After reading about Body Space Fitness on one of my favorite blogs, Kayla In The City, I knew I wanted to check it out and review it for myself.
Founder Kelvin Gary's boutique fitness studio first specialized in semi-private (small group) training and personal training sessions but has recently expanded it's offerings to include various group fitness classes.
Torn between Body Camp and Metabolic Burn, I made a last minute decision to take the two classes back-to-back. One at 5 p.m. and the next at 6 p.m.
Read on to find out if I survived - and what I thought of the Body Space Fitness!
Body Space Fitness is super nondescript from the outside. When you open the door on the 5th floor of a building, you're already in the thick of things - with kettlebells being swung, sleds being pushed, and medicine balls being slammed all around you.
Though the space itself isn't extremely large, it is packed with functional training equipment. There's not a stationary machine in sight - something that I absolutely love. There's an entire area where clients can get stretched out and rubbed down, an ALTER-G TREADMILL, and the main work-out floor complete with sandbags, medicine balls, TRX, sleds, kettlebells - they've got it all.
Classes take part on the back half of the "turf" and while things got a little congested during the Metabolic Burn Class, the workout is expertly designed and executed to make things run smoothly and for the space to be shared effectively.
It's as if the instructors are performing choreography in the way that they explain circuits and exercises, set stations up and dismantle them, and keep things flowing.
BODY CAMP FORMAT
On Body Space Fitness's website, they describe Body Camp as a "55 minute, strength based class in a small group setting features stations of functional exercises designed to sculpt lean muscles."
100% accurate description.
The class was comprised of a warm up followed by two different strength circuits.
I loved this warm up. Lots of agility/cardio exercises to get the blood flowing. There were only 6 of us in the class and we did high knees, caterpillars, lateral shuffles, karaoke, and more including a few torturous moves with the resistance bands around our ankles.
We performed each exercise :42 ON | :18 REST for 3 rounds.
RFE Split Squat - Fancy terminology for "Rear Foot Elevated" Split Squat. These are more like lunges and we performed them hold a kettlebell (weight of your choosing!)
JB Slam - "Jam Ball" (Medicine Ball) Slams
TRX Hamstring Curls- These bad boys BURN and I struggled to do them for the full :42 seconds, especially with proper form (hips UP)
SB BO Row - Sand Bag Bent Over Row (There were tons of different weight options!)
1/2 Knee DB Press - Kneeling shoulder presses with dumbbells
Again, we performed each exercise :42 ON | :18 REST for 3 rounds.
KBDL - Kettlebell Deadlifts! I appreciated the fact that the instructor, Dean, came around and encouraged me to up my weight. It's always nice when an instructor pushes you!
Lateral Box Step Up
SB FS - Front squats with the sandbag!
Floor Chest Press
The instructor, Dean Sheremet, was absolutely the best part about the class. He took this from just a circuit workout to a great group fitness class.
He was encouraging, enthusiastic and extremely helpful in terms of describing the format of the class, demonstrating each exercise, challenging people individually, offering advice on form and was also a great DJ (hi, Spice Girls!)
WHAT I LIKED
I loved that you could make this workout as hard as you liked based on the weights that you chose for each exercise.
I thought it was a great mix of leg and arm exercise with abs thrown in their as well. None of the exercises were too difficult to get the hang of, but all really effective!
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
For some of the exercises, I wanted to challenge myself by going up in weight - especially since this is marketed as a strength focused class. But I found :42 seconds was a long time to perform a strength-based exercise with heavier weights. With the interval set at :42 seconds, it's clearly a more high-rep scenario which means lower weights.
It would be interesting if the amount of time you performed each exercise changed throughout the circuits so that you could experiment more with "going heavy."
METABOLIC BURN FORMAT
Described on their website as their "cardio and endurance based class," Metabolic Burn promises to be "filled with high intensity, calorie burning, low impact exercises using a wide variety of toys such as, but not limited to, sleds, battleropes, ViPRs, sandbags and Airdyne bikes. This class, focused more on endurance than strength, gets your heart rate up with 40 second intervals where you do the most amount of reps possible in the allotted time."
