NYC Fitness Class

Overthrow Boxing Club Review

My tour de boxing studios continued recently with a trip to the "dive bar" of boxing studios - Overthrow Boxing Club on Bleecker Street. Overthrow is housed in the previous home of the Youth International Party, or "Yippies," a "radically youth-oriented and countercultural revolutionary offshoot of the free speech and anti-war movements of the 1960s," according to Wikipedia. 

The space stays true to its roots - despite becoming a fitness studio, it is far from "boutique" looking - with much of the original architecture remaining. Overthrow takes its own political stances and jabs, with graffiti like Donald Trump being knocked out and the quote, "When they go low, we go high." 

It's a fitting way of connecting the building's history with our present political reality and the building's new use as a boxing club. 

Overthrow Boxing Class Review

The Studio

The interior is cramped, dark, and quite frankly, it seems like it might collapse! Up the stairs is a small locker room with two showers and two bathroom stalls - along with lockers that have seen better days.  Bent metal, missing locker doors, wobbly benches - it's hard to tell if many aspects of the studio are part of the aesthetic or actual .instances of disrepair

There are actually two spaces where classes at Overthrow take place. The main level has around 6 bags along with a boxing ring while the downstairs studio has about 12 bags - covered in duct tape, these bags are a far cry from the water-filled tear-drop-shaped beauties at Rumble. Then again, they're only purpose is punching them. There are numbered spaces along the floor, though in my class we didn't really use them for anything. 

Overthrow Boxing Club NYC

The Class 

The first class I took was in "The Underground" (which makes me thing of the upside down, which makes me excited for another season of Stranger Things). 

We all lined up in side by side rows for the warm-up which consisted of lots of cardio drills like high knees, air jabs, jumping jacks, etc.

To me, the warm up seemed to last for a long time. It may have had to do with the fact that I wasn't wearing my usual sneakers and my feet were really bothering me every time I jumped - but I also think the warm up dragged on and on with not much to it. 

Eventually, the endless warmup indeed ended and we were told to pair up with a partner for the next part of class. 

Overthrow Boxing Review

We lined up in two rows down the length of the room, with partners facing each other and being told different combinations - we were technically "boxing" with each other, but obviously not full out punching our partners. Some of the combinations included more than just throwing punches - we were told to "jab, jab, cross, burpee," and various other exercises. To me, this part wasn't very challenging - the pace was pretty slow, which I guess depends on who you get as a partner. 

The line was continuously filtering towards the front of the class - when you and your partner were up in front of the instructor, you did a few punches with her before re-joining the line. 

When this was over, I was still only sweating due to the temperature of the room. 

The next portion of class it was time to bring out the bags - and this is where I sweat buckets and my heart rate rocketed. We were given a ton of different combinations and I pushed myself to keep moving throughout the 15 or so minutes of straight bag work. 

With three of us on a bag and the bags sliding around the pole they were attached to, we did have to stop every so often to adjust the bag and stop it from moving into the group next to and behind us. I didn't have much space and by the end I was getting pretty frustrated. 

Then, before I knew it, class was over. I will say that the time flew by, and by the end I was pretty exhausted - but I left a little "meh" about the class overall. 

Overthrow Boxing NYC Review

The second class I went to at Overthrow I took in the upstairs section - it was a similar set up with half of the class taking place on the bag and half taking place "in the ring" with a partner. But I liked this better because it seemed less crowded and the warm-up wasn't as long. We also finished up class with an ab series that was pretty solid. 

I found myself partner-less and got to work with a staff member that wasn't teaching class at the time which was great! The combination was really tricky and I only got it right about 75% of the time, but I still felt pretty accomplished. At the end, I told him that I was hungry because the mitts looked like they had avocados drawn on them. I think I found the comment funnier than he did. 

WHAT I LIKED: 

Classes at Overthrow fly by. The grunge-y atmosphere is super fitting for a boxing class. Both instructors that I've had were good at explaining things, though at this point I can't really consider myself a "beginner" so I might take some things for granted when it comes to instruction. 

I also really like that Overthrow is located off of the 6 line. 

Overthrow Boxing Review

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: 

Overthrow is definitely not as organized as Rumble or Shadowbox. Those two studios' classes run like well-oiled machines whereas my second class at Overthrow was more like, "Alright, what should we do next?" "Okay, let me run downstairs and get some gloves for everyone 10 minutes into class." That sort of thing. Rumble and Shadowbox have their shit together a little more in terms of flow and focus - but Overthrow has them beat on the boxing ~vibes. 

