I am an avid ClassPass user. I’ve always enjoyed working out, but I have to admit that I never know what to do at the gym. If you’re unaware of the magic that is ClassPass, I’ll briefly elaborate. You pay a monthly fee of $125 and in return you get access to classes at hundreds of studios across New York City (or any one of more than a dozen metro areas they serve). You can take as many classes as you like, the only limitation is that you can only take three classes per month at any one gym or studio. I’m talking everything from yoga and pilates to bootcamps and Crossfit. You name it, ClassPass probably has it. Salsa classes? Yes. Kettlebells? Check. Spin classes? You bet.
You can sign up for classes up to a week in advance using the site or their mobile app, so you can plan your time, which makes it a lot easier to actually show up. I’ve found that ClassPass is great if you’re so over the treadmill and elliptical machine, and it’s also a smart way to shop for a studio if there’s something you really love, like spin or barre classes.
This month I dove deep into the ClassPass files to find new, out-there workouts I had never tried (or even heard of) before. These were the top three outside-the-box classes I took.
Class: King of the Jungle
Location: Brooklyn Zoo, Williamsburg
Who Goes: A wide array of both men and women, from ages 16 to 28. There was also a variety of fitness levels, from former gymnasts to total beginners.
Good to Know: There is a lot of on-the-ground work, climbing up walls, and tumbling, so it’s smart to wear leggings instead of shorts, and shirts that cover your shoulders.
What to Expect: Lots of things out of your comfort zone. I was never a gymnast, nor have I ever done any tumbling or parkour. This is an intro to all different types of physical challenges including trampolining, “tricking” and tumbling. You will start small–basically, jumps over small obstacles. Later in the class, trainers will help you do wall spins, jump from high platforms, learn a parkour roll (which is basically a forward roll on your shoulder), and toe-touch on the trampoline. Expect the unexpected!
Class: JumpLife Dance
Who Goes: My class was seven women, all who seemed to be in their mid-twenties.
Good to Know: This is a trampoline-based workout and what’s great about this class is that it is low-impact. If you’re not a fan of running or spin classes because of the pressure on knees, hips or ankles you’ll appreciate getting the same cardio effects without rattling the joints.
What to Expect: A blast from the past and a ton of fun! That being said, it will be a tougher workout than you expect. You’ll jump at high speeds, incorporate some squatting, and definitely need some core strength to get the most out of the workout. The instructor varies up your jump patterns, directions and positions to target different muscle groups, and in my class, we concluded with some ab work. A plus? Get ready for a great playlist and some cool “club” lights, which give the studio a super upbeat and funky vibe.
Class: Surfset Newbie
Location: East Village
Who Goes: Men and women, and everyone there seemed ready to mix fitness and fun
Good to Know: Surfset is basically surfing minus the water (and the sharks). You’ll go through the motions, really learn how to jump from paddling position to your surfing stance and “carve” on the waves. Add in some squats and you’ve got a great workout.
What to Expect: Something unique and exciting, with amazing instructors and a super chill vibe. In this class you’ll ride the RipSurferX, which uses resistance and balance balls to mimic riding real waves. The transitions from paddle position to surf stance and vice versa are designed to help build your balance and improve agility. You’ll also do some core and arm strengthening exercises without ever leaving the board. The ambiance, set by ocean sounds and a projection of ocean waves on the wall, will transport you to the beach without ever leaving the East Village.
Conclusion: I had a blast doing these workouts. I will admit–all of them left me wanting a little more in terms of workout intensity, but each one of them is a fun, innovative detour from your normal routine. I highly recommend switching it up and giving one of these a try.