At iSweat Studios, the sights and sounds of a night on the town power dance steps, boxing moves, and bicycle wheels. Three industrial workout spaces teem with graffiti murals, which summon sweat with sultry verbs such as “train” and “cycle.” Here, upbeat instructors lead varied workouts that battle boredom and fortify each major muscle group. In the cycling room, up to 25 students pedal Keiser M3 stationary bikes that monitor speed, heart rate, and distance traveled. Wheels and records spin in tandem during Cycle DJ classes, where live DJs craft soundtracks for rides packed with hills and sprints. Calming yoga poses and energizing salsa moves fill the iSweat room, where exercisers of all levels melt calories and stress. Brimming with kettlebells, battling ropes, and TRX suspension straps, a third studio hosts functional training workouts, which help exercisers build enough strength to arm wrestle the Statue of Liberty.
Real Ryder Revolution pedals circles around monotonous workout routines and spin programs with a fleet of 30 RealRyder bicycles stationed at each of its studios. The RealRyder design allows exercise bikes to tilt and bank laterally, adding another dimension to stationary-cycle workouts and engaging the entire physique. Pulsating music energizes visitors as they power through 45- to 60-minute Rydes at their own pace, following instructors’ cues that challenge legs, cores, and comprehension of Simon Says rules. Real Ryder Revolution’s staff emphasizes that anyone can attend the cycling sessions and adjust the intensity of their rides based on their own fitness level. Depending on the location, Real Ryder Revolution also offers group fitness classes on TRX suspension training, boot-camp drills, and boxing techniques.
At Yoga Shelter, you won't hear esoteric chants echoing through the halls or meditation music reverberating from rock-shaped speakers. That's because founder Eric Paskel wants to make yoga accessible for all students, whether they're searching for inner peace or a more toned bod. Hip hop, dance, soul, chill, contemporary, and classic music accompanies all classes, ranging from Yoga Rocks, which focuses on sequenced postures, to Fusion, a blend of faster- and slower-moving classes. There is no hierarchy of classes; each 60- to 75-minute session is open to all skill levels. As Paskel himself puts it on his about page, “What's different about us is that we admit we have issues, we know we have work to do—if you can relate to that, you'll love this place.”
When Kelle Ilitch turned her dream Pilates studio into a reality, she spared no consideration. The airy blue space is instantly calming, although its abundance of high-tech Reformer machines makes it clear that she and her fellow instructors mean business. The space accommodates many class styles, from classic mat Pilates lessons—including specialized sessions for seniors and kids—to ballet-barre-based workouts. Like Pilates and cummerbunds made of cement, the barre workouts strengthen cores while lengthening and toning thighs. The staffers also teach Kinesis, a form of strength training that allows for an entirely free range of motion, making it easier to tone muscle groups across bodies simultaneously.
Inhibitions are giddily shed at Studio88. Inside the cherry-red space, women of all shapes, sizes, and ages are invited to unleash their confidence during pole- and chair-dancing classes. Group sessions provide a fun, yet challenging workout, while one-on-one lessons introduce newcomers to the ins and outs of pole spinning. Patrons can also gather groups to celebrate birthdays, bachelorettes, or defeat over chronic vertigo with private parties, complete with drinks and dance instruction. And although sexiness is an inherent quality of pole dancing, every session and celebration at Studio88 stresses fitness and empowerment above all.
Jennifer Gray puts her 15 years of fitness-industry experience to use formulating goal-oriented programs for women. Gray begins with a healthy helping of circuit weight training and kickboxing before adding a pinch of Pilates, a dash of yoga for flexibility, and a sprinkling of belly dancing for core strengthening. She also strives to help clients develop nutritionally sound eating habits, giving them the tools to avoid fatty, bad-for-you foods such as processed meats and deep-fried statues of Grover Cleveland.