A spacious new studio in SoHo is set to tempt New Yorkers away from ClassPass with its affordable membership-based structure and well balanced exercise offerings.
Earlier this year a new yellow and black facade appeared on the Bowery, signaling another fitness business in an area of Manhattan that’s saturated with boutique studios. This one, though, is different, and might just be the perfect solution for those who never quite recovered from the death of unlimited classes on fitness booking app ClassPass.
Members of FitHouse will pay a reasonable monthly price of $99 for access to up to seven classes per day. Like a gym membership, there is no cap on how many times you can visit, which is great news if you’re the high energy type who likes to workout every day, and even doubles up from time to time—cardio before breakfast, yoga to wind down after work.
The studio itself is huge, and comes stocked with every piece of equipment you might need, from kettle bells and skipping ropes to yoga matts and resistance bands. Two of the walls are mirrored, so you can check you’ve got your form down, and the lights overhead can be adjusted through a spectrum of colors to suit the mood of the class.
Like any high-end fitness studio worth its salt, freshly laundered towels and bottled water are included with every visit. And next to the private changing cubicles you’ll find an assortment of sundries—deodorant, dry shampoo, hair ties and other essentials to freshen up after your workout is complete.
The intention behind FitHouse is to address a lot of the pain points New Yorkers experience trying to get fit in this city. A monthly membership is the same cost as just three classes at popular boutique studios like Rumble boxing or Soul Cycle, which go for $34 per single session. It also offers a well structured balance of class types so members can curate their exercise regimen the way they can with ClassPass, but with greater consistency.
“People want a one-stop shop. It’s great to be able to come and get in your strength, get in your cardio, get in your active recovery and whatever else,” explains Chase Rifkin, Branding Director and Co-founder. “You know, it’s tough to bounce around and it’s inconsistent. You may have gone to Barry’s [Bootcamp] on abs day, and then you go to what you think is a restorative yoga class and you’re in 18 planks. It’s a tough thing to manage and I think people are finally realizing the importance of consistency. We’ve worked really closely with founding instructors to create the perfect balance of fitness.”
That perfect balance includes three different types of HIIT (high intensity interval training), vinyasa yoga, a barre/Pilates hybrid, and an active mobility class that Rifkin describes as “double-the-movement yoga”, and the toughest class on the schedule.
The convenient Bowery location is only the beginning, and by the end of the year FitHouse might be as ubiquitous as Equinox. There are plans to open a flagship in the Flatiron district, as well as Tribeca, Murray Hill, Upper East, Upper West, and over the bridges in Brooklyn and Jersey. But the studio isn’t as sprawling and impersonal as big chain gyms. The front desk staff greet you by name and the plan is to build an engaged and involved community with regular events and workshops. Call it the Cheers of New York fitness studios.