September 15, 2020
Ok ok ok, so almost all. Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE boutique fitness classes. When I moved to NYC after college, I discovered SoulCycle and became hooked instantly. Soon after, I joined ClassPass. I get bored easily, and I like to switch it up a lot, so this was the perfect solution for me. I feel like I’ve tried nearly every studio in the city. I even thought about becoming a #fitfluencer and created a handle on Instagram and everything. That clearly didn’t work out. It’s for the best.
I know a lot of studios across the country are now open or opening, but I personally still don’t feel comfortable going to a gym, and I am sure I am not alone in saying that. Pre-COVID, I used to hate workout videos. I thought they were boring, and it was really hard for me to motivate myself to do one. However, developing a routine with at home workouts has honestly given me stability these past months. This skeptic has truly been converted. Much like I love trying new classes, I have really enjoyed trying different fitness platforms. Even better, all of the workouts listed below are either FREE (can’t beat that price) or have FREE trials.
These are the best of the best, rated by this amateur boutique fitness connoisseur. Also, this is #notanad, just my personal opinion. But if I happened to mention your platform in this piece, feel free to slide into those DMs and we can talk ;).
WARNING: I have the unpopular opinion that I like my workouts to be hard, otherwise I feel like I wasted my time and get mad. I’m crazy, I know.
I took full advantage of the 90-day free trial that Peloton was doing at the beginning of all the gym shutdowns. I sadly don’t own a Peloton bike, but one of my best friends recently got one and has allowed me to come over and ride it a couple of times. I am officially obsessed. You guys, it is almost like taking a class in person. While I am not the most tech savvy, that user interface is next level.
Most people don’t know that they produce all types of workouts as well. In particular, their strength classes are really great. I purchased a set of 10lb dumbbells and put them to good use. I personally only like doing strength workouts that are centered around the lower body and core, so it was a huge plus for me that you could filter by this.
Surprisingly though, my favorite part of the app was their outdoor running classes. I have a love/hate relationship with running: I’m not very good at it, and I am very slow. That being said, I try to run a couple times a week because it’s good for you, and I want to “want to run”, ya know? I never would have thought that you could mimic a Barry’s or Orange Theory type of treadmill run outside, but I was wrong. Since discovering Peloton’s interval runs, I actually get excited to lace up those sneakers.
As I said before, I like to change it up and I like it to be hard (…that’s what she said), so HIIT is probably one of my favorite types of workouts. I also like to know the structure of a class before starting so that I know how to pace myself. I’m a bit biased about this choice because I would work out here randomly in the city and therefore already knew the format of the class. Still, Fhitting Room is such good sweat and definitely gets that heart rate up.
I am obsessed with Y7. It is by far my favorite yoga studio in NYC. They have an awesome format (again, we love structure y’all) and it is also SUCH A VIBE. I was pleasantly surprised when the classes were able to translate well through the screen. Even better for those of us who are #ballinonabudget, they have tons of free content.
I love SLT. Their classes are so hard, but so good. I mean, they are right when they say “better sore than sorry”, because you will 100% have trouble walking after a class (in the best way). I was so happy when they started doing live classes every week on Instagram, and they save them all on IGTV in case you miss them. I still don’t know how they manage to mimic the megaformer with just resistance bands and sliders (or washcloths like I use). I am shaking just as much as I did in the studio. They also recently released their own at-home platform that I am excited to try.
A couple years ago, I got really into boxing and started going every week. There’s nothing more cathartic than just punching something (…don’t know what this says about me). Luckily for me, another one of my favorite gyms, EverybodyFights, has an at home platform where they offer both on demand and live virtual classes. I like how their combos are more intricate and technique-based compared to other boxing gyms I’ve tried, while still having that cardio component. I also really like that the class will have the interval times, exercises, and combos you’re doing on the screen. Although I don’t have a bag at home, I still get a great workout in with just shadow boxing.
So I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t love barre. However, I really enjoy Barre3. It is not like any other barre class I’ve ever done before. They have somehow found a way to add a cardio component so that while I’m still toning, pulsing and tucking, (Sidebar: “and tuck, and tuck, and tuck” haunts my dreams…if you’ve been to a barre class, then you know what I’m talking about), my heart rate is up and I’m breaking a sweat. I have also been pleasantly surprised at how similar these classes feel to being in the studio.
Another NYC favorite, 305 is literally so fun. Thankfully, they’ve been offering free live classes on YouTube through all of the craziness that is the world today. In the beginning of quarantine, I would Zoom with a friend while we both tuned in at the same time and it would be the highlight of my week. They also just launched a new at-home platform that I can’t wait to try. While I’ve gotten used to some semblance of a new normal, on those hard days, I still love to dance it out.
I couldn’t NOT mention OBÉ. It is my favorite discovery of this workout-from-home situation. They literally have it all! I have not taken a class that I have not liked… and as stated above, I am pretty particular. If I want to really push myself, HIIT, cardio boxing, and POWER classes are too legit to quit. If I want to take it a little easier but still get a good workout in, their dance classes and sculpt are the perfect combo. They also offer live classes every day! I usually do on demand because my schedule is all over the place, but I actually did a live dance cardio the other day. When the instructor shouted out “Get it Allison!”, I was truly THRIVING. I cannot recommend it enough.