If you follow me on snapchat (Michaelabear1), many of you may have noticed my morning routine of trying different fitness classes! You see I’ve never been one to go to the gym and do the same workouts day in day out, so when I moved to New York and discovered ClassPass all of my excuses not to work out went out the window! ClassPass is a fitness membership program here in the States that allows you to take classes in all sorts of gyms and studios. It costs $125 a month, which may seem steep but when you consider that many of the classes available can cost up to $45 for 1 hour it works out to be cost efficient!
When I first signed up to ClassPass I became obsessed with Reformer Pilates (literally obsessed!), it wasn’t until I started to learn more about fitness that I realised I needed to try and mix it up with different classes so I would see the physical results I wanted! At the moment my routine is to take 5-6 classes a week compiled of two pilates, one barre (for strength) and 2-3 cardio intensive classes to try and burn some lard! I’m always looking for recommendations of new classes to try so I thought it would be fun to share my 5 current favourite classes on Classpass!
1. Pilates On The Square: My go to place for my morning pilates! Located right off of Union Square this little studio has classes all throughout the day at different intensity levels! During the hour long class you split your time between the reformer and the cadillac. For the first couple of months I took intermediate classes to learn about the correct pilates form and develop the core strength that I desperately needed! After a few months I moved up to Advanced classes which are definitely a step up as they combine come cardio with jumping boards but really your muscles working. My favourite instructors are Nwando and Erin!
2. Diesel at Crunch Gym: Many people tend to turn their nose up at the classes provided by Crunch Gym because of its affordable reputation but I stumbled upon a class that I truly love and one which gives you a total body workout from head to toe! The hour long class is super fast paced and combines strength dumbell exercises with sets of high intensity cardio which really gets your heart pounding! Even though this class is a tough one that will leave you feeling sore the next morning, the fun music and enthusiastic instructors keeps your spirits lifted.
3. Core Fusion Barre at Exhale Spa: Exhale is a really nice upscale studio that’s known for its intense barre classes! I only started barre about a month ago but honestly I’m hooked already. This hour long class starts off with a series of push ups and planks before moving on to the upper body strength segment (think high reps but low weight). Then you move to the barre for a set of thighs and bum exercises that I swear to god will have your legs shaking like a leaf. The class finishes with a pilates style core workout and some nice stretching! I will say that since I started this class I’ve notice a slight lift in my tush so I’m definitely going to keep with it! Plus I like the fancy soaps and shampoos in the restrooms! I love the studio on the UES where my go to instructor is Zoe.
4. FlyBarre Sport 60 at FlyBarre: This is another total body workout that combines strenght training with high intensity cardio intervals. The Sport 60 class is much tougher than the regular FlyBarre class because of the cardio involved which is usually a combination of jump squats, jumping jacks and knee lifts. The thing I like most about this class is not only the cool studios, but that the moves are somewhat synchronised to a killer playlist so it almost feels like a dance class. Be warned your arms, abs and butt will be in bits the next day but no pain no gain right? My favourite location is the East 60th where I love to take Emily’s class.
5. Cardio Chair at ChaiseFitness: Ok so I just took this class for the first time last week, but my body is literally still feeling it several days later so I’m putting it down as a recent favourite! This is a sculpting/lengthening class combined with unique cardio intervals every 10 minutes. For most of the class you’re using bungee resistance straps hanging from the ceiling while getting into certain positions on the chair. It’s hard to describe but basically your resisting with arms, abs and legs at any given moment without any breaks! I’ll be honest, at the half way point I considered making up an excuse to leave because I thought I was about to pass out but once I kept with it I swear I started to feel that endorphin release that I used to think was a myth! Definitely looking forward to going back again soon!
One thing I’ve noticed while working out at these studios is how stylish gym gear can be! Athleisure wear is all over the streets of Manhattan so I was delighted when I came across a fitness fashion brand called Elle Belle fit, a brand started by a fellow Irish girl in Australia! I swear I have been living in these sweat pants ever since I got them!