Wednesday night on a whim, my friend and I went to try a Refine Method class uptown. We had been in one of those twitter chains where EVERYONE seemed to be raving about Refine Method and specifically about how amazing Brynn Jinnett is. I had been to a class before, in the then under construction new studio in Union Square but it wasn’t with Brynn, the founder of the method, and I REALLY wanted a chance to get to take class with her. So, when the opportunity popped up to take a class with her, I jumped on it – for both of us! Luckily, my friend is game for almost any fitness class, so I knew it was safe to rope her into this one.
With the address to the studio in hand, I headed to the UES. I knew it was little and in the bottom of a building, however, when I got to the address, I was faced with a church. Thankfully, there was a plaque on the window for Refine but no separate entrance to get into it. I braced myself for seemingly breaking into a church as I walked in, but then I heard my friend laugh through the first metal door on the left and knew that I really was in the right spot. Phew – no altercation with an angry church worker for me that evening! Seriously though people, that is worth mentioning… “studio is in a church, don’t be weirded out by walking right in!”
The studio itself is tiny – like a NY studio apartment tiny- and every inch is used. As I walked into Brynn and my pal chatting, I tossed my stuff into a locker and sat down at a station. In a few minutes the room was packed and every station was full – and almost all were regulars. As soon as we started, I knew why everyone raves about Brynn. She is funny and slightly relentless in her teasing about the correct form. It is done with love, but it took me a minute to get into the constant teasing about form – you have to love her or you would just want to punch the beautiful, graceful, former ballerina. I chose love and by the end, I am pretty sure my friend did too – although it was touch and go there for a while when Brynn kept taking about her “pregnancy Lululemon top” making it too hard to see her form. I really like the basis for Refine, the move away from the barre to more functional fitness. Bynn is very good at transitioning people in this way, she absolutely knows her crowd and how to motivate them to move away from the barre! As someone who absolutely prefers functional fitness over most barre classes , I think that is a very good thing. The class consists of lots of cardio circuit moves mixed with lots of lunges with kettlebells and work at the specialized pulley system and planks for good measure. Brynn is amazing about form, shockingly good at corrections (one of the best I have seen) and passionate about her method. It was inspiring to watch her and I can see why she has a devoted following. It was a challenging, fun method – midway through the class I was dripping sweat and ran to the bathroom to grab a towel – that is always a good sign for me!
I am glad I got to see the original home, and will definitely be taking Brynn again, but I will be going back to the spacious Union Square studio for my next session!
(Top image of Brynn Jinnett from the blog section of the Refine Method site which is full of interesting back story on the development of the method and bottom image a little internet goodness)