Quarantine Turned Me Into An At-Home Workout Person

If you told me four months ago when quarantine first started that I wouldn’t be itching to get back to the gym or a group fitness class, I would’ve told you that you don’t know me at all. Well here I am, five months into quarantine, and all that’s been on my mind is that I never want to go back to a gym again, and when am I going to pull the trigger on a SoulCycle at-home bike?

For me, a group fitness class was more than a way to burn calories—in fact, that was probably the last thing on my list. The most important thing these classes offered me was an escape from the real world for 45 solid minutes. $36 for a spin class may seem absurd to you, but it’s way cheaper than talking to a NYC therapist for the same amount of time. This was my me time, time when I didn’t have to answer a single work message or be accessible to anyone. It’s rare to be able to unplug during the day and this was the best excuse I could find, plus endorphins make you happy and happy people don’t kill their husbands… unless they’re locked inside with them 24/7 during a pandemic (JK).

I used to think you couldn’t get as good of a workout at home or that I’d be way less motivated, but I can without a doubt say that’s not the case. So even if gyms open and they’re clean and COVID miraculously isn’t a concern anymore, here’s why I’m quitting the gym in favor of working out at home.

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NEW WORKOUT ALERT! ⁣ ⁣ We feel helpless when tech doesn’t go our way but appreciate understanding that sh*t happens. We had planned on releasing a new workout tomorrow but bringing it to you instead today! ⁣ ⁣ This is an amazing quick workout that hits allllll the right places and you can truly do it wherever, whenever with zero equipment! This is the perfect workout if you’re traveling this weekend – quick, low impact, effective, and as always… FUN. ❤️⁣ ⁣ If you haven’t tried our app yet, check out your free 7 day trial – link in bio!

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The Money Factor

Like a lot of New Yorkers, I was paying out the ass for an Equinox membership before we got locked in our homes for the foreseeable future. I was going to hide the amount of that annual membership, but for the sake of transparency, I’ll risk getting ridiculed in the comments section—but please, before you come for me, remember we’re in NYC and everything is inflated. When I first joined, the membership started at $240/month and as the years went on, they upped their price to $255/month, aka $3,060/year. Nothing says being a loyal gym member like upping the price of an already overpriced membership. But as any gymgoer knows, you know you’re still spending money on a SoulCycle class here, a solidcore class there, and that adds up real quick considering a single group fitness class in NYC ranges from $30-40.

When the pandemic hit, saving all of the money I was spending on fitness was something I really felt. No sh*t, it was a small fortune. Myself, along with the rest of the world, abruptly turned to at-home workouts, something I never really did in the past, because who voluntarily wants to workout when they get home? But as soon as I started taking live Zoom classes, I realized I actually liked them, with the number one reason being they cost ~$14 or less per class, and if you’re a saint like Gina DiNapoli, $9 or less, praise f*cking be.

This is a hell of a lot cheaper than an in-person class. For the price of one in-person class you can take almost four at-home classes, and that’s not even factoring the money you’re spending on the commute to get to/from the class. Plus, you can get away with washing your hair less frequently and repeating gym outfits, since no one even sees.

Convenience

As if money wasn’t enough of a motivator to never leave my house again to workout, the convenience is next level. You know what the worst part about taking a morning group fitness class is? Actually, there are two. The first: leaving your apartment with a 20 minute buffer time and still being late to class because the subway was delayed yet again for no reason. The second: the increased anxiety you feel during the last few minutes of class before you have to sneak out to race to get into one of the three showers offered for over 40 people in the locker room.

My favorite part about working out at home is finishing my workout, sitting my ass on the couch to recover for a few minutes, then taking my sweet time getting into my own shower, to use my own products without having to wear shower shoes. As much as I liked using the gym’s towels and amenities, thanks to COVID, I realize this was probably really disgusting.

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Flexibility

As with everything else in NYC, fitness classes are at high demand, oftentimes forcing you to sign up a week in advance. How are you going to know what you’re in the mood to do a week from now? Working out at home allows you to cater your workouts to whatever mood you’re in the day of. Some days you’re super motivated to wake up early and work out, other days you’d rather squeeze them in between meetings—with at-home workouts, you can decide on a moment’s notice to do them whenever you want and not feel any unnecessary pressure to decide in advance.

No More Late Fees

You literally never have to worry about getting penalized for either missing, or being late to, a workout again, since they’re based off your schedule. Sure, that can lead to pushing off a workout until you no longer feel motivated to do it, but if you create a schedule, it’ll help hold you accountable. Think of all of those times you wishfully booked a 5:30pm class hoping your 4:30pm meeting would end in time, only to find yourself still in said meeting well past 5:30. It’s bad enough spending over $30 for a class, it’s even worse when you lose the class and get a penalty charge.

