A Truly Smart Workout

I’m excited to tell you all about a really cool gym I had the opportunity to try out. After reading Melissa’s experience at SmartWorkout, I knew I had to see what this place was all about. The main reason?

Just look at this class schedule!

I can identify so many classes I would LOVE  to take on a regular basis. Some of the ones that most appeal to me are trampolines, swing, cheerleading, dance to the hits, broadway blast and, of course, spin! I’d never get bored!

So when they contacted me to offer me a free pilates reformer and personal training session? I was there! I originally tried to schedule my two sessions on the same day to save time, but there was no availability for personal training on the day I chose pilates.  We decided I would attend the pilates class and while I was there, schedule my training session.

First, let me tell you a little about SmartWorkout.

From the website:

Smart Workout is a beautiful facility: comfortable, sunny, and spotless. Our bathrooms, sauna, and steam, are all private; our towels are full body and fluffy. Our environment is welcoming (everybody REALLY knows your name). We offer camaraderie, but never huge crowds.

We pamper you: we give you a “reminder” call every time you schedule a workout; we provide complementary tea service; and hair twisties for the forgetful. We even set up your equipment and put it away for you!

Everything at Smart Workout is designed to make you feel at home.

Smart Workout

All true. Elaine, the owner, explained to me that she created this gym with everything she didn’t like about the bigger gyms in mind. She wasn’t comfortable changing in front of everyone, so SmartWorkout has private bathrooms and changing rooms. Sometimes she forgot a ponytail holder, so they are available for free at SmartWorkout! Membership is capped at 300, so you will never feel cramped like you would at other classes in gyms.

When you walk in, you feel like you are in a living room. There is a little area with a comfy red couch, chairs and magazines. When classes are in session in this area, they move these things off to the side. That center area is where the majority of the classes take place. On one end of the studio is a circuit of hydraulic weight machines. You can use the machines as you normally would, or you can turn on their Curves-style circuit workout, where a voice will instruct you to “change stations now.” If you go around to all the machines 3 times, it takes 27 minutes and provides you with a great full body strength workout! You get some cardio in there too, as you work work work until you switch and then you work work work some more.

They also have a cute little store.

Smart Workout store

SmartWorkout uses hydraulic machines so the machine keeps up with your muscles. When you tire out, you won’t be working on a resistance that it too hard for you — and in turn, won’t get injured. And we all know how annoying my injuries are.

Smart Workout hydraulic

On the other side of the studio is the pilates reformer session, where 4 reformer machines reside. In another corner is the cardio section, which is comprised of two treadmills, one elliptical and one recumbent bike. You might think this sounds like nothing and people must be fighting over the machines. False. I found out that no one has ever had to wait for a machine. This is partly because of the membership cap and partly because there are always such great classes going on, people want to do those!

There is a treadmill class that sounds awesome called Tread N Shead. In this class (of 2 people), they give each participant a Polar Heart Rate Monitor to wear! The class — which includes no running — is taught in a way where each participant works in their optimum heart rate zone the entire time. This allows them to work at their ideal intensity for meeting their goals, whether they are losing weight or getting more in shape or both. The instructor will have each person do their own thing — move their arms, go faster, etc based on where their heart rate is. I love my HRM and can’t imagine being without it, so I think this is very cool!

Down a narrow winding staircase is where spin and yoga are taught. Not at the same time! For spin, there are 3 bikes in a row, with one (the instructor’s) facing them. I was surprised — and a little disappointed — to see the bikes were not SPD compatible, meaning there were no clips for my spin shoes. I come from a hardcore gym where spin shoes were the norm, and after caving in and getting my own pair I know the difference they make in the workout. They really allow you to pull UP with the pedal instead of only pushing down. But that is okay! I am not a snob, I just love all things spin.

Pilates instructors all must go through a certification program at the facility. There is a pilates instructor who was with the gym from the beginning who is supposed to be PHENOMENAL. Her name is Megan and it is her responsibility to train all people who come to work at SmartWorkout so they learn her amazing style. And SmartWorkout offers this certification program to anyone — so if you want to be certified in teaching pilates reformers, you can get trained there! Find out more here.

