The fitness scene in NYC is as diverse as the city itself. With everything from indoor cycling to boxing and HIIT filling our list of amazing studios and gyms in the city, your journey to greater health and fitness is guaranteed to get cranked up a few notches.
So, grab your gym buddy and check out these big-deal Big Apple fitness spots for a high-energy, endorphin-filled sweat sesh.
With fog machines and black lights, this crazy fitness disco studio isn’t for the weak of heart. With locations in SoHo and Union Square, this seriously challenging sweat spot integrates trampolines, stepmills, TRX bands, and tires for a HIIT workout that’s incredibly intense. Oh, and did we mention there’s a live DJ? Here, the workouts are basically a labyrinth of playground activities and are re-written each and every day — which means you’ll never experience the same class twice. The only thing you need is your glow-in-the-dark sports bra or shoelaces, an hour of free time, and a desire to play hard.
What happens when strength training meets treadmill intervals? Apparently, the best workout in the world. With sprints, hill climbs, and self-propeller mode, running on a treadmill has never been so tough (or “fun,” as they say). But if you’re not churning your legs on the treadmill, you can expect to hit one muscle group, and hit it hard. Barry’s focuses on a different muscle group every day to ensure your body has a perfectly balanced workout. And with multiple locations in the city, Barry’s continues to be considered one of the best studios to tone muscle and burn calories.
With fashion influencers and Instagram stars as clientele, this Tribeca sweat spot does not lack any cool-factor. S10 is all about using a scientific approach to cutting body fat (to sub-10%) and building strength, which is how the studio gets its name. This studio aims to get you to S10 as effectively as possible (aka with a mixture of weight training, cardio intervals, and nutrition guidance). And if you’re all about hitting your fitness goals fast and furiously, the semi-private classes will get you there with moves like banded sprints and prowler pushes.
If you’re warming up for class and the yoga studio you’re at starts playing Drake, chances are you’re about to experience a “seriously lit” class at Y7. With multiple locations across the city, Y7 is all about deepening the mind by connecting carefully choreographed sequences with music that ranges from The Weeknd to Stevie Wonder. Y7’s classes focus on intentional movement, so you can expect to leave each class feeling restored and transformed from the inside out. Plus, Y7 aims to make yoga accessible to everyone, regardless of fitness level and yoga background; the teachers offer modifications and adjustments to athletes as needed. All the studio asks for in return is that you keep your mind open and your dope-ass vibes flowing.
The Dogpound is Tribeca’s buzzy studio for personal training and celeb sightings. And you’ll feel it the second you walk in the door — the energy resembles the backstage of a concert or opening night of a new restaurant. It might take you a little while to integrate into the scene, but once you’re in, you’re in. And after that, expect to spend at least an hour after class hanging with the team and taking photos for the ’gram. As for the workout? It depends on your goals because every session is tailored to the individual. But expect some high-intensity intervals, lots of mountain climbers, and a little bit of boxing skill work.
CITYROW opened its doors in 2014, and since then, has continued making waves as NYC’s most popular rowing studio. In their signature rowing class, expect to get in some sweat-dripping cardio, strength training, and rowing drill work… all while listening to some booty-shaking jams in dimmed light, creating that sexy too-cool-for-you boutique vibe. Head to their Union Square or Upper East Side outposts for a workout that’s as fun as it is easy on your joints. New to rowing? Don’t sweat it — they’ll teach you everything you need to know. Just be prepared for a post-row arm-pump; it’s inevitable.
Whether you’re an ex-college tracklete, looking to run your best 5k, or simply trying to switch up your routine, this club should be your next stop. As New York’s first treadmill training studio for runners, MHRC’s classes are designed to help you increase your speed and endurance, all while protecting your body and preventing injury. The calorie-torching and muscle-sculpting benefits? We’ll call those happy side effects. Fitt Tip: their NoMad location has a recovery room with high-tech compression sleeves. Our advice? Save MHRC for your end-of-the-week sweat so you can boost recovery after work. But if their NoHo or UES spots are more convenient, make sure you stop into the locker room, which is basically a spa.
Known for throwing down with some crazy HIIT workouts, the Fhitting Room quickly became a city fave in the Upper East Side, and soon after in UWS and Flatiron. FHIX (functional high-intensity mix) workouts combine five essential fitness building blocks (Think walking, stretching, bending, lifting, and climbing stairs) with strength circuits and interval training to help prepare for everyday life, not events. With a contagious go get ’em culture and awesome energy, the upscale boutique fitness studio offers personal attention within a group exercise format to keep you motivated and your heart rate high.
When it comes to cycling, Monster is as unapologetic and uncensored as they come. With all-gender locker rooms, uncensored music, and explicit music videos projected onto studio walls, this fitness hub has all the makings of an awesome nightclub. And in case you’re wondering, yes, a parental advisory plays before class and the cycling shoe strap-ins are leather. Plus, with art and fashion installments in its two locations (shoutout SoHo and Limelight), Monster is basically a hip rave that just so happens to have indoor bikes. Monster virgins, get there early to check out their gear, which is displayed in a metal cage, or pre-ride fuel with wholesome juice made at the in-studio smoothie bar.
