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Welcome to (a special year-end edition of) Workout Wednesday: every hump-day, we'll be rounding up some of the city's hottest fitness trends and studios.
If you live in New York City and your workout is boring, you're doing it wrong. The fitness scene here nearly rivals those of food and shopping at this point, and based on the newcomers that made their marks in 2014, it shows no signs of slowing down. We've recapped the eleven biggest gym openings in the city below—and if you haven't checked some of these out yet, consider this your guide to jumpstarting your 2015 fitness resolutions.
Photo: Monster Cycle
How much can be made new with indoor cycling—stand up, tap it back, lather, rinse, repeat, right? But two of this year's newcomers found untapped (pardon the pun) potential with stationery bikes. Soho's The Monster Cycle debuted over the summer with a sleek black-on-black interior, a killer soundtrack with coordinated music videos, and art installations—our sister site even crowned it one of this year's best workouts.
Meanwhile, down in the Financial District, Flow Cycle introduced bikes that tilt from side to side as you ride, adding an extra balance challenge as you follow along with a real-life ride on a projection screen—and a kick-ass instructor, Aisha "AC" Prielozny.
Photo: ((305)) Fitness
While plenty of New York's favorite dance classes (Vixen, Brukwine) shack up in rented studios, two new players ponied up the money for new homes. And in the case of ((305)) Fitness, whose subterranean Greenwich Village studio has a Miami club-themed light show in time to the live DJ's tunes, it was a successful Kickstarter campaign that brought the space to life.
And on an up and coming stretch of Broadway, Doonya sashayed into its new home with a workout-focused twist on traditional Bollywood dancing. "We wanted to make it the perfect intersection of both—not too much fitness, not too much dance," co-founder Priya Pandya explained to Racked earlier this year.
Photo: David Barton Gym
You could run on a treadmill, or you could run on a treadmill in an old church—no brainer, right? DavidBartonGym's vampy club vibes match up perfectly with its new Limelight digs, since it was a nighttime hotspot in a former life, and the city chain seamlessly blends the old—stained glass windows, chandeliers, a soon-to-be working bell tower—with the new, like cardio machines that stream Netflix.
But if you prefer a more modern feel, check out the sleek BFX Studio in Chelsea if you haven't already. The name is short for Boutique Fitness Experience, which it truly delivers on—they offer Spin, barre, TRX, HIIT, yoga, Pilates, and more, plus combo classes and personal training packages.
Specialized Sweat Sessions
Photo: Mile High Run Club
Boutique studios that focus on a single type of workout also had their moment in the sun this year. City Row came to Fifth Avenue all the way back in January with great views from its office building suite and even better workouts, from straight-up rowing to yoga-infused classes to a weekly killer advanced session that had the seasoned vets sweating bullets.
And down in Noho, the Mile High Run Club sprinted onto the scene in November to show treadmills who's boss. And lest anyone think only serious marathoners need apply, their signature class has options with beginner-friendly speeds, too.
The House of Hardcore
New Yorkers go hard on everything, but especially on their workouts, and three of this year's new gyms catered to that level of intensity. ModelFIT came along first in Terry Richardson's former Bowery studio, with Victoria's Secret Angels trainer Justin Gelband offering up coaching to normals (and Taylor Swift, who famously looked impeccable after leaving class), with teensy-tiny movements to fire up muscles you didn't know you had.
Tone House also drew in those who think that workouts should be akin to military drills—but here, the trainer yelling in your face is going to be telling you how awesome you're doing rather than calling you a maggot. They're most known for their resistance harnesses—bungee cords, essentially—that'll snap you back to the wall if you don't keep plunging forward.
And last, but certainly not least, Midtown South's Throwback Fitness went hardcore on fun. Founders Brian and Ryan found ways to sneak workouts into old-school recess activities, like dodgeball—and, for grown-up breaks, Flip Cup.