Undeniable fact: 2013 was a year of serious fitness abundance in New York, with new studios and gyms opening across Manhattan—and into Brooklyn.
From disco-ball cardio dance on the Upper East Side and CrossFit in Chelsea to Megaformer classes in Brooklyn and indoor cycling everywhere (even in pools!), the fitness field just kept getting our heart-rate up with diverse and exciting ways to work out.
So which of the new workout hotspots really got New Yorkers talking? We eavesdropped at juice bars and during sweat sessions—and Well+Good editors looked back over 12 months of our own reporting on the scene—to bring you these seven most talked about studios of the year… —Lisa Elaine Held
(Photos: Fhitting Room and Lyon’s Den Power Yoga by Well+Good)
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Cardio dance star Anna Kaiser developed a huge following (that includes celebs like Kelly Ripa) over the past few years as a nomadic instructor, so when she finally debuted a home base this fall on the Upper East Side, it happened with lots of buzz (and aforementioned celebs showing up at the opening party). Now, lithe young women fill the Andy Warhol Factory-inspired space, burning calories while learning crazy cool moves in 60- and 90-minute sweat sessions. There are also nutritionists and massage therapists on site.
(Photo: AKT in Motion)
After Aqua Studio opened in Tribeca in April, Well+Good staffers couldn’t go anywhere without someone saying “Oh my god! Did you really try cycling in a pool?!” (We did.) Since then, cycling in a swimsuit has been added to every fit New Yorker’s bucket list (maybe partially because, as the studio says, “Europeans love it.”?) And based on the buzz, the studio just expanded its schedule to include an array of new class options.
(Photo: Facebook/Aqua Studio)
CrossFit just kept getting hotter all year, with new boxes opening in every borough. And Los Angeles-based Brick shook up the scene by debuting a massive 13,000-square-foot facility that’s beautifully designed and includes amenities not normally found in this no-frills-workout world, like full-service locker rooms and showers. It also caters to the CrossFit shy with B|X boot camp classes and yoga, increasing its appeal to those across the fitness spectrum and the city.
Sebastien Lagree’s muscle-quaking Megaformer workout had a great year, with the opening of Brooklyn Bodyburn, who brought the workout to Williamsburg in February. (And with New York’s original brand, SLT, opening new locations in Soho, Short Hills, NJ, and Rye Brook.) Bodyburn’s fitness foray over the East River sparked lots of conversations, from chatter about its pretty studio space and supremely tough workout—and about Brooklyn’s growing fitness boom. (Brooklyn Bodyburn was shortly joined by a slew of other brands, like Syncstudio, Torque, and SoulCycle in Williamsburg.)
(Photo: Brooklyn Bodyburn)
This Upper East Side boutique spot debuted with lots of buzz thanks to its focus on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), one of the most of-the-moment approaches to exercise around. And its fun, effective, and uber-efficient functional training approach quickly became a huge hit with fit and time-strapped New Yorkers: The brand is set to open a Flatiron location this spring, which will be four times the size of the uptown space.
(Photo: Melisse Gelula for Well+Good)
This pretty Tribeca hot yoga studio, which just opened in November, immediately commanded the city’s fitness spotlight. Why? Its owner Bethany Lyons is one of SoulCycle’s original instructors, it’s the very first New York studio dedicated to Baron Baptiste’s hot power vinyasa style of yoga, and it’s located within a former brothel. Enough said.
(Photo: Lisa Elaine Held for Well+Good)
Indoor cycling went crazy this year, with too many new SoulCycles and Flywheels to count, and tons of new indie brands joining the scene. Swerve, which opened in the Flatiron District in November, stood out among the new brands and got people excited with its novel team-based approach to class motivation and a gorgeous, spacious studio made for socializing (complete with smoothie bar).
(Photo: Lisa Elaine Held for Well+Good)