Some more info on pilates reformer training, from their site:

Training with the aid of the Pilates Reformer equipment, helps you:

Shape long, strong, and sleek muscles – Improve flexibility and balance – Strengthen your back and improve posture – Decrease stress and improve energy level

Personal training is not expensive at all here, I must add! It is $450 for 10 sessions for members, $800 for non members. At my old gym it was well over $100 a session. Do the math.

Yoga instructors, in addition to their 200 hour certification, are also trained in-house to align with SmartWorkout’s goals.

And they also offer pole dancing.

Pole SmartWorkout

It’s already been 3 weeks since I first went there for pilates! How time flies when it’s summer, huh? Grr. I arrived early — very early — and they weren’t even open yet! Oops.  Guess I should have checked their hours before I arrived. All was good since a Starbucks was right across the street and I just bought In Defense of Food that day!

When it was time for class, I went back and was shown the locker area. The keys are already in the locks so you never have to lug around your own heavy lock or worry about forgetting it. A big plus for me!

When I was waiting for class to begin, the founder of the company asked me if I wanted to stay for trampolines after! Of course I said “yes!” Many of the classes here alternate each week. Trampolines and spin were on an alternating schedule, and I am VERY lucky that trampolines was the class that week because I arrived in flip flops and would not have been able to take any class (like spin) requiring shoes. Luckily, I’ve done trampolines (rebounding) countless times at my old, old gym (Crunch) and knew I didn’t need sneaks! And rebounding was my favorite class at Crunch and I miss it so much. I was always upset that my last gym, The Sports Club/LA, had trampolines but offered no rebounding classes. So, needless to say, I was thrilled to be offered the chance to take this class.

Bur first, I had to get through pilates.

Pilates reformers sessions at SmartWorkout are free. No other gym offers this service. Last summer when I was in a very unhappy place with my weight, my body, my GI problems and my eating, I decided to use my stimulus check (remember that? oh the things I could have done with it. Like, SAVE IT) on 6 pilates sessions at my very expensive gym. (I am no longer a member). And I was already paying a LOT for the gym. Hindsight is always 20/20 but I had never done pilates reformer before and thought it might really help me. I also had not heard of Core Fusion or Physique 57 at that time, which are both much cheaper.

So it bears repeating that pilates reformers sessions are FREE with your SmartWorkout membership. Amazing!

There are 4 reformers which means a small, personalized class of at most 4 people. Some classes fill up, some don’t. Mine did, but I still got so much attention. My instructor Sandy was very helpful. The other ladies knew everything to do! They must take these classes all the time. Good for them! Shows that this gym is working out for them. I, on the other hand, knew nothing. Sandy was amazing with helping me position myself and doing the exercises properly. I told her about my shoulder injury (although not until midway through the class. i forgot!) and she was helpful with showing me alternative movements to avoid further injury.

If you have never taken a reformer session before, you probably think these pulley machines look easy. I used to think so. We are all wrong. It is HARD. Hundreds were extra painful on there, and most of the exercises required working the abs in addition to legs or arms. Although when class was done, I didn’t think I was worked too hard.

And then I woke up the next day, sore all over. The good sore, the sore where you know the workout is actually working and transforming your body.

SmartWorkout

But I digress. Back to the day of my workout! After pilates I was happy to take trampolines and get some sweat in. I had plans to go for a run later in the afternoon with the boy but I missed trampolines so much and figured I could decide later if I wanted to run as well. (I didn’t. I ended up rescheduling that run to Monday morning, and started my tradition of Monday morning runs. Todays was AMAZING by the way — ran pain free a little over 3 miles!)

Trampolines was held in the center of the gym. They have enough space for 4 people to take this class, but on this day it was just me and one other lady who was in pilates with me. I loved it! The lady and the instructor, Sandy again, clearly have taken a bunch of classes together and were just talking about their weekends and workouts in general. It felt very comfortable and I spoke up when I could! But that didn’t mean the workout was easy. It was just as tough as any rebounding class. We held weights during part of it and did moves that burned my arms! We also stopped to do strength training exercises during the class as well. The music is set up in playlists specifically for each class, and the trampolines music was fantastic. When class ended, I was SWEATY.

