EVF = Everyone Very Fit (except me, but I’m getting there)

52aa0e0c0cf2d71287c9de3aAnd I thought the indoor cycling classes were hard. Today I went to my second class at EVF Performance (Columbus Circle location). Everything is going to be sore. I know this because everything was sore (including muscles I didn’t even know I had) after the first class, but back I came for more.

EVF actually stands for Eric Von Frohlich, the trainer who started the company and gym. The class I tried was called EVF 360. It’s an hour of strength training and conditioning using kettle balls, your own weight, and various hellacious cardio-inclusive movements like burpees and box jumps. Even though it’s a full hour, the class goes by fast because you switch movements often and are being cheered on by the teddy-bear-cum-drill-sergeant coaches. And according to the one I had today, Jamie, who really helped make me feel safe and challenged, I’ll be able to jump up on the giant box in a couple of weeks, rather than the step-ups I was doing.

I asked Jaime about the differences between EVF 360 classes and CrossFit classes (also offered at EVF gyms). He said that EVF 360 doesn’t use any barbells, but instead, lighter weight kettle balls and your own body’s resistance. It also focuses more on cardio by keeping you moving and utilizing lots of reps. I haven’t tried CrossFit yet, as I’m terrified, but this EVF class was no joke either. I took my first class there mid-week at 1pm with a trainer named Farouk who looked like he walked off the Mr. Universe stage. There was only one other person in the class, so it was like having a personal trainer. In fact, that’s how I’d describe the feel of the class in general– you’re getting a really unique workout each day with a coach that’s training a whole group personal-trainer style.

Here’s a breakdown of what I thought and why I’ll be back:

EVF Performance

There are two locations (Upper East Side and Columbus Circle), and the Columbus Circle location also houses one of the group rowing classes that Von Frohlich and his wife started called Row House. You check in at the front desk when you arrive and then head downstairs to the “box” as CrossFit gyms are referred to because of their spartan decor that warns all who enter they must be serious about actually working out. There’s no waltzing from one fancy machine to another (which is what I often do at gyms like New York Sports Club and Crunch). Like CrossFit, EVF 360 classes have a WOD (Workout of the Day). You’ll start with a warm-up that includes some dynamic stretching and then move onto different sets of movements. My first class had us do three cicuits of 4 different excercises and then as many circuits as we could of a second round of exercises which inculded running upstairs, outside and up the block. In the class I took today we paired up to complete our sets of reps taking turns, and I really enjoyed the experience of encouragement from my partner. Unlike a traditional gym, EVF feels much more personal and caring. But by caring, I don’t mean coddling– they are going to push you to your limit.

PROS

Very efficient, intense, total-body workout that left me feeling like I was strong and capable of more than I thought I was. Teachers pay attention to your form and help you adjust accordingly. Feels like personal training with a small group. There are lockers (though they don’t have locks), towels and a water cooler.

CONS

No frills or fancy bath products in the shower stall (which by the way, there are two of located in the only two bathroom stalls upstairs in the lobby, not in the main gym or “box”). There was no stretching offered at the end of the first class I went to and very little stretching after the second class. They seem to expect you to take care of stretching on your own.

WHAT TO WEAR: Regular gym clothes, sneakers, and a sweatshirt in case they make you run outside.

PERSONAL EVF GOAL: Be able to do a pull-up!

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