Going into Fhitting Room, I didn’t have many expectations. Reading a lot of fitness publications, I constantly hear about new studios with all of these fun themes and methods (I’m looking at you, Switch Playground and Tone House). Fhitting Room had become one of those names that I heard frequently tossed around, but I didn’t know anything about them, apart from their cool logo. When one of my readers reached out to me about studios she goes to in the city, she specifically called Fhitting Room out — and I knew I had to try it.
QUALITY OF fhitting room WORKOUT: 7 (OUT OF 10)
When I was in fourth grade (I promise this is relevant!), I got a 76 on a test in one of my Jewish studies classes. I approached the teacher in tears, asking if I could retake the test or explore other options. An older Israeli woman, she said, “That’s a good grade! It means you got almost everything right! Next time, try to get nothing wrong.” Along those lines, I have to caveat my rating a bit here:
- 7 is not a bad grade. The class was decent, and I definitely felt the burn after.
- Fhitting Room charges $38 per class. I assume that this has something to do with their mission statement: “Fhitting Room® is an upscale boutique fitness studio delivering body-changing, high intensity workouts in small classes, bringing together the energy, motivation and contagious culture of an awesome group exercise class with the personal attention and education of one-on-one training.”
So the reasons for the less-than-superb score concern:
- The class size.
- The value, as a result. If you’re going to charge $38 per class, I expect something mind-blowing. (That said, I didn’t pay $38 for my class — the studio has actually started to offer a free first class.)
I took The Signature Fhix, which is capped at 24 students. The class had two instructors, Lacee and Mark, both of whom were very nice and energetic. Unlike some other classes where there are multiple coaches, I felt that the two were truly equals and worked together. Sometimes, it can seem like there’s a head coach and an assistant.
The class consisted of three segments: a group strength circuit, a more cardio-focused circuit, and a “Fhix.” The workout looked something like the below:
In groups of twos and threes, we did 45 seconds of kettlebell swings, sit-ups on an ab mat, and a TRX row with another arm movement, three times through.
This section was a mix of machines, kettlebells, TRXs, and dumbbells. There were four stations, with two separate moves that were performed for 30 seconds each twice through.
- Rowing machine
- TRX tricep dips
- Some TRX ab move that I don’t know the name of.
- Renegade rows (one-armed, alternating)
- Air bike
- Wall sit with kettlebells
Alternating the below three moves for 30 seconds each three times:
- A deadlift, squat with a kettlebell, and a press
- Lunge jumps
Unlike some of my favorite Equinox workouts, the circuits didn’t seem like they had any rhyme or reason — although maybe I just don’t know enough about fitness instruction to be able to identify how a good routine is developed. We did a fair amount of compound movements, but it didn’t feel like the class was built strategically. The instructors were good, and everyone at the studio definitely seemed to be in shape. I can imagine that one would be, doing a workout like this with any kind of frequency. But for this price tag, I would expect a fitness revelation — and I didn’t get that here.
SIZE OF CLASS: MEDIUM
The size of the class was definitely a contributing factor to my score above. A ratio of 12:1 (students:instructors) is good, but not great. While Lacee and Mark definitely helped with form, it didn’t feel like the “personalized experience” that Fhitting Room’s website promises. That said, apparently their Flatiron location does offer classes capped at ten, so maybe I just picked the wrong location. However, I have to say again — for $38 per class, I feel like the value isn’t there. Tone House is only a tiny bit more expensive and has a much more personalized experience, even in their Summer Swap Series.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: MEDIUM
Like most classes, this one is as difficult as you make it. Generally, students picked weights that they were comfortable with. The HIIT portions were intense, as par for the course, but not particularly grueling.
STUDIO QUALITY: 6.5 (specifically the 67th street penthouse)
I’m going to caveat this relatively low score as well — the studio is clean, well-equipped, and well-maintained. There are enough lockers for students, and they come with locks. The green towels and colorful equipment are a nice touch.
The main reason I’m taking off points is that there are no showers. I can’t say this enough, but how can a studio have the gall to charge so much per class and not have showers? Or at least have some kind of arrangement with one of the other studios that shares the building, such as Flywheel. Maybe coordinate your classes so that shower time won’t be at the same time? I also didn’t appreciate that the lack of showers is not clearly noted on the website. Since I went before work, I ended up going to Equinox to clean up. I wonder what the regulars do. Maybe they live in the area? The elevators in this building are also not the best, which I remembered from my Flywheel days. The walk up five flights of steps will definitely provide you with a good warm-up.
I must note that front desk staff is lovely and extremely helpful. When I asked about the shower situation, they offered to get me in at the Flatiron or UWS locations, which do have showers. A nice suggestion, although impractical.
- Don’t go to this location before work if you want to shower, unless you have a membership at a nearby gym.
- This workout isn’t great for beginners. It’s pretty fast-paced (although the instructors gave thorough directions before each round)
The bottom line
I think that this studio is a good choice as a ClassPass or FitReserve option. You’ll get a solid workout with good instructors in a nice studio. But I don’t think that it’s nearly as “luxury” as its price tag. With so many other amazing HIIT studios around the city, it seems difficult to justify going to this one above any other.