THE STUDIO – 7

Nuts and bolts in terms of amenities - but there are lockers (bring your own lock, and beware that half of them are missing doors as part of the aesthetic), bathrooms and showers and it's pretty impressive that they make the space work as two separate studios/class spaces. 

The history of the building is an added bonus - if you're there, see if you can spot the old Youth International Party manifesto on the walls! 

Overthrow Boxing Fitness Class Review

CLASS SIZE - 5

The classes are a decent size considering the small space - and I definitely felt like I was super crowded and couldn't fully enjoy the class because of it. Perhaps the morning classes are less crowded - but I've only been in the evening and each time it was jam-packed. 

SWEAT SCALE – 6

The first half of classes at Overthrow usually are more focused on shadowboxing, form, and a warm up - it's helpful for actually learning boxing, which I appreciate, but doesn't leave me with an elevated heart rate. But the second half is usually much harder - once you start using the bag. In my most recent class, Queen had us finish with 5 Push-Ups, 5 Burpees, 5 Mountain Climbers, 5 Squats, 10 Push-Ups, 10 Burpees, 10 Mountain Climbers, 10 Squats, 15 Push-Ups, 15 Burpees, 15 Mountain Climbers, 15 Squats. It was brutal in the best way. 

FUN FACTOR – 7

If you like boxing, it's a good time. 

AMENITIES – 6

Everything you need but nothing overly fancy. 

COST - $$$

Standard for NYC, a class at Overthrow costs $34 for a single class. Unfortunately, they don't have any deals for first time students. I attended for free in exchange for a review on my blog! 

Overthrow Boxing Review

BOTTOM LINE: 

I like the vibe at Overthrow a lot and I've learned more here than I think I would learn from taking consistent classes at Rumble and Shadowbox. That being said, if you're looking for a boxing class that doubles as a hard workout (you know, since you're paying $34) I might suggest getting your ass kicked at a different studio. These classes are certainly a challenge - but they aren't 45-minutes-worth-of-non-stop-challenge. 

I'll continue taking classes at Overthrow because I actually want to improve my boxing skills and I think the instructors here have that same goal in mind. Also, keep in mind that Overthrow offers two different classes - one in the "Underground" - more of a boxing bootcamp/high cardio class and one in the "Ring" which is more focused on form and technique. 

Gloves are included in the class and wraps are available for purchase.

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SHADOWBOX: NYC Fitness Class Review

A lean, mean boxing machine! That's what I am not...yet. 

But I have been trying to incorporate boxing into my weekly routine - it's cardio, strength, total-body, HIIT, and low impact on my legs. Did I mention it's FUN and the (good) classes tend to fly by? Half the time I'm concentrating so hard on what the punch sequence is that before I know it, class it over!

My mission to become the next Ali (who is his female counterpart?) has led me to NYSC, Tapout Fitness, Kickbox Haus, Rumble Boxing and Work Train Fight. The latest stop was Shadowbox in the Flatiron District. 

Shadowbox NYC Fitness Review

THE STUDIO 

Shadowbox Review

The inside of Shadowbox is SO pretty. Which is a little disconcerting for a place where you're supposed to be learning about boxing - a sport with a not so dainty reputation. 

But now that boxing has become a trendy fitness fad, some of the studios are big, bright and downright beautiful spaces that attract Lulu-clad ladies. I'm sure the boxing purists out there have their issues with places like Rumble and Shadowbox, but at the end of the day, it's raising awareness about the sport and I think that's a good thing! 

A recent conversation centered around the most overall athletic athletes - and we landed on boxers. That never would have been my pick before boutique-boxing became a thing! 

I digress. 

Shadowbox is a gorgeous studio with a cafe in the lobby serving turmeric lattes and coffee with MCT oil. Trendy AF. 

Shadowbox Fitness Review

There's an actual boxing ring where private sessions take place (why are boxing rings square?), both men's and women's locker rooms, and a black-lit, mirrored studio with 40 floor to ceiling punching bags ready for you to beat the crap out of. 

Shadowbox Boxing Review

The studio itself feels slightly cramped when you walk in, but once the class was underway, it wasn't so bad. 