Variety

Since quarantine, everything has been adapted to be broadcast online, even workouts like solidcore that normally require a megaformer machine. Obv the workout is not the exact same, but my obliques hurt regardless, so I guess they’re doing something right. Basically any workout that was offered in a studio can now be streamed online, done via Zoom, or watched on IGTV. My latest obsession is Sydney Miller’s Housework, which is the closest I’ve gotten to a nightclub since the world shut down in March. So many places are also doing free trials so you can test out a bunch of things for free before even committing to purchasing.

It’s Mobile

If you’re one of the blessed who have access to a vacation home or you’re able to go away for a weekend, you can bring your workouts with you. No longer are you stuck looking for a substitute class at a random studio—now you can bring your fav instructor with you. Sure you have to bring your equipment with you, but that’s a real small price to pay for convenience.

In the time that I’ve written, read, re-read, and edited this article I am happy to announce that my husband and I finally splurged on the SoulCycle At-Home Bike. I’ll be even more happy to announce when I make my money back on it as soon as we hit 68 rides, which between the two of us, will probably be in six months.

Images: @littpro / Unsplash; houseworkofficial, jabsbygina / Instagram

This Type Of Class Is The Hardest F*cking Workout You Will Ever Do

Let me first start off by saying I’m not one of those people who believes in a particular workout like a religion despite exercising religiously—for instance, I have no patience for yoga and certainly don’t believe those small movements and soft sayings are going to yield the six pack I’ve been chasing since high school. I kid you not when I say I’ve tried every workout under the sun: yoga, HIIT, barre, pilates, boxing, spinning in every form they’re offered in NYC. I’ve done Fhitting Room, Barry’s Bootcamp, SoulCycle—I literally could go on and on. When it comes to working out, the only thing I believe in are results.

With that said, I was looking for a class that would complement my personal training sessions in anticipation of my upcoming wedding. And while it took me a good half of my adulthood to find what I was looking for, praise be that I actually found it in the shape of a reformer machine named . No, I’m not talking about that thing you see in introductory pilates classes, I’m talking the real thing that makes you curse under your breath and has your limbs shaking for almost an hour. My goal was to find a low impact full body workout that would get me toned, fast.

Enter , a torture chamber class that will challenge your body as much as your mind (if not more). What goes down in this room is some sh*t I have never experienced, and I truly don’t know if there is anything that I hate and love more than this type of class. While this is hands down the hardest workout I’ve ever done, it is also one of the easiest on your joints since there is little to no impact. So, for all my other cardio haters, rejoice, because there’s no jumping or running during any part and your knees won’t hurt.

You spend the entire duration of the class on the machine, which is broken up into three different parts: a back platform and a front platform on either end, and a middle part, referred to as the carriage, which moves in either direction. How difficult it is to move the carriage depends on how many or how little springs you have on (see image above). There are various weights of spring load which can be adjusted throughout the entire class. There are specific moves that target different areas: think moving lunges for thighs, twisted v-ups for obliques, and kneeling shoulder presses for arms.

The core tenet for this workout is time under tension. During class, you do a series of exercises based off of planks, squats, and lunges with lots of variety to break down your muscle fibers all the way to second stage muscle failure, specifically, your slow twitch muscle fibers. This creates micro tears/trauma, which is why the workout hurts so f*cking much. But unlike most fitness classes, you will never once wonder to yourself, “is this sh*t actually working?” like I do every 30 seconds in a Pure Barre class. After class, your body will go into repair mode to heal the muscles, so they grow back stronger. During this time, your metabolism is heightened for the next 24-48 hours.

 

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The workout challenges you to stop focusing on calories, and to focus instead on the development of muscles you’re creating. You are literally making yourself stronger, but I feel like the fact that you can endure this type of tension for 50 minutes straight will challenge your mind more than your body. Your brain will quit working out before your body actually will, so during these extreme moments of tension, you will need to mentally fight against yourself, something that you can take with you outside the classroom that will help you way past the 24-48 hours the workout will take you.

