Lauren Boggi wants to give you something to jump up and down about. The founder of the incredibly popular Philly-based fitness method called the Lithe Method is looking for a New York City home. Although there’s a barre in the room—don’t let that fool you. Instead of concentrated low-impact movements a la Lotte Berk, this boutique workout owes its inspiration to cheerleading.
Boggi, a former U.S.C. cheerleader, uses a “cardio-cheer-sculpting” method at her studio. “We do a lot more cardio, aerobic activity than your average barre class,” Boggi explains. “Lots of people come in and expect Pilates and barre, and you are going to get that, but your feet are definitely going to leave the ground.” Resistance bands suspended from the ceiling complete the system.
The Lithe Method, which Boggi debuted in 2006, has a super-loyal following in Philly, with four locations and long wait lists for classes. So Boggi, a former New Yorker, decided it was time to branch out. “Lithe works in large, urban, dense markets with youthful women. It’s a perfect match,” she says. “I feel like the brand’s ready for a New York City flagship. I mean, where else would I go?”
As of this week, Boggi was was debating between two spaces, both in Union Square. And she wants to open by the end of the year, hosting the same classes she does in Philly for about 30 people. Manhattan prices will be slightly higher (of course)—most likely around $25 per class.
But with New York City bursting with barre classes, will Lithe be able to gain traction? And will sophisticated New Yorkers picture pom-poms and run in the opposite direction?
Boggi is confident that Lithe’s unique style will attract a following. And, unexpectedly, she sees spinning studios SoulCycle and Flywheel as her biggest competitors. “Even though the workouts are really different, they have the pull factor like we do,” she says. “People that go to barre classes and Physique 57 don’t want to jump around like we do, so I don’t see them as a threat.” —Lisa Elaine Held
For more information about the Lithe Method, visit www.lithemethod.com