Exercise and fitness has definitely been a very big part of my life for the greater part of the last 6-7 years. I remember back to my freshman year in college when I would go for long 3-mile runs around campus at sunset or go to a group fitness class up to 5-6 days a week with my friends and roommate. The gym was always my safe haven, a place that I spent many hours. It was a place I went to to destress, to think, or just to have fun during my free time because I loved to run and I loved to sweat! Consistency was something that was important to me from the beginning and I'm so happy that that mentality has carried me through college and has translated pretty seamlessly into my working life now.
My job technically is a 9 to 5, but traveling as a consultant leaves my schedule pretty inconsistent. However, I always try to find ways to pencil in time to go to the gym, even if it means moving certain plans around, waking up earlier to head to a class, or delaying dinner plans a bit so I can get in a session. Trust me, it really does wonders for the mind and soul when you get up off the couch (no matter how hard it is) and get active. You never regret a workout :)
I joined ClassPass about 6 months ago, and it's probably one of the best things I love to spend my money on. For those who are unfamiliar with this service, ClassPass is essentially a monthly fitness membership that allows you access to thousands of workout classes and studios all at the palm of your hand. You can choose from a few different memberships depending on how many classes you take per month (3 classes = $45/month, 5 classes - $75/month, 10 classes = $135/month). With 3 classes, you can only go to a certain studio 1x each month, whereas with 5 classes you can visit a studio 2x each month. For the 10 class option, you can visit each studio up to 3x a month. Keep in mind that prices and rules vary in different parts of the U.S. so this is written from a NYC ClassPass perspective.
CP actually just changed up their class booking structure just a few months ago, so now instead of getting a certain number of classes with your membership, you get a certain amount of credits instead. Normally, a class is valued at 9 credits, so for someone who has the 5 class membership (like me), they would get 45 credits loaded into their account for the month. The reason they decided on the credit system was most likely due to the fact that not all classes or weighted equally, so some classes (shorter classes, free gym time, etc.) maybe cost less credits to book. Classes may also cost more points if you have already reached the limit of how many visits you can make to a studio. Rest assured, you can always buy more points every cycle when you run out. You can book and manage your account on a desktop, but their app is super-user friendly and it's on the first page of my apps.
I use up all my classes every month with about 10 days left to spare almost every time, but because my schedule is so up in the air and I never know how much time I will actually have to spend in the city, I find it more economical to just add on credits rather than bumping up my membership to a 10-class option. I also have a Planet Fitness membership since it is only 4 blocks away from my apartment, and I am a heavy user of hotel gyms when I am traveling for work. Over the last year in a half since living in the city, I probably go to the gym or a class at least 5-6 times a week.
I wanted to give you guys a little background on ClassPass and my personal fitness before diving into some of my favorite classes. I've taken a total of 42 since the time of writing this post, and in these last few months have definitely found my faves. Keep reading for more! I tried my best to take some pictures at each studio, but it's never the priority obviously so I don't have pics for a few :)
Here is a screenshot of what one of the pages on the app looks like. It's super easy to navigate and stores all of your previous and upcoming classes in a user-friendly mobile view.
Also, here is my referral link in case you guys want to sign up for a super cheap trial - 3 classes for $9 (this is a STEAL)
Overthrow Boxing Club - Ring Work & Underground Boxing Classes
I decided back in July that I wanted to find a new hobby, and kickboxing was something that I've always wanted to do. I first came across Overthrow when I spotted it as the backdrop in a photo of one of the best fashion/lifestyle bloggers (@tezzamb), and we did a P&D lookbook there since we loved it so much. Fast forward a few months later, and I actually signed up for a few sessions (not through Classpass) and ended up taking about 9-10 classes. I mostly started off doing the Underground Boxing sessions, which takes places in the dark basement of their 3-floor studio. These classes typically have anywhere from 10-20 people and its an intense workout every time. Ring Work takes place on the main studio in normal lighting, which I have to note was scary at first because no one wants their dripping sweat to be seen during a boxing workout haha. Classes are much smaller though, with 6-10 students to 1 instructor, so there definitely is more individual attention. Both classes are 45 minutes long, most instructors teach Ring Work and Undeground Boxing, and best of all, they're both for all-levels!
I discovered that Overthrow is actually on Classpass, so now I just head to the studio 2x a month instead of buying packages straight from Overthrow instead. I honestly haven't been to any other boxing studios in the city because I love coming here so much, but when I do decide to check out any other places, I'll be sure to mention it!
