I love to work out. Not in an overly obsessive, in-your-face-on-IG-stories every day type of love, but I always feel amazing afterwards. Not to mention athleisure-wear is so in right now, and I don't have the confidence to strut down the aisles of Trader Joe's in my matching Bandier sports bra and legging set quite yet. Thus, I've had to find more socially acceptable places to wear such things. I am one of the lucky people living in NYC to have a gym in my apartment, but it's completely un-motivating and mostly filled with meathead guys who loudly grunt with every push up. If I'm being honest, I want to be surrounded by girls who could kick my ass, and then after the beating go out for margaritas with me! So, I signed up for ClassPass, an app and website that allows you to take up to 10 classes per month at different boutique fitness studios around NYC, and in other major cities. Without ClassPass these classes would cost an arm and a leg (or $34.00+) for one single session... they're THAT good! So below is my definitive list of the best CP has to offer, with a ranking system of things that matter to first timers: how nice the locker rooms are, how welcoming the front desk people are, and what to wear.
Class: One hour of on-again-off-again interval training on a treadmill training, mixed with free weights and squats on the floor. It's killer, but it's amazing. Plus, the dim lighting makes you look like a fitness model. Just don't be shocked when you head back to the locker room and see a sweaty red-faced mess looking back at you in the mirror.
Locker rooms (Park Ave. South Location): Small and cramped, but clean and stocked with Malin+Goetz products and weak hair dryers. No need to bring your own lock, as they have digital locks in both locker rooms and hallway lockers.
Atmosphere: Intimidating classmates, super friendly instructors, and warm smiles from the people behind the front desk.
What to wear: Something tight and small, that shows as much skin as poss.
Class (Physique Signature): 57 steps above your typical barre class, Physique 57 offers one hour of non-stop, ever changing routines. Always starting with arms and working through legs, back, and core, a Physique 57 body type is easily recognizable on the streets by toned arms, lean legs and a tall posture. The music is constantly pumping, and many different tools are used to assist in your workout including mats, balls, resistance bands, and free weights. You will hate yourself for signing up at first, but trust me, the pain is so worth the gain.
Locker rooms (SoHo location): A bit older and compact, but since class sizes are small it never feels too crowded. You must bring your own lock, but their own brand of shampoo, conditioner and soap (don't recommend, left my hair feeling dry), as well as q-tips, blow dryers, dry shampoo and hairspray are there for your pampering pleasure.
Atmosphere: Super nice receptionists, instructors are incredibly upbeat and encourage you to introduce yourself if you're new/have taken under 5 classes. Clientele can go either way. Once I took a class with Emmy Rossum and it changed my life.
What to wear: Leggings to protect knees, and a workout top that you're not afraid to sweat in. And you will need sticky/barre socks!
Class: The holy grail of indoor cycling. Before discovering Peloton on CP, I thought I hated spin. Turns out, I just wasn't going to the right places. Peloton isn't cult-like like Soul Cycle, it's not unfulfilling like FlyWheel. It's its own entity. The most challenging 45 minutes, backed by pumping theme music, with the most top-of-the-line spin bikes that allow you to compete with not only your classmates, but people everywhere that are using the bike at home.
Locker rooms: Immaculate. Lots of showers, I've never had to wait more than 5 minutes for one. Malin+Goetz ERRTHANG, hair ties, deodorant, bobby pins, blow dryers, combs. The works. Plus digi-locks.
Atmosphere: Everyone is smiling. The people at the front desk who check you in and give your (free) shoes, the baristas behind the coffee/juice/smoothie bar, and the assistants who wait in the class room to give you a towel, complimentary water bottle, and help you set up your bike. But it's the instructors that make it so special. Each one more fit than the next, you can't help but listen to everything they tell you to do. If they told me to solely exist on steamed kale and cardboard I would probably comply.
What to wear: Are padded leggings a thing? Because if so, those. You will go so hard on that seat that your butt bones will hurt. Stick to leggings, and something tight that won't get in your way while burning over 500 cals per 45 minute class.