1. The November Project (Free buddy workout movement)
Grassroots at its finest. After two former college rowing buddies met up and recalled the yesteryears of early morning workouts. They each promised to get the other out of bed starting November 1st several years later an exercise movement was born.
The aim of the November Project is to encourage participates to get out of bed and exercise in the early mornings of the cold winter months. Spreading from Boston where the two former rowers lived to over 15 cities, this voluntary free workout program continues to gain followers and new locations. New York City is the next to be launched. To stay in touch with when a November Project will get underway in the Big Apple, stay tuned to the group’s Twitter feed -- @Nov_Project
2. Bklyn Beast
Brklyn Beast is the first indoor Parkour gym. I wrote about the new fitness routine (some would call an art form) of Parkour back in May of last year. Parkour is an outdoor workout for individuals who are tasked to move from Point A to Point B in the most efficient manner within a cityscape. The key to the fun is to use whatever means possible – subway stairs, park benches, building walls, and park trees. Now that large scale outdoor Parkour course has been brought indoors at Bklyn Beast.
Bklyn Beast is a huge space with bars, walls, platforms, and other common city obstacles. Parkour participants use backflips, wall climbing, and other crazy moves to navigate through the course. The gym also offers street style dance classes and other forms of exercise that fit into the Parkour mindset.
3. Aqua Studio (underwater cycling)
A great workout for descendants of the Lost City of Atlantis and from all accounts it is killer! With a focus on low impact exercise, these submerged bikes provide an intense workout that will build strong legs and super gluts. The classes are divided into speed and cardio fitness, strength and power, or restoration. The Aqua Studio features sessions in their candlelit pool and their space offers high-end amenities. Currently classes are only available in Tribeca, but this exercise fad that began in Europe is likely to continue to spread. Price point: $34 per class, plus rental fee of $2 for special underwater biking footwear.
4. AIR Aerial Fitness (Suspension Training)
So the last one was biking underwater, this fitness fad is workouts in the air. Yes, “suspension training” is an entire exercise class that takes place in the air via suspended hammock equipment. This definitely isn’t a muscle head type of workout, but it definitely requires coordination and stamina. Suspension training is a combination of Pilates, dance, and yoga.
Using the body’s own weight, the participant uses the hammock device to perform routines that are essentially resistance exercises and deep stretching. Suspended in air can be a unique experience that most often illicit childlike giggles and large smiles. A fun workout that will seem part circus routine with a dash of hardcore calisthenics. No plans for a NYC location, but stay tuned, it could be the next fitness trend that your friends will be clamoring to join.
5. Pound (Drumming workouts)
Frustrated musicians and wanna be rock stars will flock to this unique work out. This drumming-based exercise routine is all cardio and set to music with a beat. During a session, drummers beat out 15,000 reps on their appointment drum. The drumsticks are weighted and are called Ripstix®. The goal of Pound is to burn calories, but also to lower stress levels and boost brain power -- backed by science according to Pound staff. Currently there are Pound classes throughout the U.S. A quick glance of the Pound website shows classes throughout the New York City tri-state region. Check with your closest venue for pricing details.
6. Fitwall (Off the ground fitness)
Currently a La Jolla, CA based fitness fad, the Fitwall is a 40 minute low impact workout that requires “Fitwallers” to be attached to a fitness wall to perform exercises like squats, ab pulls, hops, leg swings, pull-ups, and jumps. All of these are done “off the ground” and are focused on developing flexibility, cardio, and strength.
Participants are hooked up to a heart monitor and an iPad during the routine. They are constantly apprised of their “F Factor” so that they know if they are working hard enough and as hard as the other members of the class. The F Factor is determined by a combination of sex, age, weight, height, basic heart rate and fitness level. Plans include opening new Fitwall gyms in the Bay area and New York in 2014.
– Kevin Feather