There's a pouch at the bottom of each bag with 1 pound weights - it's also where you should store your water bottle so it's not on the floor and in your way! (And pro-tip from the nowhere-near-a-pro...your gloves go up on the top of the bag for the first part of class!) 

THE CLASS 

Shadowboxing Review

WARM UP 

The warm-up included some simple body-weight/cardio exercises like jumping jacks, butt kicks and high knees. 

SHADOWBOX 

During this portion of the class, we boxed without gloves and without the bag - like we were boxing a shadow! Get it? There was also the option to use 1 pound hand weights for this part. 

We went through the different movements - jab, cross, hooks and uppercuts and did a few different combinations adding in some bobbing and weaving (defensive moves). 

I had sucked it up and bought myself wraps ($4) when I arrived, so I was feeling pretty legit and ready to get to business. 

BOXING - 7 ROUNDS 

The majority of the class was spent going through 7 different rounds of boxing with the heavy bag - gloves on.  

Each round is between 3-5 minutes followed by ACTIVE recovery. There isn't a minute of class that you're resting. If you aren't throwing punches, you're doing burpees, lunges, mountain climbers, or some other form of sweet sweet torture. The hardest active recovery that we did, in my opinion, were the MAYWEATHER SITUPS. Good God. You're supposed to go right from a sit up to a stand-up, and even as I clung to the bag to try to heave myself up, I struggled HARD. 

How the heck does he make this look easy?? It is not, I assure you. 

WHAT I LIKED:

+Non-stop! Between ab work, cardio drills and bag-work, you're constantly moving during a class at Shadowbox. It's a total body workout for sure. 

+Compared to Rumble, Shadowbox relies entirely on body weight exercises for the "strength" component of the class. While I really liked the fact that you used weights at Rumble and it felt like real strength training, the way that Shadowbox is set up makes the transition from strength to boxing a lot smoother and quicker which keeps you on your toes. 

+I did really miss the combinations being projected on the wall like they were during class at Rumble, but our instructor did a great job of reminding us during each round of what punches we were supposed to be throwin'.

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:

-The fact that the heavy-bags are floor to ceiling makes it very hard to see the instructor during class. I was constantly moving around to try to get a look at the moves she was demonstrating.  (When you sign up online, the website will show you which bags have better views and recommends them for beginners). 

-I didn't like that I'm dumb and kept one of my rings on and cut my hand open. 

THE RUNDOWN

Shadowbox NYC Review

THE STUDIO – 7

Another gorgeous studio - with lockers, locker rooms, convenient extras like hair-ties and nice products, and even a coffee shop with juices and other goodies. 

I was shocked at how few people stayed after class to shower. While the line wasn't long, the space itself was still pretty cramped as people tried to get changed and do their hair and makeup. 

CLASS SIZE - 7

The classes are pretty big - much like Rumble, if you're really looking to learn about boxing and get some one on one training, this probably isn't the best place to come (unless you're doing a one on one session in the ring!) There are 40 bags, and though it looks and feels a little cramped when you first walk in, you have plenty of room to do everything required of you in the class. 

SWEAT SCALE – 7

This class kicked my booty and I was definitely sore the next day! 

FUN FACTOR – 8

Dark room, great jams, releasing some pent up anxiety and stress by punching something. Definitely a good time!

AMENITIES – 8

There's really everything you could ask for in the locker room and studio - you can buy water bottles, wraps and rent gloves. 

COST - $$$

Standard for NYC, a class at Shadowbox costs $34 for a single class. Unfortunately, they don't have any deals for first time students. I attended for free in exchange for a review on my blog! 

BOTTOM LINE: 

Shadowbox NYC Review

My love of boxing classes continues. Shadowbox is definitely like Rumble in many ways, and doesn't provide any one on one time with the instructor. In fact, you can barely see the instructor during class. While it doesn't have some of the bells and whistles that Rumble has, I liked the fact that the second you finished on the bag, you went straight into another exercise. Despite not having weights for strength training, Shadowbox incorporates moves like lunges, push-ups and burpees that challenge you and keep your heart rate elevated the entire time. 

I also liked that Shadowbox threw in some defensive maneuvers as well. 

