“High-intensity” is a huge buzzword in the fitness world, but sometimes it means you’re pushing your body to extremes it’s not ready for, says Nedra Matosov, co-owner of the new P.E. Club on the Upper East Side.
“We took it back to the basics,” Matosov says, as in, to the functional exercises you were supposed to learn in gym class many years ago (while you were gossiping and trying not to break a sweat). “The simpler things are actually the things people can’t do, like push-ups and pull-ups. They’re throwing weights around and doing crazy things, but they can’t do a real push-up.”
Matosov previously ran Remorca Fitness’ group fitness studio and teamed up with her fellow trainer husband Alex Matosov to open the P.E. Club, where they aim to fix that issue with personal training and group classes that focus on functional movements, with a personal touch. “No matter what your goals are, we really try to find what’s missing in your current routine and make it so that you’re reaching your goals easier,” she says.
The space has a cardio area in the front, a large personal training area in the middle (with monkey bars!), a room for physical therapy, and a bright, mirrored group fitness studio in the back, where we tried the class TRX Kettlebells. (They also offer TRX Barre, TRX Extreme, and more.)
Led by trainer Bryan Jarrett, it was made up of circuits that alternated between kettlebell and TRX moves: Think kettlebell squat-presses, rows, and twisting lunges, and TRX push-ups, flys, and tricep presses. The bells were heavy and the intervals long, so that our muscles were seriously working the entire time, almost to exhaustion. Jarrett is as much of an entertainer as a trainer, though, and he made us laugh (and maybe dance a little). Plus, classes max out at nine, so you can expect personal attention to form.
All of which is to say that if I hit the class regularly, I could definitely see myself building up to executing some picture-perfect push-ups. —Lisa Elaine Held
The P.E. Club, $38 per class, 238 E. 75th St., between Second and Third Aves., Upper East Side, www.thepeclub.com