New York City is filled with celebs, and even the ones who don’t live here full-time happen to have a random penthouse in TriBeca just in case LA gets boring (talking to you, Rihanna.) While most celebrities have personal trainers that follow them to the Hamptons in the summer and know more about their kids’ annoying habits than their husbands do, a lot of celebs actually prefer to go to workout classes than do personal training. I was pretty tempted to see how these people get in such good shape, so I decided to try 5 boutique fitness classes that celebs swear by. I’m now broke AF and bedridden from soreness, but I survived all five classes, so I thought I’d give you the low-down on each one. Here’s the deal.
Ever since the news about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry came out, the press has been stalking Meghan to see where she works out. It turns out she takes classes at The Fhitting Room, a high-intensity, circuit-style class with three locations in the city. Put simply: This class kicks your ass. First of all, I’m pretty sure it’s the only fitness class in New York where there are two instructors per class, so you literally can’t slack off because you’ll definitely be caught and forced to do burpees as punishment. The class is broken up into a strength segment, a circuit, and then a “FHIX,” where you’re given a short (but painful) amount of time to complete a certain list of exercises. The actual class is 50 minutes, but it honestly flies by because the music is dope and the instructors have a good sense of humor. I wouldn’t say it’s for beginners, but if you’re into the idea of swinging kettlebells to a Kendrick Lamar playlist, def check it out.
2. Stoked 360
Kira Stokes trains a lot of celeb clients one-on-one, but she also offers a few group classes at NYSC’s boutique fitness lab for anyone who wants to see how Candace Cameron-Bure works out without paying like, $500 per session. Aside the fact that Kira’s body is literally 110% muscle (okay, not literally…), her class is pretty intimidating because there’s a group of regulars who are more dedicated to her cult than the entire religion of Scientology. Once you get past the intimidation, the class is a really good workout, and you can tell it’s strategically set up in a way that works your entire body with HIIT intervals of jumping rope in between circuits. Beware that it’s literally 75 minutes and sometimes goes even longer, but then again this woman is literally flown to movie sets to train her clients, so it’s worth a try.
Barry’s Bootcamp has been a celeb staple ever since Kim was the athletic Kardashian and Jake Gyllenhaal had to get in shape for Brokeback Mountain. It’s nothing new, but we obviously had to stop in for a class because it’s such a favorite. So many celebrities go to Barry’s Bootcamp, and it’s because the class is basic and effective. You basically rotate between intervals on the treadmill and strength training on the floor, so you book a spot and then go back and forth between the treadmill and its corresponding bench a few times. The class is broken up into different body parts for each day of the week to make sure you can go two days in a row without being so sore you’re basically crippled (which you will be). I’d recommend going on the weekends for a full body routine, or on Tuesdays if you want to be limping for two days afterwards. At least you’re getting your money’s worth.
Ever since Gigi Hadid started Snapchatting from Gotham Gym and Karlie Kloss started using boxing gloves as an accessory in VS photoshoots, boxing is trendier than ever, and the Dogpound is where celebs are flocking to. The Dogpound is a boutique boxing studio downtown, and the trainers somehow convince Victoria’s Secret models to run laps around the building and literally flip tires as a warm-up. The actual gym is pretty intimidating, but the workout itself isn’t that hard. Like, when Shay Mitchell did a class here she went to Barry’s after because she wasn’t that tired. You go through short boxing intervals with strength-training and cardio segments in between, but you have some time to rest to take off your gloves. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great workout, but let’s just say there’s a reason any Instagram model can do it.
The SLT clientele is a collection of 90-pound blondes who own every two-piece outfit from Bandier, but the workout is really legit if you can stop staring at Lo Bosworth’s abs on the reformer next to yours. Celebrities who swear by SLT include Gigi Hadid, Vanessa Hudgens, Natalie Portman, Sofia Vergara, and basically the entire cast of The Hills. To be honest, it’s the real deal. It’s based off the Lagree method, which uses an intense Megaformer machine (basically a Pilates reformer on steroids) to tone your muscles with resistance that changes based on the amount of springs you’re using during each move. Just know that you’ll definitely be lost during your first class, so you’ll need to go back two or three times to get the hang of it and actually get a good workout. Also, you probably won’t be able to laugh the next day because your abs will be crying, but maybe after a few times that part goes away? I personally haven’t gotten to that point yet, but fingers crossed.