New YorkHIIT, Bootcamp
The Refine Method is probably the closest you’ll get to working with a personal trainer without shelling out that level of cash. Refine prides itself on small class sizes and a high level of attention for every member that walks in the door. A majority of the time we are only in class with 2 to 3 other people!
The UWS location is “no-frills” – a small but very, very mighty studio. The amount of equipment stocked in all of their locations rivals that of a gym, and they even have equipment we’re not used to having access to in boutique classes – hello slide boards! This is a major asset when it comes to ensuring that workouts are constantly changing to keep our ever-racing minds entertained.
While many studios talk about potential results, Refine walks the walk. The workout was created by a former ballerina who taught barre classes, saw that even her most hard working students were struggling to see results, and did something about it. Here, you’ll work your ass off and, as they say, “train like an athlete”. You’ll lift heavier and push harder than in most classes to get results that match your level of effort. The studio quite literally encourages students who come twice a week with consistently lower class rates than those who drop in sporadically … Talk about a brand invested in its students’ success. Can we get a GD Hallelujah?!
Refine only has one class offering, but it comes in a ton of different flavors, which means you’re never going to have the same class experience twice.
The name of the game at Refine is High Intensity Interval Training (aka HIIT) delivered in a circuit style format. Unlike most bootcamp style workouts, the pace is slower and there aren’t as many distractions – no crazy loud music or colorful lights (sorry Barry’s, we love you!). Because of that, we were much more focused on form and ultimately worked a hell of a lot harder.
The class typically starts and ends with cardio moves (high knees, jumping lunges, jump squats) for both the warm up and burn out. There’s always a section that involves kettlebell work (swings, squats, deadlifts, and more) and one that uses the pulley system specifically developed just for this program (think pilates pulleys but mounted on a wall). Those pulleys can be used for absolutely everything. We personally did a lot of tricep work with them and even had our feet in the handles at one point for elevated mountain climbers. The instructors have any number of tools to choose from to craft your experience, from gliders to boxes to slide boards and beyond.
We did things in this class that we’ve never encountered before, like a rotational slam combining a traditional medicine ball slam with one-foot balance and oblique work. Talk about a fire combo!
They weren’t kidding when they website said their coaching was thorough. Shannon came up to each one of us before class to have an in-depth conversation about our fitness level and any potential injuries. This time wasn’t in vain as she remembered each person’s name and would hand out kudos from time to time throughout class. She even earned extra gold stars with us because she helped correct form privately in a more discreet manner (we really don’t love instructors who call people out in front of the rest of the class).
As an instructor, Shannon was equal parts precise and genuinely motivating. The way she demoed was completely by the book and she wasn’t hesitant about sharing words of encouragement – straightforward “good work”s or “go you”s . Her words were so authentic and kind that you wanted to work harder to make her happy. Well, that and her hawk eyes: she catches EVERY out of place movement and swoops in to correct it.
The first word that pops into mind when we think of Refine Method UWS is cozy. We could even argue that it gives off locally-owned yoga studio vibes. It blends right into the neighborhood. No flashy sign or standalone entrance, Refine is tucked into the ground floor of a building with a ton of other businesses. The studio layout is not very big so the “lobby” and locker area are pretty small. BUT, this is balanced out by how much space they allocated to the studio room, which is the most important.
There are no self-locking lockers, but they do offer a basket of the old school locks for you to use. Need to change? There are individual changing rooms but only one bathroom and no showers, so plan accordingly. The lack of flashy amenities is a small price to pay given the quality of workout and instruction.
117 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023 Upper West Side HIIT $$$$
Refine Method Upper West Side
Upper West Side HIIT, Bootcamp $$$$
117 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023
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