If you're looking for a group fitness boxing class as opposed to actual one on one boxing, I definitely recommend giving Shadowbox a try. It might now be as new and shiny as Rumble, but it's a great workout, a beautiful studio, and there's a shorter line for the shower after class ;) 

(And I've found that for one-on-one time with an instructor, regular old NYSC "Non-Contact Boxing" classes are great! WTF also included a LOT of time with the instructor!)

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Out Of The [Kick]Box Haus

There are only a few fitness fads that I haven’t tried, and a handful that I’ve tried and just haven’t really enjoyed (Barre – ow! Yoga – ugh! Zumba – womp!) 

There are no fitness fads that I’m not willing to give a shot (still need to make my way to a “flirty girl fitness class,” aerial yoga, trampoline and trapeze!) Even if I look like a spaz and make a fool of myself, it’s only for an hour!

Feeling like a total spaz was par for the course during my first boxing class at Work Train Fight – but the challenge fell into the land of “motivating” instead of “demoralizing” (which is how I felt attending a step class full of 60+ jazzercisers before I walked out of the only class I’ve ever quit).

Since then, I’ve taken a few classes at NYSC at have found them to be pretty enjoyable. My arms are always so sore the day after a boxing class and I love that feeling of “OH SHIT I did WORK yesterday.”

So I thought it was time to throw some legs into the mix and attend a kickboxing class – an intimidating idea for someone with little to no coordination when it comes to things that require choreography.

After looking around at some studios, and really wanting to use the 2nd Avenue Subway – I came across The Kickbox Haus on the Upper East Side. Not only did they offer kickboxing, but fusion classes with kettlebells!

I talked to studio owner and instructor Michelle and it sounded like a pretty challenging class – so I signed myself and a friend up and hoped for the best.

Kickbox Haus NYC Review

THE STUDIO

Kickbox Haus is a very small studio with about 10 punching bags set up in very close proximity. There’s really nowhere to put your things – I had to shove my winter coat, boots and backpack behind my punching bag which was odd but worked out fine.

It’s $5 to rent gloves.

THE INSTRUCTOR

Michelle was teaching our class and she was full of personality and energy – she gave lots of instructions and soon we were set up by our bags with kettlebells of varying weights and a mat to get started with some glute and core work. 

THE CLASS

The bulk of the class alternated between kettlebell exercises and bag work.

Michelle is extremely qualified to teach all about kettlebells – a piece of fitness equipment that’s typically misused. She was very adamant about proper form for kettlebell swings which was very helpful. Kettlebell swings tire me OUT, man. I eventually got the hang of them, but 30 seconds straight of kettlebell swinging is no joke.

We also worked on some cleans and I was a little less graceful with those – banging up my elbows, shoulders and wrists pretty well in an attempt to get the kettlebells into the racked position.

My favorite part was the bag work – incorporating not only jabs, crosses, uppercuts, hooks etc. but straight and roundhouse kicks. We did a ladder with roundhouse kicks that sounded simple, but by the time I was up to 10 kicks I was beat!

WHAT I DIDN'T LOVE & WHAT I LOVED

My favorite and least favorite part of the class was actually the same thing – Michelle took a lot of time after each set/exercise to explain what was coming next.

As someone taking my first kickboxing class and still new to Kickbox Haus, I really appreciated the in depth instruction and attention to form and proper technique. That being said, my heart rate kept coming down during the instruction, and if I were a regular I would have been irritated by all of the talking!

The periods of work were hard, don’t get me wrong – but the class overall could have felt like a much better workout if the moves had been explained at the beginning of class and then we powered through them all with less rest.

I still left feeling really glad that I had attended – and wanting to add kickboxing (with an actual bag) to my regular workout routine – as well as using kettlebell swings in more of my DIY gym workouts. They’re a great power+strength+cardio exercise!

The Kickbox Haus offers a variety of classes in additional to kickboxing and kettlebell – there’s TRX training, Muay Thai, American Boxing, and more.

If you’re looking for real training and instruction on proper technique I highly recommend taking a few classes at The Kickbox Haus.

Just bear in mind – there are no showers or changing/locker rooms – it’s a small space with the bare minimum. 

Kickbox Haus NYC

Feelin' So Fly Like AG6

AG6 is Asphalt Green’s fitness class that uses new technology to create a light-up workout experience that’s one of a kind - according to the marketers, at least. 

ag6 asphalt green

THE STUDIO

AG6 takes place in one of the buildings that’s part of the Asphalt Green complex on the Upper East Side. There’s not a dedicated locker room and changing area for the AG6 studio, and instead, participants are asked to wait in the lobby until it’s time for class. There are two bathrooms in the actual studio where you can change if need be, but showering after class would prove to be problematic if you aren’t an Asphalt Green member.

