Working It Out

SLT

134 E. PUTNAM AVE., SLTNYC.COM, 203-622-6700

A rigorous fifty-minute mash-up of cardio, strength training and Pilates rolled into one

WHY DOES IT WORK?
In a nutshell: The workout, which is done entirely on the Megaformer, activates the body’s slow-twitch muscle fibers through slow, fat-burning movements. “They are responsible for strengthening your muscles without the appearance of bulk,” says SLT founder and owner Amanda Freeman. The pace throughout is intense and done under the guidance of a trainer. “We do fast transitions between the moves, so your heart rate stays up the whole time.” The end result is more defined muscle development and increased stamina.

WHO IS IT FOR?
Anyone looking to burn fat and elongate their muscles. Keep in mind, the company’s mantra is “Better sore than sorry.” Adds Freeman: “I was looking for the Pilates body but in a high-energy, loud, sweaty and small group environment. The Megaformer was the answer.”

THE BACKSTORY
In 2011, Freeman was looking for a workout that both strengthened, lengthened and toned. She discovered the Megaformer during a visit to L.A. and was instantly hooked. She opened her first SLT studio in Manhattan a year later. Today she has twenty-five studios spread across the East Coast and into Michigan. The Greenwich space opened last August. “We have been trying to open in Greenwich for five years,” she says. “The people here are ideal SLT clientele— fit-focused, fit-minded and hardworking. They appreciate an efficient and effective workout.”

$ Introductory specials, first class $20, three-pack special $90. Single class $36; five classes $170; 10 classes $320; 20 classes $600. Private training is available.


Elliptica

1345 E. PUTNAM AVE., 2ND FLOOR; ELLIPTICASTUDIOS.COM, 203-344-1193

A high-energy, low-impact elliptical-based group cardio class in which clients can burn up to 750 calories in just one forty-five-minute session. “People really sweat,” says cofounder Laura Laboissonniere. “Your heart rate is up the whole time.”

WHY DOES IT WORK?
The basic class follows a structured format similar to a spin class and involves warm-ups, hills, sprints and arm workouts using light weights. “It’s low impact but you are standing and engaging your core the whole time,” says Laboissonniere. With music playing in the background, the mood is upbeat and lively; the instructor drives the rpm and the beat, and you control the resistance. She says part of the appeal is the machine itself, which is easy to navigate. The other draw? “It’s fun and the cardio-high is addictive.”

WHO IS IT FOR?
Anyone who wants to be more active and healthier, with minimal wear and tear on their joints. So far, the demographic is evenly split—about 50 percent women and 50 percent men.

THE BACKSTORY
The Greenwich studio, which opened in early 2017, is not the first fitness venture for Laura. She and her partner opened the original Elliptica in Fairfield in the fall of 2016. (She also owns two Pure Barre franchises in Fairfield County.) In addition to on-site childcare (available by reservation), the Greenwich studio offers two additional sixty-minute classes—one with a strength training add-on and one with a yoga add-on.

$ The first visit is $15; two weeks unlimited for $49 (new clients only). A single session is $30. 10-class and 20-class packs are available as are other membership options.


Mason Street Strength & Fitness

67 MASON STREET, MASONSTSTRENGTH.COM, 203-489-3732

This relative newcomer to the Greenwich scene is a personal training gym that takes an old-school approach to strength and conditioning training. “We are firm about staying in our lane and doing what we do best rather than chasing down the latest fad,” says owner Daniel Belli. Whether they are working with student-athletes or folks looking to up their fitness level, the focus is on one-on-one training rather than group classes.

WHY DOES IT WORK?
After an initial assessment, the trainer-coaches come up with an individualized workout plan that is designed to meet each client’s goals. First things first: mastering technique, developing strength and increasing mobility. From there, the plan will evolve incorporating more advanced training sessions, using complex lifting techniques. Both Belli and cofounder Shawn Harris have extensive backgrounds in personal training and coaching competitive sports; the gym excels in creating strength and conditioning programs for athletes of all ages. “Our clients appreciate our no-gimmick approach,” says Belli. “We preach patience and consistency.”

WHO IS IT FOR?
Anyone and everyone. “We train fifth graders to seventy-year-olds,” says Belli. The six coaches all have degrees in exercise science, among other certifications. “Sessions cater to the individual.” In the summer, the gym runs a group football workout for high school kids that lasts eight weeks.

THE BACKSTORY
Mason Street opened in January 2016 with nearly 5,000 square feet of space. On average, there are four to six clients max on the floor at any one time. Each custom-tailored session lasts approximately one hour.

$ From $95 to $115 per session depending on the package. The gym offers a complimentary session to new clients.


