One of the biggest thrills of living in Manhattan is having access to the trendiest, hardest workouts. Whether top models swear by it or you’re drawn in by the amenities, there are a million reasons to try those trendy boutique fitness classes in NYC. And whether it’s the endorphin rush or the result from your fifth class, you’ll find a million reasons to keep trying ’em!
Since Sydney is such a fit city, I was excited to get back on top of my fitness game. (I also thought that trying a bunch of different workouts would be a great way to explore!) As most people do when they move on to something new, they compare it to the last one… it happens with relationships and I sure as hell do it with my workouts. So I broke down the types of workouts I’d do NYC to use them as references for the classes I’d try in my new hometown. Here’s what I found:
Barre: Thanks to one of my best friends Tina, I had an amazing gift certificate for a two-week trial at Barre Body. With their multiple locations and full timetable, I was able to try all of the classes I wanted! As a former dancer, these classes felt like home. Some of the classes – like Barre Body and Barre Moves – edge to the side of dance, whereas others edge to the side of yoga. Some are just like the barre classes I’d tried at home, like at Fly Barre. So no matter your skill level or background in activity, you’ll find the perfect class and instructor here!
Boxing: This workout breathed new life into me when I needed it most a couple years ago. I was loyal to Overthrow on Bleecker near Bowery. And although it started to get less grungy and more mainstream, I lived for the sparring, crushing cardio, and take-no-shit-from-nobody instructors. In Sydney, I found that Boxingworks does the trick! It’s gritty, authentic, and full of real fighters. The classes I took had mostly experienced boxers – which I appreciated for sure. But for a newbie, it seems like they can break down the basic punches and footwork and provide gloves for rent.
HIIT: When I wanted my ass kicked into gear in NYC, I went to Fhitting Room. In Sydney, getting a good ass-kicking is easy with F45! The “F” stands for functional and “45” represents 45 minutes, how long the workouts are. The timetable reminded me of Barry’s Bootcamp, since each day had its own focus. But it’s programmed as circuit, whether it’s a cardio or strength training. The added bonus is that they’re practically a cult (I guess that’s a bonus if it doesn’t scare you?!) so they focus on teamwork and meeting new training buddies. In that way, it reminded me of November Project or Crossfit. But what makes them so accessible is that they have studios in practically every suburb, so you’re bound to find one for a free week’s trial.
Megaformer: Personally, I think these machines are unquestionable torture devices. But since they are so popular these days, something about them must be working! Full disclosure: I like to stick to a regular pilates reformer and call it a day. But there are reputable megaformer studios in NYC, like SLT. In Sydney, I gave Physicore a whirl because it’s consistently on lists of Sydney’s best workouts. It’s about as fast-paced as it can be for a megareformer workout. And the studio space was really lovely! I’m actually looking forward to trying their TRXcore class (a.k.a. what I like to think of as 50 Shades Of Great Arms).
Yoga: Ah yes, the deceptively easy workout. Also one of the most helpful after an international move! Yoga keeps me breathing and stepping outside of my comfort zone. Back on St. Marks Place, I was a disciple of the pay-what-you-want church of Yoga To The People. I loved how connected I felt to the community, so welcomed. And while I could have taken the trendy approach to my vinyasa practice in NYC, I didn’t. But here in Sydney, I decided to try one of the fanciest yoga studios I’ve ever been to in my life. Humming Puppy is the height of luxury. Before class begins, you gaze into a rainbow prism, saunter to a seated section where you can enjoy tea or coconut water, and borrow a phone charger they provide if need be. Class itself was ashtanga style in a studio space that included black or dark details, a departure from the normal white, airy, open spaces I’ve seen a thousand times. It makes you focus harder on yourself… and if I loved it, you’ll love it!
One major class classification I am desperately missing is spin. Soul Cycle owned me. And I shamelessly cheated on them with Peloton when I could. Oh, how I crave the butter-smooth rotation of those bikes and the rhythm rides! While I’ve tried to find an adequate substitute in Sydney, I have yet to tread across one. Of course, I’m looking forward to keeping the investigation open.
And it must be noted that the cherry on top of feeling fit again has been that most of these studios have free trials or deals of a week or two of unlimited classes for a low cost. And compared to NYC, the cost of classes is no sweat at all 🤗💪