While it is no secret that Core Fusion is my preferred bar class of choice, I am always open to trying other studios out. In fact, Core Fusion was not the first class I tried. Prior to really getting involved in Core Fusion, I took two Physique 57 classes, one The Body class, two Nalini Method classes (not counting the third I recently tried). I reviewed those initial classes without having Core Fusion to even compare them to!
And while I enjoyed each of those experiences, I didn’t feel compelled to get memberships at the time. It wasn’t until I fell in love with the strength-in-stillness style and motivation teachers at Core Fusion that I knew this style of exercise was for me.
So when I met Physique 57′s social media manager at a Travelzoo blog event and she invited me in to try two more classes, of course I said yes!
With my hip injury, I can’t take a regular Physique 57 class right now, for the same reasons I can’t take Core Fusion. So I looked into my other options and found two classes that sounded like they could work for me: Mat 57 and Abs & Arms Booster. Mat 57 was offered at a time I could make it last week, and so I went.
From their website:
Mat 57® offers a:
Comprehensive workout. Mat 57® improves balance, posture, and alignment through targeted exercises that strengthen and lengthen every major muscle group. Mat 57® incorporates cardio, toning and stretching to intensify the workout and challenge each student.
Quick tempo. Mat 57® offers all of the proven benefits of Pilates while increasing stamina through a more athletic and high-energy routine.
Class was at the Spring Street location in SoHo. I had been to this location once before, and to the 57th street location once as well.
- The retail shop had a gorgeous selection of workout and relaxation clothing from brands like Splits 59, Lululemon and more.
- Locker room offers hair spray, hair dryers, deodorant, mouth wash, showers and hair brushes.
- Everything was clean.
Could use improvement:
- Locks are not built in to the lockers. For the price of these classes and a membership, I do think there should be locks. I was forced to leave my items in an unlocked locker. I had this same gripe about Pure Yoga. I feel there are certain amenities that should come with the high cost of classes.
- There is no sanitizer to hold the hair brushes. Use the brushes at your own risk.
- Abs, abs, abs. This is a class for anyone who wants to get an intense abdominal workout. I wasn’t paying attention to the time, but we must have done about 15 minutes of devoted ab work in the beginning of class.
- Use of light hand weights to do familiar arm exercises like bicep curls and lat pull-downs during the abdominal work.
- Light weights are so difficult! When Natasha advised me to take 2s and 3s, I seriously doubted this and considered getting 4s. She told me not to. She was right. I was humbled. No more than 3 pounds are needed because it is hard work using the weights during abs.
- A couple of nice plank sequences.
- A long glutes section including foreram tabletop and pretzel positions.
- The hour literally flew by. When class was over, I couldn’t believe it.
- The instructor was upbeat.
- Easy to modify for injuries.
Could use improvement:
- Instructor adjustments. Some of the positions we did on the floor for abs were unfamiliar to me, and the instructor did not correct or adjust me to ensure I was safely and effectively positioned. I had a feeling the entire time that I was not doing the exercise correctly, but I didn’t know how to fix myself.
- We did about 15 pushups total: 10 regular and 5 yoga-style (elbows squeezed close to sides). I incorrectly assumed this was the first set of pushups that would appear multiple times throughout class. More pushups — an excellent full-body exercise – would provide more intensity and opportunity for a higher heart-rate.
- The squats and lunges sections seemed very short. I thought this class could have used a bit more thigh work.
- The abdominal section to start the class dragged on a little too long.
Throw everything you think you know out the window. In spite of the name, no mats actually make an appearance in Mat 57!
While Mat 57 was definitely a challenging workout that will tone your body, I didn’t feel the cardio intensity or increased heart rate that was advertised. It is a good change of pace and nice alternative to a regular bar-style class, and I would definitely do it again.
Keep in mind I only tried this class one time with one instructor, and every instructor has her own teaching style.
As for the space, it also comes down to personal preference. Physique 57′s environment is very much about the workout. Get in, work hard, get on with your day. While I prefer a warmer environment, I know that this style would appeal to many people.
I am excited to go back for my second Physique 57 class in this two-class pack.