I'd only been to one Pilates mat class back in college before I joined Classpass, so I was pretty eager to dip my feet in it again after a few years. I immediately got hooked on my first Pilates class, specifically Pilates using the reformer machines, since it looked like so much fun! Pilates is actually a lot tougher than it appears to be, and if you try it and think it's easy, you're most likely not pushing yourself as much as you can because let me tell you-its HARD! I take at least 1 Pilates class every week, and let me tell you, it has been extremely transformational for my body especially when combined with cardio. My core and legs are the strongest they have ever been, and I really think it's because of the repetitive controlled movements and stretching that comes with doing Pilates. I definitely think its also a great workout for toning.
Body Evolutions NYC
This studio is my favorite of all time, and I've been here the most out of any others in the city so far. I love coming because they have the best instructors (personal faves are Debbie Lee and Bob Nagel), and it's always just a few blocks from wherever I am in East Village. I always leave here feeling great. One downside is that they don't have shower facilities, but it's very clean and class sizes are no more than 6.
Sal Anthony's Body Movement
Sal's was one of the first Pilates studios I discovered when I first started ClassPass and I've stuck with it ever since. I absolutely love the location (18th and 3rd), but I love that it is situated in a converted church. The decor here is one of the most unique I have seen, but it has so much charm to it. From the stained glass windows to the framed portraits on the walls, Sal's has the most character out of any studio I have been to. It's also one of the biggest, with an upstairs studio and a separate 2nd floor studio next door. I have taken a class in every room since I go during different hours every week, but my favorite is definitely the main room pictured below. Sal's does a regular reformer class as well as a more advance Intense class. My favorite class so far has actually been the Pilates Reformer Intense class with Yuko. Two days later and I can still feel my abs burning.
Pilates on the Square
My favorite thing about Pilates on the Square is actually it's location. I am frequently in the Union Square area, so when I feel like doing pilates at 7am or at 8pm after dinner, it's always right around the corner. Not to mention that this sweet location also boasts some fabulous views. Instructors here are solid and I've had great experiences everytime. Because it's such a popular location, classes always seem to be full when I attend.
Exhale Barre - Meatpacking/Flatiron/Gramercy
This ballet-inspired course has never been a first choice for me, but after giving a few different classes a try, I've really grown to like it a lot more than I initially thought I would. Barre class uses a mix of different techniques and has elements of yoga, Pilates, and dance incorporated into it. I really like it because it focuses a lot of stretching along with a full body workout. I definitely feel my arms and legs after a barre class and soreness for the next few days!
I was never really hooked on the idea of cycling, mostly because I always preferred (or thought I preferred) running instead as my cardio. My boyfriend has been going to a cycling class very frequently these last few months at Equinox, so naturally, I hear a lot more about cycling in my everyday conversations with him. I finally decided to give it a try, and went to my first cycling class with my friend Crystal one Saturday afternoon. This place was PACKED! I thought it was a fun experience since the very full class of about 25-35 people were split into 3 teams (blue, red, and green), and the goal was to cycle as a group to earn points. Every round resulted in a team winner, and at the end, all the scores of the teams were averaged together for the final champions. Definitely a unique and fun way to get your sweat on.
CYC45 (Hell's Kitchen / Astor Place)
This has easily been my newest favorite gym class of all time! I am absolutely addicted how fun and upbeat the classes are here. The instructors make class super exciting and choose a lot of music sets that are pop-music heavy, which is honestly my favorite genre to workout to. I just feel like I'm dancing the entire 45 minutes because of the workout moves and circuits. I highly recommend this class for a great sweat but is also a great time. Don't let me fool you though, this cycling class is definitely tough and you WILL feel the burn. But it's a good burn :)
For as long as I can remember, I've always been body conscious and focused more on weight than anything. I think I was a lot pickier with food at one point by staying away from certain foods and not being flexible with eating certain things. Now I just do everything in moderation. Over time, I learned that while it's not a bad thing to have fitness goals (after all, it does help us keep track when there are metrics involved), it is important to stay to do it the right way. I love my body now because I feel healthy and strong. I workout regularly to keep my body and my mind sharp and also so I can indulge in some extra Momofuku Milk Bar and charcuterie plates. Seriously, if you follow me on Insta, you know that I love to eat more than anything!!!
Thank you so much for visiting this post. I've been wanting to write this for a very long time, and I'm glad I finally took the time to detail all of this! Undoubtedly, I look forward to checking out some new classes and maybe have some new favorites to add in a future update post.
Happy workout everyone!