When they’re not leading some of the hardest workouts in the city, New York’s superstar instructors are busy, well, working on their own fitness—I mean, abs don’t chisel themselves, right? Which is why, if you really want to uncover some of the best workouts in the city, you might want to start following in their well-worn sneaker treads.
You’ll find them solo squatting and lifting at no-frills gyms like New York Sports Club and Crunch most often, sure. But what about when they want to hop in a group class or work with a trainer?
“I live for those moments where an instructor speaks to my soul and I kick it up into extra-high gear.”
They’re a discerning clientele, and unsurprisingly, they look for instructors with top-notch technique and classes that go beyond the basics. Dyan Tsuimis, director of training at Swerve Fitness, says she’s constantly on the lookout for smart classes in which instructors demonstrate real knowledge of how the body works and also take the workout beyond the physical.
“I look for—and listen to—ways instructors talk to the room, encourage peak performance, and correct form,” she explains. “I live for those moments where an instructor speaks to my soul and I kick it up into extra-high gear. It’s who I seek to be as an instructor, so feeling it as a student is just as important.”
Want to follow their lead? These are the 6 insider-approved workout spots in the New York City.
This cool-factor Tribeca spot may be known for the fashion influencers it counts as clientele, but fitness-world people frequent its turf, too, for the science-driven approach to cutting body fat and gaining strength. Think boxing pros Jaws Nelson of Shadowbox and Olivia Young of Box+Flow, plus Peloton head coach Robin Arzon and Y7 instructor Courtney Kuntdz. Not to mention visiting Los Angeles celeb trainers, like Chase Weber and Alex Fine.
87 Walker St., Tribeca, s10training.com
NYC’s trainers seem to love hitting up The Fhitting Room en masse for bicep-heavy bonding, presumably so they can cheer each other through the crazy HIIT challenges this spot is known for throwing down. Those who’ve snapped smiling, sweaty photos in front of the Flatiron studio’s big green kettlebell include Kira Stokes, Swerve coaches James Scully and Jenna Arndt, Barry’s Bootcamp’s Patrick Frost, and NYSC Lab’s Bianca Vesco.
31 W. 19th St., Flatiron, fhittingroom.com
Popular SoulCycle instructors Conor Kelly and Akin Akman are both regulars at this high-end personal training spot known for smart, effective strength training. (You may have seen Akman’s frequent shirtless Instagram snaps and videos on the green turf alongside trainer and co-owner Andy Speer—if not, let’s just say there’s a chance you’ll enjoy them.) Also in the mix? Barry’s Bootcamp stars Rebecca Kennedy and Sarah Otey, among others.
182 Mulberry St., Soho, sohostrengthlab.com
Despite an ever-shifting fitness scene, Barry’s is still considered one of the most effective, well-executed workouts in the city. So no surprise that it’s another popular drop-in spot for instructors, who stop by to sprint and squat with their peers. In recent months that’s included Tsuimis, Arzon, Nike master trainer Kirsty Godso, Akman, Brooklyn Bodyburn’s Tracy Carlinsky, and many, many more.
Multiple locations in Manhattan, barrysbootcamp.com
The Fort NYC, also called Fortitude Strength Club, has only been open for about a year, but has already established itself as a place trainers like to train. (Spin guru Holly Rilinger, Beth Lewis of CityRow and Soho Strength Club, and CrossFit coach Dani Irwin are regulars, while Flywheel instructors can frequently be found cross-training here.) That’s thanks to its small group, personalized approach to weight training, which focuses on making real progress toward goals.
30 W. 21st St., Flatiron, thefortnyc.com
It’s actually hard to seek out Solace without running in to at least one trainer. From the beginning, it established itself as unique in the CrossFit realm in terms of both quality of training and amenities. Now, its CrossFit WODs (and its HIIT-based body classes) are filled with industry people like CityRow’s Lisa Niren, well-known acroyogi Sylvie Curci, and Intrinsic Strength creator Angelo Grinceri.
38 E. 32nd St., Murray Hill, solacenewyork.com
Not in New York? Here are 11 of the best online workouts from NYC’s top trainers—plus a recovery plan to help maximize their benefits when you’re done.