Australia-based F45 is currently the world’s fastest-growing functional training network, with 750 franchises in 26 countries globally. They opened their first location in New York in April 2017, and the studio has had a fair amount of buzz since, with members claiming to have achieved drastic results in as little as 1-2 weeks. They’ve had so much success here that the franchise openers are expanding to the Lower East Side later this year. So, of course, I had to try it. While I’m not as big a fan as some of its staunchest advocates in the city, I definitely see the appeal and would recommend it to any functional training lover looking for a new fitness home.
The week between Christmas and New Years is always a bit of a twilight zone for those of us who don’t take off from work. So many of our colleagues are on vacation, which can make it hard for those of us who are actually in the office to focus. This year, I decided to start my New Years resolution a week early and find more time during the day to get moving. Armed with my new FitBit Charge 2 (which I’m obsessed with), I leveraged Epic Hybrid Training’s $29 for one week introductory deal and did three lunchtime classes in a row. What I learned? If you live near their NYC locations in Bryant Park or East 54th Street and want to get in serious shape, this small studio may be just the right fit for you.
I have to hand it to Fhitting Room…they have some of the best client service that I’ve seen from a fitness studio. In my last review of the studio’s 67th street location, I wrote that I enjoyed the class but was underwhelmed. Two of my complaints were the lack of showers and the size of the class, which is not the “personalized” experience that the studio sells on its website. Shortly afterwards, a member of their business development team got in touch with me and offered me a free “Pit” class, which is capped at ten students, at their Flatiron location, which does (thankfully!) have wonderful bathing facilities. While I still maintain that $38 per class is expensive, the Pit class convinced me that it may sometimes be worth paying the price. And if you’re a ClassPass member? Run — don’t walk.
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.
Just a note here — I’m not going to use my typical grading system to review this studio. Since CrossFit is so outside of my comfort zone, I feel like there’s no way I could really provide a fair evaluation. That said, I do have some feedback for Urban Athletic Club, as you’ll see below.
so, how does someone “accidentally” go to crossfit?
Earlier this week, I went on a business trip to Washington, D.C. I’ve made the trip out a few times since starting at the firm, and I’ve typically worked out in the hotel gym. This time, I thought I’d do something different. I researched free first classes at studios near-ish my office, and I found one called Urban Athletic Club that advertised functional training. Eager to book and rushed between projects, I signed up for a 7am class — without really looking at what I was signing up for.
Two weeks later, I woke up in my hotel room at 5:45am to the alarm I’d set the night before. I look at my account on MindBody and do a double take. The class I was registered for was CrossFit — and the only way to back out would be a late cancellation. Already awake, with no desire to pay a penalty and suck it up in the hotel gym, I decided to bite the bullet.