Another week, another new fitness studio. Phorm, offering its own brand of Pilates and Yoga, opened in January near Times Square and Bryant Park. Since it’s only a five-minute walk from my new office, how could I not give it a try? Although Phorm’s space itself was far from my favorite, I got one of the best core conditioning workouts of my life.
Phorm Sculpt GRADES
QUALITY OF WORKOUT: 9
Weirdly enough for a Yoga studio, Phorm’s logo is a bull. Classes are ranked in difficulty by one to three bulls, with three being the most difficult. Sculpt, the Pilates-inspired class of choice was ranked two bulls. Since I’ve been doing more Pilates at Equinox recently, I thought that this one would be right in my wheelhouse, in terms of sheer ability. How wrong I was.
Sculpt is primarily a core-focused conditioning weight, using light weights for some lower body and upper body workout as well. And let me tell you — it was HARD. The instructor led us through a Pilates-inspired routine with movements like leg lifts, but they were made more difficult by engaging other parts of our bodies. For example, we extended our legs in and out in a seated position while doing bicep curls with light weights. We used a range of equipment, including resistance bands, light weights, and blocks. There was some structured rest in the workout, but we wasted no time. After 50 minutes, I had burned 130 calories, which is a lot for a Pilates class. And my body definitely felt it.
SIZE OF CLASS: small
While the room was set up for something like 30 students, there were only three other women in attendance at my 7:30am Thursday class. The instructor gave us all individualized attention and encouragement, which we drastically needed in a class this challenging.
This is one of the few classes in recent years that I’ve been tempted to just get into child’s pose until the end. It was that hard. The teacher really engaged all parts of our abs, as well as our arms and lower body. The other women in the class all looked pretty fit themselves, and they too seemed to have difficulty at various points. I’m positive that if you take this class frequently, you will certainly whip your core into shape.
STUDIO QUALITY: 6
As I mentioned in my introduction, the studio’s space is pretty weird. The elevator taking you up to the third floor for class is incredibly slow. Like many of the newer studios opening up in the city, there are no showers. Since Sculpt wasn’t a sweaty class, I didn’t mind that so much. However, the real issue for me was the locker room. The lockers weren’t even big enough to fit my bags! I could have maybe gotten a pair of shoes in there, but that’s all.
The changing rooms were no so small, but they were filled with pillows and candles. Although the decorations created a nice ambience, candles shouldn’t really be in a room where clothing will be thrown everywhere. The lights were also located outside of the rooms — meaning that I got dressed in the dark until I could figure out where they were. The bathroom was also pretty gross, although to be fair, it’s still under construction.
However, the room where the class itself took place was pretty cool. As you can see in the pictures above, the lighting was club-like. The signature scent of the studio was sage, and you could smell it everywhere. They offered mat and towel rentals, and a wide range of equipment was available.
THE BOTTOM LINE
If you work in Midtown and want a really challenging workout, Phorm is worth a try. Although it doesn’t have as many frills as other similar studios, you’ll truly feel the burn here.
- Because of the lack of showers, I’d take a Sculpt class here in the morning rather than one of the more challenging Yoga classes.