Flex Studios, formerly Pilates Proworks, recently broke ties with the national franchise to create its own identity, and that includes its own kick-butt workout style and more variety in its offerings—like Flex30/30, a combo platter class that stitches its Reformer-based Pilates and signature barre workout together.
Class starts with 30 muscle-quivering minutes on the Reformer, where you’ll challenge your core like crazy in plank variations on the moving carriage, and work leg and booty muscles with moves like squats with one foot on the carriage (that set your inner thighs on fire). There’s also upper body work using the machine’s pulleys, then you’ll head to the barre.
There, expect a jacked-up half hour of pulsing laced with plyometrics. It’s a barre approach that’s athletic and cardio-heavy (think Flybarre more than Pure Barre), so you’ll do plie squats on your toes, but you’ll also do burpees. And weights are on the heavy side for barre—my instructor suggested 5–8 pounds.
The class combo really works, and I loved the mid-session switchover because it distracted me from how demanding it was and kept me engaged in what was coming next. Overall, it’s an hour that leaves you spent and shaking, but thanks to motivating playlists and inspiring instructors, also smiling.
And for the truly hard core, Flex is now also offering a Flex90 option that tacks on 30 minutes of TRX to the initial 60. The smile may be harder to come by after that one.
Who’s it for: Barre or Pilates devotees who want to add a little extra fire to their sweat sessions, those with fitness ADD (I’ve been doing this for how long?)
Flex Studios, 47 W. 14th St., 2nd floor, between Fifth and Sixth Aves., $35, www.flexstudios.com