Where: Exceed Fitness, 1477 3rd Avenue, New York, NY
I. Love. This. Place.
This review is long overdue for release. Exceed's studio is a total gem that makes me jealous not to live on the Upper East Side (and there are VERY few things that ever make me consider such a thing.) No offense to all of my UES pals. I live in a West Village bubble that is only popped in the name of Fitness.
The space is a perfect mix of Yin and Yang. On the one hand, it is beautiful, high-end, and pristine; on the other hand, it maintains a masculinity that makes it appealing to both genders. The only other studio I can think of that has really achieved this is Aerospace - the two are very different, but both have captured the essence of what both men and women look for (women: mirrors, cleanliness, beautiful lighting, great locker room; men: toys, a few rough edges, not painted baby blue).
What is most striking about the space to me (a female) is the beautiful placement of back-lighted mirrors over brick walls. The brick gives it that homey authentic NYC feel, and the backlighting gives it that museum effect - except what you're staring at isn't a painting, it's yourself.
I guess they're trying to drive it home that hello, your body is a work of art, so treat it that way.
The staff here is both professional and kind (further proven when we held our photo shoot here, and they graciously accommodated a troupe of half-nekked costumed women trouncing around during operating hours). Stay tuned for another article on the "making of" our RateYourBurn photoshoot.
Well + Good NYC recently coined this place "The Upper East Side's New Fitness Playground", and with good reason. It's playtime for adults.
The monkey bars that span across the top of the ceiling are a killer feature. During a class in the studio, some beast of a woman was monkeying to and fro - I felt like I had been transported to the Crossfit Games.
The bars also double as a handy holder for the TRX straps for larger classes. The main atrium is converted into its own classroom (you sometimes have to jiggle to get out of the way of the equipment behind, but that's a minor detail).
I also noticed a climbing rope, as well as a plethora of items that seem fun but actually aren't (like the sled. Dear God how I hate the sled.)
(photo from Well + Good NYC)
Emphasis on functional movement.
Though they don't offer any CrossFit branded classes, the emphasis at this studio is clearly functional fitness. Many of the classes are based on body weight plyometrics.
The basement isn't unfinished, but it's definitely more man-cavey than the beautiful ground floor. There 's a mini single-lane strip which I assume is for sprinting or pushing sleds. Also a big rack of weights and all kinds of other heavy metal toys (one of which was this massive chain that we found and pretended it was Britney Spears' snake)
(Mauricio Rodriguez, RAM IMAGERY)
Notably, most of the instructors on this schedule are male. This is notable because in the group fitness world, that is pretty much unheard of. Exceptions: Mushin MMA, Velocity Sports, As One and Crossfit. See a trend? My point is, it's a sign that you're about to get your ass handed to you on a platter.
Not to be sexist or anything. But to be a successful man-attractive group fitness studio, you have to offer something that is HARD.
1-on-1 training gyms always skew male, and group fitness studios always skew female - this is a mix of both but with an impressively robust group schedule.
It's not huge, but it has everything you'll need - and most importantly, it's clean and beautiful. 2 showers, 2 toilets, lockers, a makeup counter and two sinks. Lots of free amenities like hairspray, tampons, you name it. I could really enjoy getting ready for my day in here. Also - the classes I have been to had a lot of men in them, so the locker room wasn't packed with womenfolk post-class.
A really lovely neighborhood studio - if you live up there, this could be your place, and if you don't, it's worth making the trek to check it out. Exceed, please open a studio downtown?
(Photo from Well + Good NYC)
From the Exceed Fitness website:EXCEED Fitness is a boutique fitness facility launched in 2012 to introduce a cutting edge approach to exercise - movement training. Headed by trainer Ed Cashin, the 4,000 square feet Upper East Side flagship location offers customers a modern, state-of-art venue with a range of classes, equipment and expert staff, as well as the opportunity to bring in independent trainers.
Find out more about Exceed Fitness at www.exceedfitness.com
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