A new fitness-service website called FITiST held a launch event last night called "The Ultimate Fitness Class," and some Go Healthy New York bloggers and readers were there to sample some of the workouts. The program included (from first to last):
Food Matters NYC was also on hand to offer food and beverages.
We regrouped this morning to chat about the event. Here's a slightly edited transcript of our (slightly) long but (very) fun conversation!
Mallory Stuchin: Hi everyone
Dori Manela: Hi!
Michelle: Hi guys!
Alison Feller: Good morning!
Mallory: Who else is super sore?
Alison: Um, totally
Dori: Just the insides of my elbow area
Alison: Too. Many. Planks.
Dori: i think from the FlyBarre section
Alison: All those weight things during FlyBarre worked me goooood
Sarah Levy: clearly i'd been neglecting my abs...
Sarah: i LOVED the arms portion of flybarre - in an "i hated it" way
Mallory: I'Ve been neglecting my crazy bootcamp jumps
I did not care for those
Alison: Oh gosh, I never want to do another squat thrust
Dori: i actually love jumpbacks, but did not love the bootcamp
Michelle: Haha, sounds like it was pretty intense... So give me the deets -- what was the event about, and what was it like walking in?
Sarah: When I walked in, I assumed the studio we were gathering at was "FITiST," but the premise is a website that sort of serves as a versatile, one-stop-shop for fitness
Mallory: I had the chance to speak with the founder of the program a bit
Mallory: She was great and explained FITiST
The idea is that FITiST will work in conjunction with boutique exercise programs- like bootcamp and flybarre to create personalized programs for the individual
You join as a monthly member and then have access to all of the different workout progams
Sarah: From what I understood, you pay for a plan/program, and then you get access to the affiliated studios
Mallory: So, for example, if you're a marathon runner and want to combine yoga, weight training and pilates, you can sign up and go to all different workouts and book them through fitist
Mallory: They are also working in conjunction with health coordinator types who can help customize a plan for the individual
Sarah: I think its point is to be a loophole for those who like to try out different studios/boutiques in the city
Sarah: Rather than paying for a million different classes/membership fees, you get access to a variety of workouts
Alison: It also seems like a great idea for people who don't want to belong to just one gym.
Dori: i know they offer last minute discounts too
Dori: so if a flybarre class isnt full, theyll let their own fitist members get in at a cheaper price
Mallory: Well that's cool
Alison: Nice. That's pretty cool, I like that
Michelle: Oh, kind of like a Priceline for fitness classes then? Cool!
Dori: thats a good way of putting it
Mallory: Thats exactly what it is
Michelle: So tell me about the event
Alison: Well when I first walked in I was thrilled — that space was gorgeous and it was set up really nicely
Alison: All quality stuff: Lululemon yoga mats, SmartWater, etc.
Dori: yes and lots of Zico coconut water, all flavors.. my favorite
Mallory: I know!
Sarah: it was GORGEOUS
Alison: I loved the big windows, the gorgeous kitchen (the quinoa brownies...)
Mallory: Large loft, yoga mats, weights, picos everywhere
Dori: it looked like a loft apartment
but a giant one
Alison: And they had two strapping young men (in my opinion—hehe) who were constantly setting up the mats, rolling out new ones, etc., so we didn't have to do it ourselves
Dori: not my type
Alison: I felt confused, but I felt taken care of. I loved the water out everywhere, the abundance of fresh towels
Dori: yes! we were very provided for
there were healthy baked treats and smoothies
Sarah: There was a great culinary nutritionist in the kitchen
with delicious cookies
Michelle: Was it kind of a like a circuit deal? Or did everyone do the same activity at once?
Dori: same activity at once
Alison: Everyone did the same activity
We started with yoga
Dori: we started with yoga with kristin mcgee
shes a big name
Michelle: How was the yoga?
