This is your body on classes

Four group-fitness fanatics explain how they cut their killer figures.

Pauline Kim, 28



Dan Castro

26, finance supervisor

The class: Castro enrolled in the Sweat, Hustle and Muscle program at Trinity Boxing(110 Greenwich St between Carlisle and Rector Sts; 212-374-9393,; $249 per month) last April. He has faithfully attended three times a week ever since. "[Instructor Eddie Lima] is on top of us," says Castro, "making sure we're doing everything correctly, and that we're giving 100 percent. Otherwise, you'll definitely hear it from him." 
What it entails: The class—which is offered three times a week—functions like a monthlong boot camp and involves running, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, knee-ups and the use of free weights. "I lost a total of 14 pounds—and built muscle mass," says Castro. "I have energy for the whole day after this class."
Why he sticks with it: "We do timed exercises where Eddie will have us compete against each other, so that definitely keeps people motivated. We try to break each other's records," says Castro. "He's always raising the bar so that you never get comfortable: Eddie modifies according to each person's ability. To make the class harder for me, he will often have me do exercises with a medicine ball or make me put on a weight vest."

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Natasha Juanita Silber

26, grad student
The class: Silber has practiced the Brazilian martial art of capoeira for seven years and has been with Grupo Capoeira Brasil NYC (35 W 31st St between Fifth Ave and Broadway, sixth floor;; $20, first class free) for four. She does the two-hour routine three or four times weekly. 
What it entails: Capoeiristas practice kicks, escapes and takedowns for the first part of class before moving on to a roda, or circle, in which students play instruments as pairs spar in the center. "The handstands and cartwheels strengthen your upper body," says Silber. "There's also a lot of lunging, so it works your glutes for sure. Everybody talks about the capoeira butt." 
Why she sticks with it: "It's really challenging, so you never get bored. There's also the music and the history and ritual of capoeira," Silber points out. "If you get injured, you can still play the instruments, sing and participate. Plus, [the group] feels like my family—it's a really amazing community."

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Adrian Mackay

44, portfolio manager
The class: A former competitive swimmer, Mackay has been a member of the Masters Swim Team at Sports Center at Chelsea Piers (Pier 60, W 23rd St at the Hudson River; 212-336-6000,; day pass $50) for four years. He hits the 90-minute sessions as often as five times weekly. 
What it entails: Coaches guide swimmers through sets of freestyle laps, stroke work and exercises that use fins or pull buoys to provide resistance and improve form. Mackay says he lost 10 to 15 pounds in the first year. "My appetite went up, and I definitely got stronger." 
Why he sticks with it: "The coaches can be really helpful in terms of correcting your technique," Mackay says. "If you just want to swim at your own pace, there's a lane for you to do that, but if you want to push a little harder there's a lane for you to do that, too."

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Pauline Kim

28, fashion consultant
The class: Six months ago, Kim began taking the ballet-inspired Barre Assets atCrunch (; day pass $16) to complement her other fitness routines. The gym rat has made a habit of going to the class once a week."It really focuses on each of the muscles, as you try to be graceful, smooth and balanced—you feel really beautiful when you're doing it, because you elongate yourself." 
What it entails: The one-hour session draws upon classical ballet exercises like plis,ronds de jambs and arabesques to stretch and tone muscles and build stability. (N.B. No ballet experience is necessary.) After the barre, attendees move on to Pilates-based core work and light free weights. "I've toned up," Kim says. "After three to four weeks, I was able to see a difference in the way my muscles were growing leaner. The pain you feel immediately." 
Why she sticks with it: "Trying to be graceful is a bit challenging when you're not used to the movements and you're not a trained dancer," says Kim, who's normally more of a hip-hop person. "I'm not the best at it; I keep learning how to perfect it."

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