate pounding. They aim to ‘challenge your body in new ways with fun, extreme surf-inspired interval workouts’ Think lots of squats to get that bum ready for bikini season. You might hate them half way through the class but I have a feeling you’ll be thanking them later on. This is definitely a class you want to check out if you want the benefits of an intense cardio workout with muscle benefitting sets, basically it’s an all rounder.
My cardio level is non existent. I mean literally what cardio level: I get tired running up the stairs so this really got me working. Diana the instructor is so bubbly and energetic I think it rubbed off on me every time I was ready to lie flat on my board and give up.
I like how it incorporated yoga moves: the two are very closely connected. Ask any surfer and chances are they practice yoga: it’s great for the balance.
And god knows how but I managed not to fall off my board. This class is tough but its uniqueness makes up for the pain. If you’re after a good core workout and to squat that bum into shape then I think you should give this a go. When it all gets too much just look over at the beach projections and with all the sweating you’re doing it’s pretty much feels like you’re in the water anyway.
Find SurfSet here:
Paradise Factory (4th Floor)
64 East 4th Street
I love yoga, I mean I wouldn’t say I’m particularly good but it is without doubt my favorite form of exercise, anyone who says yoga isn’t a good workout can show me how well they balance their whole body on one arm before I acknowledge that comment.
Seriously yoga is tough and a great way to build up your core and strength, but one thing I had never tried before was Deep House Yoga. I saw yoga as a relaxing workout where I need all my attention focused on holding a pose and not falling over so I was dubious about how you could do yoga in a club with a DJ but I have never been happier to say I was completely wrong. I went to a Deep House Yoga class and absolutely loved it, like seriously enjoyed it. The whole concept was so oddly relaxing and refreshing, from the huge projections that covered every wall you could see, playing a constant loop of these incredible scenes and backgrounds to the surprisingly fitting music, think soft house, it’s hard to imagine practicing yoga now without it.
The teacher was great and oddly my favorite part – his little dance breaks through out, I’m not normally a fan of dancing around in front of a room of strangers and let it go but you know what, this time I really didn’t care, I closed my eyes and gave a dance performance usually reserved for when I’m home alone. There’s just a great free atmosphere here, the workout is great, you get an amazing soundtrack to go alongside and it’s a really fun concept. I’d encourage anyone – yogi or not – to book a class.
Find Deep House Yoga here:
54 N 11th St,
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Well what can I say, this is exactly like how I think you’re imagining it…tough. Like really tough, especially for someone like me who has the fitness level of a flea but and there’s definitely a big but, it does exactly what it says on the tin and after all this is why you’re going right? The guys here are going to make you work, they are going to make you sweat more than you have all year so by the end of class it looks like you swam there but they are going to push you and give you that desire to do more, or at least finish the session.
See I was terrified when I turned up, there was a lot of people there who looked like they could be the trainers and no part of me had any desire to exercise anywhere near them let alone in a group situation but I did and I actually found I came away strangely satisfied. Yes I was literally exhausted but I’d pushed myself harder than I thought I could, see if I’m on my own in the gym and I try to work out I’m giving up as soon as my muscles start to wake up, I need that person to yell at me to continue or that drive to compete against others to push me further.
If this sounds like you then just try one class, I know it’s scary but I really think if you are really determined to get fit and get into shape then there is no cutting corners with this one and the results will speak for themselves. That I’m sure of.
What’s more I came away really proud of myself, so yes I was definitely the worst person there, I got lapped continuously on the run parts but it didn’t matter, I did it and I tried my best. The good thing about the scary group situation is you can’t stop and rest, the trainers and other class members will not let you – it pushes you to realize your body can actually do more than you think, and it’s only when I was holding a plank as if my life depended on it that I realized I could actually do it.
This is intense, it’s hard but it’s also going to really work you and if you are in desperate need to improve your fitness then I think it is literally impossible to not succeed with those goals here.
Trust me. Try one class at least and go from there.
Find Warrior Fitness here:
29 W. 35th St (3rd floor)
New York, 10001
It has always been on my list to try a Silks class, come on we can all picture how elegant we think we’d look as we twirl around twisted in the ribbons like a professional in a film. Sadly, it’s safe to say I looked more like a whale thrashing about in a net but still I loved this class.
Yet again somewhat foolishly I think I underestimated this as a workout or more like I forgot how I have absolutely no upper body strength, I struggle opening bottles let alone heaving myself up a rope, but everyone has to start somewhere and let’s just say I definitely started at the bottom. But it was definitely something I want to try again, I already want to go back for another class and I only went a few hours ago, I also fully understand that come tomorrow I am going to need assistance brushing my hair, it’s a great upper body and core workout and your thighs are really going to be put to work as you attempt to shimmy up the silks.
This is definitely a refreshing workout to your everyday generic class, the classes are small which I definitely prefer, less embarrassment and also more attention because I need all the help I can get and the hour will literally fly by in no time. You’re going to be so concerned and focused on mastering the moves that you won’t notice the time so before you know it you’ve smashed out an hour’s work out. Perfect.
Find Aerial Arts here:
235 E. 49th Street
New York 10017
You must go to a Parkour Class they said, it’ll be fun they said, full disclosure: I fell flat on my face literally within the first five minutes in what can only be described as potentially the most embarrassing but hilarious moment of my life. If it had been recorded I would be sending it in to some home-movie program and be earning some serious compensation money. A fall is putting it mildly, I tripped up a piece of equipment as I have the co-ordination of a new born deer, I struggle to walk on flat ground without falling over and then you expect me to run up a wall, realistically it was inevitable. So let’s just say after breaking my knee I was a feeble parkour attempter however I have it on very good authority from my friend who came with me that this was the best class she has ever done and she has since signed up to the club. So I guess it fully shows that if you are a normal human then this will be great fun, if you are clumsy like me then maybe sit this one out but I will tell you that it looked really fun from my seat on the sidelines.
My friend said it was one of the toughest workouts she’s had but she didn’t even realize at the time because she was having so much fun as a human monkey, it was only the next day when she couldn’t move her arms above her head that it makes you realize how hard you’ve worked, but as she said if keeping fit can count as swinging on the monkey bars and leaping from objects then she’s definitely in.
So this could be another perfect example of a great different way to exercise without realizing it. Keeping fit clearly doesn’t just mean a regimented gym session, Parkour is a unique way of getting your dose of cardio and working those muscles but in a way that makes you feel like a big kid. (Not for the un-coordinated *me)
Find Brooklyn Zoo here:
230 Bogart Street,
So what do you think? These certainly put a different spin on exercise classes right? Does anyone have any others they’d suggest? After all unless exercise is fun I’m really going to struggle to pretend I do it.
By: Charlotte Revill