Sarah: Yea, Kristin McGee does Bethenny Frankel's videos with her
Dori: good! i thought it was a really nice stretch to ease into the rest
Alison: It was fine. It was tough to get into it because of all the background noise, but I liked easing into the workout
And Kristin was adorable
I'd definitely take class with her again. She adjusted me in Downward Dog and I wanted to cry it hurt so good.
Dori: i would too
i would like to
Sarah: I actually started doing Kristin McGee's videos when I was in high school - so it was fun to see her in person!
Not sure where/if she teaches in the city though
Dori: she does
she teaches at a couple places
Alison: I would have loved a printout with all the classes we took, the names of the instructors, where they teach, etc. That would've been helpful
Michelle: Melissa just sent me a write-up and she said "Kristin set herself apart from the other instructors by being one of the most friendly and encouraging instructors I have met. She consistently said, "Great,' 'You all look gorgeous,' 'and 'This is beautiful.'"
Mallory: She did say that a lot
Sarah: Definitely the most personable
Sarah: Slash, she didn't yell at us like the bootcamp/kickboxing instructors
So that was pleasant
Alison: Yeah even though yoga wasn't my favorite, SHE was my favorite
See now...I liked being yelled at :)
Alison: After yoga we did boxing! I liked that, too.
Dori: i didnt love that
Michelle: Was that the Aerobox?
Alison: Lots of fast punching
Dori: i thought it was a little boring
Sarah: It was fast-paced, but a little repetitive/predictable
Alison: I liked it because that was when I really started to SWEAT—my favorite workouts are ones that have me dripping
Sarah: Nothing we haven't seen in Tae Bo
Dori: i dont like that it was uneven
Alison: I also didn't like that we never switched sides!
Dori: we did everything on one side
Dori: nothing on the other
Dori: i wonder if my left elbow being sore is because of only doing uppercuts on that side
Mallory: It was kind of bizarre to go from one workout to the next and so on but I think it gave us a good sense of how versatile the program can be
Sarah: Absolutely agree - the idea behind FITiST is "muscle confusion"
Mallory: It was a promo
I mean, we all get the point
Mallory: It was an amuse bouche to their fitness style
Alison: Well said
Sarah: And last night was a great example of ping-ponging between completely different fitness styles
Michelle: For sure... what was after boxing?
Alison: After boxing we did Pilates, right?
Dori: Real Pilates
i liked that one, found it challenging and my abs burned the entire time
i now want to go there and take a class
Michelle: Melissa said the instructor's lecturing "felt a bit patronizing"... but that "she really emphasized form, and her corrections made a huge difference."
Alison: I didn't like that one. I thought the instructor was a little annoying :-/
Dori: she was annoying
but the workout was great i thought
Sarah: I agree - it was a bit preachy
Mallory: She was very traditional in her approach to the method. It was tough but that's how pilates was founded
Alison: I honestly don't remember the moves we did in that one
Dori: she was really trying to sell us on pilates
Alison: But pilates is pilates is pilates to me
Dori: a lot of chair pose with weights
Sarah: in that she promoted her style of pilates as the real, most accurate approach to the method
Alison: oh right right. arms back by the elbows.
Dori: it seemed different than all the other pilates ive taken actually
Alison: sorry, by the ears
Dori: thats why i liked it
Sarah: I think that what she was going for
Mallory: She was straight out of the Joseph Pilates textbook. Now in gyms we get a mess of workouts. I liked that she was back to the basics
Sarah: She was trying to get back to the basics
Ha - exactly
Mallory: Sarah we are so on the same page!
Michelle: Definitely different instruction types for different folks! And after that was the Warrior Fitness Bootcamp, right?
not my kind of thing
Dori: but a great workout
Mallory: So much yelling!
Alison: This was my favorite.
Sarah: Very military
Alison: I'm all about the kind of cardio that makes me feel like my heart is going to beat out of my chest.
