FBS x The Fhitting Room Flatiron & Daury Dross

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I’ve been giddy about the Fhitting Room opening its new Flatiron space since the moment I heard about it. The Fhitting Room is just an awesome, challenging but fun take on a HIIT workout and its new spot is worthy of just how good it really is. The new studio is roughly 4 times the size of the original, with two floors, a large studio and a smaller one for more intimate groups, water bottle filling stations, lots of lockers, showers and a vanity bar- so that when you finish class in a puddle you can make yourself presentable before venturing out into the world!

Fhitting Room x FatBottomSlimSo when offered the chance to host an exclusive class at the new studio led by powerhouse Daury Dross, I jumped at the chance.  I quickly wrangled up a group of some of my favorite fitness fiends, most of whom had never managed to make it to the UES original but were excited to check it out. Our class was in the downstairs studio, which seemed tiny in comparison to the massive upstairs space. Turns out it’s the same size as the original studio and really, Fhitting Room has become masterful at fitting in a lot of challenging work in a small space!

Fhitting Room x FBS 2Daury kicked off the class with a good, solid warm-up of 2 rounds of 45 seconds each of High Knees, Reverse Lunges and then Shoulder Taps while in Plank.  As a group we were feeling pretty good about ourselves, warmed up and in it! Then it was to the suspension straps for two rounds, 45 seconds each of Alternating Pistol Squats, Rowing and the evil Hamstring Curls with your feet in the straps. Daury warned us that those last ones were going to suck and as he yelled out corrections to everyone’s form… they really DO make you seriously hate the person (momentarily at least) who suggested they might be a good idea.

After that section, a couple of my crew were starting to give me death stares but I just grinned back, we were in it now. Then it was on to the next section – another 2 rounds of 3 moves for 45 seconds each that hit everything, this time with dumbells. Daury went at the guys for going too light and made them all go back to get a heavier weight, which caused some grumbling but then every single one of them crushed it. Daury would yell at us to go faster… and tease us for breathing hard but really wanted to just see us give it our all. It was awesome to see everyone put their game face on and GO for it.

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The final workout was a tabata of 3 different stations that you stayed at for 4 minutes – that 20 seconds of work/10 seconds of rest thing gets brutal fast.  My first station was the rower, which I love. My goal for each 20 second burst was to hit 100 meters and somehow, I managed to make that happen but by the end, that was so damn hard. I got off the rower, spent. Next up was the Ab Mat sit-ups, which flew by – it wasn’t a breeze but seriously, Pilates work for the win there. The final station made me want to cry a little bit though – 4 rounds each of Squat Jumps and Hand Release push ups. At the end of that round we all collapsed, spent but fitness happy, until Daury was like – “Wait. You think you’re done?” The final 5 minutes were a partner round – one person did wallsits while the other did 8 burpees. We all burst out laughing but then got to work.

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Daury is one of my favorites at the Fhitting Room because even with all of the cursing and teasing you just know he loves what he does and seriously just wants to make every single athlete in front of him reach their full potential. He pushes you because he truly thinks you can be great. I left class spent and proud of the work I’d put in but I also knew I’d being feeling it later.

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I might have cursed Daury a little bit that next day…

 

Photos and video by Eric Stafford, Stafford Sports Media for FBS.

Springtone at Real Pilates

In a world filled with terrible “gym Pilates” mat classes it is so easy to forget how amazing Pilates can be – when taught by someone who is really well trained and in the classical method. I HATE mat classes with a passion, largely from one too many bad experiences. Since equipment classes are always too expensive for me, it is a very rare treat that I get to take one. It is easy to forget just how amazing it is to have access to the best of the best in NYC, but once in a while, it is awesome to be reminded.  This is how I feel when I get to take a class with Alycea Ungaro, the founder of Real Pilates in Tribeca. She wrote the first Pilates book I ever bought, which I got because the way she described movements really helped me in the classes I was taking at the time. Being around Alycea almost always makes me a little star-struck but because she is so immensely down to earth and friendly, thankfully, that usually subsides for the class.

