Class: Core Fusion Barre + Cardio at Exhale
Location: Central Park South (See on map here)
Duration: 60 minutes
Exhale’s gorgeous Central Park South location was hopping at 11am on a Sunday when I stepped in ready to take my first class there. To be completely honest, I was not expecting the level of intensity that this class provided. I crawled out of bed 30 minutes before class and hustled over to their studio, thinking that the class would provide some light cardio with mostly barre moves in an aesthetically soothing environment (because Exhale also doubles as a spa). The environment, I was right about. Highlights from the pristine locker rooms included high quality soaps and shampoos, warm towels, nice digital lockers, and multiple showers. (The shower doors aren’t completely opaque, so in order to not be creepy I didn’t hang around long enough to count. I would guess they have around 7 or 8 shower stalls.) However, the class intensity gave me much more than I bargained for.
We started off with a quick warm-up of squats, mountain climbers, lunges and some quick stretching. From there, we split into one of the 5 stations arranged around the studio. When I checked in at the front desk, they gave me a number assigning me which station I would start. At each station we rotated between two exercises, doing each for 45 seconds and then repeating each exercise twice. 45 seconds doesn’t sound like a long time, but boy did I feel it! Highlights included TRX bicep curls, decline alternating arm up-downs, medicine-ball lunches, and a lot of other moves I am not sure even have a proper name (but boy were they hard!). We ended up getting through two rounds at each station, completing each exercise for a total of 3 minutes (two rounds of completing each exercise twice for 45 second increments). The class ended with some core work and deep stretching.
If you are looking for a great class that provides both cardio and toning-focused strength training, I highly recommend this class. It has the potential to not be challenging enough if you mentally start to give up during the 45 second intervals, but if you push yourself hard enough it is quite a great workout. It was also a great way for me personally to learn some new body-weight moves I didn’t know. Also, from my understanding, the routine of this class stays the same for one month and then changes. So if you go consistently, you’ll master the exercises and then move on before your body gets to use to it. For any guys out there, I will note that there was only one male in this 20-person class, and he was the husband of one of the women there. Kudos to you chap!
The Bottom Line: Exhale is a great facility and its Core Barre Fusion class will get those who frequent the barre but love cardio their perfect workout combo.