EvolveFitnessNYC Spotlight – Progress, Not Perfection

One of the biggest myths that the weight loss industry propagates is that fitness has a start and an end. It’s similar to the fairy tale fallacy as it applies to romance. In that case, the implication is that a damsel in distress starts out single, finds love, and then lives happily ever after. With weight loss, the typical narrative is that an individual begins as overweight or out of shape, does whatever s/he needs to do to reach his/her “goal”….and then what?

With both fitness and love, there is no “happily ever after.” You don’t suddenly reach a goal and then stop working and maintain forever with no effort. Being in shape and healthy is a lifelong process – there is no end date.

The perspective of fitness as a constant, ongoing process is why Evolve is such an appropriate name for a studio. Unlike any other fitness studio I’d ever tried in New York, EvolveFitnessNYC specializes in working with true beginners with little to no fitness experience and helping them “evolve” into fit and healthy individuals who enjoy and can sustain their journey to health.

How I got started with EvolveFitnessNYC

Like many regular EvolveFitnessNYC students, I found the studio through ClassPass. I had moved apartments and started a new job within a period of two months, and I was ready to change my body as well.

EvolveFitnessNYC’s space is unconventional, to say the least. They use two studios, one in a church (which I’ve never been to but apparently has a rooftop) and one occupying a floor of a facility for children with special needs. During my first visit, being accustomed to studios like Flywheel and Swerve, I wasn’t encouraged by the singular shower and lack of towels or a locker room. Little did I know that I was about to get my ass kicked.

There was only one other student in the class I had registered for that morning, meaning that I essentially received a personalized half hour with Kenny, the founder and head trainer. During that time, I learned that I didn’t have the quad strength to do a proper squat and could barely lift three pound weights over my head. The situation was worse than I had thought. Understanding that I had a lot of work to do to even get the fundamentals, I purchased an exclusive six-week deal with Kenny.

What you do at evolvefitnessnyc

Kenny and his brother Robert focus their sessions on functional body weight exercises and movements with dumbbells and light kettlebells. They are really strict on form and on teaching their students how to exercise properly. This means no knee push-ups or other shortcuts that some instructors may allow in the context of a larger class. However, they are also aware of the limitations of their students and adjust accordingly. For example, a “burpee” in this class is a squat thrust, without the push-up.

Despite the less-than-glamorous studio space, they are very creative with the equipment that they own. We frequently did step-ups and triceps dips on 18-inch benches. Depending on the weather, we even occasionally did our routines outside on the street, breaking up strength circuits with sprints around the block.

EvolveFitnessNYC’s classes are split into half hour increments. As a beginner or on days when I had early morning meetings, I would stay for only one session. Once I had progressed and had better endurance, I would work out for 45-60 minutes. The instructors then often end up teaching multiple classes at once, as the people arriving for the next class come in while others are still working out.

After nine months at EvolveFitnessNYC, I was 25 pounds down.

Who evolvefitnessnyc’s clients are

EvolveFitnessNYC is incredibly successful at training out-of-shape women and getting them fit and healthy. Kenny and Robert are incredibly patient and have strong skills in coaching students with little to no prior knowledge. They teach students the fundamentals, giving them enough strength and confidence to be able to perform each movement precisely and independently. By going here 3-4 times a week, I developed real strength, particularly in my upper body, for the first time in my life. After years of hiding my arms from the general public; after a few months at EvolveFitnessNYC, I wanted to show them off.

The price was also right. Despite the less than ideal facilities, the classes were absolutely worth it. The membership cost money to ensure that I went (although Kenny’s reminder texts definitely provided motivation as well), but without making me feel wasteful. After all, why spend hundreds of dollars a month on boutique fitness if I could barely perform the basics?

So if I love them so much, why did I leave?

There is a certain paradox that comes with an EvolveFitnessNYC membership. As I started to get fitter, I wanted to work out more times per week. My work schedule is unpredictable, so it’s essential that I go in the morning. EvolveFitnessNYC’s schedule at the time only had morning classes three times a week, with the other sessions taking place in the evening. After almost a year, I started purchasing fitness deals at boutique studios like Flywheel and Swerve all around the city. Because of the shower situation in the studio, I was also spending $25/month on a membership to Blink. When I actually looked at my credit card bill, I realized that even though I was using discounts and deals, I was spending more on fitness per month than what my husband was spending on CrossFit, but without the consistency.

Ultimately, I chose to join Equinox rather than CrossFit or a subscription to ClassPass. I wanted the variety offered by Equinox from both a location and class perspective, while maintaining the stability of a routine of regular and consistent classes. As you can tell from many of my reviews, Equinox’s classes are consistently high-quality, and most of its locations are extremely well-maintained. I appreciate being able to go to the gym without bringing a backpack full of toiletries and a towel, and I have increased my attendance at the gym from 3-4 times a week to 5-6 times a week. I sometimes miss the targeted instruction offered by the small class environment of EvolveFitnessNYC, but the switch has been fully worth it for me.

Is EvolveFitnessNYC right for you?

If you live in Manhattan and are looking for somewhere to start, EvolveFitnessNYC is absolutely the right studio for you. In my experience, EvolveFitnessNYC provides the best value in Manhattan for a truly personalized training experience. Without Kenny and Robert, I would have given up much sooner, or I would probably have injured myself trying to do a class that was way out of my league. After 35 pounds lost overall and a reduction of 13% in body fat, I couldn’t be more thrilled that I happened on their class on ClassPass.

How to start

There are multiple ways to begin working out with Kenny and Robert. They offer a free first class, which you can find through their website. They also offer classes through ClassPass, so get on that if you have a subscription! Memberships now cost $119 for eight classes a month, $149 for 12 classes a month, and $179 for 24 classes a month. There’s a $20 hold fee if you go on vacation or otherwise need time off, and they only require 15 days to cancel – making them much more flexible than most gyms.

 

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