They asked me if I wanted to stay for the next class, which was a Body Wedge 21 class. As much as I wanted to stay, I was wiped out from the others, so I declined. How generous of them, though!

At this time, I got the grand tour of the facility. Elaine spent SO much time telling me everything about the gym’s conception to how it is run now. Elaine used to be a laywer, by the way, who was frustrated with the big gyms, as I mentioned earlier. This truly is a unique business model, and I hope they decide to expand! Where else can you take all these small, fun classes — that have a schedule that never stops — without feeling packed into a room like sardines!

I scheduled my next training session on a day where spin was given, since I miss spin and the owner said I could take another class for free – how generous! So I went back a few days later. I was all set for spin, with my HRM and sweatband on and ready to go. And . . . I was the only person in the class!

Now, there are only 3 spots in a spin class, with a 4th bike for the instructor. But still! A one-on-one spin class! I never in my life thought I’d be doing one of those. It was really cool because the instructor (Megan) and I talked the entire time. The time went so fast!

A couple of caveats. There are spin playlists, but Megan wasn’t using one this night. She had Pandora set to an 80s station, which was cool, but I am used to instructors who plan their classes — hills, sprints, jumps, RPM — based on the song. And Megan explained to me that they usually do this at SmartWorkout as well. I think it was because she switched with another instructor and she didn’t plan on teaching spin when I was there. And I do have to say, the 80s mix was fun, especially having no idea what song was coming next! And all the songs were great!

I did feel like I might have known a little more — or at least the same — about spin as the instructor. Like I said, these bikes didn’t have SPD clips or RPM computers, and I feel like my spin obsession of yesteryear (yestermonth?) taught me a LOT. We also relied on my HRM for the time. That said, I was VERY sweaty and burned more calories than I  typically do in a spin class. It was awesome!

After class, we were both kinda beat, it was late and so we decided to move my training to another time. Fine by me!

I arrived the next week for my training session and it was with Sandy, my instructor from the first day in pilates and trampolines. Training sessions are divided equally between strength and cardio. Sandy asked me what I wanted to do for the cardio aspect and I left the decision up to her. After all, I wanted to get the experience of someone who is training for the first time and might not know anything about the options. She chose elliptical and I went on it for 15 minutes while we chatted. I was slightly disappointed that something different, like kickboxing (as Melissa had done) wasn’t chosen, but I was fine with elliptical — and I had every opportunity to say I wanted to do something else if I had wanted to.

My goal was to go through this based on the trainer’s recommendations to see how they work.

Elliptical was good, I worked up quite a sweat in just 15 minutes, and then we moved to the floor for strength moves. We did a lot of abs, and it was all very challenging! We moved on to some arm and leg work using a big exercise ball. I even had to get on the ball on my stomach and raise and lower a kettlebell. HARD. You think that ball looks easy but it is so hard! I really had to work my abs hard to hold my body up while doing any arms or legs exercises I was doing at the time.

Overall, a solid workout.

I absolutely loved my experience at SmartWorkout. After my first session there, I was calculating in my head to figure out just how annoying it would be to get from their studio (located conveniently — for everyone but me) near Grand Central station to the boy’s, but alas it is just too difficult. In the summer, not too bad. In the winter, I would never make it. So unless they expand to the Upper West Side (they do hope to expand, but no plans are set as of yet) I will have to try and score some more guest passes!

A great deal
So this gym is a tad pricier than the New York Sports Club, but keep in mind what you are getting for your $145 a month —

Small class size — no more than 4 in a class, sometimes less come so it is like personal training
Class variety – Lots of strength and cardio classes, you can really do it all
Personal attention — you will be doing every exercise correctly, they make sure of it
Individual Bathrooms and Showers – no locker rooms here, lots of privacy
Giant, fluffy towels – no tiny dishtowels to try and cover your whole body
Highly trained instructors, especially in pilates reformer and yoga – ’nuff said
A community environment where people know each other and like each other – what gym has THAT! the cameraderie was there, i saw it myself as these ladies all talked and discussed their lives with each other
An alternating class schedule – if you can only go on Mondays and Wednesdays at 6, you will get 4 classes to take instead of 2, as they alternate each week. no more boredom!
plus, the entire schedule changes quaterly so you can try it all out!

