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As One doubles in size and eyes a downtown location


As One, the profoundly humbling workout created by trainers Mark Merchant and George Vafiades, has built a devoted following in the year and a half since its Columbus Circle studio opened.

This weekend Merchant and Vafiades are packing up the kettlebells and sandbags and moving around the corner to a new studio more than twice the size of the original. The 3,500-square-foot space features private bathrooms and showers (though don’t expect Equinox facilities; there will be just one shower for men and one for women), as well as enough space to run simultaneous classes.

Mark Merchant (left) and George Vafiades

One thing they’ll lose in the move is the 12-story staircase that’s a brutal part of the workout (20 minutes is typically spent dashing up and down those stairs). Merchant and Vafiades have devised savvy cardio stand-ins for the stairs including Jacobs Ladders and StepMills.

The new space will enable them to double their class offerings. In addition to the signature 75-minute performance class (it’s so hard the creators only allow you to do it twice a week), they’ll have 45-minute functional cardio ones.

This will position As One as a one-stop fitness destination and these two charismatic trainers as your fitness dream team.

They’re also eye-ing downtown for a second space, so soon As One could become As Two.

As One Fitness, 1845 Broadway, btwn 60th and 61st Sts., 3rd Floor, www.As1effect.com, $25-$35 per class, depending on package purchased