NikkiFitness Faves: NYC Boutique Class Review of Adult Gymnastics as Chelsea Piers!
I work in fitness, and I love it so much, that sampling the city’s hottest boutique classes has become a hobby.
And, different from other bloggers out there who write about taking classes, I am actually certified in group fitness/yoga/personal training, and have been teaching and training for over 15 years. I know what works, what doesn’t, what’s dangerous, and what’s a gimmick.
Ratings- “Boost”: what was great and different/”Sweat”: how tough of a workout/”Safety”: what I don’t love/ “Fun Factor”: was it as much fun as a night out?
1=lowest 10=highest rating (60= perfect 10s)
Chelsea Piers Adult Gymnastics Class 23rd Street and Hudson River Park, NYC (TOTAL= 56 out of 60: my best score ever!)
The Look: 9- It’s a large, clean and bright facility with a tall arena-like ceiling, which gives you confidence and space to breathe from the start. The class alternated in size but was about 10 people on average. From the bouncy floor, to nets and huge padded apparatuses to help you preform each challenge, you feel like a kid training for the Olympics. They also have a huge pool, gym, rock climbing, batting cages, soccer, boating, golf driving range, and much more.
The Boost Factor: 10- Even if you’re not a flexible person or can’t even handle a front roll in your kid’s gym program, you can still do amazing things with your body and you’ll feel powerful. Doing a back handspring, was actually on my very own bucket list this year. I had been a college cheerleader, but was the only one who never took gymnastics classes, so I had to do extra (and I mean extra!) time learning it in college. At this class they give you extra time to work on the skill you have your heart set on that day.
The Sweat Factor: 8- Not so much sweat as just dead tired afterwards, which counts, big time. It’s not full out effort the whole time, because you do your stunt, and then wait for the next group to finish and take instruction from the coaches. But when you do the stunts… it takes body-weight workouts to the next level! You’ll need a nap afterwards, even if you’re in good shape. At Chelsea Piers, and many other gymnastics facilities across the country, they offer adult gymnastics classes for $30. When personal training is much more than that, it’s a bargain for really surprising your body and priced like a boutique fitness class.
The Safety Factor: 9- The warm-up lasted at least 15 minutes (the entire class is 1.5 hours) and included crab walks, plank jump-back and skipping, stretching, and more. There are so many “toys” to help you with each trick, it looks like an oversized kid’s bouncy house or indoor toddler gym. You never move onto more of a challenge until you are ready and the staff is good at spotting.
Sore Factor: 10– Oh My Goodness. I could not raise my arms straight above my head for 5 days…. And I teach everything from plyometric bootcamps to yoga and lift heavy weights. The trick with doing these tricks, is that you work your body in a different range of motion and find little muscles you normally don’t work hard, then ask them to hold you as flip around and down on them. It hurts so good.
Fun Factor: 10 –We practiced handstands, cartwheels, back rolls into handstands, round-offs, and cartwheels-to-handstands on the boingy floor, which is so fun to even just jump around on. Then the great part: they have ball pits (think Chuck E. Cheese’s as a kid) to fall into; huge padded wheels and mats to practice easy and safe front walkovers and handsprings from, and spotters for the back handsprings. I nailed it after a few times (with a spotter). It was like riding a bike… if that bike was throwing yourself backwards and upside down hoping to land on your hands!