AG6 is open to the public, even if you don’t have an Asphalt Green membership. A little more thought and planning in terms of convenience for those folks would be appreciated.   

The class takes place in the dark, but each of the 7 stations have lights that glow and blink and flash and change colors throughout the 45 minute session.

THE CLASS

The class is high-intensity interval training and we rotated through each station 3 or 4 times. The first round was 30 seconds at each station but after that, we went for a minute at each.

The last round, our instructor gave us the option of going back down to 30 seconds but I loved that myself and another girl said LETS DO A FULL MINUTE. Getting our money’s worth, right?

Station A

We did T-pushups with a weight – with our feet on a bosu ball! It not only worked your chest and shoulders but KILLED your core trying to stabilize for the entire minute.

Station B

We stood in front of a wall with 9 circles. We sprinted up to the wall and tapped the glowing circle – which signaled the light to move to a different circle. Using hand eye coordination and speedy reaction time, we had to hit 4 circles before back-peddling to the starting line and running forwards to repeat for the given amount of time.

Station C

Resistance bands around our ankles, we pivoted in the squat position, moving up and down a line on the ground and trying to stay low with our legs spread wide.

Station E

We used circles on the ground to step out for diagonal lunges while double-shoulder pressing two kettlebells over our head.

On subsequent rounds, we added a kettlebell deadlift to the mix.

Station F

We used gliders on a slippery portion of the floor to do an IMPOSSIBLY difficult mountain climber variation where one foot was on the glider and the other was elevated. Yeah, I don’t know either. I wanted to weep every time I was at this station.

Station G 

With a mat under our knee, we pulsed in the lunge position with a shoulder press, alternating legs every 10 reps.

Station H

This was a cardio-focused station that changed each round – but always included some suicide sprints or pushing a heavy plate down the grass portion of the floor. When we were asked to double hop while pushing the plate, I thought I was going to casually tip over and die.

AG6 Review

THE INSTRUCTOR

Our instructor was a little all over the place when he explained some of the stations – he’d change his mind about what we were doing which made things a little confusing.

The plus was that he was incredibly encouraging and motivating with super high energy throughout the class. Also? He played Dark Horse by Katy Perry which is my all-time favorite song to sweat to.

WHAT I LIKED

One of the things I liked most about this class was the fact that everyone taking it was incredibly nice. It had a great community feel, and most people in the class were clearly regulars. At the end of class, we all high fived and said great job – which is definitely not something you get at a place like SoulCycle.

The other thing I loved was that even though there were clearly people of all fitness levels participating in the class, the moves weren’t dumbed down – they were CHALLENGING.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

I was actually motivated by the lights for the part where you run to the wall and hit the different targets, but for the most part this “state of the art technology” didn’t really seem to contribute much to the class at all. Sure, it looked cool and set the mood, but it didn’t provide any metrics, statistics, or challenge to the class which was disappointing. Our instructor had informed us that some of the technology was acting up – which was the second time I was told that when trying to come in for a review.

It doesn’t seem like the most reliable technology. That being said, it was still a great, challenging class. I just wouldn’t come if you’re only excited about feeling like you’re in a real life video game like some of the advertising suggests.

AG6 Class Review

THE RUNDOWN

THE STUDIO – 6

As I mentioned before – there are no real facilities for those who don’t belong to Asphalt Green. The studio itself is of course, pretty cool – with its black lights and stations built into the ground and walls. It’s also very spacious.

Something to note about AG6 is that their class schedule is limited – so be sure to check their website to see when AG6 classes are offered!

CLASS SIZE - 7

There were only about 10 of us in the class, which was great. That being said, with three people at each station, some of them were a little bit cramped – especially the one where we were pushing plates.

Sweat Scale – 7

This class was definitely a challenge and definitely left me sweaty and sore the next day.

Fun Factor – 8

It was a unique class and the technology helped to keep things fun with flashing lights, changing colors, etc. But the best part was that the class was engaged and supportive.

Amenities – 6

There are two large restrooms easy enough to use as changing rooms before class, but there is nowhere to shower (at least that I was made aware of).

