Don’t be fooled, Doll. This ultra chic studio space comes with workouts that pack a serious punch. Think sweat levels that could rival any Barry’s Bootcamp and classes that take place beneath a blacklight and a disco ball, with varying levels of dance cardio weaved in. It works because we know some people want a little more or a little less rump shaking than others. Regardless of the class you take, the common theme is high intensity. Don’t believe us? “Nothing prepares you for AKT, AKT prepares you for everything else” is quite literally plastered on multiple walls. Talk about a challenge! They are huge proponents of building stamina with only one or even non-existent water breaks. Across the board, their instructors are kick ass guys and girls who run at lightning speed and have personalities to match, leaving you wondering, What do they put in their coffee and can I have some right this second?
With a name like 4Play, we really weren’t sure what to expect. It sounds playful, but it really turned out to be AKT for “torture”. Now friends, we love love a good burn. But when you pair some of the more advanced or challenging level “fitness toys” out there like resistance bands and gliding discs (or in AKT’s case, your sweat towel) all into the same workout – we’re going to flinch a little. We were very much torn with this workout because the music was bumpin and we were having fun, yet breaks or even brief rests were very few and far between. Guess that’s the magic of this type of toning, right? The nice thing about this class is that everything comes in 4’s – four circuits, four exercises, completed four times through. Easy, right? Well … the speed and intensity goes up each round, so getting form down in the first couple of rounds is key. And when it comes to the circuits, they really incorporate both a good mix of cardio and strength training (think curtsy lunge curls into burpees). We think it’s fair to say that this one pushed us out of our comfort zone, was empowering, and fun in parts. Much like mood swings, we had ALL the feels, from highs to lows. When the resistance bands with handles went over the pipes in the ceiling and jumping squat work got going, we couldn’t help but crack a bit of a smile through the pain.
Ebony totally gives off that “harsh but fair” vibe when teaching. She knows you’re worth it, but will not coddle you. You are certainly not going to get a “Get it, girl” if you’re not digging in. And as the overachievers in class, we never want to drop our knees too early or stop that pulsing until the last second. But geeeezzz … A girl needs a good countdown, ya know? Hers came far too late (on the last three seconds) for our taste. And sometimes her “Breathe” sounds a lot like her “three” – both in the same high pitched tone, leaving you wondering, is she one of the alien characters from Avatar? Ugh … such a tease. All of that said, this energizer bunny could kick our asses any day of the week. An advanced instructor in our opinion. But, who wants to just breeze through a class? Not us, baby!
Sure, there is no fabulous marquee for this studio a la SoulCycle or Rumble, but swanky loft comes to mind upon getting off the elevator. Sweat sessions here come complete with a pre-and post workout athleisure shopping experience. Now, this doesn’t just include branded merch but also amazing brands like Ocean Drive and Onzie. The lounge space is also fabulously welcoming for both a catch up with “SweatFriends” (way cooler than best friends) or with email. It’s not quite as opulent as the lounge at Peloton but supes cozy. And the studio spaces themselves range in size for class style and attendance. With three separate spaces for heart pumpin’ festivities (Factory, Loft, and Studio), they are able to offer a fully stocked class schedule. Don’t want to use the general locker room? No problem – they have two luxe single bathrooms that are sure to give you the privacy needed with a huge space for quick changes. Oh yeah and the best part – you can scope out each location via a virtual tour prior to your first visit.
244 E 84th St (4th Floor) New York, NY 10028 Upper East Side Dance $$$$
AKT Upper East Side
Upper East Side Dance, $$$$
244 E 84th St (4th Floor) New York, NY 10028
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