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Flybarre at Barre
Photograph: Audrey Amelie Rudolf Flybarre at Barre

The best fitness trends for 2015

Ready to sweat, New York? These fresh fitness trends will help you kick off the New Year with a bangin’ bod.

By Dan Rookwood
They say you’re never more than six feet from a rat in this city. Well, chances are, you’re even closer to a gym rat. New Yorkers are addicted to the endorphin rush of exercise—frankly, we cannot get enough of the SHIIT (that’s “seriously high-intensity interval training,” by the way). We’ve completely embraced ClassPass, an all-you-can-sweat service that allows you to take as many sessions as you want for just 99 bucks per month, and the pulse of SoulCycle, Flywheel, Barry’s Bootcamp and CrossFit shows no signs of slowing. But for those who’ve been there, done that and have the ratty T-shirt to prove it, 2015 promises a slew of emerging fitness trends. Ready, set, sweat!

RECOMMENDED: The NYC fitness guide
Photograph: Audrey Amelie Rudolf

Hybrid barre

The skinny: The fitness industry loves a mash-up, taking elements from different regimens and putting them in a new workout. Ballet-based barre has been one of the fastest-growing crazes, with popular workouts including Pure Barre, Ballet and Body, the Bar Method and Physique 57—and it’s the latest to get the hybrid treatment at gyms across New York. Core Fusion Barre+Cardio at Exhale combines slow-burn core work with ballet principles to strengthen and lengthen muscles without adding bulk. Flywheel’s faster-paced version, FlyBarre, is a total-body workout, complete with nightclub-style music. Those who prefer their sweat of the dripping variety should opt for Figure 4 Fahrenheit at Pure Yoga, where you can barre all at a high temperature (105 degrees, yikes), which enables a deeper stretch.

Try it: Core Fusion Barre+Cardio is offered at Exhale’s six Manhattan locations ( Single class $37, 10-class pass $315. • FlyBarre is offered at Flywheel locations in Flatiron, Lincoln Square and Upper East Side ( Single class $34, 10-class pass $320. • Figure 4 Fahrenheit is offered at Pure East, 203 E 86th St at Third Ave (212-360-1888, Single class $30.

Photograph: Lauren Spinelli

Boxing boot camp

The skinny: It seems everything old is new again, and boxing is the latest old-school trend to see a spike, particularly among women. Former boxer Michael Olajide (who lost an eye in the ring and now wears a trademark patch, like a true badass) is the go-to champion of trainers at his Aerospace gym. He now promotes a get-fit-without-getting-hit regimen that gets brides into their dresses and Victoria’s Secret models like Adriana Lima runway-ready. His process tones your bod without adding bulk, and there are no machines: It’s all about choreographed punching sequences combined with jump-rope intervals, a process dubbed “the rainmaker” because of how much it makes you sweat.

Try it: Aerospace, 121 W 27th St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (212-929-1640, Single class $30, one-month unlimited membership $300.
Parkour at Brooklyn Zoo NY
Photograph: Raydene Salinas

Indoor parkour

The skinny: If jumping on a stationary bike, treadmill or rower seems like too much effort to go absolutely nowhere, how about jumping into parkour? This quirky, movement-focused exercise—you’ve seen the YouTube videos of dudes and dudettes literally running up walls—has been brought from the city streets into a safer, indoor space in Williamsburg. At Brooklyn Zoo NY, you can leap, dive and backflip to your heart’s content, knowing there’s a foam pit or a padded mat to break your fall (so you don’t break your neck). Fusing functional body-weight movements with gymnastics, acrobatics and capoeira (a Brazilian martial-art-cum-dance), it’s great training for anyone entering an adventure race like Tough Mudder, or for those who long to have a crack at American Ninja Warrior (or Jackass). And frankly, who doesn’t long for that?

Try it: Brooklyn Zoo NY, 230 Bogart St at Ten Eyck St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347-987-3228, $15 and up.
Treadmill interval running at Equinox
Photograph: Equinox/Jeff Vespa

Treadmill-only workouts

The skinny: Think indoor running is a solo activity, an excuse to zone out and catch up on Serial? Nah. In June, Equinox launched Precision Running, in which groups of 10 to 20 are led on runs that balance speed, incline, duration and recovery. Mile High Run Club, NYC’s first treadmill-dedicated studio, followed with classes that include repeats, progressions, fartleks (Swedish for “speed play”) and hills. The studio is equipped with 30 state-of-the-art, $10,000 Woodway 4Front treadmills that feature a cushioned running surface designed to mimic the feel of trail running and be easier on the joints. Mile High offers two main classes: Dash 28 (28-minute runs with 10-minute kettlebell workouts) and the Distance (50-minute advanced-performance runs). Another studio called Run is on its mark and set to go in early 2015.

Try it: Precision Running is offered at 13 of Equinox’s New York clubs (; monthly membership starts at $163. • Mile High Run Club, 28 E 4th St between Bowery and Lafayette St ( Single class $34, 10-class pass $320.
Swerve Fitness
Photograph: Raydene Salinas

Competitive cycling

The skinny: The newest spin on the popular indoor-cycling trend? Making the classes fully interactive, immersive and, yep, competitive. The leader of the pack, Peloton, has reinvented the wheel with a cutting-edge bike that allows you to record your own performance and race others on a leaderboard. If you’re loaded, you can even buy the bike ($1,995) and ride at home with or against people from all over the country as you stream live classes from Peloton’s seven-month-old flagship New York studio. Meanwhile, Swerve adds an element of social guilt with its team-inspired spin: Its classes are divided into three groups competing for the highest overall energy input. Your personal stats are emailed to you afterward, so you can celebrate (or berate yourself) until the next class.

Try it: Peloton, 140 W 23rd St between Sixth and Seventh Aves (866-679-9129, First class free, single class $30, five-class pass $140. • Swerve, 30 W 18th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-242-3330, Single class $30, five-class pass $145.
Photograph: Lydia Hudgens (

Group rowing

The skinny: The retro rower—that rusty thing that props up the stepladder in your dad’s garage—is enjoying a comeback. Touted as 2015’s answer to cycling, row studios—such as CityRow near Union Square, Brooklyn Crew in the 'Burg, GoRow Studios in Hoboken and Row House on the UWS—are making waves all over town. A high-intensity, low-impact combo of cardio and resistance, the exercise saves your joints but works the full body, which means you tone up more quickly than you do when biking. The sessions typically feature six- to eight-minute intervals on the WaterRower interspersed with mat workouts that hit your core, legs, arms and shoulders. In 50 minutes, the average person will do the equivalent of 1,200 leg presses, torch around 1,000 calories and sweat like a mofo. It’s tough, but the pumping tunes and encouraging instructors will keep you going.

Try it: Brooklyn Crew, 20 Broadway at Kent Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (347-529-5479, Single class $28, 10-class pass $250. • CityRow, 80 Fifth Ave between 13th and 14th Sts (212-242-4790, Single class $32; five-class pass $155. • GoRow Studios, 1422 Grand St at 15th St, Hoboken (201-448-5769, gorowstudios
.com). Single class $29; monthly pass $199. • Row House, 555 W 59th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves (212-757-6035, First three classes $75, single class $35, monthly pass (three classes per week) $269.

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