There’s a newcomer in the Flatiron District fitness scene. Her name is Uplift Studios, and she’s a sweetheart.
She cheers you on with uplifting mantras at every turn.
She gives you a little juice if you’re running low.
She even feeds you water bottles and snacks for a little pre and post workout fuel. At any given hour there is trail mix, granola, fruit, and an assortment of mini Luna bars laid out for your snacking pleasure. Sometimes there’s even wine. What a gal.
I tried out a couple of Uplift’s signature classes over the past few weeks, and am pleased to report that not only does the studio boast incredibly gracious accommodations (seriously their bathroom is nicer and better stocked with beauty products that my own), but it also has some great fitness classes.
Of Uplift Studio’s many classes, I have tried (so far): Summer Shape-Up, Tighten and Tone, and Power Yoga. My overall conclusion is that I would happily return to all three. In fact, I already have. Here’s a brief overview of my experiences:
Summer Shape-Up: A seasonal offering taught by a real live surfer girl, (who hails from Alaska, amazingly) Shannon. The class is meant to simulate summer sports: surfing, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. Shannon is bubbly, encouraging, and just downright adorable. She also effectively guides the class through the use of its many, many props. (dumbbells, weighted balls, stability platforms, resistance bands, and “magic circles”- I think it’s the most props I’ve ever used in 1 class.) The exercises tap into muscles that are ordinarily left underutilized, and left me sore for days. (I love when that happens!) Sadly, the end of summer means the end of Summer Shape-Up as well. Good thing the fall class lineup looks fantastic…
Tighten and Tone: This class blends elements of the Lotte Berke method, pilates, ballet, and good old-fashioned resistance training to form a 55 minute full body toning session. Also, Patricia may be Fitness Barbie. Seriously, she is the happiest fitness instructor that I’ve ever met. Her demeanor can’t help but make you smile- even as you power through your thousandth weighted leg raise. The many props make another appearance in this class (weights, resistance bands, magic circles…) and are all used to help work each major muscle group to the point of fatigue. This makes the final figure four stretch especially glorious.
Power Yoga: I was lucky enough to take this class with only two others, so it felt like a semi private yoga session. Our instructor, Amanda, asked what muscles each of us would like to focus on that day, and we replied with hamstrings, hips and core. (Core was my vote, if you were curious.) Amanda used those cues to divide the 55-minute class into thirds, addressing each of our needs and providing an intense sweaty yoga workout. The class was athletic in nature, and the poses were held for longer periods of time than in a ”regular” yoga class. I emerged feeling toned but limber- an incredible feeling.
These classes all get a thumbs up in my book, and I’m looking forward to trying even more. In my mind, however, what really sets Uplift apart from the crowd is the way it blurs the line between working out and socializing. It’s a women-only studio that bills itself as a “fitness and social movement.” The check-in station is set up like a bar, complete with counter seating. One of the studio’s three owners (Leanne Shear, Helena Wolin and Katie Currie) can usually be found behind the counter, striking up conversations and offering up treats and beverages. Nespresso by day and generous wine pours by night. Yes, that’s right. Get your sweat on, and then chill out with a glass of vino and snacks. Prior to visiting Uplift I was impressed by a water bottle or an apple. The bar (or barre, har har) may be officially raised in my mind.
There are those times when I just want to workout and get out, but more often than not, I appreciate the opportunity to relax with friends, meet new people, and hang out in a place where a head-to-toe Luon outfit is socially acceptable. It’s a wonderful message: working out is fun. YES! I couldn’t agree more.
Now, the part I know you’re excited about: the giveaway!
Uplift has generously offered to give a free 55-minute class in their NYC studio to one HealthyPantz reader. To enter, simply comment with your favorite “uplifting” quote. You can enter with a new quote each day to increase your chances, but you must leave a separate comment for each. I’ll randomly choose the winning quote next Thursday evening. Please keep in mind Uplift is a women-only studio. (Sorry, fellas.)