Smells Like Team Spinning.

In New York city there are no shortage of fun and entertaining ways of staying fit. However the funnest and most unique that I have been to so far is Swerve Fitness. Swerve is a boutique spin studio and it is unique because you compete on teams. Allow me to explain. In a Swerve class the room is divided into three teams: red, green, and blue. The class follows the choreography of your standard over-competitive New York spin class except that in this one you are actually competing for points. These points are displayed in two screens that are located in the front of the class. The scoreboard displays the team’s score with the team leader highlighted for each team. It’s a really great workout for the competitive since every class has a winning team, and for the extra competitive since seeing yourself as the team leader is really good on the ego.

swerve 2

I discovered this class through a friend of mine who really wanted to assemble a team of friends who would go spinning together once or twice a week before work, and it worked! The team component of the class is what motivated  the members of the Spanish green team to wake up at 6 am to take a 7 am spin class for about 30 consecutive weeks. Not only is Swerve a killer workout but the studio’s amenities make it the Ritz Carlton of spinning.The studio has a very clean and modern look. You can tell they gave the design a lot of thought

The spin studio itself is very dark and kind of feels like you’re in a nightclub, except you would never want to sweat that intensely in a nightclub.They have a smoothie bar with great smoothies you can pre order before class and also juices and treats from Liquiteria. My personal favorite smoothie is the “Rise and Grind.”This was also one of the added perks of team spinning, we would take the class and then we would all drink a smoothie together before heading to work. But not before a mandatory visit to the Swerve showers.


The showers OMG the showers. They are fully stocked with L”Occitante products, super fluffy towels, deodorant, dry shampoo, blow dryers and a vanity  area to get ready. The only problem is that there are only three showers so it takes a while for everyone to get their turn. However not only are they worth the wait, but you sweat so much in class that it would be an offense to the rest of New York to go out that sweaty.

Among the added perks of the studio are: Shoes are included in the class fee and lockers with lock. The former was especially good for me since I don’t own spin shoes and really don’t feel like renting for $3 after I already dropped $30 on a spin class.

3/4 of the green team

3/4 of the green team

Once you leave the studio you receive an email with your class performance. You can tell the studio belongs to 3 ex wall-street numbers dudes since they send you your stats and  you can access charts that track your progress. Aside from being a very innovative concept, Swerve feels more like an activity than a workout class. While I don’t know if I will be trading happy hour for Swerve anytime soon, this class is definitely a great way to see your friends while working out at the same time.

Reform School.

I wanted to try reformer Pilates for 3 reasons: Minimal sweating so I could do it before work without having to wash my hair after class, everyone I know who does it has incredible abs and the class itself looked like it was just a bunch of people chilling in a bed while pulling some ropes. So when I realized that there was a reformer Pilates studio right in front of my favorite Venezuelan restaurant which is also 3 blocks away from my apartment I thought to myself: Aha! This is where I’ll swipe my reformer V-Card.


Chelsea Movements is located in the basement of a nondescript building on 18th street. But once you enter it you realize that they actually have a HUGE studio down there. It doesn’t have a particularly catchy color scheme, the most outstanding thing about it would probably be the exposed brick wall. The studio has super calm vibe, no music which sometimes combined with the super chill vibe made me very sleepy during class.

The studio is not a trendy one at all, its  clientele consists of a lot of older people who go there for private sessions and people who live around the neighborhood. But realistically speaking, if you are going to get an amazing workout who cares if celebrities and beautiful people are taking class with you. You do see the occasional Lululemonite but that also has to do with the fact that the studio is in the heart of Chelsea.

chelsea movements

The staff is super knowledgeable and most of them have been teaching Pilates for over a decade. My favorite instructor is Benjamin Oyzon who is a former dancer/burner who now teaches pilates while simultaneously sharing Burning Man and other festival stories. That might actually be the reason why I like taking his class so much. They only have 5 reformers so even if you take a group class it feels like a private because the instructor gives you a lot of personal attention. I only took reformer classes but they also offer Gyrotonic, Tower and Cadillac classes. In the studio they also have a lot of props (bumpy balls, blocks, rings, resistance bands, etc.) to help you position and align yourself for different movements.

Overall I was very satisfied with my experience at Chelsea Movements. I took about 15 classes in the studio and definitely saw improvement in my body and posture. The no sweat factor was also a big motivator to take more class and I can confidently say that this is studio offers unpretentious Pilates, which in New York City is very rare. Most people at the studio are regulars which I think says a lot about the studio itself. I also learned that reformer is not just laying on a bed chilling and pulling a bunch of ropes, the class is HARD and the fact that you don’t sweat doesn’t mean you won’t sweat your ass (or abs?) off.