David Kirsch Wellness Co., 210 Fifth Ave., at 25th St.; 212-683-1836; $30
The class relies on a seemingly simple prop, the resistance band, to approximate heftier, more intimidating gym equipment. With my legs lunging or plié-ing and hands clutching both ends of the band, I went through a whole range of motions, with the bands in nearly constant resistance the entire class.
Peak Heart Rate: 158
Calories Burned: 175
The Pain-O-Meter: 5
Equinox, 2465 Broadway, at 92nd St.; 212-799-1818; memberships from $145 per month
The 2010 in the name doesn’t refer to the year but the intervals forming the workout: twenty seconds of full-throttle exercising using medicine balls or steps, followed by ten seconds of recovery. It’s based on studies by Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata that found that high-intensity interval training burned fat for more time than the long-and-steady approach (i.e., my daily runs). It certainly felt like it, because my heart was pounding nonstop.
Peak Heart Rate: 168
Calories Burned: 388
The Pain-O-Meter: 8
Smart Workout, 124 E. 40th St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-661-1660; memberships from $145 per month
Kudos to all you cheerleaders: I hadn’t appreciated how much strength and stamina all that jubilation entails. This class set me straight with tight movements performed with lots of staccato snap. We worked our lower halves with kicks and grapevines and our arms and shoulders by making lots of V’s and T’s. (Novice that I was, I had to ask what they stood for: victory and team.)
Peak Heart Rate: 142
Calories Burned: 231
The Pain-O-Meter: 3
The Sports Club/LA, 330 E. 61st St., nr. First Ave.; 212-355-5100; memberships from $209 per month
Zenergy is a true hybrid: It starts with a foundation clearly rooted in yoga, working the entire body with familiar asanas (postures) like warrior, triangle, and tabletop. Interspersed among them, though, are hops, leaps, and lunges that amped up my heart rate, plus strengthening exercises such as push-ups and rolls. By the end of the class, my thighs, calves, and ankles were spent, but I also felt limber, as if I’d stretched the entire hour.
Peak Heart Rate: 162
Calories Burned: 250
The Pain-O-Meter: 4