Gymnast-turned-trainer Holly Del Rosso has a packed roster of clients she trains on-on-one. But once a week, she holds a group fitness boot camp right in front of Central Park’s Bethesda Fountain. (Be forewarned: Excited tourists will take pictures of you while you squat and plank. “Real New Yorkers! And they’re sweaty!”)
The class is a strength-training and cardio mix of traditional exercises like lots of plank variations, squats, and lunges, and kickboxing moves like punching and kicking, and you move from one of these segments to another several times throughout class.
While the class only uses body-weight resistance, Del Rosso is skilled at making use of the park as giant fitness prop: In my class, she turned the two flights of stairs in front of the fountain into a landmark of glute and quad torture.
Several times, we ran to the top and then made our way down by squatting until our butts touched each step and then jumping to the next one. We also lunged our way all the way up, skipping a step and lifting one leg up in front of our body as we went. My legs were shaking like crazy by the end of the stair sets.
The class wasn’t as high-energy as I’m used to in most boot camps, but it’s a tough, fun workout that you’ll most likely feel the next day. Pint-sized Del Rosso makes it fun with her bright and cheery demeanor, but she’s not opposed to pushing you to work harder. Plus, you can’t beat the location, especially when it’s utilized so perfectly.
Saturdays at noon starting September 1 (through October), Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, $30 per class ($7 for first class), www.hollydelrosso.com