Interested? I say go and check it out for yourself. And if you decide to join you will get 10% off your membership my mentioning Dori’s Shiny Blog! Or save 10% on training sessions, reformer sessions, a pole dancing party or fitness mixer!

I really do wish I could join, but it just isn’t convenient for me.

27 comments on A Truly Smart Workout

  1. Missy
    July 27, 2009 at 4:32 pm (8 years ago)

    Sounds amazing! I have to set up my schedule so I can try it out! I really want to do rebounding since Self Workout in the Park was only 20 minutes!

    Reply
  2. melissa
    July 27, 2009 at 7:44 pm (8 years ago)

    Dori, you always have the best reviews. You are so thorough and articulate!

    I am glad you loved smart workout. pilates reformer is really fun!

    We have to get together to catch up! xoxo

    Reply
  3. how much are garage doors
    March 28, 2014 at 6:17 pm (3 years ago)

    They are also the entry through which very many people enter their homes at
    the end of long days. Palladium style windows, if they match the decor of your
    house can really make an great impression.
    Just as you did before, watch for any glowing items,
    since you’ll want to be able to build a new lock grinder in a moment.
    how much are garage doors´s last blog post ..how much are garage doors

    Reply
  4. local lawn mowing
    March 30, 2014 at 4:29 pm (3 years ago)

    Take into consideration the properties in your area, their sizes and the amount
    of work homeowners usually put into their lawn care.
    But feeling the temptation to have an affair isn’t the very same issue as
    having it. Get some tips on calculating the value of your time and learn how to prioritize your tasks more
    effectively.
    local lawn mowing´s last blog post ..local lawn mowing

    Reply
  5. el libro troll
    September 22, 2014 at 2:57 pm (3 years ago)

    Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking a few
    minutes and actual effort to create a great article… but what can I say… I hesitate a lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.
    el libro troll´s last blog post ..el libro troll

    Reply
  6. homak gun safe
    September 23, 2014 at 12:05 am (3 years ago)

    I never owned a gun whereas my kids were at residence (adult youngsters now) but nonetheless lock it
    up to make theft a bit tougher. I hope this fast gun access
    technique was not in use in the case of the little three outdated’s dying.
    Detective Owens weapon was locked in his protected and certainly one of his youngsters discovered
    methods to open it. Very unhappy case.
    homak gun safe´s last blog post ..homak gun safe

    Reply
  7. Top eleven hack,top eleven token hack
    September 25, 2014 at 5:53 am (3 years ago)

    Do you have a spam problem on this blog; I also am a blogger,
    and I was wantiing to know your situation; we have developed some nice methods and we are looking to trade techniques with other folks, be sure to shoot
    me ann email if interested.
    Top eleven hack,top eleven token hack´s last blog post ..Top eleven hack,top eleven token hack

    Reply
  8. Bonnie
    September 25, 2014 at 7:03 pm (3 years ago)

    You are so cool! I don’t believe I’ve read
    through a single thing like this before. So good to find somebody
    with some original thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously..
    thanks for starting this up. This site is something that is required on the internet, someone with a bit of originality!
    Bonnie´s last blog post ..Bonnie

    Reply
  9. jumping castle except
    September 25, 2014 at 11:02 pm (3 years ago)

    excellent points altogether, you simply won a emblem new reader.
    What may you recommend about your put up that you just made a few days in the
    past? Any positive?
    jumping castle except´s last blog post ..jumping castle except

    Reply
  10. Delmar
    September 27, 2014 at 10:14 pm (3 years ago)

    Now I am going away to do my breakfast, once having my breakfast coming again to read additional news.
    Delmar´s last blog post ..Delmar

    Reply
  11. Caridad
    September 28, 2014 at 4:36 am (3 years ago)

    great submit, very informative. I wonder why the opposite specialists
    of this sector do not notice this. You must proceed your writing.
    I’m sure, you have a great readers’ base already!
    Caridad´s last blog post ..Caridad

    Reply
  12. Elite Forskolin
    September 30, 2014 at 11:24 pm (3 years ago)

    Good day! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok.

