The holidays are behind us and time to say farewell to December’s excesses. January is traditionally the shape up month and with that we thought we would offer 31 days of workout options. As we did with 31 Days of Sneakers in December, each day will feature a new class, sport, gym, dvd or other fun way to get back in shape or just liven up your routine.
JAN.31: CRUNCH. Wow, I cant believe it’s my last day of 31 Days of Workouts! I have had so much fun trying everything out, and for my last day wanted to feature a place that has it all, including some workouts I missed. Crunch started in 1989 as a basement aerobics studio in NYC’s East Village and now has gyms across the country. From the untraditional decor to the unbelievable class offerings, that mix traditional workouts with their own creations, like Bodyweb Bosu, Boing With Kangoo, Cycle Karaoke, Retro Robics, Cardio Striptease, Jillian Michael’s Bodyshred, and many many more… their philosophy has always been to make exercise FUN! So if you would like to try some of the workouts I featured this month and some of those I missed, Crunch is your place for one stop fitness.
JAN.30: STAND-UP PADDLE YOGA. From the snow to the water we go. Stand-Up Paddleboarding is a fun and great way to get some exercise, but unfortunately for many us enthusiasts it’s a summer or vacation activity only. I stumbled upon a this crazy workout called Aqua Stand-Up, an indoor stand-up paddleboard pool workout, which I couldn’t resist featuring. Besides paddling, there are lots of exercises you can do on a board, Yoga being one of them. Because the poses are performed on a moving surface, different muscles are engaged. So when the weather permits and you’re back on the board, why not give it a try. I myself am headed to Mexico in March for the 4th Annual Punta Sayulita Classic. Sayulita was voted as one of the top 10 SUP destinations in the world by Men’s Fitness magazine. Hope to see you all there!
JAN.29: WINTER SPORTS. Mother Nature has given us a good blast of winter this year, with lots of snow and cold temperatures. Why not take advantage! Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, iceskating, and sledding are just a few of the fun ways to get outside, enjoy the weather and burn some calories at the same time. Consider it part of your cross training. I’m actually writing from Snowmass, CO where the sun is shining after a night of snowfall. Can’t say much more… gotta go hit the slopes!
JAN.28: MIXED MARTIAL ARTS: Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Karate, and Jiu-Jitsu are just a few of the disciplines of Mixed Martial Arts. Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts, established in 1984, is one of the most recognized Martial Arts training facilities, with many east coast locations. I myself checked out Jeet Kune Do at Anderson’s Martial Arts Academy, an impressive 12,000 sq.ft training facility located in downtown Manhattan. Jeet Kune Do is the martial art system Bruce Lee developed and draws its inspiration from many different philosophies of street fighting. While teaching practical fighting and self-defense skills, the punching and kicking of Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai and all the other martial arts make these intense cardio workouts, in addition improving agility, increasing flexibility and building strength. To find a training facility near you click here.
JAN.27: KINECTED PILATES CENTER. With all the intense and crazy workouts out there, it is really important to incorporate some stretching and alignment into our fitness regimens. Pilates is a great way to do that. I took the Bands and Physioball mat class at Kinected, a Pilates studio recognized for their teaching training program and integration of wellness into their practice. This deceptively hard class, features exercises that focus on the Pilates tenets of core strength and body alignment. The studio is located in a lovely loft space, with cheerful attention to detail noticeable in the coordination of things like the bright blue walls, orange mats and clear Physioballs. Kinected also offers private and semi-private classes, physical therapy, Gyrotronics, Rolfing and other custom programs.
JAN.26: THE GYM AT CITY CREEK. Well I did not imagine I would be featuring a gym in Salt Lake City, Utah, in my 31 Days of Fitness but here I am for the Outdoor Retailer show, and what am amazing facility I stumbled upon. Located in downtown Salt Lake City and catering to a corporate clientele, The Gym at City Creek, located in the impressive new City Creek Center, is a state of the art sports and fitness club. With a hip industrial modern look, cutting edge equipment, swimming pool, full size basketball court, racquetball, full spectrum of class offerings, juice bar and more, this gym is as nice as it gets anywhere.
JAN.25: IRONSTRENGTH. “The key to a happy running life is a strong butt” says Dr.Jordan Metzl, Ironman Triathlete, marathoner, nationally recognized Sport Medicine Physician at New York’s Hospital For Special Surgery, and author of The Athletes’ Book of Home Remedies. Dr. Metzl has created “Ironstrength”, a class he teaches twice a month at Equinox, designed to prevent those injuries he finds himself treating so often. Runners in particular, often lack the overall body strength needed to support their activity level. “Ironstrength” focuses on conditioning and strengthening the muscles and joints most prone to injury. Filled with athletes, his classes are tough, but the workout, which is featured on the Runners World website, can also be done at home. For more information on Dr. Metzl and the schedule of Ironstrength classes click HERE.
