Crash Course: Physique 57 is bringing their rigorous and upbeat barre classes all the way downtown with the launch of their latest studio in the Financial District. Expect a fast-paced class that focuses on form and technique while using props like resistance bands, core balls, and more. This isn’t a “no sweat” class, that’s for sure!
class: Physique Signature
sweat score: 7 out of 10
where: 55 Broadway, Suite 1602 | New York, NY
bring: water bottle
perks: showers, towels
Just when I think I’ve tried every kind of barre class under the sun, Physique 57 pops into my life with a crazy-challenging workout that’s just asking to be crashed. So, don’t mind if I do!
I was invited to check out Physique 57’s newest Manhattan location at 55 Broadway, all the way downtown in the financial district. From the moment you step through the sleek glass doors, you know this studio means business. Barre business, that is.
Before I tell you about my experience, how about I give you a little tour around the studio?
After passing the front desk and Studio 1, you’ll walk through their adorably curated boutique of fitness apparel and accessories.
I had to tear myself away from the Spiritual Gangster tanks and fun printed leggings. I wasn’t here to shop, I was here to sweat! But I’ve got my eyes on those red cammo beauties for next time. Aren’t they rocking?
Adjacent to the boutique there’s a little lounge area with couches, magazines, and coffee tables – perfect for hanging out before or after class. And with free wifi, this little nook is also perfect for sending a few work emails or starting a blog post while on the go (guilty!).
You’ll pass Studio 2 before taking a left down a long, well lit corridor. To be honest, it feels more like a fashion week runway than a walk to the locker room, and I don’t hate it. Don’t you love the floor to ceiling print at the end? Work it girl.
And finally, once you finish strutting your stuff, it’s time to secure your belongings in the locker room. Here you’ll find everything you need to freshen up after class: showers, towels, hair dryers, and more. It’s a clean, well-stocked, beautiful space. I didn’t get any photos of it but you’ll have to take my word – it ranks among the most swoon-worthy locker rooms I’ve seen in this city.
Time for class!
I made my way over to Studio 1 and took my place toward the back. I feel like I get a better sense of the class dynamic back there. And, since it was my first time, I was hoping to benefit from the expertise of the ladies up front.
Like the majority of barre classes out there, we started with a dynamic warm up and worked almost immediately into an arm sequence. This included high repetition with light to medium hand weights. I tend to go for the 2 – 3 pounders, because anything over that and my arms will literally fall off. Those tiny movements are really tough!
The instructor was extremely keen on form and came around to each and every person to make adjustments, offer suggestions, and tweak our movements. Just when you think those leg lifts are hard enough, you realize you’re not doing them exactly right and – yowza! – talk about muscle burn.
But I love to see teachers who are that engaged in class from start to finish. I’ve been to barre classes before where you just do the motions and hope to heck you’ve got your leg twisted the right way. While having someone hover over you to make corrections certainly makes the class more challenging, that’s what you came there for – right?
After arms, we put our weights away and scooted on over to the barre. I took a spot overlooking the tip of Manhattan, which was such a lovely view for the torturous exercises that lay ahead. As I contorted my leg behind me, clasped tightly around a bouncy ball, and lifted up, up, up for all eternity, at least I had something pretty to look at!
We finished things off with some seated bum and core work. There was one section where we sat on our knees and lifted up and down to the beat of the music. My thighs were on fire, but I couldn’t help but giggle at the fact the instructor was encouraging us to dance it out…and many people actually did. So I threw my hands up in the air, threw a little hip swivel into the mix, and tried to find some fun in the pain.
One thing I heard multiple times during class was: “you’re here to build the body you want.” In other words, you need to work for it. It will be tough, and it hurts now, but think about why you came in the first place. While I do not agree with the message that you can spot train your muscles or get any longer through barre classes – things I’ve heard time and again in different studios – I can totally get behind the idea of hard work and loved that the class had such a positive, truthful message.
After one final round of stretching, we were finished!
What did I think of the class? Of all the barre I’ve done, I’d say it was in the top tier for it’s difficulty, focus on technique, and fun environment.
Also, the studio is absolutely to die for and has free wifi and showers. What’s not to love?
Thanks for having me crash your studio, Physique 57. Can’t wait to come back soon + even take a few virtual classes at home!