Much to the surprise of my loved ones, and myself, I think I kind of like exercise.
I can’t believe I just said that.
Note that I didn’t say “love,” because I still prefer my marathons to take place via Netflix on my couch. But I have to admit that regular exercise has made me feel so much better.
I know everyone says that, but I’m not “everyone.” I’m a girl that you all probably know by now does not have an athletic bone in her body. In fact, I sprained my ankle in a new workout class the other week.
For real though, those endorphins do not play. My mental state is thankful whenever I push myself to go to a class…and a bit angry when I make excuses.
One of my main problems? Working out in NYC is expensive AF. Ok, everything in NYC is expensive AF. I joined Classpass so I could try out some different studios before committing to one, but I ended up loving the freedom of it and have stuck with it.
If you’re not familiar, you pay for a certain amount of credits per month (I pay $80 per month for 45 credits) and you can choose how you divvy them up. The more popular a class is—in terms of the studio, class time, location, etc.—the more credits it is. So with 45 credits, you could do as many as, like, seven less popular classes or as little as three popular ones…or, in my case, a mix.
Want to try it out? Use this link for $40 off!
The classes below aren’t all on Classpass, but I’ve made sure to note that for you! I’m also getting paid zero dollars and zero cents by any of these studios, so you can trust me, I promise.
Everyone talks about Y7, even outside of New York and LA. Everyone. I took a class when I first signed up for Classpass…and I was, tbh, underwhelmed. I thought it had just been overhyped. I wasn’t a fan of the fact that the instructor doesn’t show you the poses or that in the third round you’re totally on your own with music blasting and everyone rushing through the flow. I couldn’t remember what poses we had just done, because I didn’t know I’d need to! It felt like a pop quiz and I was failing.
However, I gave it another chance. Then another. And another. And now I LOVE it. It’s SO hot…like, sweat dripping from your hairline all the way down to the mat hot. It starts out slow and relaxing and gets faster and faster as you get more comfortable with the poses, so by the middle you feel like a total badass. And the soundtrack is all hip-hop music. The instructors are real—they’re all different sizes and shapes, they swear, they speak honestly. Into it.
Sorry to list three spin studios, but I freaking love spinning. A lot of people hate it, and I just don’t get those people, but that’s ok. More for me. SoulCycle is the obvious one that everyone on Planet Earth knows about, but I had to list it because it’s popular for a reason: it rocks. Unfortunately, they know they rock, so they’re not on Classpass. These other two are, though!
Cyc has a few locations around the city. I was skeptical about trying it because their classes tend to be a lot of credits, but I realized that must be the case for a reason! I ended up loving it and have gone back a bunch. It’s more chill than SoulCycle in terms of the overall vibe (aka you don’t feel like you’re intruding on an Overprivileged Persons Anonymous meeting) but you can tell the class is mostly full of regulars that know what they’re doing.
Now for Monster Cycle. It’s known as the “goth Soul Cycle,” and that’s not an overstatement. The walls are all painted black, there’s faux stained glass with monster faces instead of saints, and the employees are all fully tatted. While I’ve only gone to theme classes here because I’m a little afraid of what the music selection would be like on a regular day, they’ve all been great. The instructors say things like “move that ASS!” and “you’re an 11, stop acting like a 10!” which is pretty cool.
I vowed to never get into this because it’s too expensive to maintain (and isn’t on Classpass). But then I went with friends and all bets were off. It’s a mix of boxing and HIIT, so you swap between a bag and a bench a few times during the class. It’s fast-paced and HARD, but the music is awesome and you feel like such a badass when you’re punching. After you’re done envisioning your ex’s face as the bag, you can even go to a freaking in-house Drybar for a blowout at the UES location. Not that I can afford that, but a girl can dream.
This dance studio was a total hidden gem when I first tried it on Classpass, but now it’s blowing up! Unfortunately that means the credits have increased a bit, but it’s great because the studio deserves all the accolades. The employees are all SO FREAKING WELCOMING, and there is zero judgment. In fact, their tagline is “FTC: Fuck the Choreography.” They believe that dancing is for everyone, regardless of age, sex, size, etc. You learn choreography to a song that’s chosen beforehand (even though they’re all awesome so it doesn’t really matter) and at the end, you perform it in groups. I felt so ridiculous at first because I have no skills whatsoever, but everyone is just so supportive and you all laugh together.
What are you favorite workout classes (in New York and beyond)?? I’d love to hear!