- The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers
Pier 60, 19th St. at the West Side Hwy., second fl.; 212-336-6099
A six-week-long indoor-outdoor regimen that uses every area of the Sports Center: crab-walking along the basketball court, climbing fire escapes, hauling an armload of weighted bars around the track, then dropping for military-style push-ups. Open to non-members. Sessions are held three mornings a week for $540 or four mornings for $720 or Saturdays only for $240.
336 W. 13th St., nr. W. 4th St. 212-929-1688
No machines in the gym run by former boxer Michael Olajide, but lots of jumping rope and hitting the ring. The studio’s newest class, taught by Leila Fazel, is a combination of ballet moves (sautés, changements), ferocious boxing sequences, and frequent rope-jumping sessions.
- Station Fitness
675 Hudson St., nr. 14th St., Ste. 3N 212-683-7869
Every exercise is done on a vibrating Power Plate platform which ratchets up the difficulty of each lunge, squat, crunch, and push-up. Classes are five people max. Even if you stay for a stretch and a shower, you’re back to work in an hour.
Multiple locations; equinox.com
Six (or more) workout stations are set up in the studio; they feature a range of exercises from squats to throwing a weighted ball to kettle-bell pullbacks to the inclined chest-press to the rope (grab one end of a heavy climbing rope in each hand and furiously shake; great for the arms and back). Participants run through the whole set-up, twice.
103 Warren St., nr. the West Side Hwy.; 212-406-1300
Even veteran spinners lament the fact that most classes focus on the lower half of the body. In this SoulCycle Bands class, spinners peddle while simultaneously pulling on the resistance bands that dangle from the ceiling above each bike—an intense cardio-sculpt workout that leaves no muscle group unchallenged. Classes start with the usual sweat-inducing sprints and hills, then transition to a steady climb for the band sequence. Lat pulldowns, when you’re firing up your legs to keep the pace, clenching your core, and pulling the bands toward you while keeping shoulders and traps neutral, are a whole new level of hard. Starting April 5, the class will be available at all locations ($38 each; $360 for a series of ten).