Recently, Daily Candy had a deal for a class at Real Pilates and of course I had to snap it up. The great thing about the studio is that all of the group classes are small and in some part, use the Pilates tower, an apparatus that basically uses attached springs with handles that you loop on your feet or hold in your hands for resistance. While you might not think it, getting those damn springs to move can be a huge challenge at times, and the class I took called Springtone – mostly forgoes any regular mat moves and just works with the springs for the entire 45 minutes of the class. Exactly what I was looking for: a Pilates challenge.

                   

The thing about the use of resistance in the subtle movements of Pilates is that it works muscles in such a unique and intense way, it is so easy to see why people get obsessed with it. I was obsessed – when I could afford the equipment classes. The amazing thing about Springtone is that it makes the resistance aspect of Pilates accessible in a group class. YAY! The only part of the class I didn’t love was the beginning 3-pound weight section that thankfully, was really brief and transitioned into challenging abs, arms and leg sections with the springs. Of all of the great parts of the class, the leg section was easily my favorite. Those straps and springs target your inner and outer thighs like nothing else I have ever done. Man, I would love to be able to add this class into the mix of classes I get to take regularly! I love the mix of the exercises and pace of the class, which, while methodical and precise, kept a good, consistent clip.  I never once thought, “Oh, when will this end?” – although, I did burst out laughing at one point when, while laying on my stomach, I couldn’t both move the springs toward my ass and lift my thighs off the mat. I mean seriously, there would have to be a LOT more of these classes before that move even seems like it might be remotely possible! The other ladies in class were not amused at how funny I thought it was but thankfully, Alycea did, or else that might have been a little embarrassing…

Trekking to the UWS to checkout the new Physique 57 studio

A couple of years ago, I went to Physique 57 a lot, then I ran out of classes and buying a new package was out of the question. Then a few months ago I got an email that said: “We miss you – it has been a year since we have seen you!” and it was a voucher for two classes.  I am NEVER one to pass up a free class especially one that is for an amazing but so blooming expensive class I couldn’t go otherwise. Of all the Barre based classes I have ever tried, P57 is always my gold standard. Tanya Becker, co-founder/ creative force of this offshoot of the Lotte Burke method, is brilliant at not just teaching but at teaching others how to teach the P57 method. I have had teachers at P57 I didn’t like there but never a teacher who couldn’t make the slight adjustments to your form to really get in there.

As my last class package started to diminish, I started to only take with Tanya and Shelly (who has since moved to LA to open P57 there) – wanting to savor the classes I had left with the best of the best.  The first of the two freebees, I took almost right away since Tanya was teaching a class that still had space in it but the last one I have been holding onto. Then the Upper West Side location was announced and it was really beyond me not to go check it out. Since P57 won’t tell you who is teaching until two weeks before the class, signing up sometimes just feels like a crap shoot. When the UWS opening day popped onto the schedule, I was so hoping Tanya would be there for the new location’s first day and I would luck into one of her classes. That didn’t happen and I almost cancelled out.  I am so glad I didn’t.

Alicia Weihl, who I had never really gotten to know when I did go lots was our teacher.  Back then, I thought of her as “the ballerina” – graceful, technically good but aloof.  In the years between those first classes of hers and now, she has grown to be a charming, open, inspiring teacher. Alicia has become an amazing P57 teacher, who at times reminded me both of Tanya and Shelly, in the best possible way.  I can see why they tapped her to be their head of teacher training – she really is that kind of good.

The new space is gorgeous. While the reception area is open, it is slightly plain which probably has to do with it being so new but the real thing that makes the space so spectacular is the windows in the studio. It is amazing the difference natural light makes to a space. This location has the space of the Soho studio (a huge improvement over the tiny original 57th street location) but the natural openness and light that was missing.  The other big improvement in this location is that they have lots of electronic lockers and a huge changing room.  So, so much nicer.

I can’t imagine, never taking another Physique 57 class again, but if this is my last one for awhile it was a great one to go out on. It was nice to be reminded why I fell in love with it in the first place, great teachers, a killer workout and a beautiful studio. There really is a reason people flock there.