JAN.24: STOKED 360: Kira Stokes is the energized force of nature behind “Stoked 360”, “Stoked Primal”, “Stoked Abs” and the rest of the “Stoked” series she has created. Kira is seriously ripped and extreme proof of how effective these workouts can be when done a lot, which clearly she does. I checked out “Stoked 360” at Reebok Sports Club, which she also teaches at various Equinox locations. This is Kira’s all-encompassing total body workout, which is an action packed 75-minute circuit class combining traditional and functional training with high intensity cardio intervals. Each circuit has 3 moves, a combination of strength, plyometrics and balance, done three times, with jump rope intervals in between sets, in case it wasn’t tough enough. For more information on Kira’s other killer classes click HERE.
JAN.23: SWIMMING. Swimming is a great all around cardio and strength training workout, and an essential part of any cross training program. It’s non-impact for all you runners and lengthening for all you cyclists. There are pools everywhere from your local YMCA to your fancy sports club. Whether you are just getting started with lap swimming or are a former competitive swimmer, check out the beginner clinics and Masters Programs available at a pool near you. For more info go to Swimmers Guide and dive in!
JAN.22: BALLET BEAUTIFUL. Barre classes have been popular for quite sometime, starting with the very popular Lotte Berk Method which opened in the 1970’s and spawned many an offspring studio. There are at least 10 ballet-inspired workout studios in NYC and countless others across the country, like Physique 57, Pure Barre, and Bar Method. The most recent wave of popularity was inspired by Natalie Portman’s transformed physique in “Black Swan”, which was sculpted Mary Helen Bowers, the founder of Ballet Beautiful. Bowers, a former professional ballerina who trained Ms. Portman for the movie, had been teaching her Ballet Beautiful workout method to private clients for a number of years before Ms. Portman found her. Clients can train or take class with Bowers at her airy Ballet Beautiful Manhattan studio or online, both live and streaming. Her Ballet Beautiful workouts available on DVD as well.
JAN.21: P90X. Created by trainer Tony Horton, P90X is a 90-day system which includes 12 intense workout DVDs using resistance and body-weight training, cardio, plyometrics, ab work, martial arts and yoga, along with a nutrition plan, fitness guide and workout calendar, that promise to get you into the “best shape of your life”. People swear by the results, and in fact P90X is the #1 best-selling home fitness program in America. The philosophy behind the workouts is muscle confusion. The constant introduction of new moves and new routines into the workouts keeps the body challenged. This means each phase of P90X is as tough as the first and eliminates plateaus. The program does require a substantial time commitment of about 1 hour a day, so those looking for a quicker fix might want to try Tony Horton’s 10 Minute Trainer.
JAN.20: PURE YOGA. From the grass growing on the outside of the building on NYC’s upper eastside, it’s clear that PureYoga’s goals are to redefine the yoga experience. Named “Best Yoga” in 2009 and 2010 by New York Magazine, this membership only studio is like an all yoga gym with a very zen vibe. Luminous practice rooms, relaxing lounge areas, and spacious locker rooms with large showers, steam rooms and big fluffy towels are all designed to contribute to the luxe spa experience. PureYoga offers every variety of traditional and hybrid yoga classes, taught by the city’s most sought-after instructors. I tried the Hot Power Yoga, my first venture into the heated yoga room practice. At 100 degrees the sweat flowed, but was tempered by soothing cool Euclyptus infused towels that were provided… this might have been my favorite part of the whole visit. Imported to the US by Equinox, PureYoga also has locations in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tai Pei.
JAN.19: CROSSFIT. CrossFit is the ultimate marine-style boot camp training program. With more than 4,500 gyms worldwide, CrossFit’s workouts are based on functional movements, performed at maximum intensity, employing a constantly-varied approach to training. CrossFit has created a strong community from its participants working out together, and the communal aspect of CrossFit is a key component to why it’s so effective and popular. In addition, CrossFit has made a sport of fitness with its Reebok CrossFit Games, crowning both the “Fittest Man” and “Fittest Woman on Earth” every March.
JAN.18: THE TRACY ANDERSON METHOD. If you can’t afford the reported $900/mo. membership at fitness guru Tracy Anderson’s NYC Tribeca studio, the workouts celebrities like Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Shakira swear by are available on her new DVD series “Metamorphosis by Tracy”. Her workouts are a combination of tried and true, favorite workouts like dance cardio (aka aerobics) and floor exercises, but the draw seems to be her sparkplug energy and the results with which she motivates her clients. Besides NYC, Tracy Anderson has studios in the Hamptons and LA, offering her signature band and hybrid Pilates reformer workouts. Here is an entertaining demo by devotee Kelly Ripa from an episode of Live with Kelly.
