“This isn’t the Upper East side, this isn’t the Hamptons, this is Hell’s Kitchen,” Cyc Fitness creative director Keoni Hudoba shouted from the instructor bike this week. He was encouraging everyone to add a little “edge” to their workout, during the very first ride inside Cyc’s second New York City location.
The new indoor-cycling studio—which officially opened on Monday, June 29 inside the Row NYC hotel on Eighth Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets—straddles Hell’s Kitchen and Times Square. And it’s making history as the first boutique fitness spot to open in the area. At. Long. Last.
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“I think Hell’s Kitchen is incredibly under-serviced in terms of fitness,” says founder and CEO Stephen Nitkin. “There are more people in a six block radius than all of Madison [Wisconsin]” (where Cyc’s first location opened in October 2012).
And those people include the ones who commute to the many giant companies with headquarters in the neighborhood, like The New York Times, Ernst & Young, and Viacom, those who pass through on their way to and from the Port Authority, and residents of the apartments cropping up to the west, in Hudson Yards.
Oh yeah, and the tourists. “The hotel recognizes that their guests care about this, and they were very interested in bringing in a fitness concept,” Nitkin says, explaining that Cyc will be advertised within the hotel’s 1,300 rooms and guests will be able to charge classes to their rooms (maybe as a “business expense”?).
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What to expect inside
Despite the in-hotel location, though, Cyc Hell’s Kitchen actually feels much more like its own concept than the original New York City studio within David Barton Gym at Astor Place.
It has its own dedicated entrance, and after you descend the stairs to the below-ground space, a check-in desk leads you to a large lobby with plenty of benches, lockers, Cyc-branded clothing, and a fridge filled with Blueprint juices. There are small locker rooms (with two showers each) and a separate Glam&Go salon set-up for post-shower blowouts.
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The cycling studio itself is a similar set up to Astor Place (complete with 50 bikes), save for a lower ceiling and a column in the middle that splits up the room. The rides come with the same high-energy playlists, ridiculously fun choreography, and tons of sweat thanks to plenty of resistance and upper-body work.
It’s a concept that clearly seems to be working, given the fact that Cyc also opened the doors to its first Boston studio last week and plans to open three more before the end of 2015. “It’s a big year for us,” Nitkin says. And a sweaty one for us. —Lisa Elaine Held
Cyc Fitness, $28 per class ($23 current launch special), 700 Eighth Ave., between 44th and 45th Sts., Hell’s Kitchen, New York, NY, 10036, (212) 897-9922, www.cycfitness.com
(Photos: Cyc Hell’s Kitchen)