New fitness studios are a dime a dozen in New York City—especially around the New Year—so we decided to put them to the test. Here, we review Swerve spin studio, City Row and Anna Kaiser’s AKT.
The Concept: The first team-inspired indoor cycling workout
Intensity: 8 (out of 10)
Best Suited For: The ultra-competitive set—anyone who excelled at team-based sports in high school or college
The Experience: I’ve taken plenty of spin classes, but I’d never felt truly accountable for my performance and the intensity of my workout—until this one. There’s something about seeing your team’s score on a leaderboard that acts as motivation to push yourself beyond what you think you’re capable of. Plus, when you’re on a losing team (like I was) there’s also the ego part of it. No one wants to walk out feeling like a loser.
Workout: City Row
The Concept: A combination of cardio and toning using water-based rowing machines and low resistance exercises
Best Suited For: Fitness enthusiasts with short attention spans
The Experience: With a name like CityRow, I expected to spend a long, mundane hour gliding back and forth on a rowing machine. But as it turned out, rowing was only half the battle. Interspersed between rowing sprints were full-body floor exercises like planks, dips and squats. The exercises were challenging, but not impossible, and I ended up working muscles in my upper back and core that I ordinarily neglect. The quick intervals kept the class moving at a steady pace, and before I knew it the 50 minutes were up.
The Concept: AKT is a mix of cardio, strength training, dance and toning. Devotees of Anna Kaiser’s workout method include Naomi Watts, Kelly Ripa, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jessica Seinfeld. Classes are 60 minutes (Happy Hour) and 90 minutes (S&M).
Best Suited For: Well-coordinated fitness junkies who’ve taken dance cardio classes at Tracy Anderson and Body By Simone will be in for a treat.
The Experience: I was drenched after trying a 1.5-hour-long class at AKT’s new, modern Upper East Side studio where the room was hot as Hades! I loved the weights work but I have to admit, I found the choreography hard to keep up with at times. I’d definitely go back and push myself to the limit.