CKO’s trainers boil their philosophy down to three words: Be, Do, Have. Those trainers all found their passion for pounding the stuffing out of heavy bags at the gym itself before rising through its ranks to teach there. The approach they fell in love with favors fitness training over combat, and pits students against the weightiest bags around to simulate a boxing match with a rhino.
With sunlight cascading across their studio’s hardwood floors and crystal chandeliers, Danielle Buccellato and her staff lead more than 75 group classes every week, specializing in Pilates Mat, Xtend Barre, and group Apparatus training. Mixed in among those weekly classes is Renaissance Pilates’ popular four-week beginner program. During this program, students build strength and a full understanding of Pilates principles across eight sessions, so they are prepared to move onto regular classes and more advanced sessions. The studio’s other offerings map out different, but equally effective, routes toward fitness, including Xtend Barre—a toning workout that incorporates a ballet bar, handheld weights, and yoga straps. In addition to a variety of program options, Renaissance Pilates also offers the new Extend Barre Stick classes to help chisel bodies.
A team of friendly gurus runs each club. Fitness buffs of all buffness levels feel welcome in the fun and accommodating atmosphere at Washington Sports Clubs. During your two weeks, you get access to all the professional equipment, group exercise classes, locker rooms, and facility amenities offered (some group exercise classes require a reservation). Different clubs have on-site features such as pools, Pilates and yoga, babysitting services for a tag-along papoose, electricity, and more. Search for the club that suits your checklist here.
After Lisa Usherovich had her first baby, she discovered yoga as a way to get back in shape and relieve stress. She eventually founded MiMi Yoga for Everyone, a welcoming studio where prenatal classes help keep expectant women comfortable, as well as post-natal classes that let mothers and babies practice yoga together. A full schedule includes other types of yoga, from a fundamentals class to an iyengar session that uses props to help bodies stretch to new limits and practice new stand-up routines. In all classes, Lisa and her team invite more experienced yogis to set up in the front row so new students can hang behind and follow their lead.
Whether you want to stand taller, bend over backwards, or open a pickle jar taped to your back, Devotion Yoga offers a suitable yoga style. Launch a quest to find peace of mind, openness of heart, and baby Jason’s golden pacifier during a bhakti open flow session, or celebrate the night’s final departure during an "Om in the a.m." class, a yogic excursion that starts a brand-new day with challenging postures and breathing techniques. Devotion’s Uptown location sits in a cozy storefront space right across from Manhattan’s skyscratchers, and the original downtown location has two relaxing studios: the Sun Studio, a bright yoga lounge with yellowed walls, high ceilings, and bulletproof windows, and the Moon Room, decked out in bamboo floors and meditative plants.
Your unlimited pass presents you with a tempting platter of hour-long classes to sample at your leisure. Local Barre instructors utilize a variety of equipment, including weighted yoga balls and a ballet barre, to strengthen students' muscles and increase their flexibility. Open Barre movements are organized into energizing dance segments in the Dance Infusions class for an enhanced cardio workout. Let It Flow classes are motivating and musical, allowing your body and mind to relax as you achieve deep core strength through yoga poses and flapper visualization. Nearly all the classes are open to both beginners and seasoned barre veterans. You’ll have your pick of the schedule during your month of classes, and after four weeks in Local Barre’s jazzy speakeasy-inspired studio, you'll be well on your way to fitting into the cat’s pajamas, bending like the bee’s knees, and cutting any rug that gets in your way.