For most of my life, running was my workout of choice. I felt it kept me lean and my weight in my comfort zone. Over the past decade, the fitness world has launched a tremendous variety of new workouts from which to choose. I’ve have tried many of them, and can officially say I’m no longer just a runner. I am particularly hooked on Body Conceptions, (if you haven’t seen my piece on Mahri Relin from BOCO, check it out here) and rotate through a number of others over the course of a few weeks. Here are five workouts that will shake up your fitness regime and stoke your inner warrior:
SLT stands for Strengthen, Lengthen and Tone. It is a very challenging session focusing on your full body, with a heavy emphasis on core work- usually the most challenging, frustrating, and ultimately rewarding aspect of a good workout. My stomach hurts for days after these sessions. While I love this workout as a compliment to other heavy cardio classes, I also have friends who do SLT exclusively. My nutritionist at F-Factor suggests I should focus on building muscle at a place like SLT and tone down the cardio. The struggle is real people!
SLT on their workout: (taken from their site www. sltnyc.com)
- SLT is challenging and unlike any other workout out there. We plank, we lunge, we twist, we pulse…we constantly provide you with fun, unique and intense exercises that help to make you stronger and leaner. The full body workout is done with the assistance and resistance of weighted springs, thus requiring constant engagement of the core…for 50 minutes straight.
- Defy what you think you are capable of physically and mentally. You’ll work muscles you’ve never felt before and be sore for days after each workout. Every 50 minute class will push you past your comfort zone to achieve a new level of fitness, all in a safe and low impact environment.
- We believe a workout is only as good as its reSuLTs. SLT’s workout is performed slowly to activate the slow-twitch muscle fibers, leading to the long, lean, toned results we are all seeking. Muscles are worked to fatigue, forcing them to grow while increasing your rate of fat and calorie burning (up to 700 per session).
SOUL CYCLE!!! I can write volumes about this amazing experience. Founded by Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler- two entrepreneurial women with a kick-ass idea- this is vigorous cycling class that leaves you feeling great both body and soul. It’s winning formula combines an intense 45 minutes ride, hip-hop/dance soundtracks that make you want to get off your seat and dance on your bike, and instructor guided feel-good visualizations and positive energy. You’ll leave this work out dripping in sweat- and if you connect with the right teacher you might experience a cleansing cry as well…yes I have done this -its so good.
SoulCycle on their workout (taken from their site http://www.soulcycle.com )
- SoulCycle is indoor cycling re-invented. Forty-five minutes is all it takes to transform the way you look and feel. Get ready for fat-burning cardio, a full-body workout (we’ve added hand weights and core work!), and choreography to work your core.
- SoulCycle doesn’t just change bodies, it changes lives. With inspirational instructors, candlelight, epic spaces, and rocking music, riders can let loose, clear their heads and empower themselves with strength that lasts beyond the studio walls.
- Our signature SoulCycle ride is indoor cycling re-invented. With inspirational coaching, rockstar music, and a full body workout (we’ve added hand weights and core work!), this 45-minute class will transform the way you look and feel.
- It’s amazing what an extra 15 minutes can do. A little more challenge, a little more sweat, a lot more SOUL.
- Community Ride
- Come take a class on us and cheer on our newest Soul rockstars! Sign-up Monday at noon online, no series required.
- For our hardcore riders who want to double up, now’s your chance! Push up, tap back and rock out in our 90-minute cardio party.
- Soul Warrior
- Ever dream of being on the instructor podium? You might just get picked to take a turn leading the pack.
- We have modified our signature ride with instruction and music tailored just for teens! Must be 4’11” and 12 years old to ride. Parents must attend the first class in order to sign waiver.
- Check out our 1-hour introductory classes team-taught by two instructors to give you the extra attention you need. Designed to improve your ride whether it’s your first class or you just want to get back to the basics.
One of the moms in my son’s class is an instructor at The Fhitting Room, which is how I was introduced. After seeing her post pictures balancing her entire body on one finger, I had to try it. The Fhitting Room is an intense, circuit-based, full-body workout. Class sizes are small, and everyone is assigned a number (located on the ceiling of the studio) where you will begin your class. From there, you are divided into groups and the session entails a rotation through different segments of the workout. For example, while one group is using the rowing machines, another one is doing burpees. The music is loud and inspiring, the teachers are engaging and fun, and you’ll feel pushed to your personal limits. This is pretty intense physical activity; I consider myself in good shape and I felt like a weakling! It’s a clear path toward serious fitness and strength- try it with a group of friends for morale- and physical- support!
The Fhitting Room on their workout (taken from their site http://www.fhittingroom.com)
- The Fhitting Room® is an upscale High Intensity Training (HIT) boutique fitness studio delivering a comprehensive, body-changing workout in a small class environment. Classes bring together all the energy, motivation and contagious culture of an awesome group exercise class with the personal attention and education of an intimate personal training session.
