4 New NYC Workouts That Are Actually... FUN

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Could there really be such a thing as spinning fatigue? We love a good dance-party-on-a-bike as much as the next person — and we’re thankful that hardcore spinning has given us the killer legs we’ve always craved. But, we’ve been itching to branch out. So that’s why we searched for the best spinning alternatives NYC has to offer. These workouts may not be your go-to sweat sessions yet, but they incorporate everything you hit the gym for: the push-yourself intensity, the fun and motivating music, the energetic group dynamic, and — most importantly — the insane calorie burn.

Try subbing one in for your spin class this week, because really, what have you got to lose? You can always get back in the saddle later.

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The “FHIX”

There’s been quite a bit of buzz lately about the magical fat-burning abilities of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which combines bursts of all-out exertion with brief bouts of recovery. But The Fhitting Room is the first boutique fitness studio to go all-in on the trend, softening what can be a pretty intimidating concept with fun music and a 12-person cap on class sizes. You’ll do cardio and strength moves at your max effort for 45 seconds to one minute (think: rowing machine, as many sit-ups as possible), followed by a short rest period (that may or may not include a static hold, like a plank). We especially love that instructors are able to work the room, helping you adapt the day’s exercises to your very own fitness level. It’s kind of like getting the attention of a personal trainer — with the energy of a group fitness class.
The Fhitting Room; 1166 Lexington Avenue (at 80th Street); 212-772-1166.

Photo: Courtesy of The Fhitting Room

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No, we’re not talking that kind of happy hour (obviously), but after 60 Minutes of AKT in Motion’s cardio, strength, and flexibility intervals—trust us, you’ll feel like you really earned that strawberry mojito. The all-in-one dance-tinged cross training technique is the brainchild of former Tracy Anderson trainer Anna Kaiser, who has the serious fitness and performance chops to back it up. We like that this class mixes easy elements of dance (head movements, snaps) with functional exercises (jumping jacks, lunges), creating a choreography that doesn’t, you know, leave us amateurs cross-eyed. Become a regular, and you’ll get two weeks to get good at the whole routine—before Anna and team switch it up to give you a new focus and goal. It’s impossible to get bored.
AKT in Motion; 291 Broadway (between Duane and Reade streets); 212-858-0305.

Photo: Courtesy of AKT in Motion

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Kettlebell Kickboxing
Get this: A study by the American Council on Exercise found that training with kettlebells is like running at a six-minute-mile pace. (We repeat: a six-minute-mile pace.) The problem is, swinging a kettlebell around on its own? Not so fun. That’s why trainer Dasha Libin Anderson’s Kettlebell Kickboxing technique is brilliant. Each 60-minute class blends exactly what the name implies—Russian kettlebell swings and martial arts movements—to make you stronger and sleeker all over. We admit, it’s not the easiest workout, but we can also promise that the high-energy instructors and booming music will carry you through. Oh, and this little fact might help, too: You can expect to burn somewhere between 800 and 1000 calories per hour. (Yes, you read that right.)
Kettlebell Kickboxing; 394 Broadway, 3rd Floor (between White and Walker streets); 212-766-6622.

Photo: Courtesy of Kettlebell Kickboxing

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SURFSET

Surfer girls have the best beach bodies, hands down…so why not get in on that? Just like spinning is cycling adapted for the gym, SURFSET & Sand gives you all of the amazing body benefits of a surf session — without getting wet. In this 45-minute circuit-style class, half of the exercises you’ll do will be on the RipSurfer X, a board that’s been designed to mimic the instability of riding a wave. (You know how doing moves balanced on a Bosu or big exercise ball works those core muscles you didn’t even know you had? It’s like that — but more fun.) The rest of the time, you’ll use weighted sandbags to round out your total-body training. We love that pretty much every single thing you do engages your abs, so it’s like a non-stop bikini boot camp.
SURFSET & Sand, offered at Crunch Lafayette; 404 Lafayette Street (at Fourth Street); 212-614-0120.

Photos: Courtesy of Crunch