This review will be littered with many confessions. The first being that I have only ever taken classes with Liz Barnet, who is one of my great friends and the physical embodiment of my fitness goals. Uplift Studios is a women only boutique gym. It isn’t women only like Lucille Roberts is – super corny, insisting you wear spandex, everyone with a smile plastered on their faces. Uplift Studios is more like – let’s empower each other and listen to really great music and on Friday’s there will be a happy hour where we can network with other kick-ass women (professionally kick ass and also we can kick your butt ’cause we’re hella strong).
Located on 23rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Manhattan, the studios themselves are small but stylish. Walking through the door, there are weight machines in front of you – a space to work out with personal trainers. To your immediate left is the desk where you check-in. The changing room has lockers, showers, and all the little things you may have forgotten – hair elastics, deodorant, floss, even tampons (isn’t that just the worst!?).
The classes themselves are small – I have never been to one with more than ten students. This allows for great personal attention. I took the Strength classes where you will use hand-weights, bands and your own bodyweight to move through intervals. It is challenging but the teachers are encouraging and the music doesn’t hurt (Liz had a class where every song was about butts, I enjoyed it immensely). They also offer HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) classes – which are more like cardio bootcamp classes. As the name implies, you go through short bursts of cardio combined with strength training followed by short recovery periods. I haven’t tried the Sculpt-Fusion classes which flow through lower-impact moves that involve both weights and yoga moves. Namaste.
As with most boutique fitness studios in NYC – it ain’t cheap, a single class is $34. If you have never been before, you can get two classes for the price of one! Naturally there are packages that bring the price down as well. And Uplift is on ClassPass – although with the classes being small AND popular, it isn’t the easiest thing to sign up for one that way. They only hold a few spots for ClassPassers and those go FAST. Confession – I have only EVER tried to sign up on ClassPass so that has made it hard for me to go too many times.
With so many studios in NYC, especially in this area – Uplift stands out in that everyone is SO welcoming. I’m sure that my being friends with Liz helped a little, but even in the changing room everyone is all smiles. People help each other when it is time to get the tools for the workout ahead. Maybe it’s the fact that it is women only? Maybe it’s the promise of wine on Fridays. But (prepare yourself for some corniness) Uplift is uplifting!
Final confession, I just don’t think HIIT is for me, or even the strength classes. I am forever worried about my damned knee and it weighs on my mind. When I go back, I will try to take the Sculpt Fusion classes – with yoga involved, they are more up my alley. And I need to get to one of the happy hour classes too. #detoxtoretox
Photo borrowed from B Fit Feel Fab because the only photos I have of the studio are either blurry as hell or are of my super sweaty post-class face.