- Science behind Fhitting Room:
- High intensity training (HIT) involves performing an all-out exhaustive physical effort for a short time followed by a short, sometimes active, recovery. A high-intensity workout increases the body’s need for oxygen during the effort and creates an oxygen shortage, causing the body to ask for more oxygen during recovery. This “afterburn” effect is referred to as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) and is the reason why intense exercise intervals will help burn more fat and calories than regular aerobic and steady-state workouts and translates into a metabolic boost for up to 48 hours after a complete HIT routine. Challenge yourself; allow us to safely push you out of your comfort zone, and you can spend less time exercising while getting leaner & stronger. What’s better than that?
- High intensity interval training taxes both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. Aerobic fitness increases the body’s need for oxygen and anaerobic builds muscle. Our workouts will increase your endurance and make you stronger at the same time. Studies indicate as little as 27 minutes of HIT three times per week produces the same anaerobic and aerobic improvement as 60 minutes of steady state cardio five times per week, so you can have more time for everything else in your life!
I heard about rave reviews of the life-changing The Class and HAD to try it. Getting a spot in the class was no easy task; I had to call in a favor from my friends at Bandier (thank you!). The Class was started by Taryn Toomey, a former fashion world exec cum yoga guru. Taryn is a knockout- gorgeous, lean, and fit. She’ll take you through a series of movements with heavy repetition (as in one exercise for an entire song!) while incorporating breathing, yelling (!), and jumping. This class is the ultimate full body experience. I left both fully fatigued and fully exhilarated. You must try this class- it’s quite an experience.
Taryn of The Class, on their workout (Taken from their website http://www.taryntoomey.com)
- The Class is a 75-minute cathartic mind-body experience.
- You shake, you pulse, you bounce, and you use sound to break open and activate stagnant “layers” in the body where stress, tension, and emotions are stored. In The Class you build a lean, strong body and cleanse the emotional and spiritual self through intense physical exertion, therapeutic instruction, and heart-pumping music.
- The challenging movement creates contraction and release that cleanses age-old emotional habits stored in the body. Cardio blasts flush the system to create new fertile space for positive change, unveiling untapped strength in every possible sense of the word.
- The Class Cardio is a 45-minute nonstop endorphin surge.
- This cardio-blasting, soul-shaking class combines toning, aerobic, and anaerobic training all set to fresh, new heart-pumping music. You will quickly reach and surpass your physical and mental limits to reveal a new endorphin-firing, empowered body.
- In The Class, you will find that you are much stronger than you thought.
A lover of dance-cardio, I couldn’t wait to try a session at the AKT studio that opened in my neighborhood. Founded by Anna Kaiser, she was looking to create a workout that was neither painful nor boring, and one could easily become a cornerstone of a fit lifestyle. While I was an intimidated beginner as I signed in, the staff was welcoming and helped to get me going. From my hideout in the back of the class, I followed the instructor as she led us through moves that built on each other into a fully choreographed dance. This dance would be repeated throughout the class to the beat and rhythms of different songs. I found the instructor easy to follow and motivating. While I definitely did NOT master the moves, I moved, danced, and sweat through this great session.
AKT features a specific dance for a week, allowing repeat clients to master the moves, know what’s coming, and really give it your Solid Gold best. The AKT team was great about following up/ checking in with me after the class. I’m definitely going back!
AKT on their workout (Taken from their website http://www.aktinmotion.com )
- Each class runs either 60 or 75 minutes, and incorporates a full spectrum of fitness elements, from yoga and dance to strength training and plyometrics. The beginner level involves more repetition and familiar movements, and as you progress, you expand your movement vocabulary, building more complex choreography into your repertoire. This way you continue to keep your mind sharp and engaged, your heart rate up, and your body poised to explore and expand your full range of movement.
- What makes AKT Different:
- TREND AND TORTURE-FREE.
- A little burn feels great, if it’s productive. But a masochistic approach to fitness is hardly self-sustaining. AKT draws on a range of proven methods to expand your limits, strengthen your body, and improve flexibility and balance with a focused, scaled, and fun approach to movement.
- NEVER BORING (AND NO PLATEAUS!)
- AKT classes are designed to progress, change, and evolve over the course of each week so that just like stepping into a river, you never walk into the same class twice.
- NO INTIMIDATION.
- If you like getting hollered at, then there are plenty of places for you—but this one probably isn’t it. While AKT’s teachers are professional dancers, you’re not expected to have any prior experience—or even coordination!—to enjoy and excel at AKT. Move at your own pace while being challenged, not demeaned.
- NO MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED.
- You can pay-as-you-go, but we encourage you to join for the optimal AKT experience, and also, because we’re all about community and would love you to be part of ours. The more you come, the faster you’ll see results—and the better you’ll feel.
- NO GREEN INSTRUCTORS.
- You can rest assured that your class will not be led by an instructor who just got certified last weekend. Anna prides herself on her hand-picked, highly trained staff of teachers, every last one of whom is a seasoned performer and skilled trainer. So not only do they put on a great show, they know how to assess and guide you for maximum safety and optimal results.
- TREND AND TORTURE-FREE.
They “say” summer bodies are made in the winter so sweat it out and enjoy!