Monday, January 21, 2008

The Gym Project ----New York

The Gym Project is back! Twice a month, I will review gyms/health centers/pilates studios and more as I used to do last year. Here is my first posting for 2008!

Visiting a gym just across the Wall Street Stock Exchange Market, it’s a fun way to start your exercise routine. While you are getting ready psychologically and physically for a machine workout or an exercise class, tourists wonder leisurely around, taking pictures and eat burgers, hot dogs or chocolate-chip cookies. You frown. You decide that you should take advantage of living in the Big Apple and starting tomorrow, you will explore the city daily (with a burger too). But then, you open the door, leaving behind you those people who witness (without realizing) one of the biggest economic centers in the world and you face an amazing and peaceful two-storey building, with plenty of stair masters and treadmills, TV stations, magazine racks, a café, a spa, a steam room and a few exercise studios.

Welcome to Equinox Wall Street!
14 Wall Street, New York, NY, 10005, Telephone: 212 964 6688

Score card

Facilities: 9/10
The changing room is spacious and clean, free towels are available, so are the lockers but bring your own lock. Expect to find, except for shampoo, conditioner and body wash, shaving cream, mouth wash, cotton, hair spray and body lotion (I am sure I forget a few). There are blow-dryers to use, tissues and plenty of mirrors!

Variety of classes: 10/10
You have a great choice of classes you can attend: From Pilates to Yoga, to Maximize, CoreFLEX, WillPower & Grace, Body Conditioning, Abdominals, EMS Training, Tread & Sculpt, and more. You can also try the Studio Cycling taking place in its own studio.

Rate of difficulty: 9/10
I tried several classes but I will stay on the Maximize. This, 45-minute class, it is enough to keep your body toned for the following three days. Initially, you think that it will be a quick, easy and fun body conditioning. The fact is that Maximize is more than that. The warming up is too fast and you experience your first sweats. When the time comes to use the “ball” (instead of the bar or weights), while doing lunges and trying balance exercises, you wonder why you chose this class in the first place. A random glance at the clock will reassure you that you still have plenty of time to finish. Then you alternate to the weights, go back to the “ball” and you finish off with stretching. Yes, Maximize is a challenge. But a good one!