Whenever I travel, I like to include a workout or two, or even five. Not because I’m not walking enough. It is NYC after all—no car required. I want to see what’s new and try things I wouldn’t be able to do at home. It always tells me where trends are headed and what to keep an eye out for when I’m at home. Plus, it’s fun to feel immersed in a city by taking a class. They say to “live like a local when travelling” and fitness is my second favourite way to do that, behind dining out.
1. New York Workout: Peloton Studio NYC
If you can book yourself a spot in a Peloton Studio class, or at least try to get on the waitlist, this is a definite workout to put on your fitinerary (yes, I made that up). This tops our list of NYC workouts, as it’s truly an experience. From the gorgeous sky-scraper ceilings to the best staff I’ve ever met at a studio, it’s luxe fitness that anyone worth their weight in resistance bands should try. You’ll get to see behind-the-scenes of taping a workout and even get a chance to meet your favourite Peloton instructor. It was so cool to meet Ally Love and understand more about how she sets up the classes, as well as be the shadow-of-a-head bobbing in the background.
FLEETSTREET tip: This is a very tough class to get into, so be patient and don’t be picky. Whatever you end up doing, you will still be doing a live, in-person workout at the Peloton Studio.
How to book the NYC class: Peloton Studios New York, USD$25 for a single class credit; 370 10th Avenue, studio.onepeloton.com.
2. New York Workout: AArmy
As a longtime health editor, I’ve taken a ton of classes, but this was truly the most inclusive studio. From beginners to fitness competitors, everyone uses the same mats and does the same bootcamp workouts – just with different weights and rep rounds. One woman in my class was using 70-pound dumbbells, while I had chosen to use 15s, which was still tough! (I wanted a tough workout but I didn’t want DOMS to get in the way of my trip in the succeeding days, so I went for a challenging weight but I wasn’t breaking any PBs.) My instructor, Akin Akman, who is the co-founder and chief fitness officer of the studio, was super charismatic. He pushed us all through the suitcase squats, burpees and lunges of the lower body and abs 50-minute class.
FLEETSTREET tip: Towels, weights and mats are provided, but bring water (to buy it is expensive in CAD) and earplugs (the music is loud). Also don’t be intimidated by the range of athletic levels, as you all do the same workout. Instead, be inspired.
How to book the NYC class: AARMY, USD$39 for a single class credit; 636 Broadway, aarmy.com.
3. New York Workout: Alo Yoga
Workouts at fitness clothing stores aren’t new. But Alo is relatively new to Canada. The physical stores anyway, as the workout app Alo Moves and online shopping have been around for us Canadians for a while now. I use Alo Moves at home, but I wanted to try it in person. I signed up for a mat Pilates class – a workout that I hadn’t done in a long while, as I have pretty much stuck with reformer classes. So, imagine my excitement when I saw that Harper Botorowicz on her was my instructor. She’s the yoga and talent manager for Alo. Score!
FLEETSTREET tip: Since I was travelling, I just brought myself to class—no fitness equipment. It worked out well, as all the blocks, mats and bands were already placed out for the class. I did end up buying a cute Alo Yoga sports bra… so be prepared to lay down the credit card or exercise restraint. You have to walk through the store to get to the studio.
How to book the NYC class: Alo Yoga, USD$32 for a single class credit; 164 5th Avenue, aloyoga.com.
4. New York Workout: Mile High Running Club
I don’t love running. But I am also a total class-pass palestrata. I was terrified to take a treadmill class for 45 minutes, only to learn that it’s like any other cardio when you put beats to it. I wasn’t just relieved, I was ecstatic. This is how I would learn to enjoy running. The music kept my feet on track, and the pace was so motivating. Turns out it wasn’t the act of running that didn’t motivate me, it was the beats. So for my next outdoor running event, I downloaded the Mile High Running Club Spotify list. And it was just what my feet (and my mental game) needed.
FLEETSTREET tip: Book the class to how you like to exercise. For example, High 45 offers good beats and a variety of cadence intervals. There is a class for everyone, I swear.
How to book the NYC class: Mile High Run Club, USD$36 for a single class credit; 28 East 4th Street, milehighrunclub.com.
5. New York Workout: Tracy Anderson
I feel like every celebrity I love does Tracy Anderson workouts. During the lockdowns, Anderson uploaded a full workout to Vogue’s YouTube channel and I loved it. It felt like I was dancing freely, letting my mind wander through the moves. So, I was ecstatic to take a real-live, in-person class at one of Anderson’s studios. The spaces are beautiful with a li’l boutique that had me wanting everything (from supplements to skin care, books to fitness clothes). I ended up with a $10 Tracy Anderson Magazine, with her on the cover, just like Oprah on O, except in a hot pink bikini.
Now, I wanted to love this class, but it’s obviously not at the top of my list. It was more frustrating than heart pumping. The instructors didn’t engage or communicate. They just stared at themselves in the mirror, doing moves that weren’t exactly intuitive. There were no demonstrations, no explanations, no countdowns – nothing. But the class was rammed, so you will have to try this New York class for yourself since I’m clearly missing something!
FLEETSTREET tip: You will run/skip around the room without any cues of how many steps or when to stop. I stuck to the end of one row, so I wasn’t between two people. That way, when I wasn’t in sync, I didn’t bump into two people, just one.
How to book the NYC class: Tracy Anderson Method, USD$47 for a single class credit; 241 East 59th Street, tracyanderson.com.