February 09, 2011
Since the 2006 opening of its first location on Manhattan's Upper West Side, SoulCycle has gained an impressive following obsessed with its high-intensity, full-body bike workout. Cofounders Elizabeth Butler and Julie Rice have built their company at an equally energetic rate over the past five years with two more NYC openings, outposts in Bridgehampton and Scarsdale and a pop-up location at the Mondrian hotel in Miami. SoulCycle's seventh location—a two-story, 60-bike studio with full-service locker rooms and a sleek in-house boutique carrying private labels and SoulCycle's own clothing line—opened in Union Square in early February. Its signature 45-minute candlelit SoulCycle workout, which combines spinning, hand weights and a mentally challenging course, and the much-raved-about Bands class, a 60-minute ride that tones the upper body and the core using resistance bands suspended from the ceiling, are both on offer. At 12 E. 18th St.; 212-208-1300; soul-cycle.com
Photo courtesy SoulCycle
January 31, 2012
Courtesy Lineaus Athletic Company
Lineaus Hooper Lorette, 66, a gay Communist accountant, makes $425 custom medicine
balls from his workshop in Marfa, Texas. Using full-grained leather from a Wisconsin
tannery and the same tannage as a baseball glove, he can turn out two balls
a day, filling them with soft-cotton thread. “It’s amazing how heavy
a ball full of cotton can be,” says Lorette, who likes its cooperative
nature. “You need someone to catch it and return it.” And as for
a Communist creating a decidedly elitist medicine ball? “The proletariat
is working,” says Lorette. “They don’t have to exercise.”
A ten-inch medicine ball from the Lineaus Athletic Company costs $425; a
16-inch is $800; lineausathletic.com.
December 31, 2012
© James T. Murray.
New footwear for Pilates and beyond, and a gym-worthy shampoo.
Want an alternative to going barefoot during yoga or Pilates? Blake Brody in-studio footwear functions as a second skin, with no-slip soles and odor-resistant lining. Bonus: We love them as in-flight flats. From $100; blakebrody.com
We threw a bottle of Phytokératine in our gym bag and now use it daily. It has hyaluronic acid, normally found in skincare products, to hydrate damaged hair. $25; sephora.com.
April 03, 2013
Courtesy of Aerospace
A workout that excites the brain as much as the body is a rare find, which is why System of Sleek—a new class at New York's Aerospace High Performance Center—is destined to be a favorite.
The brainchild of Aerospace founder Michael Olajide Jr., a former middleweight boxing champion, the three-month-old, four-part series comes at the body from all angles. Aerosculpt hones in on abs; Aerojump cranks up cardio with jump roping; Aerobox lets blistering-fast punch combinations fly; and Aerowheels works the legs.
Olajide, who whips the likes of models Doutzen Kroes and Adriana Lima (pictured above) into shape, pushes each portion of the class to its maximum, stressing power, endurance, speed, coordination and, perhaps most important, focus.
“You walk before you run, jump before you fly,” he says. “It’s like the evolutionary process of anything. You do it in increments and you must show a lot of patience with yourself, because you are learning a real skill that will benefit you for a lifetime.”
The classes leave little time to think about how challenging it all is. Jumping rope, a fat-burning front-runner, is nearly hypnotic once you get the hang of it; top-speed repetitions of combination punches (Olajide is generous enough to start them off slowly) require concentration, delivering exhausted—though ultra-toned—muscles by the end.
A System of Sleek four-DVD set features seven similar workouts, some as short as ten minutes, that can be done anywhere, with or without a jump rope or hand weights. The moves get results, making the drive to get fit—even at home or in a hotel room—as strong as it is in the studio.
“If you are doing something cool and fun that can really do what it’s advertised to do,” Olajide says, “then that’s pretty motivating.” At 336 W. 13th St.; 212-929-1688; aerospacenyc.com.