JAN.17: BODYWISE. If you happen to be on the island of Kauai in the next few months and want to work out with Gabby Reece, you just might be in luck. Gabby and family reside there for the winter season of big swells (waves that is… her husband is world famous big wave surfer Laird Hamilton). When the local gym closed, Gabby started a circuit training class for her and her friends. What began as a group of six or seven women working out together, has grown into local phenomenon, with classes up to 60 people, offered 3 times a week, led by this world class athlete. What Gabby now calls “Bodywise” is a community fitness program, offered free, that brings together young and old, the fit and not, for a motivating non-stop group circuit training class. Bodywise is a great idea that really could and should be implemented in communities nationwide. For more click HERE. Calling all fitness leaders!
JAN.16: PUNCH FITNESS. There are lots of great boxing gyms in NYC, LA and the rest of the country, where pros, amateurs and the rest of us can train like Manny Pacquiáo and Floyd Mayweather. Probably the most famous is Gleasons Gym, located in Brooklyn, but I had heard about Punch Fitness in my neighborhood, offering a 30 minute demo workout, and wanted to check it out. Boxers physiques and workouts are notoriously impressive, and in this action packed half hour of jabs, uppercuts, and crosses where I bobbed, weaved and ducked, it was easy to see why. But that wasn’t all, in addition there were the boxer style sit-ups, push-ups, duck walks and jump rope. Can’t even imagine what an hour would have been like!
JAN.15: FLYWHEEL SPORTS. In the competitive world of boutique studio spinning, the two major players come down to SoulCycle and Flywheel, with clients having strong loyalties to one or the other. Flywheel was started by one of the original SoulCycle founders but takes a different distinguishing approach in its classes. Most notably, each bike is equipped with a small electronic tracker that measures resistance, speed and power output. For competitive types, the option is available to have that data transmitted to the large screen “Torqboard”, with comparative displays of classmates’ performances. For those looking for a more no-frills vibe, Flywheel’s steely gray interiors will appeal. Also of note is the stadium style seating, which guarantees everyone a good seat. Flywheel has multi-locations including the Northeast, Florida, Texas, Seattle and Atlanta, in addition to Dubai, and also offers body-sculpting FlyBarre classes, incorporating yoga, dance, circuit training, pilates and strength building.
JAN.14: POP PHYSIQUE. The homepage image on their website kind of says it all… this workout is all about a great backside. The combination of pilates, dance and barre moves, set to latest indie and electro music, are designed to sculpt the long and lean physique of a dancer. You will learn to love that muscle-burning sensation because it’s all about “hold, hold, hold” at Pop Physique. There are multi-locations in southern and northern California, as well as Florida and Baltimore, and all the studios are distinguished by their unique, inspirational and eco-friendly design. Their website is pretty hip too!
JAN.13: TRACK WORKOUTS. If you are a runner, a great way to improve your strength and speed is an interval workout on the track. In themselves, these workouts are a fun way (kind of) to add some variety into your training. Any speed workout should include a warm-up and cool-down, which optimally should be about a mile or 4 laps each. 100’s (the straight leg of the track) and 200’s (a straight plus a curve) are a good distance to start with, building up to 400’s (one lap) and 800’s (two laps). Set a goal for yourself the number of repeats of each distance at a speed that is about 75% of your max. Your recovery period should be about the same as the preceding interval. This is a very basic guide but good place to start.
JAN.12: STEPS ON BROADWAY. Founded in 1979, Steps is the true epicenter of New York City’s professional dance community. Internationally recognized, Steps is a celebrated space with old-world ambiance and a steady pulse of passion, energy, and inspiration. Classes are offered seven days a week at all levels in ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, tap, theater dance and hip hop. Beginners are welcome as well. On any given day, one may take class alongside seasoned veterans from such dance companies as New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, as well as the Opera, Broadway, and commercial dance world. In addition, each week a different “Class of The Week” is offered at a 40% discount.
JAN.11: REVOLUTION IN MOTION. RIM, as its called for short, is a completely innovative training technique. At its most basic level, it’s fantastic stretching workout focusing on balance and proprioception. At its most extreme, RIM is where the cast of “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark” trains for the explosive and air-bound choreography of the Broadway show. The class and one-on-one instruction uses equipment like physio balls, Bosu balls and slant boards, challenging the body and nervous system by training on an unstable surface. The feet are a large focus of the workout, and the exercises are designed to engage overlooked muscles, correct imbalances, improve posture and prevent injury for peak performance.
JAN.10: NIKE TRAINING CLUB APP. The Nike Training Club app gives you your own personal trainer, anytime, anywhere. You simply set your goal and level, and a selection of workouts to choose from appears. Video instruction of moves is available and workout music can be selected from your own iTunes library. There are also exclusive bonus workouts from Nike Athletes like Allyson Felix, Hope Solo, and Kara Goucher, in addition to those from celebrity trainers like Rihanna’s Ary Nuñez, and it’s all right there on your phone!
