A few years ago, I spent a summer in Berlin studying German. I took a four-hour immersion class daily, practicing German speech, reading, and writing with other non-native speakers, mostly southern Europeans. Often, by the end of the day, I was desperate for interaction in English. That’s how I found Bikram Yoga. There was a studio right next to my school, and they offered classes daily in English. My other American friend and I went together, and I began to enjoy extremely hot yoga for reasons beyond easy comprehension of the instructions.
When I came back to New York and joined ClassPass, I continued to attend Bikram Yoga NYC occasionally. Recently, Bikram Yoga NYC has rebranded to become Bode, offering heated Pilates, Vinyasa, and HIIT classes. Since my husband, as a member, has one free guest pass per month, I joined him for Hot HIIT, their class that has received the most buzz. If you didn’t find cardio core conditioning difficult enough, this class will definitely challenge you.
Bode hot hiit GRADES
QUALITY OF WORKOUT: 9
Hot HIIT is an hour long class that uses no equipment other than body weight. The room isn’t as hot as in Bikram, but it’s around 95 degrees, which is definitely a challenge. The class is split into two sections — core conditioning and cardio. The first half reminds me a bit of Pilates. It doesn’t really get your heart rate up, but your core is challenged with movements like variations of side planks and ENDLESS glute bridges. You will do glute bridges with your feet flat on the floor, on your tiptoes, with your knees in various positions…I was pretty sure that I wouldn’t feel my glutes for the entire rest of the week.
The second half is more cardio-intensive. Although the workout is relatively low impact, we still did burpees and cardio variations planks. Here was where I burnt most of the calories in the class, with my heart rate reaching 162 bpm. My total calorie burn was around 220 calories.
I found the Bode Hot HIIT class to be well-balanced and quite unlike any other class I had done previously. While combining HIIT and Pilates in a heated setting might not seem intuitive, it felt like a really effective workout. And my core and thighs were sore for days afterwards.
SIZE OF CLASS: medium/large
Bode’s Hot HIIT classes have been filling up. On the Upper East Side, there were at least 25 students in the class. However, since there’s no jumping or running, it’s not so problematic to have a crowd.
As I’ve already written several times, this class was quite challenging. If you don’t perform well in heated settings, then I would not recommend this one, as it will get you moving and get your heart rate up. The instructor provided several ways to scale each exercise, so students can adjust based on preferences.
Bode Upper East Side STUDIO QUALITY: 8
Bode recently renovated their studios to accommodate the new classes they added in the rebrand. The rooms are clean and don’t smell like sweat, unlike some other hot yoga studios. They have showers and changing rooms, which, while not luxurious, are well-equipped and not crowded. Mats and towels are available for rent. Considering the monthly membership fee, this studio is well worth the money.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Bode’s rebrand has been quite successful — they’ve gotten a lot of press and have been able to obtain a new audience with their more diverse array of classes. Hot HIIT, among these new offerings, is definitely worth a try. Combining Pilates and HIIT, it’s a great core conditioning workout that will give you a good burn.
- Drink lots of water! This class gets steamy.
- This is not a bad class for beginners. Just don’t be afraid to modify any exercise if you have difficulty. It’s more important to stay safe, especially in a heated setting.
If you are an Equinox member, Check out Power Pilates for a similar experience!