This year, my resolution was to not go to the gym. I tried that last year, and it sucked dragging myself there daily for a boring workout that involved getting on a treadmill for an hour and lifting some weights. Instead, my resolution is to get in shape in fun and effective ways, working out by doing things that I enjoy and achieving results. So that means lots of yoga and pilates classes, dance classes, maybe a boot camp, maybe even something crazy like a pole dancing class. We’ll see.
So far I’ve gotten off to a good start by taking classes at New York’s Physique 57, which has fit the bill for everything I’m looking for: fun, motivating, and effective. I got super early one morning to head to a 7:30am open class (if you’ve ever walked the streets of New York before the workday commute starts, you’ll know that it’s incredibly peaceful and refreshing). Now I don’t consider myself out of shape as I did dedicate the entire last year to running on treadmills and even hiked a mountain, but 56 minutes of leg lifts, pushups, squats at the barre and a minute of forearm plank position left me feeling like my body really didn’t know what’s up.
I’m not the only one who feels this way. From fellow bloggers to coworkers to celebrities, everyone’s been seeing results from this great class. The 57 minute workout tones all your problem areas, whether it’s arms, butt, thighs or stomach, by using a series of isometric exercises based off a technique developed by Lotte Berk, a famous ballerina. The method focuses on intense strengthening and toning by using very precise and very small movements that target the exact muscles you want. For example, imagine standing at the barre with your leg bent and lifted behind you. Now pulse your leg up and down for a minute. You’ll probably only last 20 seconds before you start feeling it. I was so sore afterward, but dying to go back immediately for more. Who doesn’t want the long and lean body of a ballerina?
Physique 57 complements its signature classes with a Yoga class. I’ve practiced yoga for years and noticed that Physique’s is actually quite different. Though modeled after the Vinyasa style, the Physique Yoga class is designed to work and stretch the muscles that are not used during its signature class. It’s much slower than a typical flow class, but not necessarily easier. During my one hour session, I didn’t have too many sun salutations (the flow, cardiovascular part of yoga), but then I had to balance on my arms for crow pose. While yogis may not want to come in simply for Physique Yoga, it does provide a tailored counterpart for the students of the signature Physique class.
Physique 57 has two studios in New York – one on 57th St. and one in Soho on Spring St. as well as a Bridgehampton studio that’s open during the summer. Both of the New York studios are bright, energetic spaces with all the amenities you could need in their locker rooms. More information and schedules can be found on their website at Physique57.com