THE WARM UP
We did a lot of the same things for Metabolic Burn's warm up as we did for Body Camp. I like this kind of warm-up because it's not static stretching and actually warms you up- I was definitely breathing a little heavy by the end of it!
We performed the following exercises for :40 seconds with :20 rest as we rotated to the next exercise. We completed this circuit 4 times.
Single Arm Kettle Bell Swings
Sand Bag Shoulder Press - You essentially lifted the sandbag from one shoulder, up and over your head, to the other shoulder. It was deceptively difficult!
Burpee Bear Crawl - Bear Crawl to the front of the turf, burpee, bear crawl backwards to the wall, repeat. I looked like a total spazz doing the Bear Crawl.
Lateral Shuffle With Resistance Bands
Medicine Ball Jack Knifes
Sandbag Shoulder Squats - Starting with the sandbag on one shoulder and switching it to the other halfway through
Lateral Medicine Ball Throws
As you can see, these exercises were much more cardio focused than Body Camp.
The class finished a a 5 minute "Cardio Blast" where we performed the following exercises for :30 with a :12 rest - 4X through.
Hand Release Push-Ups
Nicole Bunyan taught Metabolic Burn and she was great! Supportive, attentive and great at keeping things moving. She had a more difficult job than Dean in terms of keeping things organized since there were so many more people in the same tiny space.
Nicole gave some great tips on form - like keeping your nose pointed up at the ceiling during the medicine ball jack knifes.
WHAT I LIKED
To be fair, Metabolic Burn is just more my style. I like the cardio aspect of classes like this - I like feeling like I'm going to die in a pool of my own sweat because I'm a freak.
I also realllllly liked the fact that a lot of these exercises are low impact. My shins have been bothering me a lot (shocker) and not having to be constantly jumping yet still getting in cardio was great.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE
There wasn't anything I didn't like, really! I didn't love love love it, but it was a very good class all around.
THE STUDIO - 7
What the studio lacks in space and "sparkle" it makes up for in phenomenal functional training equipment, cleanliness and organization. They pack a LOT in the space that they have - and it's all things that help get their clients a killer workout.
After speaking with Kelvin, he explained that they've had some growing pains since incorporating group classes. They're working on expanding and after some renovations, the space should be a lot more conducive to all that Body Space Fitness has got goin' on.
CLASS SIZE - SMALL
Body Camp was a teeeeeny class with only 6 of us. It was great, and we got tons of attention from the instructor because of it.
Metabolic Burn was larger, but in the grand scheme of fitness classes, 12 is still a small class and allows for lots of personal pointers.
SWEAT SCALE - 7
Both Body Camp and Metabolic Burn are the type of workouts that are as hard as you make them. It really depends on how hard you push yourself! I made it through 2 classes without feeling like I couldn't go on - but I also didn't go balls to the wall during Body Camp knowing that I still had another class coming up!
FUN FACTOR - 7
This place had good vibes, great instructors and jammin' tunes. As I changed and got ready, the class prior to Body Camp was RILED UP about something - it sounded like a competition of some sort. My point is, people are happy and having fun here which makes a workout a lot more pleasant!
AMENITIES - 6
They aren't out of this world but they have everything you need. Including a hair dryer in the locker room so that you don't need to lug one in your bag!
I will say that when I got out of class, every single locker in the locker room was being used!
COST - $$$
Unfortunately, this is just the cost of a boutique fitness class in NYC - $32 a pop. But if you're a ClassPasser, you can sign up for classes at Body Space Fitness!
This is the kind of fitness studio that I love. They care about putting together a quality, total body workout that is well designed and not just about having people do burpees until they puke for the sake of it.
They offer a ton of different services, classes and packages and are filled with the type of functional equipment that's most effective (in my humble opinion).
Every time I go to a studio like Body Space Fitness and have wonderful instructors like Dean and Nicole, I'm tempted to cough up the money and time to get my personal training certification!
Definitely stop by BSF if you're looking for a great workout that will leave you in a good mood.