Dori: they would say we were doing 15 push-ups, but then they would make us start over a hundred times because one person didnt yell out the count
Alison: I liked the drills, the two lines and the yelling
Sarah: We were lined up in two rows
Alison: We did the class in two vertical lines, not all spread out
Mallory: Agreed, however I remember thinking that if I were a FITist member and took bootcamp classes for a month it would be a great complement to my other workouts
Dori: it was all exercises i knew from Refine Method
but taught in a way that bothered me
Michelle: Alison, probably goes back to the whole "yelling motivates me" thing for you, right?
Dori: yelling does not motivate me!
Alison: I liked that we were doing the same hardcore, ass-kicking type of stuff that military dudes do. That's kind of empowering.
He wasn't treating us like pretty girls in Lululemon clothes
Sarah: I actually liked how minimalistic it was - very 'back to the basics' with the exercise we did
Alison: Sorry, they* not "he"
Two guys taught
Dori: the actual exercises i liked, but as i said, i do those in Refine all the time
Dori: and no one there yells at me!
Alison: They wanted us to sweat
Michelle: What kind of exercises were they?
Alison: Lots of jumping jacks
Sarah: Burpees, jumping jacks
Alison: Squat thrusts
Sarah: pushups, planks
Mallory: I give them points for clear instruction and simple exercises
Alison: Again, all basic stuff
Mallory: Not easy, but simple to follow
Alison: But I find that yelling the counts makes me work twice as hard
Dori: it was the stopping and starting over
i like knowing how to pace myself
Alison: You're forced to further engage your core and focus more on breathing so you can scream the numbers
Dori: so i can pace myself for 15 reps
Dori: but when they tell us 15 and it ends up being 25 because they make us all start over
that annoys me
Mallory: I liked that
Alison: I felt the opposite
Mallory: It keeps you honest
Dori: i had to sit out the last ones
because i paced myself for 15 and worked hard in the beginning
Alison: Yeah, I thought I was going to do 15 reps...but then I'm forced to do 20 and realize that I'm capable of that. It was a good push
Dori: and i realize im not!
Sarah: I agree - and I liked that it encouraged participation
Alison: Yeah the "move as one unit" thing I liked
Sarah: No one wanted to be the person not counting off or participating that made everyone start over
Dori: the person in front of me didnt count at all
Michelle: Melissa said, "the instructors were loud and demanding, but they had a hint of playful attitude and congratulated us at the end."
Michelle: After was ReAB Pilates? What is that?
Alison: Blech. Didn't love.
Sarah: This was more of today's pilates
Dori: i didnt like the second pilates
Mallory: By ReABpilates we were all exhausted
Sarah: All of the moves you'd find in a standard studio/gym class
Alison: I just wanted to lay down
(or eat brownies)
Mallory: Me too
Michelle: Haha... so nothing especially exciting, huh?
Sarah: It was also difficult because we took breaks between the 15 minute workouts
and it's SO easy to fall out of 'workout mode'
Alison: Yeah, it wasn't structured at all
Sarah: especially when you're taking 8 mini classes
Dori: and they started late
Michelle: Okay, what about the last one? FlyBarre?
i loved it
Alison: Flybarre was great, even though I was beat by that point
Alison: After bootcamp I seriously debated between getting back on the mat or drinking a glass of wine
Dori: their music was phenomenal and timed perfectly
Mallory: I. Loved. Flybarre.
Dori: the arm section was impossibly hard
Sarah: I really liked FlyBarre - it was the one workout that made me want to try out the studio
Alison: The girls were adorable. Super cute. I appreciate an attractive leader, is that bad?
Dori: it was better than the class i tried in the studio actually
Sarah: No, I agree
Alison: Yeah they came off as the most prepared and professional
Dori: i want to go back and take it with one of them
Sarah: Good motivation
Alison: They were very polished, very put together and worked well together
Mallory: I mean, we are all intensely in their target demographic
Dori: it was an intense, perfectly timed 15 minutes that worked everything
Mallory: But with that, they sold it really well...we all bought it!
Alison: Also, the name alone carries a heavy weight. FlyBarre & FlyWheel have a great reputation, so I felt like I wanted to work hard to impress them
Sarah: Absolutely - they managed to hit most of the basic portions of a barre class
Alison: Also, if doing FlyBarre means I'll look like the little instructor, then game on
Dori: and their music was just so fun
right! her butt!
