If you know me, you know I work out a lot. I don’t see it as a chore but my “me” time each day. It helps me stay balanced and press pause on my busy life. I’m lucky because living in NYC I have access to tons of boutique fitness studios and classes. I love a good class before or after work because it helps me maximize my time, challenge my body in new ways and turn my brain off a bit since all I need to do is follow directions.
I often get asked where to go for a good workout in NYC and what classes I’m taking. I figured I’d put together a quick list of my current fave studios and some of my favorite instructors. Most studios are on Classpass, which offers free trials and awesome intro offers if you haven’t tried it, click to save $40 on your first month. The only studio that isn’t on Classpass is SLT.
- Switch Playground: The most fun high-intensity workout I’ve ever done. I knew I’d love it once I heard there was a live DJ. 20 stations with some cardio mixed in, and you’re at each station for 2 minutes. Definitely feels like you’re on a playground. Taking this class, I’ve learned I can do almost anything for two minutes. Jeff Blue’s (@yafavoritecolor) class is consistently one of the best I’ve taken and if you take a class on a Friday don’t forget to Flex. Since you’ll need a partner to switch with during the class, don’t hesitate to bring a friend.
- Barry’s Bootcamp: An oldie but a goodie! There’s just something about that red light that gets me moving. Since I run a lot of distance on my own, especially these days training for the marathon, Barry’s is my chance to do speed work. The program varies but their butt & legs or weekend total body days are my faves. There’s always the option to do Double Floor if you want to concentrate on the weights portion of the class and skip the treadmill sections but I never do.
- SLT: Spending an hour with their signature megaformer machine hits places in my core and legs I never knew I could work out. SLT stands for strengthen, lengthen, tone and you definitely do just that. The slower movements help stabilize and challenge my muscles in new ways. The Tribeca location is my fave and one of their newest but I often go to class in Brooklyn at the Park Slope location which is super close to all the trains at Barclays Center. Pro Tip: Class is a few dollars cheaper in Brooklyn & Queens so I’ll often take the class outside of Manhattan. They’re separated on the website so you can get the first time deal in both places.
- Y7: I don’t like Yoga unless there’s Hip Hop involved or it’s a super slow restorative class. I’ve tried and I just can’t stay focused in most yoga classes so I love Y7 because it’s a bit faster paced. Y7 is one of the only places I will consistently take a yoga class because all of the ‘We Flow Hard’ classes involve hip-hop and infrared heat. Y’all know I love infrared heat. If you want a bit of a slower pace their “Slow Burn” classes are a bit more traditional. Y7 definitely helps balance my high-intensity days and the music is always good.
- Bode Hot HIIT: If you’re looking for a class to challenge your core and really get you sweaty, this is it. The heat isn’t infrared so it’s a little more humid than a Y7 class would feel but you leave dripping nonetheless. The studio has showers but is pretty minimal from an amenities perspective so I wouldn’t take this class before work and typically take it on weekends or post work. I’ve tried a few different instructors and haven’t found anyone I love. This class is great for the days I want to mix it up and want something a little more intense than a yoga class. Pro Tip: You can find early morning weekend classes on classpass (8/9am) for 5 credits if you check at the right time.
- FLEX IR & FLEXFormer Pilates: If you haven’t tried Flex Studios you’re missing out. The FlexFormer pilates class is always a good reformer class and in fact, the first reformer class I ever took (fun fact). Tara’s (@toldbytara) is great and while it’s one of the more challenging classes I’ve taken she always breaks things down so you can come through at any level. Flex IR is the studio’s newest class which is Mat Pilates with an Infrared Heat factor, taught at their Union Sq. Location. Both are great options for Pilates and the studio is on classpass. Pro Tip: If you want to book direct, the studio uses Dibs for dynamic pricing so you can still find some good deals especially if you book farther out/visit the studio often.
- GHOST Brooklyn: Summer is almost over and sadly I’m no longer Brooklyn based but I spent most of my July weekends working out at Ghost. Ghost is taking a more holistic and scientific approach to personal training and small group training. The Pop Up is located in Williamsburg a few blocks away from where the full studio will be this fall. I’ve taken several micro group classes and they’ve all been different but each time we’ve had a focus on form and it’s been a ton of fun. Looking to learn more, hit up @darrentomasso on IG he’s one of the founding trainers and can give you all the deets.
Got Questions? Want to chat about other new studios to try? Ask Away @_KarmenSandiego!