UPDATED JAN 30, 2020
As New Yorkers learn more about the benefits of high-intensity, bootcamp-style training, the number of studios offering these hard-as-hell classes has exploded. So, we’ve done the work for you to determine the best spots for HIIT and bootcamp in NYC.
Perfect for those who like the sound of an military-like bootcamp class, Tone House is a group fitness class that’s the ultimate combination of competition, intensity, and fun (think army crawls, hurdles, and all-out sprints). Throwin’ down in NoMad, class takes place in a dimly-lit room, performed on turf, under red lighting. Since the workout is inspired by team sports, you start and end class with an empowering, pep talk-filled huddle.
If you deconstruct F45’s name, you’ll learn that the “F” stands for functional training, and the 45 refers to the duration of their classes — but from there, it becomes far less predictable. Here, there are no treadmills or cardio equipment, but instead, there’s a room full of free weights, exercise balls, weight sleds, and a seriously committed DJ working the sidelines. The Aussie-born workout is a favorite of Mark Wahlberg and ever since it came to the city in 2017, it has become a go-to workout enthusiasts who, well... want to get ripped.
If competitive, goal-oriented workouts are your jam, an OTF class needs to be on your radar. What sets this particular workout apart from others is its technology component. Members are given a heart rate monitor at the beginning of class to track their progress over the 60-minute sweat sesh, complete with treadmill, rowing, and strength training intervals, plus an overhead screen displays everyone’s performance data (like heart rate and calories). Bonus: All of the data from your workout transfers to your Orangetheory app to review it after class, or later on to look back on your fitness evolution.
This cult-favorite HIIT interval training group class has been a thing since 1998, when the first location opened in West Hollywood. In 2011, the first location opened in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City, welcoming city-goers to the brand’s “Original HIIT workout”. Since then, the workouts—made up of 50% treadmill and 50% strength-based resistance training—have absolutely blown up. The gym offers a different workout every day: arms and legs on Monday; full body on Tuesday; Chest, Back and Abs on Wednesday, etc. — that means, if you can get over the soreness of your first visit, you’ll likely be seeing Barry all throughout the week.
MHRC is the first treadmill class of its kind in the city, now with three sleek locations. When runners show up for class, they’re assigned a numbered treadmill to sweat it out on. You can choose from 28-, 30-, 45-, or 60-minute interval-training sessions — all of which are perfect for walkers, joggers, runners, and athletes. One instructor leads the class through intervals and incline training (which vary, depending on the class length) while bumping a soundtrack full of upbeat remixes. And if you want to throw in some strength work, their Dash 28 and Dash Core classes are interspersed with 15 minutes of kettlebell training.
Like its name implies, fitness classes at CONBODY are taught by former inmates, with a max capacity of 12 people per session. Each instructor has a unique story, but all of them center around the fact that they turned their lives around with the help of fitness. This isn’t the type of spot to go for luxe amenities (you’re basically sweating your butt off in a prison cell) but the prison-style bootcamp workout is as intense as it gets. If you’re motivated by people yelling at you to do your push-ups, look no further.
Two instructors lead these 50-minute classes to give members personalized attention. The fitness club’s Signature FHIX class delivers a total-body workout made up of HIIT, cardio, and strength training using everything from kettlebells and battle ropes to your own bodyweight. With locations in Flatiron, the UES and UWS, the bright green and white-colored studio will leave you feeling sweaty, accomplished, and energized for whatever else the day throws your way!
Can’t make up your mind when it comes to committing to one class? NYSC LAB, a boutique concept within New York Sports Clubs in Chelsea and UES, wants to make it easier to switch up your fitness regimen by offering a unique array of high-intensity classes. That includes options like rowing, cardio, and the “total body assault” of the 75-minute Stoked 360 class (created by trainer Kira Stokes). Plus, the LAB features licensed programs from Cyc and Tone House.
Founded in 2014 in South Africa, harmless-sounding Switch Playground landed in New York City in 2016. Yet, the term “playground” is definitely in the eye of the beholder. During the 60-minutes of stations, classmates are partnered up and together, they rotate through 20 different stations, like burpees, the StairMaster, or squats — each lasting two minutes. This class is available in SoHo and Union Square, and it’s perfect for gym-goers who love to change things up while still breaking an intense sweat.
Ideal for perfecting form and developing a routine, The Training Lab focuses on consistency and repetition as keys to athletic or body-sculpting success. Located in Midtown, the industrial-looking studio offers two popular high-intensity classes called Training Day and Strength Development. Similar to an athlete’s dutiful gym routine, The Training Labs focuses on a specific exercise each day — like overhead presses on Monday, deadlifts on Tuesday, and more.
The motto for these 50-minute UES workout classes is “Shed the past. Sweat the present.” — and that you’ll do in this boutique, high-intensity class created by Crunch Fitness. Choose from three different class formats—Burn, Ripped, or Shred—in their well-equipped, design-forward studio, but know that each of which will give you a full-body workout. Plus, a bit of accountability (even with complete strangers), at the end of each session, classmates are paired up to encourage one another to finish strong.
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