Crash Course: Epic Hybrid Training offers workouts that focus on “high intensity skill-based strength, endurance, and agility.” In other words, they’re known for being an excellent place for no-frills training focused on form, technique, and old school hard work. No matter your fitness level, if you want to train like an athlete or are looking for a way to prep for your next Spartan Race, this is a great place to add to your list.
[left]where: 38 West 38th Street, 5th Floor | Bryant Park
sweat score: 9 out of 10
[/left][right]wear: no shoes
instructor: Brendan Weafer
class: Dynamite Core
cost: $35 drop-in [/right][line]
Epic Hybrid Training’s website teems with high-gloss photos of svelte athletes doing hand-stand pushups and monkey bar swings. Something told me that if anything was going to be epic about this workout, it would be my sore muscles the next day.
I climbed five flights of narrow stairs to Epic Hybrid Training’s Bryant Park studio and saw dangling ropes, bars, and wooden rings everywhere. How in the world, I thought to myself, am I ever going to reach those things? Never mind what kinds of ninja moves I’d need to perform once I succeeded.
I slipped out of my shoes and met the rest of the small group on the padded studio floor. Epic classes are conducted barefoot to promote the purest form of functional movement; i the rest of your body is working out, explained the instructor, the twenty muscles in your feet shouldn’t get a break by hiding inside cushy athletic shoes. I’d read about the barefoot running movement, but this was the first time I’d been to a barefoot workout class that didn’t include a yoga mat.
Epic offers eight different class styles, but the gym is best-known for two Spartan Race-inspired workouts: an in-studio obstacle training class and a group obstacle training run around New York City. If you want to scale walls, wade through mud pits, and fireman-carry your body weight, this is the place to do it.
The morning I joined Epic, however, the workout centered around dynamic core movement to strengthen and stabilize that oh-so-important midline. While not explicitly a Spartan-inspired workout, the moves required a hefty dose of balance, flexibility, strength, endurance, and agility. And sweat—lots and lots of sweat.