JAN.9: SLT. SLT is short for Strengthen, Lengthen, and Tone. This pumped-up Pilates based “Megaformer” class, uses a system of springs, pulleys and your own body weight for a high intensity total body workout. Not your mother’s Pilates, the class is set to heart-pumping music and will leave muscles you didn’t even know you had quivering.
JAN.8: EXCEED PHYSICAL CULTURE. I had been wanting to check out TRX Suspension training and received that and more at my first class at Exceed. Exceed’s innovative classes are based what they call their Strength & Ultra Metabolic Interval Training method, providing a full body, high intensity, cardio and strength workout. Every class is different, but consists of some combination of TRX Suspension Training, Kettlebells, Medicine balls, Bosu balls and jump ropes. The warehouse style studio, with old school apparatus hanging from the walls and ceilings, enhances the no-frills vibe and gives an added appeal.
JAN.7: SMALL GROUP TRAINING. Sports Clubs Network which includes New York Sports Clubs, Boston Sports Clubs, Washington Sports Clubs and Philadelphia Sports Clubs, with over 150 Northeast facilities, offers a great program for members and non-members alike. Roughly 6 times a year, in sessions lasting 8 weeks, limited Small Group Training classes are offered in Pilates, TRX Suspension, Kettlebell, Boxing and other popular workouts. Says Master Trainer Will Wright, who teaches a butt-kicking Core Remastered class, “These workouts bridge the financial gap between personal training and general classes. They offer the personal attention found working with a trainer combined with the group motivation of a class.
JAN.6: MADISON SQUARE CLUB. Founded by David Kirsch, this loft-style space with its oriental rugs and soft lighting, is more like a luxurious living room than a gym. Be fooled not however, each one hour personal training session is a fast-paced, exercise-packed workout tailored to a client’s fitness and nutritional goals. Madison Square Club is a personal training gym that prides itself on individual attention and stellar service (laundry being one of them!) and only six clients work out with a trainer at one time. Clients swear by Kirsch, many of them NYC and Hollywood’s most noted, but having trained there myself, I can attest that all the trainers are fantastic. In addition to a number of workout DVDs, Kirsch also has his own line of nutritional supplements and elixirs, David Kirsch Wellness Co, which are available for purchase at the gym and at various retailers online.
JAN.5: YOGAWORKS. If you are already into yoga, chances are you have your favorite studio, discipline and instructor, but for those who want to make 2013 their year to get started with yoga, a place like YogaWorks is a great place to begin. From Ashtanga to Vinyasa to Iyengar, Power to Prenatal, beginner to advanced, YogaWorks offers it all. Founded in 1987 and now with 24 studio locations in New York, Los Angeles, Orange County, the San Francisco Bay Area, YogaWorks is consistently recognized as one of the top yoga studios in the country.
JAN.4: PHYSIQUE 57. Physique 57 is an innovative and extremely popular total body workout that combines isometric exercises and stretches designed to lengthen and sculpt muscles. Based on the Lotte Berk Method, a fitness regimen pioneered in the 1950s, the workout has been updated and packs a combination of Pilates, ballet, barre exercises and old-school calisthenics into one fast-paced class. A celebrity favorite, Physique 57 has studios in New York City, Beverly Hills and the Hamptons. For those in between coasts, Physique 57 offers DVDS, as well as online workouts.
JAN.3: THE INSANITY® WORKOUT. This 60 day program might just be the hardest workout ever put on DVD. Your trainer Shaun T, will push you past your limits in 10 workout discs packed with plyometric, strength, resistance and core training moves. No equipment, weights or gym needed. Each INSANITY workout keeps you constantly challenged as you alternate between aerobic and anaerobic intervals performed at your MAX.
JAN.2: SOULCYCLE. I am a self-professed addict to this high-intensity indoor cycling workout. From the jammin’ tunes to the sunny atmosphere to the candlelit rooms, this endorphin-pumping, sweat-making, body-changing spinning workout can’t be beat. Originally NYC based, SoulCycle now has 3 studios in the LA area, 2 in The Hamptons, in addition to multi-locations in NYC and the surrounding areas. To read my interview with everybody’s favorite instructor, Stacey Griffith, and Gabby Reece, click HERE.
JAN.1: BARRYS BOOTCAMP. With studios in southern California, NYC, Tennessee and soon to come London and Norway, Barry’s Bootcamp has become the most popular of the circuit style workout classes. The class is characterized as “drill sergeant tactics with a party atmosphere,” and mixes targeted strength training with super-intense treadmill cardio intervals. Good way to get it started!