Crash Course: As One‘s signature 65-minute class provides a full throttle interval workout focusing on strength, conditioning, and cardio in a small group setting. No two workouts are the same and each is designed as part of a comprehensive program cycle. The space hosts an impressive array of gear including sandbags, battle ropes, Jacobs Ladders, stair masters, rowing machines, and more. First time? Check out the First Timers class, which provides additional demonstration but doesn’t skip the intensity. Coaches are on-hand and hands-on to help with form and technique throughout the workout. Come prepared to work hard and play hard. Check out the As One class schedule for more information. [line] [left]where: Columbus Circle | 1845 Broadway, 3rd Floor
bring: water bottle
perks: shower, towels
sweat score: 9 out of 10[/left][right]wear: clothes with full range of movement
cost: first class free | drop-in $35 [/right][line]
As One promotes itself as one of New York City’s toughest workouts. Heck, their motto is “discover intensity.” And after experiencing it for myself, I can honestly say they may be on to something. This isn’t the kind of class you go into thinking that you’ll just pop on over to happy hour after it’s all over. You’ll be drenched in sweat, a little wobbly, and ready for a nice long date with the foam roller.
This is the kind of class where you come to leave it all at the gym, and have a great time doing it. Let me explain.
First of all, depending on your mood, the place is either a candy store or a torture chamber. It’s packed to the brim with cardio and weight equipment of all shapes and sizes, including some old stand-bys like kettle bells and rowing machines and a few new things I had never experienced before (I’m looking at you, Jacobs Ladder). The sheer variety of things to play with was incredible, and a total dream come true for any workout junkie.
When I arrived, I walked up to the third floor and entered upon a scene of loudness and sweat. The class ahead of me was huffing and puffing through a circuit workout. It was a whirlwind of limbs and grunts. The music was blaring. Equipment was clanking and thumping. Coaches were yelling encouragements. I stood at the door wondering if I should slowly back away before anyone noticed me or wait quietly in the corner until the siege was over.
Before I could plot my next move, I was approached by one of the coaches and warmly welcomed with a big smile. Terri gave me an overview of the studio layout, the workout we would be doing that evening, and then asked if I had any injuries they should be aware of. I’ve had a wonky knee since I tore my meniscus in 2010, which I shrugged off as something I know how to handle. Nonetheless, she said they would take note of it and make sure my form wasn’t doing anything to aggravate it further.
As soon as the class ahead of us finished, those of us in the First Timers group gathered around for a dynamic warm up. Then Coach George talked through the day’s workout, which included three stations of 30 seconds on/10 seconds off intervals:
- The first: alternating between sandbag exercises and the Jacobs Ladder
- The second: alternating between sprints on the wind bike and bodyweight arm exercises
- The third: alternating between the stair master and various burpee-esque creations
I started on the Jacobs Ladder machine, which was completely new to me. The best way to describe it is like a ladder treadmill for your hands and feet, and the motion is similar to bear crawling across the floor. The amount of concentration and coordination it takes to keep up is dizzying, but I loved the cardio workout it gives you without any impact. One of the coaches was on hand at all times to make sure we were safe and on target with your pace.
Despite being in a group fitness class, the entire thing felt like a small-group personal training session. There was never a moment when I didn’t have a coach near-by giving encouragement, clapping, and helping me with my form. I was really impressed with the amount of attention everyone received. Which helps, when you’re feeling like you’re going to explode from burpee overload.
The other thing that struck me about this class environment was how welcoming and unpretentious it was. Perhaps it’s because most of us were new. But there were plenty of members there as well. I think it’s the environment created by the coaching staff coupled with the agonizing camaraderie of going through that workout together. I’ve been to a number of studios were, as a newcomer and beginner, I didn’t feel entirely accepted. It’s not fun. It makes the workout experience awkward. Here I felt like part of the team.
When the circuits ended, we grabbed foam rollers for a cool down. High-fives were abundant. I was sufficiently wiped out and ready for a good night’s sleep. I thanked the team, grabbed my stuff out of my locker, and wobbled down the stairs to the
metro subway (still getting used to the NYC lingo).
Have you been? Going for the first time? Be sure to let me know what you think!