You don’t need to take a million classes to see results either. “If you can only do 2 times per week, we guarantee you will see and feel changes in your body. In fact, I don’t even take class every single day,” explains Senior Master Coach Jacob Griffin who has been working for since their first studio opened in Washington, DC. “If you choose to show up and work hard for the 50 minutes you choose to be here, you’re set.” P.S. Jacob used to teach Michelle Obama, and we all know what her arms look like so…

Images: solidcore / Instagram

10 Workout Classes To Try In New York Right Now

The one thing I hate almost as much as public displays of affection is people who never shut the f*ck up about how much they work out (you know who you are). Like, we have eyes so we get it it, you’re fit! The thing is, I also work out a lot, but I keep that sh*t to myself and pretend that all I do is eat pizza and binge SVU marathons, and just happen to have toned arms. Like, Emily Ratajkowski does that and she seems to be doing just fine. Even though she famously and allegedly doesn’t work out, her incredible body indicates otherwise, so like…what’s the deal here? Anyway, for those of you who want to get swole for the Soho House pool or the Coney Island beach (see ya there, homies), these New York workout classes are a must. They are hard enough that you’re actually doing #werk, but not so hard that you feel like you’ve just joined the Marines.

Full disclosure, I mostly spin because I need the most effective cardio to rid my body of evidence that I eat cheeseburgers more than once a week, so there may or may not be more than one spin studio on here. However, because I’ll give anything a go, as my sex injuries can attest, I’ve tried almost every workout class New York has to offer. Here are my favorites.

The Monster Cycle

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@citygater strikin' like lightnin' ⚡️ #REPOST @alala

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I love SoulCycle as much as every other Pumpkin Spice Latte-loving betch, but since my favorite instructor left me to open London’s first Soul, I had to look elsewhere for my dose of spin. TBH, I refuse to go to FlyWheel because my Tanya Harding-level competitiveness cannot handle the scoreboard situation there, so I headed to The Monster Cycle in Soho, and let me just say, I f*cking love this place. It’s adorned with hardcore S&M decor, which definitely made it feel really welcoming (lol, kidding).

In all seriousness, this place has a v specific vibe (S&M/goth), but it’s so cool and everyone who works there is actually incredibly nice, which I wasn’t expecting considering the mannequins f*cking upside down in a harness hanging from the ceiling is fully a thing in the reception area. Ok, so you go downstairs to the studio where there are no assigned seats, so get there early otherwise you will end up behind a pole in the back. No thx! Two things set this place apart and will keep me coming back forever. The first is the fact that there are two giant TV screens on either side of the instructor and the screens project the music video of the song that’s playing, which is really helpful because they give me something to think about other than how much my legs hurt. The second is that this place literally always has flash sales. This feels really refreshing, considering every other New York studio just wants to make sure I won’t be able to afford to send my future children to college. The amount of calories you burn depends on your intensity. So when Demetre tells you to turn the knob to the right and sprint, you should, because there is potential to burn 400-700 calories in the 45 minute class. 

305 Fitness

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?DROPPIN’ BANGERS LIKE ITS HOT? New choreo out today ?? Come eff this one up with us!! Tag a friend & follow us – we’ll pick 5 lucky peeps to win a free class! Wanna learn this choreo? Peep our IGTV for a step-by-step guide ? ? Tempo – @lizzobeeating ft @missymisdemeanorelliott ? @tacobell_dsl . ? @sonnyjaye #305fitness #makesweatsexy

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The only reason I tried this place is because it’s three blocks away from my apartment. 305 is a f*cking dance party, y’all. If you follow their Instagram, you’ll notice that every single instructor has an incredible wardrobe and can dance like they’re about to be hand-selected for Coachella performances by Queen Bey herself. I was initially nervous to try 305 because I’m a good dancer, but I’m truly horrible at remembering choreography—which is probably why my dance career ended in 10th grade, but whatever. It’s fine. I’m fine. Here’s the thing: 305 requires zero memorizing! PRAISE F*CKING BE! Katie is my fave teacher and she is like a tiny blonde ball of energy who can make a really accurate siren sound with her mouth. I’m sure you’re wondering why that tiny detail is important, and it’s because she makes that sound when it’s time to switch sides, turn around, get low, or what have you. 305 isn’t dancing like, pirouette and leaps, it’s like high-intensity Miami-style club dancing. Wow, cool, that’s the whitest thing I have ever said in my life! No wonder Miami club dancers always have bikini ready bodies because you can burn up to 900 calories per class. My point is, it’s fun dancing that requires you to give absolutely no f*cks if you want to enjoy it. Highly recommend, especially if your dance floor moves need a little face lift.

