A workout with Natalie Uhling goes from zero to 60 within the first 15 seconds of class. As soon as the vivacious 29-year-old trainer turns on the music, and it blasts from the Marshall amp she totes to class (schlepping is good for the biceps), she’s attacking the music with jumping jacks and the intensity of Metallica on guitar. Only Uhling’s no metalhead. She’s an inspiring athlete and statuesque fitness model (namely as the face of Under Armour Women), and one of the most promising stars of the New York fitness scene.
Uhling is a favorite of boutique studio junkies. She regularly teaches SLT, and she’s worked at SoulCycle, Barry’s Bootcamp, and packed a killer kickboxing class an otherwise meh gym. Hers is a fitness resume that qualifies her to work anywhere. But last fall Uhling started to apply her fitness focus and rushing energy to her own method. Called NuFit, it shows off her star quality, even if there’s no marquee out front of the nondescript space where she teaches. Yet.
NuFit is a combination of three workouts in one—it’s a dance cardio warm-up, with short combinations that are a 6 out of 10 on the hard-to-follow scale. After 20 minutes, Uhling pulls out gloves and pads, and the class becomes a glam Gleason’s for 25 minutes, with women paired up for boxing and blocking. The reps are insane and so is the sweat. She stops the drills for plyometric jumps, and then sends you back to uppercuts and high knees. At the same time. “Women are so strong,” she says. “I’m a beast in class! And I want students to really tap into and express their power.”
The class ends with a 15 minute toning sequence that uses paper plates as gliders (scrappy!), so you’re able to pike like you would on a Megaformer, and do other moves meant to “max out” thigh muscles and attack the glutes and abs. When Uhling seems to know the class is about spent, she’ll click off the lights. “It’s just you and yourself giving it all you’ve got now,” she says, turning up the music to volume 11. “Empty the gas tank; leave it all here.”
Turning it out in the studio
If I haven’t made this clear: Uhling’s energy is not like others’. There’s a moment when I glance over and see she’s working at 150 percent, eyes ahead, blonde ponytail popping, nailing every plyo move like it’s being televised. My fleeting fitness peak is her homeostasis. Somehow she doesn’t seem drained by it. “I’m in love with what I do,” she says, accounting for her intensity. “I definitely get a lot of sleep. Also, when I eat well I can really turn it out in the studio—clean food is like nitroglycerin in my body,” Uhling affirms. She also says she won’t drink. It’s about being “on her game” for her students and in best working order now and down the road.
And Uhling’s future looks bright. She’s teaching classes for Under Armour this week that will have her running fitness editors across Grand Central station’s Vanderbilt Hall for the Superbowl, and she continues to be named a fitness fave (most recently by KiwiSweat, a fitness pop-up company). She’s also got an eye on TV. “I see myself reaching more people,” she says. We wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see her on primetime. —Melisse Gelula
NuFit is currently offered at Pearl Studios, 500 Eighth Avenue, btwn 35th and 36th Sts., $30 for a single class. For more information, visit www.natalieuhlingfitness.com
For Monday classes, visit www.eventbrite.
For Tuesday and/or Thursday classes: www.eventbrite.