Belly and Body

1381 E. PUTNAM AVE., BELLYANDBODY.COM, 203-637-3399

A boutique boxing studio, with a low-impact small group exercise program that is grounded in Chinese kung fu

WHY DOES IT WORK?
The forty-five-minute class hits all the major and minor muscle groups. There are three fifteen-minute sessions: warm up, functional boxing and core. Along the way, cofounder Jonathan Edmond incorporates light weights and jump ropes, as well as regulation boxing bags. Like all martial arts, the exercises work both sides of your brain, which means you are strengthening your muscle memory, too. Calling it “an art form,” Edmond says the beauty of the program is in its simplicity. “You have to practice and stay focused.”

WHO IS IT FOR?
Those who are looking for a whole-body workout that combines mental fitness and physical fitness. Clients range in age from fifteen to sixty-plus. “You go at your own pace,” says Edmond. “It’s not like gyms where the mantra is ‘go hard or go home.’”

THE BACKSTORY
Cofounded by friends and business partners Jim Perry, a lifelong Riverside resident, and Jonathan Edmond, a martial arts specialist with a background in personal training. They had dreamed about opening a space that would enable them to bring their passion for boxing to the community. The studio opened in June of 2017, and classes are limited to ten people. “While other gyms have you sharing equipment and moving from one station to another, we prepare the floor with your own individual sets of weights and props to match your intensity level,” says Edmond. “But we all do the same exercises together, making it a welcoming space for everyone.”

$ From $38 per class, including gloves. “We wrap the hands professionally,” says Edmond. “Clients say, ‘Wow, I feel tough all of a sudden.’”


OsteosStrong Greenwich

126 EAST PUTNAM AVE., OSTEOSTRONG.ME, 203-900-1661

A system designed to help ward off osteoporosis (or at least prevent bone loss) through a process known as osteogenic loading, which triggers bone building at a cellular level

WHY DOES IT WORK?
Under the supervision of a specially trained coach, clients spend approximately ten to fifteen minutes total on four machines. Each targets specific areas of the body—upper, core, lower and postural. In addition to bone strength, the workout builds muscle density and healthier tendons and ligaments, which benefit posture and overall stability. “Our clients report feeling better in all areas of their lives,” says Christine Moffatt, partner and chief development officer.

WHO IS IT FOR?
Anyone with concerns about their bone density, as well as those who want to take a proactive stance against future bone loss. “We are trying to educate people that it’s never too early to start thinking about your bones,” says Christine.

THE BACKSTORY
The program’s inventor, Dr. John Jaquish, originally set out to help his seventy-year-old mother who was suffering from bone loss. When he learned that gymnasts have higher bone density than the general population, he theorized it was because of the high-impact nature of the sport. He set out to design weight-resistance machines that would have the same effect but in a less jarring way. The Greenwich outpost opened last October.

$ $219 monthly for silver membership, gold is $229 and platinum is $249. Discounts available for veterans and families. A sign-up fee of $299 includes a Dexa Scan at LiveLearnRx or an athletic evaluation at Greenwich Sports Medicine.


Reaxing at Chelsea Piers

ONE BLACHLEY ROAD, STAMFORD, CHELSEAPIERSCT.COM, 203-989-1000

Launched in Italy in 2016, Reaxing is an innovative fitness program that utilizes “sudden dynamic impulse technology” (unstable surfaces and equipment) to enhance stability and motor reflexes. Chelsea Piers is the brand’s first U.S. outpost.

WHY DOES IT WORK?
Each piece of equipment challenges your neuromuscular system in a different way. They can be used individually or in a group. The Reaxing board, for instance, moves in unpredictable ways (either programmed by the user or by a trainer), forcing clients to anticipate and stay upright by recruiting different muscle groups. Liquid-filled fluid balls are challenging to lift because the liquid moves around. Reaxing lights, which condition and train your senses, are set up in various patterns; when a light blinks, a client has to tag it before going on to the next blinking light. “It’s really fun,” says Monica Concha, Group Fitness Manager and a Reaxing certified coach.

WHO IS IT FOR?
Anyone who wants to up their stability game and challenge their reflexes. “One of our trainers uses it for people who are coming off joint surgery post-rehab. It’s also popular with our twenty- to forty-year-olds, who take group fitness classes. And kids love the lights,” says Monica.

THE BACKSTORY
Developed in Milan by the creator of the Queenax machine, a modular system for functional and suspension training, Reaxing is rooted in the idea that the ability to react to unexpected situations is the cornerstone of one’s psychophysical well-being. “It forces you to react quickly,” says Monica.

$ Available to gym members. Monthly dues from $150 to $300.


