Central Park’s newest boot camp, City Athlete, uses techniques borrowed from sports training to help fit New Yorkers (most of whom are sports-savvy) get stronger, faster, and more agile.
“We came up with this saying: city life is the most dynamic sport you can play,” says Alastair Greer, one of the three strapping rugby players who created the method and run the class. (Greer also shares a thick Irish brogue with partner Neil McMillan, and the third partner, Christian Mayo, is an Aussie. All three have overwhelmingly sweet dispositions, and they run “Junior” classes for city kids, too.)
Warm-ups involving ladder drills for agility and a mash-up of walking lunge variations kicked off the class. After a short jog through Sheep’s Meadow, we got to serious work with a shuttle test that’s basically what your high school coach called “suicides” (sprinting as fast as you can to further and further lines), except you do it six times as hard as you can, and the guys measure how far you get each time. “You get constant feedback,” says McMillan.
Our recovery? Bouncing and catching an agility ball.
Then, we split into groups and alternated between core work in the grass, like planks and roll-ups, and drills that required quick footwork and lateral shuffling.
They’re not kidding about the feedback. The next day our shuttle results were promptly posted on the City Athlete website. And while the exercises change in each class, it’s clear they’re all meant to help you build functional strength and endurance that’ll allow you to move quickly and efficiently—just like a serious athlete. BYO cheerleader.
Who’s it for: Former high school and college athletes, outdoor workout lovers, Zog Sports competitors—or those who just want to excel at subway surfing and laundry lifting.
Meets in Central Park at Columbus Circle, $200 for 8-class series, $30 per single class, www.city-athlete.com