EPIC Interval Training is a circuit-style fitness program that offers variations on the typical HIIT routine. All classes are a blend of body weight exercises, cardio and strength training, with mobility drills to recover and restore your body, but the studio differentiates the workouts every day to focus on a particular athletic function (performance, mobility, strength, cardio, etc.). This boutique studio may lack the glamour of most in NYC, but the workout certainly warrants a visit.
Cardio Blast is EPIC’s “high-octane conditioning class” focused on developing power, agility and speed. Like the other programs, Cardio Blast’s workouts are reprogrammed every four weeks with different EPIC movements to ensure enough time to see progress but avoid plateaus. Exercises are performed in pairs, with a max number of 16 clients participating in class. Each class begins with a three-minute warm up and a five-minute demo of the eight exercises you will complete in class. You’ll do four rounds of each exercise for 30 seconds, with 45 seconds of active recovery between each circuit. Though there’s a set flow to the workout, you can get whatever you want out of the full routine. We were encouraged to go at our own pace throughout the class, and while we didn’t feel fully motivated to push ourselves, other clients could definitely welcome the break from aggressive HIIT intensity. Cardio Blast is primarily bodyweight, based, using resistance bands and TRX bands to challenge your explosiveness. The circuits included variations of pushups, jumping lunges, squat jumps, plants, carioca sprints and pull-ups. Kettlebells were incorporated into one exercise, but overall, the routine avoided weighted exercises. That being said, Cardio Blast is a solid choice for days you want to recover from strength training but also want to get the most burn out of your cardio routine.
Emily may have a background in martial arts, but her demeanor is certainly not that of a fighter. Motivating without being pushy or intense, she guided our workout with modification and words of encouragement but let us individualize the workout for our needs. Her laid-back approach to instructing HIIT classes may not inspire intensity from advanced HIIT-goers, but her constant attention to everyone in the class definitely made you feel noticed and encouraged throughout the workout.
EPIC’s Midtown East location offers all the amenities you’d like from a boutique HIIT studio but is sub par with its delivery. The workout space is tiny and cramped with equipment. You’ll quickly notice black padding on the floor where class takes place and be advised not to wear shoes on it – the classes are performed barefoot, with socks optional. You won’t immediately think about the conditions of those pads until you are mopping up the floor after class to clean up your sweat. Trust us, this will discourage you from taking advantage of the plethora of foam rollers in the studio post-class. It’s pretty evident why the studio is most popular with very local clients rather than commuters. This EPIC location just doesn’t have any space or vibe that encourages spending time there beyond the workout. The studio has a separate changing room and bathroom for men and women, but the space only fits one person each. You won’t be able to change and get ready for work while someone else uses the toilet or showers, so you need to strategically plan your shower routine. There also isn’t a true storage or locker space in the studio; clients are encouraged to drop their belongings on benches by the front desk, or to toss them on the tiny shelf in the changing area.