    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.
    Elite Forskolin´s last blog post ..Elite Forskolin

    Reply
  13. riot points gratis
    October 2, 2014 at 10:25 pm (3 years ago)

    Pretty element of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I get actually enjoyed
    account your weblog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing in your augment and even I fulfillment you get admission to consistently rapidly.
    riot points gratis´s last blog post ..riot points gratis

    Reply
  14. Valeria
    October 3, 2014 at 3:40 pm (3 years ago)

    Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell
    and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the
    shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off
    topic but I had to tell someone!
    Valeria´s last blog post ..Valeria

    Reply
  15. espresso shop
    October 6, 2014 at 2:25 pm (3 years ago)

    I am not sure where you’re getting your information,
    but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.

    Thanks for great information I was looking for this info for my mission.
    espresso shop´s last blog post ..espresso shop

    Reply
  16. Faux stone column wraps
    October 6, 2014 at 8:54 pm (3 years ago)

    I was very pleased to uncover this site. I want to to
    thank you for your time for this wonderful read!!
    I definitely savored every bit of it and i also have you saved to fav
    to check out new things in your blog.
    Faux stone column wraps´s last blog post ..Faux stone column wraps

    Reply
  17. phpdugsites.info
    October 7, 2014 at 6:47 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi there, all is going nicely here and ofcourse
    every one is sharing information, that’s in fact excellent, keep up writing.
    phpdugsites.info´s last blog post ..phpdugsites.info

    Reply
  18. trans ticino
    October 8, 2014 at 3:53 pm (3 years ago)

    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation?
    My site has a lot of completely unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of
    it is popping it up all over the web without my agreement.
    Do you know any ways to help prevent content from being stolen? I’d really appreciate it.
    trans ticino´s last blog post ..trans ticino

    Reply
  19. Brooks
    October 9, 2014 at 12:25 pm (3 years ago)

    How does the usage of the loan itself. The United loans
    States of America Merrill Lynch aand Citi, while a real help.
    Qualifying for instant loans even if your credit
    history? The interest rate can mean different things to
    look at other loans. Federal Student Aid as part
    of the rate of interest by opting for the repayments. One
    needs to do everything it touches. You just get email after email, text
    payday loans in co-ops, which you can offer you any
    unsavoury tips.
    Brooks´s last blog post ..Brooks

    Reply
  20. voyance
    October 10, 2014 at 9:59 pm (3 years ago)

    excellent iszues altogether, you just received a logo new reader.

    What might you suggest in regards to your publish that you just made a
    few days in the past? Anny certain?
    voyance´s last blog post ..voyance

    Reply
  21. Myrna
    October 15, 2014 at 5:30 pm (3 years ago)

    I enjoy reading through an article that can make men and women think.
    Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!
    Myrna´s last blog post ..Myrna

    Reply
  22. Jada
    January 30, 2015 at 1:10 pm (3 years ago)

    Hey There. I found your blog the usage of msn. This is a very smartly written article.

    I will be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of
    your helpful information. Thank you for the post. I will certainly comeback.
    Jada´s last blog post ..Jada

    Reply
  23. Felipa
    September 5, 2015 at 4:03 pm (2 years ago)

    Aw, this was a really good post. Spending some time and
    actual effort to generate a toop notch article… but what can I say… I
    put things ooff a loot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.
    Felipa´s last blog post ..Felipa

    Reply
  24. Csgobet.gg
    November 28, 2015 at 8:27 pm (2 years ago)

    The following Score Chain example is for Coalition players in Mo – H Multiplayer
    Round:. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was built with the latest version of Valve’s Source
    Engine. SMG Expert I, II, and III – Headshot 5, 25, and 50 players with SMGs.
    Csgobet.gg´s last blog post ..Csgobet.gg

    Reply
  25. technews
    December 1, 2015 at 9:04 am (2 years ago)

    I read this post fully regarding the resemblance of newest and previous technologies,
    it’s awesome article.
    technews´s last blog post ..technews

    Reply
  26. du lịch cô tô giá rẻ
    March 30, 2016 at 1:46 pm (1 year ago)

    It’s actually very complicated in this busy life to listen news on TV, thus
    I simply use web for that purpose, and obtain the newest information.
    du lịch cô tô giá rẻ´s last blog post ..du lịch cô tô giá rẻ

    Reply

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge