What I read on the way to the gym: the Skimm

If you haven’t discovered The Skimm yet, it’s a great way to get your daily news brief without having to flick through FlipBoard or Facebook. You get the skinny on major headlines delivered to your e-mail every weekday. I find it an enjoyable way to stay on top of important news stories and get caught up on anything I missed while I was watching The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt instead. The often have cool book and wine recs too.

Sign-up using this referral code: http://www.theskimm.com/?r=f0363e7f

It’s  easy train-time reading! Leaves me more time to sign up for new, fun classes like this one at Titan Total Body in Chelsea.

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Regenerate Fitness Has My Heart

I decided to try out a new studio that FitReserve recently added to their growing roster: Regenerate Fitness located at 1616 York Ave on the Upper East Side, and I’m so glad I did!

After receiving a friendly greeting from Reggie, the super-buff trainer who set me up with a chest-strap heart rate monitor, our class of four people got warmed up on this crazy contraption, the Helix Lateral Trainer:

This machine was perfect for my bursitis-blighted hip that stopped me in my tracks on the treadmill at Orange Theory Fitness a few days prior. After talking with a physical therapist, I was ordered to stop running for a while, ice my hip, and strengthen my adductors and abductors. The Helix got my heart rate up just as well as running while working those inner and outer thigh muscles.

After the warm up, Reggie led us in a series of targeted-strength training exercises using the ever-popular kettle bell, TRX, straps, and dumbbells. We hopped back on to the Helix for 5-minute intervals to get our heart-rates back up between strength intervals for an efficient workout rivaling my oft-touted Orange Theory Fitness fave.

In fact, Regenerate had almost everything I love about OTF, and they offer different kinds of classes too like Kickboxing and Yoga. Plus they don’t force you to buy the heart-rate monitor, nor do they pressure you to get to a certain zone like OTF does. They provide you with the monitor, advise you on a personalized target heart rate to aim for, and post it for you to watch. The individualized attention of the small class size really made it feel like a personal-training session.

If only I lived on the Upper East Side! Yorkville in particular seems to be the land of the fitness elite. There you can choose from places like Regenerate, EVF, Exceed, The PE Club, PushLab Fitness, and one of my favorite spin spots, Crank.  Meanwhile, over here on the other side of Central Park, the boutique-fitness-studio pickings are slim. I did try a new class in my hood though, at BeFitNYC, and it was a challenging twist on the HIIT circuit. More on their classes and space soon to come!

Regenerate Fitness

Location: 1616 York Ave, between 85th and 86th

PROS: Efficient, HIIT workout with complimentary heart-rate monitors available for use, small class sizes, total body workout – cardio and strength, friendly, knowledgeable trainer, various kinds of classes offered, clean space.

CONS: No locker room or showers, small space, but they keep the class-size small too and offer cubbies for your belongings.

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I Hate to Say I Told You So

but… I think FitReserve really is a better bang for your buck than ClassPass. ClassPass just upped their prices, and not by a little. I did a double-take when I saw that they doubled their monthly price for unlimited classes. What used to cost $99 is now $200.

I originally compared the two boutique-fitness-studio-subscription services in a post awhile back and have since updated the post, but here’s a breakdown of why I chose FitReserve.

  1. With FitReserve I can book the classes I want at the times I want.One of my biggest beefs with ClassPass was the amount of time I was spending trying to book the best workout spots. I was setting alarms on my phone for when the booking windows opened. I’d drop whatever I was doing to click “Reserve” and still get a message that the class was full. And forget about peak times. Sometimes booking a 10 am class was impossible. Since I’ve been on FitReserve, I haven’t had any trouble booking preferred studios, and…

 

2.  FitReserve allows me to go to any one studio 4 times a month.

ClassPass only permits you 3 visits per month per studio. Seems like a small difference but if you have a favorite studio or class, it’s nice to be able to go at least once a week.

3. FitReserve has great customer service.

At first, I was hesitant to consider FitReserve because until recently they were a lot pricier than ClassPass, and they didn’t have as many of my favorite studios, like Barry’s Bootcamp. But then, when they did add Barry’s to their roster, someone e-mailed me personally to let me know they’d added it and offered to let me try them out. They now have a ton of new studio options like Exceed and SurfSET at Chelsea Piers to name a few. Also, anytime I’ve ever had a question, they get back to be right away. And I was super happy to find out…

4. FitReserve offers some member perks and discounts at participating partners like Instacart and Zeel.

5. This is just a theory, but I think FitReserve offers more realistic deals to the studios.

Both services negotiate contracts with all their participating studios, but it seems like FitRerserve’s pricing structure is more realistic, and hopefully that allows the studios more of a win which is ultimately good for everyone.

ClassPass is still a tiny bit cheaper at $135/month for 10 classes versus FitReserve at $149/month. Sometimes though, you get what you pay for.