Crash Course: The Drill Body HIIT class at Drill Fitness is a fierce combination of two sweat inducing all-stars: HIIT and tabata. The 50-minute class fuses strength, cardio, and plyometric movement to create a total body conditioning workout that will run even the fittest athlete through their paces. Don’t believe me? Check the scoreboard. Each participant is hooked up to a heart-rate monitor that delivers real-time information about effort and overall burn. This one isn’t for the faint of heart. Expect to be challenged! For a full list of class times, check out the Drill Fitness website.[line] [left]where: 136 Church Street | Tribeca
bring: water, grit
perks: fully stocked showers, smoothie bar, heart-rate monitors
sweat score: 9 out of 10[/left][right]wear: whatever you like
instructor: Robert Ramsey
cost: drop-in $32[/right][line]
I’ve crashed a lot of gyms in my day. Suffice it to say, it takes something truly new and different to really get me jazzed. Sure there are a lot of fun new fitness concepts out there. Great workouts but not so great studio spaces. Beautiful studios but meh workouts. It’s rare to find a place that has a solid showing in both categories. But friends, I’m adding a new find to that small and illustrious list: Drill Fitness in Tribeca.
Drill currently offers both spinning and HIIT classes. Initially, I rolled my eyes at the spinning bit. It feels like a lot of studios tack on spin as a shiny and trendy option to get new students through the door. Look, spin bikes! Come play! But when speaking to Drill’s founder, he explained that, as a triathlete, he wanted the gym to be a place where students could build a total-body fitness program out of complimentary options. A wildly challenging HIIT class and a cardio-crazy bike ride – add them together throughout the week and it’s impossible not to see results.
Walk through the front door at Drill and you’re immediately surrounded by gleaming white walls, pops of red and black, fresh flowers, and smiling front desk staff. The gym is brand-spanking-new so everything and every one was in exceptional form. After signing in, I was given my personal heart-rate monitor and went downstairs to stash my bag in the locker area.
This section is co-ed, but just past it are the locker rooms. Spoiler alert: the ladies locker room is gorgeous. I’m talking spacious, clean, bright, and fully-stocked with anything and everything you might need to clean up after class. Blowdryers, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, deodorant, fresh towels, teak bathmats – the works.
I’ve never seen a studio with their own brand of locker room products, have you? This is a first! And fresh flowers will win me over any day of the week. They add a certain touch of drama and class, particularly in these shades of deep purple and burgundy. Swoon.
I didn’t get a look at the spin room – so this studio tour is incomplete. But that just means I’ll have to come back next time for a bike extravaganza, which is a-okay by me.
I walked into the HIIT studio and was immediately confronted with sensory overload – in a good way. A brightly colored screen loomed over the room, flashing stats from our individual heart-rate monitors throughout class. Red. Green. Orange. Yellow. A glittery disco ball partied on the ceiling. The surround-sound sound system was bumping. And our instructor Robert was ricocheting off the walls with energy. Everything was buzzing.
Robert gathered the class together and went over the morning workout in full. He then walked us through the first set of warm-up exercises. Read it and weep.
You can see that after the warmup, things get wild pretty quickly. The remainder of class goes back and forth between periods of HIIT drills and tabata. Each segment is different, and the exercises change from class to class. So you may do kettlebell swings in one class and sandbag throws in another. Or both in the same class. You won’t know until you get there – that’s part of the fun.
Robert took the time to clearly demonstrate each move we would be doing during the different segments. There was a period of instruction between each set, so we didn’t have to memorize any long sequences. This is especially helpful when you’re panting, soaking in sweat, and trying to physically keep it together.
One thing is for certain: in a workout this challenging, an instructor’s energy will make or break the class. And holy smokes, Robert brought it. He was doing the moves right along with us, pacing up and down cheering loudly, clapping, and cheering some more.
Just when you thought you couldn’t possibly do another overhead sandbag lift – he was in your face with an unapologetic “oh yes you can!” The guy broke a sweat within the first five minutes. He put 110% into motivating and teaching the class, and expected the same out of everyone in the room. I was seriously impressed.
Yes, the class was challenging. Yes the exercises were varied, targeted, and effective. But Robert made it fun. Entertaining even. Something I would look forward to signing up for again. Any trainer can throw together a series of moves. Not every one can make you work for it.
- bear crawls
- sandbag throws
- overhead press
- lateral jumps
- high knees
Like I said, this class isn’t for the faint of heart. Come ready to work hard. It’s not the out-of-your-mind insanity of Tone House, but it’s a thorough butt kicking. You’ll thank yourself later. No really, wait a few days for the soreness to wear off. Then you can appreciate the fact that you totally rocked it.
After class I gathered my things and ordered one of their signature smoothies to go. I picked the Crazy 8’s: a delicious blend of coconut water, coconut milk, banana, mango, pineapple, coconut oil, and turmeric. While I’ve grown to love many of the various smoothie spots in NYC, having one inside the studio is just that much more convenient. Sweat, shower, smoothie, and go. In case you are in need of something a little more substantial, I recommend checking out the adorable Mulberry & Vine just around the corner.
What other studios have the total package?