The SweatShed is Crunch’s way to get in on the NYC boutique fitness craze. The SweatShed has potential to be great but misses the mark in comparison to the other players in the market. Ultimately, it’s being run by (and out of) a major gym chain so they are learning.
We signed up for the “SweatShed” class, which was described as a HIIT workout but lacked further detail on their site. Since taking the class, they have established different names and descriptions for their classes which would have been helpful as a first timer. The workout wasn’t horrible – there were moments when we were feeling the burn but times when we just weren’t.
The workout was displayed on a flat screen in the studio so we could see what the next 50 minutes would entail. There were four sections of class and two of them were recovery based (foam rolling and active stretching). While we were doing this, our instructor had us go around the room, introduce ourselves and tell the group what our weekend plans were. It wasn’t until halfway through class that we actually got into the workout.
The workout was circuit based: four stations, each station consisted of two exercises, we did each exercise for 30 seconds. We were at each station for a total of four minutes which felt long. The moves included battle rope slams, beast crawls, dumbbell presses, overhead medicine ball toss, dumbbell deadlifts, dumbbell swings to a curl, pull ups and sled rows. We had never seen a sled before (it’s made by Total Gym, aka the Chuck Norris infomercials) and the instructor didn’t explain the “why” behind it or our goal – it was just there. We found it to be a bit of a joke. It didn’t get our heart rate up, there was little to no resistance to pull against and if there was a way of making it harder that information was not shared with us. We rounded out the class with a descending ladder of three exercises which was tough. We started with 10 reps of push-ups, squat thrusters, and sit ups working our way down to 9, 8, 7, etc. Our goal was to be done in the 5 minute time limit which was a challenge.
There were points in the circuit and during the descending ladder that were definitely HIIT, but at other times, not so much. The fact that we didn’t really get into the workout until the 15-20 minute mark of class was also a disappointment. We understand the importance of recovery, but we didn’t sign up for a HIIT class with the intention of spending half of it rolling, stretching and chatting.
Dani was cute, energetic and fit. We were not fans of cute-sy shit (to be blunt) so the circle talk and naming our teams when we broke into our circuit groups felt childish. Dani was good about demo’ing the circuit exercises but we would have liked more information about the sleds (how to make harder, goals – time, distance, reps, etc.). She was all too excited to let us know that she was going to “kick our butts” which we heard her say three or four times (overkill) especially when the workout was only half as long as the class. We have to say her playlist was great, which helped when we were watching the clock during the four minute stations. At the end of class she wanted to take a photo (SweatShed is trying hard to “Instagrammable”) but no one was having it so she just thanked us as we walked out.
As we said, the SweatShed is located within a Crunch gym. While it has its own studio, which we liked, the vibe that you get when you walk in the building that of a tired, old gym, lacking inspiration. The front desk attendants were disorganized to say the least. We had to ask where the locker room and studio were located. So speak up if it’s your first time.
The space they created for the SweatShed is nice, it looks like a garage lit in a wash of blue lights. They have a ton of equipment in there but they have a shelving system built into the room so it feels organized vs. overcrowded. The sound system is great and they have a Rouge countdown clock for the circuit based training. The room has a refrigerator stocked with complimentary water for class goers in addition to their own supply of towels, earplugs and hair ties.
The locker room is shared with the general public using the Crunch gym. Be prepared to be transported back to your high school gym locker room because that’s all we could think about. The space is huge but not one of the nicest/newest locker rooms we have encountered. We opted not to stick around for a shower. Be sure to bring a lock too, they don’t have keyless lockers.
1109 2nd Ave New York, NY 10022 Upper East Side HIIT $$$
SweatShed 59th Street
Upper East Side HIIT, $$$
1109 2nd Ave New York, NY 10022
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