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Class Action: Blood Sweat ‘N Tears at DavidBartonGym

David Barton
If your class was next to this disco ball, would it put some more pep in your plyometrics? (Photo: DavidBartonGym)


DavidBartonGym pioneered the gym-with-a-club-vibe concept that’s now ubiquitous in the fitness world—from bike dancing to cardio dance classes with live DJs.

And during a recent visit to the flagship Astor Place location in Manhattan for the brand’s signature Blood, Sweat, ‘N Tears boot-camp-style class, that history was palpable in the off-the-wall upbeat energy that permeated the session from start to finish (and in the giant disco ball DJ booth adjacent to the classroom).

My class started with four solid minutes of jumping jacks done to the pumping beat of the music. So we were pretty freaking warm when we launched into the meat of the workout: 90-second intervals that involve lots of combination (more than one movement) and compound (more than one muscle group) exercises, like squats into an overhead press with weights and many, many push-ups. There was a core interval section on the mat and some heart rate-spiking cardio at the end, with moves like high knees and burpees.

Throughout, the pulsing energy among the sweaty participants—about 75 percent male, 25 percent female—never wavered. But it really reached its peak towards the end, when our instructor led us through a series of push-ups that required you to drop your body completely onto the floor and then push up while counting out loud. The goal: every number was supposed to be louder than the last one you shouted.

Which is to say that by the end, we were screaming the numbers while shaking and groaning towards the finish line. I’m happy to report, however, that sweat was the only part of the title trifecta my body produced. —Lisa Elaine Held

Who’s it for: Gym rats who need a little boutique fitness energy

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