I really don’t have enough great things to say about Physique 57. I just moved here and have been searching for a barre class that offers a full-body workout and kicks my ass. That’s what you’ll get at Physique 57. After a few Classpass classes, I even splurged on the intro month unlimited, which runs a cool $250 but at least you get two guest passes and a free pair of barre socks in your bag (swag).
Physique, let me outline the reasons I love thee:
This is one of the toughest barre classes I’ve taken, ever. It’s like The Bar Method on crack, in that it’s more intense, more addicting, and equally white.
The signature class starts off with an arm series and they encourage clients to lift heavy, which is awesome. It’s very bicep heavy, so I used 5lbs and moved up to 8lbs, but some of the super badass girls use 10, 12, and 15lbs. These may seem light to those who aren’t barre regulars, but keep in mind that the arm work is high-rep and low weight.
The class then moves into thigh work and seat work, with a quick stretch between each. The thigh and glute sets are LONG and TOUGH and they each transition through several different exercises without a break. I will note that some of the thigh moves are not great on the joints–be forewarned if you have bad knees. Class finishes off with abs – flat back and round back exercises under the barre, and then in the center of the room – and a final cool-down stretch. You’ll leave with a full-body workout.
As a month-long member, I was also fortunate enough to try some of the studio’s other class varieties. Amped Up is basically the same as Signature, but with extra abs, more challenges, and a little less stretching–it’s my personal fave. F.I.T. focuses on seat work and arm work, and you move through class without any stretching until the end. Cardio Burn moves through four “sprints” of different exercises (a mix of glutes, arms, thighs, and abs) and is again nonstop. You will die during this one. I blacked out during S.B.T. but I’ve been told it’s nonstop barre with extra cardio added. I didn’t take the beginner class, but I’ve heard it’s still a really good workout.
Teachers are arguably one of the highlights of P57. Everyone is so freaking nice! They make you feel right at home, often times learn your name, never stop smiling, and offer tons of adjustments (but not enough to make you feel self-conscious). I’ve taken a bunch of instructors, including:
- Kiya – Kiya remembered me after I hadn’t taken her class in months, which is amazing. She’s super sweet and I swear she was Snow White in a past life (and if not, she should really look into the role of Snow White at Disney World–serious twinning going on).
- Morgan – uses the phrase “y’all” a lot, which I love. “Just ten more, y’all!” – Morgan, probably.
- Jason – kind of reminds me of the “pieces of flair” guy from office space; his energy resonates in a salesman-pitch kind of way. Still a great teacher though and definitely motivating.
- Julianne – runs a tough class and is super friendly.
- Lauren R. – Super motivating, will basically provide inspiration throughout class.
- Sarah M. – super peppy, includes more dance-y moves in her class usually. Her standing split is what dreams are made of.
- Shannon – has clearly been teaching for a while–she provides great cues, motivation, and adjustments. She’s the one on the giant mural at the entrance to the FiDi studio, and I always wonder if that’s weird for her.
- Sade – will kill you (in a good way). Her classes are hard AF! I understand why they’re always packed with regulars.
Physique has four locations: 57th Street (midtown), Upper West Side, Spring Street (Soho), and FiDi. FiDi is their newest studio and definitely the nicest–it’s spacious, and the classrooms overlook the water (as well as offices, including one office COMPLETELY full of papers from floor to ceiling; seriously, I couldn’t look away, the office owner needs an intervention. wtf). Spring Street is also spacious but a little more old-school–you have to bring your own lock. They also had their building’s AC out for literally half of the summer, which was BRUTAL. Upper West is super nice and right off of the ⅔ subway, which is convenient. The 57th street studio is their flagship location and while it’s nice, it’s definitely the smallest and very cramped.
The clientele here is basically all rich women, ages 30 and above, sprinkled with the occasional twenty-something and mob wife. I’ve overheard multiple conversations about diamonds here, if that’s any indication of what you’re working with. Definitely wear your Lululemon or the equivalent.
In conclusion, this is the best barre workout in the city. They should be paying me to write this. Go try it out. Seriously, why are you still reading this?
Drop-in classes are $36. New students can purchase a two-for-one $36 deal.