In The Know | NYC’s Best Fitness Classes

Whether you’re resident or tourist, here are the spots to hit

  • Written by Robert Cordero

December 14, 2016

New Yorkers are very busy, but somehow, they never skimp on their workouts – even in December. Why? Because it’s the perfect time to start working on that ultimate summer body. But before you hit the gym, know that routine will be your biggest enemy. That’s why we scoured the city for rewardingly painful workouts and restorative workouts that you can keep rotating to keep you motivated and your muscles guessing.



As the name suggests, modelFIT is where models get their bodies trimmed and toned. The secret? It’s a series of Pilates, yoga, core and slower functional movements designed so you don’t add bulk, but lengthen and sculpt your muscles. modelFIT, however, knows that to get that perfect body, it’s not just about workouts. The studio strongly advocates a healthy nutritional program for a more “balanced lifestyle.” You may not be walking for Victoria’s Secret, but after a few classes, you’ll feel a little more like Bella.

Sky Ting Yoga
Sky Ting Yoga, founded by Chloe Kernaghan and Krissy Jones, has perfectly captured the casual and cool vibe of eastern Chinatown (one of our favourite New York city enclaves) in studio form. The space is on the minimal side, but still warm. The teachers are on the hip side of the yoga spectrum, and warm too.

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Soho Strength Lab

Soho Strength Lab
When group classes aren’t your thing, head to Soho Strength Club. Andrew Speer (a former gymnast and competitive pole vaulter) and his co-founders Albert Matheny and Ryan Hopkins, will get you in the best shape of your life. Speer, the guy who stars in the Men’s Health exercise videos, tailors your workouts, including gymnastics, weightlifting and track-and-field inspired exercises. Once you go through the sequence, you’ll feel like you have accomplished something Herculean—good for your psyche and of course, your body.

S10 Training
If you follow Insta-famous New York creatives on social media, chances are you’ve seen their workouts at S10 Training. Although people like Heron Preston and Diplo pop in for sessions, it’s definitely not to just hang out at the cool gym. The studio is very well designed, often getting confused for a gallery, says Stephen Cheuk, the founder. “The classes are very results-driven and everyone that attended is here to work and gets pushed and people feed off that energy. It’s definitely not a class you come to and half-ass it.” Indeed, S10 stands for Sub-10, meaning the combination of conditioning, weight training and sound nutrition program are designed to get your body fat below 10% in no time. Read our interview with S10 trainer Joe Holder



HBS grad and co-founder of Vital Juice (a health and wellness newsletter), Amanda Freeman, discovered Megaformer (an innovative fitness machine) while on a business trip to Los Angeles. “I wanted the Pilates-body, but loved the experience of an energetic, music-fuelled boutique fitness class,” says Freeman. She started SLT, which stands for (S)trengthen, (L)engthen and (T)one. “There’s nothing out there quite like it and the incredible results prove it. If cardio, strength training and Pilates had a baby…it would be SLT.”

People’s Boot Camp
Adam Rosante, a celebrity trainer, wanted to give people access to high-end fitness programming, so he created The People’s Bootcamp. Similar to the concept of Yoga to the People, the classes, on the west side of Manhattan, are “pay-what-you-can.” True to his goal, it’s “a very high-intensity total body workout using just your bodyweight as resistance”. It’s hard, but each exercise is done for intervals of time, which lets every person in the class work at their own level.

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Booty Blast at Equinox Soho

Booty Blast at Equinox Soho
If your butt needs work, then look no further than the aptly named Booty Blast at Equinox in Soho. Taught by Antonio Hudson, a former Argentinean aerobics instructor, the class shapes your posterior by working your abs, thighs and hips. It’s sweaty hard work, but thoroughly fun too.

Twerk Out
When you see twerking videos on YouTube, chances are you want to get up and try it. But it’s not nearly as easy as it looks – just ask Miley. We suggest you take a class at NYC Twerkout so when you’re ready to post videos of yourself twerking, you will go viral for all the right reasons.

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From six-years-old, MNDFL co-founder Lodro Rinzler began meditating and grew up in a Shambhala Buddhist household. Since then, he’s gone as far as attending a silent month-long retreat at 17, becoming a student of Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche during college. But Rinzler started MNDFL with Ellie Burrows for less spiritual reasons. “She wanted to meditate in a space that wasn’t religious and didn’t involve a weekend-long commitment, a space someone could drop in to with a community that was interested in exploring meditation in a contemporary context,” says Rinzler.

Tone House
Aimed at “unleashing the inner athlete,” Tone House is a no-nonsense gym. The programs are designed around core and functional movements, which, depending on the day, can vary from conditioning, upper body, lower body and core. But no matter the day or the coach, it meets the exacting standards of its founder, Alonzo Wilson, a former professional and collegiate athlete.

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New York Pilates

New York Pilates
When someone says Pilates isn’t hard, they haven’t been to New York Pilates. “The walls are white and the music is chill,” says founder Heather Andersen, a classically-trained ballet dancer. Once you see the lean and serene-looking instructors, you don’t expect an intense workout. But don’t be fooled because after class we guarantee that your muscles will be achy—and for good reason. “It is deep work that may feel gentle at the time, but actually changes the shape of your body and leaves you sore in all the right places,” says Andersen.

Lux Yoga
Benjamin Sears is a popular yoga instructor who teaches at various locations in New York but can be found bringing his unique and diverse teaching styles to London or Oslo throughout the year too. Sears is known for his pioneering Luxyoga retreats in the South of France. They take place at various times of the year on a beautiful private villa and are designed to meet demanding New Yorkers’ high standards.


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