As One doubles in size and eyes a downtown location


As One, the year-old, profoundly humbling strength-training workout, will lose the staircase runs and add a killer cardio class at its new, larger studio.

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.

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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

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