IMAGE VIA AARMY
In other cities, you might book a class based on whether your favorite bike is free or if there's a potential for brunch plans after. But this is New York, and if you know anything about our fitness scene, you know that a class is only as good as the instructor. And in the Big Apple, you pledge allegiance to the fitness leader with insane energy, enviable physique, and undeniable charisma.
We all have our favorites, but two all-star trainers top most lists: former SoulCycle Master Instructors Akin Akman and Angela Davis. Yet, both left the Soul stage in 2019. And if you’re wondering where they disappeared to, you might be eager to know that this duo has opened their own concept, called AARMY, in the heart of NoHo between Bleecker and Houston.
A cult-like following of its own, SoulCycle enthusiasts are all-too-familiar with the influential faces and co-founders of this studio. Akin and Angela have worked hard over the years to build their brands and high-profile clientele — for instance, Ciara and Beyoncé both regularly sang Angela’s praises. Their cycling classes were notoriously some of the hardest to get into and typically fully booked within minutes of landing on the schedule.
But when it comes to AARMY, you can expect far more than a cardio class led by your famous friends. The workout was created to foster a sense of community, so when you’re sweating with this crew, you’ll feel like a part of something much bigger than yourself. It’s real, it’s authentic, and it’s a truly unrivaled experience.
“AARMY is not something that came to me a year ago. I’ve been imagining it ever since I started coaching and preparing for it ever since I first picked up a tennis racket,” said Akin, who co-founded the concept with Angela and branding expert Trey Laird. “I’m proud of the fact that it didn’t happen overnight and instead, the concept developed over time, tweaked and perfected to be as effective and efficient as it is now.”
AARMY caters to all skill levels and features both of Akin’s signature workouts — cycling and bootcamp. When you stop into the studio for a cycling sesh, you’ll have your pick of 62 bikes (plenty of space to grab a couple of friends and clip in!), and for HIIT fanatics, class options range from agility to sessions that target different regions (think upper-body, lower-body, full-body, or abs). Keep an eye out: word is strength and mobility classes are also in the works.
And with Akin, Angela, and other star instructors like Ugo Peter-Obiagwu, Sophia Goldstein, and Akin’s brother Yavuz at the helm, they’re hoping to help improve your life inside and outside of the studio.
The studio design is key in defining the experience. It’s sleek yet inviting, with a comfy lounge surrounded by fresh-cut lilies where people can chill and get into a zen mindset before class.
Lining the walls of the lounge and changing rooms are inspirational words like “fearless”, “limitless”, and “relentless” that define what it means to be part of the AARMY squad. “We really wanted to convey a strong sense of the brand DNA — bold, graphic, modern, and sleek, but also focused on creating an inspirational and inviting atmosphere for our community of athletes,” Trey Laird told Fitt.
There is also a refresh bar fully stocked with everything you’d need before or after getting your sweat on — hair ties, towels, mints, and Aesop products galore. To Laird and the gang, it’s all part of the experience. And it appears that the experience is just beginning, as the trio have planned a pop-up location in Los Angeles as well that shares a similar yet strongly Cali ethos.
NYC’s fitness scene is about as exciting as it gets, and really, you do not want to miss an opportunity to experience the magic of Akin and Angela in the studio together! Sign up to be inspired, encouraged to unlock your own purpose, and tap back into your potential at 636 Broadway.
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