Five NYC Boutique Fitness Studios We Love

Cyc spin class at the Row Hotel NYC, one of the boutique fitness studios in NYC
Cyc spin class at the Row Hotel NYC

A good workout is an crucial aspect of a NYC visit for most gay male travelers. Hotel gyms often suck though. On your next visit, take a high-energy class at one of these great boutique fitness studios. You’ll stay fit, burn (on average) 500 to 1,000 calories and possibly meet your next short-term boyfriend. We visited these 5 in Chelsea/Flatiron (the “fitness district”) and Hell’s Kitchen. Swipe all the way down for handsome local spin instructor (and actor) Jared Poulin’s top tips for visitors preparing for a new fitness class.

Exhale Spa Flatiron/Chelsea
Cost: $37

Premise: Core Fusion Extreme: the fat-blasting, muscle-sculpting, high intensity interval training workout

This is the most intense of all the (very intense) classes we experienced. The fitness studio is divided into five sections with five stations at each section; 25 participants move through each station twice with two sets per station. Do the math. It’s insane. The instructors somehow manage to keep an eagle eye on each participant while coordinating the entire overall class. Bring your own water. Towels provided. Have a friend pick you up after: You may be a bit wobbly.

CYC Fitness at Row NYC 

Cost: $28

Premise: High-energy, highly-trained “cycologists,” (instructors), amazing music and lights

Cyc instructors are fit, energetic and attentive. The pulsating music and lighting are coordinated to maximize motivation of cyclists. Mid-way through class participants use weights for upper body. We were spoiled by Flywheel’s technology so the one drawback is not knowing your exact torque and RPMs but you will exit the studio sweaty and happy. Hop upstairs to City Kitchen’s multiple food stalls  for a post-workout calorie binge. Cyc provides clip-in shoes, towels and water bottles.

Flywheel Chelsea 

Cost: $34

Premise: Cycling class with precise measurement of effort and displayed real-time results to increase motivation

Flywheel Sports integrates technology in the form of an accurate mechanism describing  torque (resistance) and RPMs (revolutions per minute). An opt-in system allows you to compare your performance to others in the class on an overhead screen, which stimulates a competitive boost. Mid-way through class participants use weights for upper body. Instructors are all well-trained; though we like Jared Poulin’s class. Check his top tips for preparing for a class by swiping to the bottom of this article. Flywheel provides clip-in shoes, towels, water bottles and fruit.

Orange Theory

Cost: $35

Premise: All participants wear heart-rate monitors (included) and track their effort on an overhead screen

Orange Theory started in Ft. Lauderdale and is slowly making its way north with this first studio in Chelsea. No two classes are ever the same but often they include alternating between a treadmill, a rowing machine and a stationary area with weights, mat and step. The overhead heart-rate monitoring system can help you exit a slump in your work out. (The body adapts very quickly to routines.) Instructors are highly trained and attentive.

Barry’s Bootcamp

Cost: $34

Premise: Alternating between cardio work on treadmill and stationary floor work with weights for best of both worlds

Barry’s lives up to its reputation for delivering a demanding workout. Alternate between the treadmill and the floor doing both cardio and body-sculpting work. The larger class sizes make it easier to slack a bit (unlike every other studio we visited where instructors manage to keep close watch on all participants) so you must rely more on your own motivation but for this price you ought to. This class has the highest ratio of men to women with many gay men attending this location.

The Spin Zone: Top five tips to maximize your boutique fitness experience by NYC FlyWheel instructor Jared Poulin. These apply to all classes included in this article.

  1. First time participants should arrive at the studio 15-20 minutes early to acquaint themselves with the studio, ensure proper equipment set-up
    Jared Poulin, Flywheel Sports in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine
    Jared Poulin, Flywheel

    and speak with the instructor about what to expect throughout the class.

  2. You’re going to be working up a sweat so be sure to wear light, moisture wicking clothing. Men should wear athletic shorts and a tee-shirt or tank.
  3. To properly fuel pre-workout, I suggest steel cut oats, cottage cheese with fruit or a banana at least 30 minutes before class. You want to reach for something that is easy to digest and energizing before you start sweating.
  4. Post-workout, I suggest nourishing your body with protein and carbs.
  5. Don’t skip the stretch! You just experienced an incredible physical (and mental) release. Be sure to give your muscles one also and stick around for a thorough cool down stretch to prevent injuries.

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Published by edsalvato

Educator, marketing, communications and travel safety expert; LGBTQ Pavilion at the New York Times Travel Show; public speaker; expert panel organizer and moderator

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