Developed as a hybrid of Pilates, cardio, and strength training, SLT is a dynamic workout that could humble even the most fervent Pilates disciples. With nearly 15 locations in the NYC area, the studio—which is literally an acronym for 'strengthen, lengthen, and tone'—aims to achieve just that with every 50-minute workout aboard the Megaformer. Small movements, constant resistance, slow-twitch muscle activation — let's just say your core will be torched and if the workout is leg-heavy, you'll walk out of the studio like a baby deer on ice. Fitt Tip: if you've never used a Megaformer, SLT recommends arriving 15 minutes early to get acquainted.
Throwing jabs and hooks is all the rage in celeb and boutique-y studios, but Rumble isn’t your run-of-the-mill kickboxing studio. Instead, class-goers switch between rounds of bag-punching, strength-training circuits with weights, and a bench. Using teardrop-shaped water-filled bags instead of the heavy, sand-filled ones that you’re used to seeing, Rumble is all about keeping your knuckles safe and the impact low. See, this Chelsea, NoHo, and the UES studio is all about replacing the intimidating with the cool: cushioned benches for hanging out line the entrance, swanky locker rooms are equipped with selfie-approved lighting, and you’ll never have to worry about getting punched in the face (that’s a win in itself).
ICE NYC is home to CrossFit Below Zero, but this premier functional fitness facility is way more than just a CrossFit box with special floors that can absorb barbell vibrations and locker rooms with hair-styling amenities reminiscent of a spa. It’s also home to six non-CrossFit classes including ICE Cycle, Arctic Row, TRX, Mobility, Melt Yoga, and HAIL (they’ve got snow jokes). Their HAIL class is the upgrade to high-intensity interval training you’ve been looking for; with medicine balls, kettlebells, dumbbells, resistance bands, and pull-up bars, this class is all about efficiency and muscular-endurance. Check them out at their UES 59th Street location for group fitness classes all about the afterburn.
WODing in Murray Hill, Solace is the city’s high-style, luxury home (seriously, there are succulents) for CrossFit-lingo, snatches, and soreness commiserating. Solace offers high-tech floors, locker rooms that top most Manhattan bathrooms, and non-CrossFit classes. With enough square feet to accommodate special gymnastics seminars, yoga classes, high-intensity “Body” workouts, and even Olympic lifting-only sessions, Solace is the perfect studio for athletes who like a little bit everything with a whole lot of style (and intensity). Fitt Tip: Solace also hosts another top studio on this list, Y7, with in-house yoga classes available to members.
Alright, spiritual gangsters and badass yogis, this workout was practically made for you. Box + Flow is for women who aren’t afraid to get messy and men who aren’t ashamed to flow. Which basically means that this 55-minute class is all about bringing together opposites (i.e. “fight” and “flow”) in a spiritual dance. The class starts off with beats like DMX and Nirvana for some good ol’ boxing sequences and then transitions into some Bon Iver and Frank Ocean for some child’s pose and fast-flow sequences. Check out their Midtown location for a workout class that is equal parts zen and adrenaline. Mind-body-soul equilibrium, here we come.
It’s no surprise that boxing for fitness (as opposed to blood or face-blows) has taken Flatiron and DUMBO by storm. Shadowbox’s approach is to take the basic tenets of modern boxing and apply them to fun 45-minute group workouts. The group boxing studio itself is an enclosed, soundproofed room filled with 40 numbered heavy bags, and each bag has an attachment to hold your towel, water, and gloves. In some kind of mood? This studio is about emotionless workouts, but Shadowbox requires passion: thumping music, dark lighting, and high-energy plyometrics. After your sweat sesh, hit up the front of the studio for a Jus by Julie or cup of Kilogram Tea.
Tone House may take the cake for the hardest class in the Empire State, which means if you’re sick of going from class-to-class without seeing results, make your way to their studio in Upper East Site or NoMad. During their hour-long class, you’ll throw your chest to the ground from the get-go, move your feet crazy-quick and, after plyometric-packed circle drills, move into relays that feel like an endless succession of push-ups, burpees, and sprints — all at a race speed. The gym’s owner is a former pro-football player, so it’s no surprise the floor is covered in astroturf. But don’t worry — while the class is intense, it’s not competitive; participants cheer each other on, trainers are supportive, and the general vibe is super motivational.
What kinds of classes does this high-end Midtown joint offer? With nine different class options, NEO U offers more classes than any other facility in NYC. Currently, they offer HIIT-style bootcamp, a centering yoga/meditation, boxing + kickboxing, dance, core, strength, recovery + mobility, endurance, and Pilates + barre. And don’t think they’ll lock you out or show you the door after your sweat session. After class, pop by their cafe/smoothie bar for a low-sugar, high-protein acai bowl or smoothie.
Sky Ting is the community-centric yoga studio NYCers can’t get enough of. Not only is this studio’s freestyle flow seriously zen and modern, but each of the three studios are a totally eclectic, homey, and zen experience. Plus, considering, that “Sky Ting” roughly translates to “heavenly sky space”, it’s not surprising that each studio features lots of natural light. The studio’s mission is add a “#fitfam” element to the NYC yoga community, so this isn’t the sort of place you just get up and go at the end of savasana. After you roll up your mat, stay awhile.
**Updated May 2019.