Greenwich Jiu Jitsu Academy

288 VALLEY ROAD, COS COB, GREENWICHJIUJITSU.COM, 203-273-4625

A small martial arts academy devoted to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a centuries-old grappling style self-defense system

WHY DOES IT WORK?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a full-body, extreme functional workout—with self-defense skills and mindfulness thrown into the mix. Students are brought through a progression of skills—learning the basic fundamentals—before graduating to mat work. Because the technique is based on leverage and position, women and children can be effective against a larger attacker. “The goal is submission,” says owner Jeff Morris, a Greenwich native, law enforcement officer and longtime practitioner of this ancient art. “You start out standing, and you bring your opponent to the ground and then you control them.”

WHO IS IT FOR?
All ages, from seven on up. There are kids-only and adults-only programs. For now, classes are offered twice a week; private instruction is also available.

THE BACKSTORY
In October, Morris, realized a lifelong dream, when he opened the studio in Cos Cob. The curriculum is designed to give people the tools they need for self-defense, regardless of their size, gender or age while getting a great workout in the process. Classes are kept to ten people max. “Walking into a martial arts class can be very intimidating,” says Morris. “This allows us to really focus on our instruction and on developing our students.”

$ Monthly fee for adults is $100 for once a week, $150 for twice a week. Children’s programs are $132 a month for once a week, $200 a month for twice a week. Privates are $125 an hour for adults and children. A new college/boarding school self-defense course consists of four 90-minute sessions and costs $275 per student. Offered late spring and early fall.


Combine Training

469 W. PUTNAM AVE., COMBINETRAININGCT.COM; 203-717-1700

A 4,200-square-foot athletic fitness facility with certified strength coaches that take a holistic approach to each client. “Our coaches devise a game plan that takes into account not only an exercise program, but also nutrition, sleep patterns and personal schedules to ensure success,” says owner Craig Vitale.

WHY DOES IT WORK?
“We’ve never wavered from our philosophy and mission,” says Vitale. “All of our clients are trained like athletes, and we train our athletes, we don’t just work them out.” After an initial assessment, each client receives a customized workout plan with a distinct goal in mind. “The goal may change, but the philosophy never does.” This holds true whether you’re a competitive cyclist, an aspiring triathlete, or a student who wants to make a high school sports team.

WHO IS IT FOR?
Everybody. “Young athletes are at a critical state,” says Vitale. “The demand on them is incredible.” For older athletes, Vitale and his team stress education as much as exercise. “If I can keep the kid and the older athlete healthy, I’ve done my job.”

THE BACKSTORY
Vitale founded Combine Training fourteen years ago. In 2011, the gym moved to its present location on West Putnam Avenue. He has built a reputation for his work with high school and masters-level athletes—including triathletes who have gone on to compete at the Ironman World Championships in Kailva-Kona, Hawaii.

$ First session, which includes assessment, is $130; about $100 per hour. Cryotherapy treatments are extra.


Best Stretch Ever at Equinox

16 OLD TRACK RD., 203-863-0070, EQUINOX.COM

A thirty-minute stretch class that incorporates Stick Mobility, a pliable stick that enables clients to twist, pull and push their body back to center. It increases functional range of motion, improves posture, increases stability, enhances body awareness and improves total body strength.

WHY DOES IT WORK?
Whether you’re coming from a spin class or a group fitness class, this thirty-minute session is designed to help clients loosen contracted muscles. The instructor will only push people as far as their body allows.

WHO IS IT FOR?
Geared toward gym members of all levels.

THE BACKSTORY
Opened in 2011, this full-service luxury fitness club offers a full range of services from personal training and group classes to cycling, yoga, Pilates and more. Its mission is reflected in its motto: Movement, nutrition and regeneration. Among its new offerings for 2019, this special stretch class is designed to encompass the regeneration part of the motto.

$ Included in the standard gym membership which starts at $184 a month


Forme Barre Fitness

141 WEST PUTNAM AVE., 203-625-7616; FORMEBARRE.COM

A barre class that incorporates ballet, Pilates and strength training in one sixty-minute format. The Forme method is designed to activate muscles at their deepest level and to work in a continuous fat-burning zone with exercises that target specific areas of the body. “The class provides a balance of intensity and release that is nothing short of addicting,” says owner and instructor Christina Schwefel.

WHY DOES IT WORK?
The cornerstone of the method is high repetition using light weights and body weight, followed by extended isometric holds. Exercises are sequenced together to create layers of work, followed by intentional stretching. Practitioners can expect to see improved posture and increased flexibility, and a more sculpted and trimmed body overall.

WHO IS IT FOR?
All ages. It’s not unusual to have multiple generations in one class. “People go at their own pace,” says Christina. “Our instructors are equipped to teach at multiple levels and multiple abilities.”

THE BACKSTORY
Originally called Go Figure Barre Studio, the company has undergone a transformation of late with a rebrand and a new focus. “We’ve changed the method so it’s more about postural technique and alignment,” says Christina. The psychologist and professor opened her first Go Figure studio on Nantucket in 2013. Three years later she bought the business and today oversees five studios (with another on the way), as well as a pop-up in Norwalk. New this year is a collaboration with the streaming fitness app, NEOU.