Cost - $$$

Standard for NYC, a class at AG6 costs $35 for non-members and $25 for Asphalt Green members.

AG6 Asphalt Green Fitness Class Review

Bottom Line

I wasn’t as impressed with this technology as I expected to be after reading articles about its ability to tap into an athlete’s “6th sense.” It seems there’s a lot of other studios doing more with metrics than AG6. Sure, working out in a dark room that flashes and blinks and changes colors was cool, but at the end of the day it seemed a little gimmicky. Luckily, the exercises and workout spoke for themselves and provided a challenging class for a great group of people. 

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Photo Credit: Asphalt Green

Body Space Fitness Delivers Solid Strength & Cardio Classes

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 Class Review

THE STUDIO

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.

You can take a virtual tour of the studio on their website!

Body Space Fitness NYC

THE CLASSES

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.

WARM UP

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.

CIRCUIT ONE

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

CIRCUIT TWO

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!
V-Ups
Lateral Box Step Up
SB FS - Front squats with the sandbag!
Floor Chest Press

THE INSTRUCTOR

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."

Body Space Fitness Body Camp

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!

EXERCISES

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.
TRX Rows
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
Crab Walk
Rope Squats

THE INSTRUCTOR

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.

Body Space Fitness Review

THE RUNDOWN

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.

Body Space Fitness NYC Review

B|X Class Review: Buckets of Sweat

My Class Pass free trial continued on Saturday morning with my first trip to a CrossFit "box." While I've never ventured into the world of CrossFit, I'm familiar with a lot of their terminology, (AMRAP, WOD, "for time," etc.) and have always thought I would love their high intensity nature. 

But belonging to a box is not a financially feasible option for me. Luckily, BRICK offers a bootcamp-style class called B|X that's available for sign-ups through Class Pass. B|X incorporates some basic principles from crossfit without the fancy Olympic weight lifting moves that take months to work up to.

Strength-building movements, dynamic explosive movements, cardio, endurance - this class was a non-stop sweaty challenge. 

Brick Crossfit NYC

THE STUDIO 

BRICK has two locations in NYC and I visited the one near Grand Central. The space is massive for Manhattan, with three floors, a full-service coffee shop (with fancy, health-fad drinks like coffee with butter and MCT oil), protein shake bar, and tons of different gym areas for their variety of class offerings. 

Brick Grand Central NYC

Everything is very...orange - but organized, spacious and clean. Not to mention they have top of the line equipment like the TrueForm Runner treadmills that were incredible! 

The locker rooms had showers with complimentary razors, Q-tips, hair ties, etc. 

After checking out the digs I went into the room where B|X classes are held. There were about 20 of us in the class and I will say that it felt a little crowded at times - though there were plenty of machines and equipment to accommodate everyone. 

Our instructor, Scarlett, started class right on time (which is something that I always appreciate). 

THE CLASS 

WARM-UP 

A quarter of the class started on the rowers, a quarter on the treadmills, a quarter on the spin bikes and a quarter on the mats for burpees. We did two minutes of cardio before switching to another station for another 2 minutes. 

Lucky me, Scarlett came over to let me know that I was on the bike which was permanently set at the heaviest resistance. After 2 minutes of that torture device, I got to complete around 30 burpees in 2 minutes. Warm-up? I was excited/petrified for class to start. 

Next was an AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible). For 6 minutes we rotated through 10 alternating straight leg marches each leg, 10 alternating back lunges each leg, 20 Russian Twists, 20 mountain climbers (knee to elbow). 

As we mentally prepared ourselves for what was to come next, Scarlett walked us through the set-up for the rest of the class. B|X works by splitting the class into 4 groups who rotate through 4 different 7-minute working stations. There's a 1 minute break in between each station. 

Scarlett was great in her explanation of each station and demonstrated each movement in case there was any confusion. 

STATION ONE - COMPLETE AS MANY ROUNDS AS POSSIBLE IN 7 MINUTES

  • 10 Calories on the Rower - this took around 1 minute to complete
     
  • 15 Push-Ups - while Scarlett was very specific in how we should be properly performing our push-ups, I fully admit that I wasn't feeling up to it and instead floundered around on my knees in a pathetic attempt at correct push-ups
     
  • 20 Later Jumps - there were different sized hurdles that we could use and I opted for the lowest one

STATION TWO - COMPLETE AS MANY ROUNDS AS POSSIBLE IN 7 MINUTES

  • 10 Burpees

  • 20 Sit-Ups - I don't normally struggle with sit-ups but these were brutal after Scarlet showed us how to ensure that we weren't using our hips to help lift ourselves up (bend your knees and put the soles of your feet together, forming a diamond between your legs. On the way down, make sure your hands touch behind your head and on the way up maybe sure your hands touch out in front of you). 