Exhale Barre

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How we feel about not having to work tomorrow ? ✨ • • • • • #fitspalife #exhalespa #selflove #selfcare #love #loveyourself#motivation #inspiration #life #fitness #positivevibes #happy #beauty #happiness #health #quotes #instagood

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Not all barre classes are created equal, and that is a fact! When I used to live in Atlanta, I lived above a Pure Barre, so I got a membership because it was convenient, but I literally took a class five days a week for three months and looked the exact same on day one as I did on day 90. What’s that about? It about the fact that barre classes generally focus on toning rather than calorie burning. The average barre class burns 250 calories (along with your ability to walk for the next week). Anyway, I was skeptical to try any other barre classes after Pure Barre, especially really expensive ones in New York. Then I tried Exhale and may never be able to lift my arms again because this class is werk. Exhale is no joke, people.

So if you’re looking to half-ass a workout class during a fatal hangover to make yourself feel like you’re at least kind of doing something, don’t go to Exhale. It is so f*cking hard (in a good way) that I brought a male friend who, until that day, thought barre classes were too easy for men, and he is still sore. The moves are really hard. There’s one where you lay on your side with your legs bent toward your chest and you lift and lower your top knee while keeping your feet together. Sounds easy? Try it right now and you’ll see what I mean. So, yeah, that was really hard, but then they’ll come around and tie a resistance band around your legs. Fun! Then they’ll put a weight in one hand and ask you to side-crunch as you lift your top knee. All I gotta say is, Exhale barre classes hurt so, so good. I’ve been going for about two months now and I think I can see the beginnings of an ab crack! Goals met!

Hit House

 

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form & technique are important 〰️ that’s why we focus on them every. single. class. learn & improve every time. #muaythai #bagwork

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If you don’t want to switch from the bag to the floor or whatever else, Hit House is a straight Muay Thai kickboxing studio. So, what the f*ck is Muay Thai? Muay Thai directly translates to “Thai Boxing,” and the class consists of jabs, crosses, hooks, uppercuts, kicks, knees and elbows. You’ll get your own personal bag (or bishop) and you’ll get to attack it to the rhythm of your favorite hit songs right now. This class takes the intensity of a kickboxing class to the next level, which inevitably means more calories are burned. Women usually burns 762 calories while men typically burn 888 calories during an hour of Muay Thai, so you don’t need to feel guilty for finishing that pint of Ben Jerry’s alone or an entire bottle of wine. And, as an added bonus, you’ll probably feel like a badass after almost an hour of beating up a punching bag.

Y7

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It’s a tribe vibe ?✨ ?: Y7 Front Desk Associate @misslauren_elizabeth

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If you don’t like hot yoga, just stop reading now because it feels like it’s at least 400 degrees in any given Y7 class. As you can see, I like v basic types of workouts, but I like going to non-basic studios that do something to set themselves apart from the millions of other workout places in this godforsaken city. Y7 is three sets of flows that each include three sub-flows. The first is slow, the second is one breath per movement, and the third is flow on your own. So what sets Y7 apart? You’re not flowing to the soothing sounds of birds in a forest. Instead, the instructors play hip-hop. YES! Lastly, there are no mirrors and it’s pitch black save for a candle in each corner of the room. Yes, the darkness and lack of mirrors makes it a little harder to balance, but personally, I like the no mirror/darkness situation because I don’t feel self-conscious. Also, not to be the most annoying yogi ever, but not being able to see yourself forces you to just focus on the poses instead of the ungodly shade of red your face is. Another thing I love about Y7 is that toward the end of class, there’s a little strength push that usually involves some sort of ab workout. The pushes are literally never more than two minutes, so that motivates me to just do it instead of half-assing it until it’s over. As the instructors say, “You can literally do anything for two minutes!” I mean, not true, but you can definitely hold boat pose for 120 seconds. And if you can push, it’s worth it:  women can expect to burn around 350 calories and men 450.

Overthrow

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What Are You Fighting For? #whatareyoufightingfor #overthrow

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My good friend Gigi Hadid got me into boxing. I KID, Gigi and I do not know each other, but if Gigi Hadid looks the way she does from boxing, then bury me in the ring. This could be the case because boxing burns around 400 calories per hour for women and 500 for men. Now, as far as boxing workout classes go, Overthrow is the opposite of Rumble in that it’s not ~trending right now~ and never will be because the instructors don’t give a sh*t if you Instagram your heart out at the Bleecker Street studio. Overthrow is legit boxing, though. After you get your wraps on, you head downstairs to a large rectangular ring that’s almost littered with heavy bags tethered to the ceiling via chain locks. The first half of the class is you beating the sh*t out of the bag and the second half is sparring with either your friend or a stranger. Bring a friend if you feel awkward about hitting someone you’ve never met. Before the bag part begins, the instructor turns the music off and tells everyone what the different types of punches are, which are all referred to by numbers. That way, he can say a bunch of different numbers really fast and you can correspond with the right punches. Am I Rocky? Honestly, maybe. The music is so loud that you get so into it and start beating the actual f*ck out of the bag and it feels so good. Like, I may just quit my job and become a professional boxer now.