$ A new-client special rate of $32 for a week of classes. One month unlimited is $125. Classes are $21 to $28 depending on the membership.


FROM BARRE TO BAR
TIPS FROM THE PROS ON HOW TO REVIVE A POST-WORKOUT BLOW-DRY

Salon O
239 Mill Street, salono.net, 203-531-3000

1. “Ask your stylist to amp up the volume on your blow-dry to extend its life-span on a week you know you’ll be hitting the gym,” Rocco Palermiti, co-owner and stylist at O Salon.

2. “Always wear a wide slip-less headband with a ponytail or bun—we recommend the slip-less Lululemon headbands and telecord hair ties to avoid creases—during your workout. Blow-dry damp roots ASAP afterward; pop in a roller or two on the top of your head and flat-iron any frizzy trouble spots along the lower perimeter,” says Omar Roth, co-owner and stylist.

3. Always carry a travel size Kerastase V.I.P. [volume in powder spray] in your gym bag to add texture and volume or the Shu Uemura Color Lustre Dry Shampoo,” adds Palermiti.

Jaafar Tazi Salon
149 Greenwich Ave.,jaafartazi.com 203-340-2525

1. “To reboot your blowout, use a dry shampoo such as one from Oribe or Kerastase,” says master stylist Kate Kralic. “Tip your head upside down and spray, focusing on the roots. Dry shampoo is the number one product every woman should have in their gym bag.”

2. “On Day Two of your blow-dry, throw a one-inch barrel curling iron into your gym bag. After your workout, blow-dry your roots a little bit and then put some curls into your hair. Use your fingers to break up the curls and spray your hair with Oribe dry texture spray. This will give you a nice wavy, tousled look—perfect for going out after the gym,” says Kate.


Paulo Lanfredi

410 Greenwich Ave., paulolanfredi.com 203-900-1221

1. “Having the right products will help reinvent your pre-gym hair after a workout,” says Paulo Lanfredi. A good dry shampoo is essential for soaking up sweat and oils. Our favorite is Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo. To spruce up your curls, use a curling iron and a restyling spray. No iron? No problem. Try scrunching Matt Waves texture lotion into your hair to create a simple textured beach wave. To tame frizz and attain a smoother look, use Oribe’s Supershine Moisturizing Cream and run it from the mid shaft to the ends of the hair.”


HOT TO TROT

THE BIGGEST TRENDS IN WORKOUT GEAR COVER A RANGE OF FUN AND FASHIONABLE OPTIONS, FROM PRINTS (THINK CAMO IN ALL COLORS AND STARS AND STRIPES) AND BOLD COLORS, TO TRACKIES, JOGGERS AND TO-AND-FROM PIECES THAT CAN GO FROM THE STUDIO TO THE STREET NO SWEAT.


Juja Active

160 Greenwich Ave. 203-489-3530

FIT TO PRINT
Think prints in multiple colorways, menswear-inspired plaids, herringbone and track stripes. Camos are still big. “It’s an easy print to wear,” says Juja owner, Sonya Lee. “It doesn’t stand out as much.”

SHINE ON
Stars—as an accent or running down the side of the leg, like a stripe

WET AND WILD
Liquid leggings that look like they’re wet. Available in multiple colors.

WEIGHT WATCH
Innovative fabrics—differences in weight, feel and compression. “If you’re doing Pilates and barre, you don’t need as much compression. For hot yoga you need sweat-wicking and faster-drying fabrics,” she says.

BEFORE & AFTER
Pieces that go to and from the gym. “It used to be that you could only get a V-neck pullover,” says Sonya. “Now there are interesting shapes that are functional and soft” [think pull-over hoodies, half-zip hoodies, and jackets with hi-low hems, brushed fleece, brushed cotton, velour and velvet]. “Instead of leggings you can put on joggers or track pants.”


Sweaty Betty

200 Greenwich Ave. sweatybetty.com 203-717-1095

FASHION FORWARD
“With boutique studios and the rise of activewear on catwalks, it’s become cool to wear your sportswear,” says founder and creative director, Tamara Hill-Norton. “This has led the brand to grow into more fashion-led fitness pieces. We are known for our bum-sculpting leggings, and the focus for 2019 is going to be on our Power leggings, which will come in a variety of prints and solid colorways. It’s our most versatile legging and can be worn for everything from spin and running to HITT and Pilates. The high waist with adjustable drawcord gives a true supportive fit that our customers love.”

COVER UP
“We have increased our designs in layering pieces, as we know our customers are busy and going from the studio to the street. We have also incorporated more color blocking prints in eggplant and beetle blue, which is our version of navy.”

share this story

© Moffly Media, 2008-2020. All rights reserved. Website by Web Publisher PRO