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First Workout Report: HIIT gets smart (and swanky) at Kore


Kore MeatpackingHIIT is really good for you (the research says so). But sometimes it can also make you feel like you’ve been hit…by a truck.

Not at Kore, the Meatpacking District’s newest boutique fitness studio, where classes include attention to form and smart sequencing that warms your body up so that it’s adequately prepped to handle even the toughest, heart-racing intervals, and then gives you amenities to pamper yourself with once the pain is over.

“It felt like we could combine the unique benefits of HIIT with the luxury experience,” says owner Jess Bolbach, who left a career in advertising and tapped trainers from spots like Barry’s Bootcamp and Exceed Physical Culture to open Kore (so you know, you better be ready to work).

We stopped by for a first class to give you an early look at the smart method and luxe studio.

More Reading: Everything you need to know about High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

The space

“Details are really important to me,” Bolbach says, and you can feel it as soon as you walk into Kore, which crams a gorgeous design and tons of amenities into a very cozy space.

There’s a white marble check-in desk when you walk in, next to a wall of lockers, benches for waiting to get into class, and a small retail area that sells a whole line of branded apparel (sample tank slogan: “That’s not sweat, it’s my Kore glitter”), plus Kore’s own line of locker room-ready products, like post-workout cooling mist and dry shampoo. Genius times two.

More Reading: How to use dry shampoo

Kore Meatpacking

You’ll also find a whole suite of those products (shampoo, conditioner, face wash, body wash, shave cream) in the luxe showers, and there are chilled eucalyptus towels everywhere. (The only thing missing, like most studios lately, is ample space for getting ready.)

Inside the 24-person workout studio, TRXs are suspended along the back wall displaying a dramatic cityscape photo, making your workout feel just a little more designed, and downtown cool than the average sweat sesh.

The workout

“Shitty form equals a shitty body!” was the mantra most repeated by instructor Joe Buffa—who’s primarily responsible for designing Kore’s method—in my class.

Every class contains the “Kore 4,” an intense, eight-minute nonstop sequence of four exercises, but you do lots of mobility and flexibility work before you get there. Body-weight moves abound, plus work with the TRX, kettlebells, resistance bands, and medicine balls, for lots of serious, explosive strength training.

The lighting and music is also highly choreographed to the workout, lending a club vibe to your workout. “The BPM of the music is timed to get you to your maximum efficiency, and bring you all the way through the program,” Bolbach says.

Kore Meatpacking

More Reading: 5 kettlebell moves for a seriously strong core

Buffa was able to make the hour fun and motivating while still spending lots of time offering expert corrections to form. “If you sacrifice form, you’re not going to get the results you’re intended to get,” Bolbach says. “I want people to leave here and see results fast.” Who doesn’t want that, really? —Lisa Elaine Held

Kore, $35 per class, 336 W. 13th St., at Hudson, Meatpacking District, New York, NY, 10014, (646) 869-4690, www.korenewyork.com

(Photos: Top, Kore Meatpacking; Middle and bottom, Lisa Elaine Held for Well+Good)