Brrrn

 

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We’re always ready for battle ? @mhinahina x @tessiemade ❄️ — Our new SLAM + SLIDE class is coming at you beginning in April. Try it out this Saturday at 12:45PM and 2PM by clicking our ? in bio.

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Want to work out, but don’t want to break a sweat? Head to brrrn. But don’t get it twisted: these classes will still kick your ass, even if you’re not drenched afterwards. Why? Unlike most other fitness classes that crank up the heat to make you think you’ve gotten in a better workout, brrrn takes the opposite approach. It’s the first fitness studio to operate at temperatures below 72 degrees, which gives you benefits like burning more calories and working out more efficiently. There are three different types of workout classes, all 50 minutes long and conducted at 50 degrees: hit, slide and hit + slide. The hit class is a high-intensity class that incorporates battle ropes and a dumbbell circuit series for a full body strength and conditioning workout. The slide class is a mid-impact class that consists of core exercises and a cardio slide board series which aims to increase balance and core strength along with a full body conditioning. The hit + slide class is most definitely a high-intensity class which includes the slide board, battle rope, and a dumbbell circuit series for a full body strength and conditioning workout. It’s proof you don’t have to sweat to get a great workout in.

Box + Flow

 

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can’t fight the #focus ready. #boxandflow #flowthruthefight™️

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If you can’t decide whether to take a high-intensity boxing class or low-intensity yoga class, head here. Box + Flow is the first class that allows you to do both, splitting your time between boxing and yoga. The 35 minute “box” portion of the class is first, then you move onto the 15 minute “flow” portion. It’s great because many workout classes give you, like, three minutes to stretch, which as we all know from trying to walk after an interval running class, is not enough. The yoga portion of the class really gives you the ability to stretch and center yourself after punching for over half an hour. As for the calorie count, a person usually burns between 300-450 calories in a 30 minute boxing class and burn 80-120 calories in 20 minutes of yoga. Taking into consideration the 35 minutes of boxing and 15 minutes of  yoga, you could expect to burn 410-615 calories total. Not bad for a two-in-one workout!

Solidcore

 

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Reston, let’s work ? . . . Studio 4️⃣3️⃣ is open and this crew means business! . . . Happy Opening Day, Reston ? . . . #solidcore #reston #strongertogether #sweatlana #studio43

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The entire class is done on top of a megaformer machine they like to call “Sweatlana.” Ever heard of her? The class itself consists of “50 minutes of high-intensity, low impact, slow and controlled movements.” You can burn 500-700 calories per 50 minute megaformer class so don’t let the slow, isolated movements fool you. Every workout sequence starts with a plank, squat or lunge to strengthen your whole body, and ensure you can’t walk so when people ask why, you can say “it’s from Solidcore.” #Ad, and suddenly you’re an influencer. They offer beginner, fully body and muscle-specific workout classes so you can go whether your body type is “works out, “works out but definitely eats dessert,” or just “eats dessert.” It’s the holy grail of pilates classes being that they define themselves as “pilates-intensified.”

Fhitting Room

 

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Gearing up for #SurvivalOfTheFHITTEST and looking back on last year’s like ? Who’s ready? ??

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We all know the struggle of going into a fitting room, trying on an outfit, and only seeing the burger, fries, and ice cream you devoured last night. The struggle is real. You convince yourself in that moment that you need to workout. Fhitting Room is a workout studio that ensures you’ll get that killer mirror selfie next time you’re in the fitting room. Is that why they call it that? I have no idea, but it works. Its classes consist of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts, like every other workout class in America nowadays, but for good reason. Speaking from experience, this class will kill you—but like, in a good way. You will get a good workout, and you’ll likely learn moves like snatches, cleans, and other kettlebell movements you can use at the gym on your own time, or in other fitness classes. They also offer small classes at certain locations (10ish people) so you can get all the personalized attention and none of the intimidation of a big class.

Images: overthrownewyork, y7studio, exhalespa, 305fitness, themonstercycle, brrrn, hithouse, boxandflow, solidcore, fhittingroom / Instagram