Whether you’re an exercise addict living in NYC, or a visitor looking to get maximum burn for your buck (those dollar pizza slices aren’t going to work themselves off), these tough workouts will push you to the limit, torching calories and building your base fitness level fast.
The story behind Conbody is pretty incredible. While incarcerated Coss Marte created an intense, cell-friendly workout and managed to drop 70lbs in six months. After his release he branded the workout and opened a studio, hiring ultra-fit ex-prisoners to help teach. It’s exactly how you imagine a quintessential prison bootcamp to be—body-weight moves designed to be executed in a compact space (a 9’x6’ cell, to be precise). Jumping jacks, shadow boxing, crunches and get-ups (where you basically go from lying, to sitting, to standing, and back down again in the fastest time possible) combine to exhaust your muscles. If you dare take a break expect a friendly nudge from the instructor.
Boxing is the workout du jour at the moment, and thanks to its roster of super model clients Dogpound might just be the most high-profile gym with a ring (expect to see lithe Victoria’s Secret angels being put through their paces). Although it’s primarily known for private training, The Dogpound also offers classes combining cardio, resistance training, yoga, core strength, and of course boxing drills for a truly challenging workout. Don’t even think about showing up late with an excuse—that will earn you 50 burpees as punishment.
The infamous Tone House bases its workout on the training regimens of professional athletes, and self-identifies as “extreme”. You have been warned… The warm-up alone—circle drills featuring hardcore pylometric moves—will push you to your limit, and that’s before the relay and prop sections have even begun. Camaraderie with your fellow fitness enthusiasts and cheerleading from the trainers will help you find reserves you didn’t know you had. If you want to be in the best shape of your life, this class will get you there.
When it comes to a well-rounded fitness solution, Barry’s Bootcamp has you covered. Class is divided into treadmill intervals—speeds and inclines of various durations—followed by targeted weight training. It’s a fast-paced workout—just trying to keep track of the next treadmill instruction (“in 10 seconds increase the incline to three”) demands so much concentration you’ll barely notice how hard you’re working…until class finishes and you head to the shower with legs like jelly.
Low lighting, mirrored walls and a playlist of fierce hip hop have helped make Rumble one of the hottest studios in NYC right now. Class is divided between pummeling water-filled punch bags for an intense cardio workout and bootcamp-style strength training using dumbbells and body-weight moves. Despite feeling like a badass, you’ll be shattered by the time class is done.
Boutique studio, the Fhitting Room, focuses on high intensity intervals, sequenced to target all the major muscle groups. Once class is in full swing attendees are divided into teams who provide extra motivation thanks to a combination of support and healthy competition.
As you work your way around the room—hitting stations that span rowing machines, TRX, battle ropes and kettle bells—a duo of eagle-eyed instructors are on-hand to tweak your form and push you harder. There’s no opportunity to slack off at the Fhitting Room.
If you though Pilates was a gentle form of exercise, think again. Utilizing a contraption called the megaformer (similar to a reformer machine, but with more bells and whistles) SLT teaches small, very precise repetitions that will exhaust your muscles in a fraction of the time.
This is the kind of class that feels like total agony until you build up a base level of strength, but keep it up and you’ll get the lean, long, resilient muscles you always dreamed of.
Equinox has long been known for its diverse class offerings, many of which were created by the ambitious trainers on its roster. Project by Equinox is a talent incubator, designed to give instructors the leeway to trial their coolest ideas, and if the reception is promising, roll them out at the gym’s other locations. The goal is to give NYC gym bunnies an extraordinary workout, so expect innovative fitness hybrids that don’t fall neatly into just one bucket.