Alison: So perky! Hehe
Dori: they went around making corrections too
Mallory: I was next to two guys who were having a hard time. It's always kind of motivating to feel strong in a workout that is tough for guys too
Dori: which is so important
Michelle: LOL! What's the music like for FlyBarre?
Oh, the poor dudes.
Sarah: Very Z100
Mallory: Pop hits
Dori: and the exercises were timed to them
Mallory: We might as well have been at jingle ball
Dori: so we stopped the arm work as soon as the song ended
Dori: it was all just choreographed so well
Sarah: I actually wish I'd gotten their names - because I'd love to take a class with either of them
Alison: Again, a onesheet would have been helpful!
Michelle: Sounds like you all loved it... and as a whole, I think each workout appealed to at least one of you, which goes back to what one of you were saying, about it being a kind of amuse-bouche
Mallory: A single bite of each workout. I'd go back for more of many
Alison: Yes, very true
And the brownies were really good. Did I mention that yet?
I was a big fan.
Dori: the cookies were better
Michelle: And there were reps from food and beverage companies there?
Alison: I'm not sure who the food ladies were.
Dori: i have no idea, but our gift bags had a bar that was labeled -- same company maybe?
Dori: it was like a personal chef type company
cant remember the name right now
Mallory: She was from Food Matters
Mallory: Great cookies
Dori: that bar in the gift bag was delicious
Michelle: Yum... so how did the event end?
Dori: Alison and I left after flybarre
there were 2 more workouts
but they started so late and it was almost 9
Alison: Yeah I was beat...most people had left by that point. I felt bad, but it went tooooo long
Mallory: It was a lot of exercise but a solid event
I mean, I see how many classes I could take through FITiST
Alison: It's a good idea for sure.
Dori: yes i was happy that it all felt like a real workout
Michelle: Would you sign up for FITist after that event, do you think? Or recommend it to others?
Alison: Personally I wouldn't because I already belong to a full-service gym.
Mallory: I would!
Dori: i would like to do a trial membership if possible
see how it works
Alison: But I would recommend it to people who aren't sure what they want or who want to try lots of different things.
Michelle: Could it be too overwhelming for people who are new to working out altogether?
Dori: no i bet they would ease people into it based on their fitness levels -- at least i hope they would
Mallory: I think it would actually be perfect for that person. They would create a program specifically for you and walk you through it
Alison: And the studios are all boutique studios where you're likely to get more direct attention than at a big gym
Alison: That could be reassuring
Michelle: Cool! So, closing thoughts on the event, on FITiST?
Sarah: I love the idea of FITiST - I'm actually kind of surprised no one has centralized boutique fitness prior to this
Mallory: I think it's a great concept
Alison: I'm so glad I was able to attend and to try things I may not have signed up for on my own. It's a smart idea for one-stop fitness shopping.
Sarah: I like that it makes boutique fitness more accessible - and also that it allows you to try a good amount of affiliates
Dori: especially for people who go to a gym and have no idea what to do
this will give them a focused, effective means of working out
Sarah: One of the worst things about private studios is that you really need to commit to one type of workout to get any sort of loyalty rewards (i.e. purchasing monthly passes or large class packages)
Sarah: And FITist remedies that
Michelle: This was great, ladies! Thanks so much for joining and chatting!
Mallory: Good chat! Later ladies
Dori: bye bye
Alison: Great to meet you guys!
Good chat. Have a great day everyone!
Sarah: Enjoy your afternoon, guys!
FITiST bills itself as the "first one-stop booking website for fitness and willness," and offers 10 different workout plans with access to popular workout studios in New York City. The plans have names like "Intense," "Slim," "Body & Soul," "Bride," "New Mom," and "Rookie," and range in price from $150 to $760 a month, and are offered in one- to three-month chunks. You'll be able to book your classes and manage your schedule on the FITiST website, which is currently in beta.