There are only three things that can get me to miss my Tuesday morning Playground Experience — being out of the state; having an early morning meeting; or, my least favorite of all, missing the first hour of the booking period and being stuck at the bottom of the waitlist. When I remember to sign up at 8 am on Monday morning, I ended up at #11. For a 24 person class, this is not where you want to be. Knowing that I likely wouldn’t get into the class, I decided to try another workout around the same time — which is how I came across the new Ultimate Workout class at Equinox E. 53rd St.
QUALITY OF ultimate WORKOUT: 8
Walking into this class, the first thing I noticed was a lot of equipment. Each student had multiple sets of weights, a step, a sandbell, a kettlebell, and sliders. Maybe this really was going to be the ultimate workout?
The class was divided into three segments, all of which focused on intervals of two or three exercises at a time. The movements were functional in nature. Some examples are lunges and squats on the step, mountain climbers and some core work with the sliders, and weighted squat presses and loaded jumping jacks. The workout constantly moved between pieces of equipment and movements, so it was impossible to get bored. Between each segment, there was about a one minute break. However, there weren’t significant breaks between different sections of the segment.
Overall, I felt that this class gave me a solid, full-body workout (and my muscles definitely feel it today!). Because of the diversity of the different movements, I was happy that the instructor focused on form. However, I felt that he could’ve been more engaged with individuals. One student who was working out next to me left the class, presumably because she was having some problems with the movements, and some extra encouragement from the instructor may have persuaded her to stay.
size of class: medium/large
This class doesn’t require booking, but the room was pretty full — I’d say there were at least 20 other students. However, there was enough room to move and jump. Since there’s no partner work, the size of the class matters less (as long as it’s not too crowded).
I feel like this is one of those workouts that can be as difficult as you make it. Using heavy weights will obviously challenge you more, and there were options to upgrade or modify certain movements. The instructor demonstrated every movement at least once, so it didn’t seem like the barrier to entry was too high. However, if you’re very out of shape, you’ll likely have a difficult time in this class, since there are very few breaks.
studio quality: 7.5 (yes, this is lower than prior ratings i’ve given to this exact same location. you’ll see why below.)
I appreciate Equinox trying to increase its class offering at its East 53rd Street location. However, there are now four separate classes that end within a half hour of each other during peak morning hours on Tuesdays. If you’ve ever been inside of a women’s locker room ever, you can probably imagine how this works out. By 8 am, the shower line was literally almost out the door (which means it was at least 20 people long). Come on, Equinox…
Otherwise, I generally like this location. It’s between the 6 and E/M train stops, making it convenient and accessible. Like most Equinox locations, it’s clean and well-equipped.
the bottom line
This class is a solid full-body workout that’s well balanced between strength and cardio. If you’re looking to do some functional training at Equinox, this class is a good choice. You get a lot done in 45 minutes.
- Don’t be afraid to go heavy. You won’t be doing any single movement for longer than 60 seconds, and it’s not like Tabata where you’re expected to go as hard as possible.
Like Functional Training? For a full schedule check out my A Week Of Functional Training At Equinox review.