By: Alexa Gavin
New York City has become a hotbed of boutique fitness classes. Within just a few blocks, you can fulfill all your fitness dreams from punching out your stress to contorting yourself into stressful positions. Below, I break down some of New York City’s best boutique fitness classes that aren’t SoulCycle.
*Unfortunately, this is not yet a fitness class offered in NYC.
The torture device best known as the megaformer can easily make SLT feel like you have transported back to a medieval dungeon. SLT has you working muscles you never knew you had and leaves you sore for days. However, beginners beware, SLT classes move quickly with instructors shouting out terminology that can be confusing for a newbie. In fact, hearing the words “scrambled egg” at my local bodega instills a fear like no other. The beginners class is highly suggested to help familiarize yourself with the machine and the various positions in order to minimize your chances of getting hurt.
Barry’s is one of the founding fathers of boutique fitness. Barry’s started in Los Angeles and then launched its New York counterpart in 2011. Since then, Barry’s has been steadily whipping New York butts into shape with its “one-stop shop cardio and strength training workout.” Barry’s can best be described as “relentless” with its back and forth between treadmill and floor action. It is definitely safe to say you will leave Barry’s feeling sore and strong.
Part spa and part booty kicking barre workout, Exhale is like a home away from home. The studio is relaxing and welcoming with warm neutral tones and a friendly staff. However, don’t let this homey vibe fool you. The barre workout is no joke and you will definitely start to see stars during what feels like your 90th plie. After a serious workout, you can unwind with a relaxing massage, minimizing the pain you will be sure to feel the following day.
Monster Cycle is a true New York City gem. Walking through the studio feels like you’re in an art gallery run by Mother Monster Lady Gaga, which is exactly what it aims to be. Monster Cycle is a homage to Lady Gaga and her unique twists on fashion and music. The group’s attention to detail is absolutely flawless. Every class leaves you feeling like an absolute rebel ready to take on the world. Monster Cycle’s main differentiator is the fact that music videos play in the background, which makes the class fly by.
Kore feels more like a tiny club than a fitness class, which is fitting since Kore is located in the Meatpacking district. The room is dark and small, the music is loud, and you’re definitely going to be sweating. Kore is a HIIT class that features my least favorite kind of bell, the kettlebell, and TRX suspension. You rotate between three stations and are essentially always moving. As an added plus, Kore also tests your memory skills by requiring you to remember what you actually need to do at each station.
If you ever had dreams of duking it out on the WWE stage, or have always thought of yourself as a female version of Rocky, then Rumble is your chance to fulfill those visions. A particular favorite of mine, Rumble is great especially after a long, stressful day of work, when all you want to do is literally punch something. Rumble is a series of heats that includes pummeling the training bag and HIIT.
Alexa is a Long Island native with a passion for all things spaghetti. A Fordham University Alum (soon to be twice over!), she studied marketing as an undergraduate and is currently working towards her MBA. Upon graduation, she dabbled in the fashion industry by working in e-commerce at Estee Lauder and then at Lucky Magazine. Currently, Alexa is co-founder and director for SPACE38, a revolving retail storefront that works with brands to deliver awareness and analytical insight via the pop-up storytelling experience. When she’s not eating spaghetti you can find her running along the East River, petting stranger’s dogs and planning her next beach vacation. You can follow Alexa on Instagram at @al_gavin or @spaghetti.monsters.