ClassPass ($40 off), a flexible, subscription service that gives you access to top fitness studios and gyms, is a great way to stay in shape while traveling. You can conveniently book classes online or through the app at a significant discount to what you would normally pay if purchasing directly from the studio. There are participating studios in nearly every US city, as well as Europe, Asia, and Australia. You can filter your search by type of activity (e.g. yoga, cycling, boxing, etc.), difficulty level, or neighborhood. Your membership also includes free access to ClassPass Go, which offers hundreds of audio-guided workouts from top instructors.
Through ClassPass, I’ve discovered lots of new workouts and parts of the city that I never would have gone to before. With so many options available, it’s easy to find a class at a time and location that fits your schedule. Here are 10 studios on ClassPass that I recommend checking out if you live in or visit New York:
ConBody was founded by former inmate Coss Marte, and is based on the no-equipment method he developed while in prison, where he used military-style bodyweight exercises to shed 70 pounds in six months. When class begins, the cell door is shut while you do your time inside the studio (45 and 60 minute classes are offered). The instructor pushes you to your limits as you go through a series of moves, like push-ups, planks, and squat thrusts. After class, you can take a mugshot to show that you did the time.
The best thing about ConBody is that it provides jobs for the formerly incarcerated. All classes at the studio are taught by former inmates. Having a criminal record can make it difficult for ex-offenders to find a job. Employment gives them the opportunity to obtain housing and health care, comply with court-ordered debts, and support themselves and their family.
Literally the coolest workout in the city, Brrrn’s total body strength and conditioning classes take place in a refrigerated room chilled to 50°F. Dumbbells, ropes, slide boards, and other equipment may be used depending on the class you choose. The cold forces your body to work harder to maintain its core temperature, thus burning more calories. After the workout, you can warm back up with a sweat session in the infrared sauna which reaches temperatures up to 156°F.
3. Banana Skirt
Banana Skirt offers dance classes taught by fun, energetic instructors. All skill levels are welcome and no previous dance experience is needed. You can choose from classes that teach you the choreography to your favorite pop songs, or the watch-and-follow Ratchet Fitness classes with club lighting and a hip-hop playlist.
Epulse offers personal training using Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) technology. This technology has been around for decades, but is just now becoming popular in the US. During the workout, you wear a suit that sends electrical pulses through your body, causing your muscles to contract and working 98% of your body’s muscles simultaneously. The workout is designed to achieve maximum results in the shortest amount of time. Although the sessions are only 20 minutes, they claim that the extra muscle contractions triggered by the EMS pulses give you the same results as a 90 minute high intensity workout. In the EMS Partner classes, the trainer works with two clients at a time and will customize your workout and adjust the intensity of the pulses based on your strength and fitness level.
5. Hit House
Hit House is a Muay Thai kickboxing studio that offers a full body workout. Through combinations of punches, kicks, knees, and elbows on the heavy bag, you will improve your strength, cardio fitness, and fight skills.
YogaSpark is a hot yoga studio offering challenging vinyasa flow classes with variations like blacklight or candlelight in a room heated to 90-95°F. If you choose one of their blacklight classes, wear something white or neon to get the full effect.
7. Surfset NYC
Surfset workouts are performed on a surfboard-inspired machine that mimics the feeling of balancing on the water, helping to improve your core stability. You can choose from classes focused on yoga, cardio, or strength. The studio is in East Village, but during the warm weather months, classes are offered on the rooftop of the Arlo Hotel in SoHo.
Switch Playground HIIT workouts take place in a nightclub-like atmosphere with a DJ who uses music, flashing lights, and fog machines to keep you energized throughout the class. After a yoga warm-up session, you pair up with a partner and rotate through the stations, stopping at each one for two minutes, which is further broken down into 30 second intervals. The workouts are challenging, but knowing you only have to keep it up for 30 seconds makes each interval bearable. There are multiple trainers monitoring the stations who will help you master each move.
9. Tone House
Known as the hardest workout in New York, Tone House recreates the feeling of team sports conditioning drills to unleash everyone’s inner athlete. If you’re nostalgic for your glory days as a high school or college athlete, this is the workout for you. Your coach and fellow teammates in the class will encourage you and push you to keep up through each of the exercises. The warm-up sequence alone is harder than almost any other workout in the city.
10. Rise by We
Rise is a class-based gym that feels like a collection of boutique fitness studios under one roof. You can choose from their variety of class offerings that include yoga, barre, pilates, boxing, cardio, and HIIT. Booking a class also gives you access to the sauna and steam room in the Superspa.
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