  • 40 Mountain Climbers

STATION THREE - COMPLETE AS MANY ROUNDS AS POSSIBLE IN 7 MINUTES 

  • 10 Push Press - A little bend of the knees before straightening to push dumbbells overhead
     
  • 10 Kettlebell Swings
     
  • 10 Wallballs - These are a typical crossfit exercise that look simple but are deceptively killer! 

STATION FOUR - LADDER FOR 7 MINUTES 

  • 100 Meter Sprint
  • 5 Squat Thrusts - another go-to crossfit move, this is a front squat with two dumbbells into an overhead press and they are HARD 
  • 100 Meter Sprint 
  • 10 Squat Thrusts 
  • 100 Meter Spring 
  • 15 Squat Thrusts 
  • Continue until 7 minutes are up 

During this station I climbed onto a TrueForm Runner treadmill and let me tell you - those things are like MIND READERS! At first, I couldn't quite figure it out. The belt was moving slowly even though I wanted to run faster - you don't input a speed - it just intuitively knows when to speed up and slow down based on where you're standing. 

Eventually, I figured out that as you run closer to the front of the treadmill, it will speed up. After class, I spoke with Scarlett about the TrueForm and she explained that it's designed to make you run with perfect form - high knees, butt kick, almost as if you're falling forward. Even people who are extremely in shape say that it's extremely difficult to run on the TrueForm - but I found it to be pretty comfortable! Granted, I only ran 100 meters at a time, but I'm really interested in finding some other gyms and studios with these machines to give them a spin for a longer run. 

WHAT I LIKED: 

  • Again, this class was a huge butt-kicking in the best way possible. 
  • You get to use SO many different things - a rower, treadmill, bike, kettlebells, dumbbells, etc. 
  • The 7 minute stations make each set of exercises seem possible - "I can do anything for 7 minutes!" 
  • Scarlett did an amazing job at explaining each exercise, correcting form throughout the class, encouraging us to finish each station strong, giving us a heads up when the clock was counting down, and letting us know when it was time to start back up. 
  • There's no way you can be bored during this class as you're constantly doing something new. 
Brick Grand Central NYC

WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: 

  • So far I'm 2/2 on classes that I've tried through Class Pass exceeding my expectations. B|X had everything I look for in a workout. 
  • The one thing I would say is that the space was ever so slightly cramped. 

THE RUNDOWN

*Based on a scale of 1-10

The Studio - 9
Spacious, packed with shiny, top of the line equipment 

Class Size - On the larger side
There were about 20 people in my class and though space was a little limited, there was plenty of equipment and everyone still got personal attention from the instructor 

Sweat-Scale - 9.5
Soaked through my sports bra for SURE. 

Fun-Factor - 7
Constantly doing new exercises and only staying at each station for 7 minutes meant that you never had time to feel bored or wonder "are we done yet?" Perhaps B|X could add a little bit of competition or team-work to the stations to bring up the "fun" score. I was in a group with 4 other people during the whole class but there wasn't much encouraging each other or bonding over our shared pools of sweat. 

Amenities - 8
Very nice. 

Cost - $$$ 
(<$20 = $, $20-$30 = $$ and $30+ = $$$) 

BOTTOM LINE

If you can't commit to crossfit full-time but still yearn for a workout that will leave your feeling sweaty and STRONG B|X might just be the perfect solution for you. 

BRICK also has locations in Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles.  You can get your first class free on their website! 

Brick Crossfit NYC

YOUR TURN: 
HAVE YOU EVER USED THE TRUE FORM RUNNER? WHAT DID YOU THINK? 
DO YOU LIKE CLASSES WITH DIFFERENT STATIONS OR WOULD YOU RATHER DO ONE ACTIVITY LIKE SPINNING OR BOXING? 
HAVE YOU TRIED A CROSSFIT CLASS? WHAT DID YOU THINK? 

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