Cardio Mission, The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers’ newest body-weight-only interval training class, is that rare breed of boot camp that pushes your muscles to work hard while also relieving some of the stress the workout is putting on your body.
Created by former Barry’s Bootcamp trainer (and verified really nice guy) Louis Coraggio, the class is named for the fact that he aims to keep your heart rate between 60 and 90 percent of your max throughout. “I’m trying to keep your heart rate elevated, but infuse important parts like balance, power, endurance, and core strength,” he explains.
To do that Coraggio divides the class into four interval circuits—focus, power, balance, and abs.
Focus movements require a bit of coordination, and power moves have a plyometric aspect. Balance involves moves like lunges into kicks, and abs is all about plank variations and next-level crunches. There was also an emphasis on mobilizing your joints (hip openers in motion!) and on stretching, which most boot camps don’t bother with.
Between these sequences, Coraggio leads you through “traveling” cardio intervals across the studio—sprints, hopscotch, and even skipping. (“Remember how to skip?!” he yells.) You may even hit the indoor track for a lap.
It’s a tough, but not grueling, hour. Although it featured a characteristic I don’t experience much: I was the only woman in the entire class. It was slightly intimidating, but it brought out my A game: “You were one of the strongest people in the class,” Coraggio assured me. (What else would you tell a reporter who was going to write about you? But I’ll take it.)
“There are usually a few women, but I’m trying to build more of a female following,” he says. Given the smart class structuring and Coraggio’s nice-guy chops, I can definitely see that happening. —Lisa Elaine Held
Who’s it for: Boot camp devotees, workout warriors looking for something more gentle than heavy lifting
The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers, Pier 60, 20th St. and Hudson River Park, Chelsea, Free for members, www.chelseapiers.com/sc/