Imagine entering a room, serene as any, with the pleasant sound of low Hawaiian tunes playing in the background. The walls are lined with mirrors, beach backdrops, and projections of surfers catching waves.
In addition to the surf culture sensory stimulation, the center of the room hosts approximately 12 surfboards, which are set up in semi-circular fashion. You’ve just been transported from the land of high rises to a fourth floor fitness oasis unlike any other – Surfset NYC, home of the waterless extreme surf-inspired interval workout.
After hearing about this interesting new workout, we just had to come and try it out for ourselves to see if it lived up to the hype.
Surfset Master trainers and ambassadors Aaron Thouvenin and Diana Garrett are two extremely welcoming and laid back instructors. So much so that they put you through an intense workout with the soothing charm of, well, surfers.
Diana takes the lead on this one contributing even more to the laid back atmosphere with her pineapple patterned tights, while Aaron floats around from board to board making sure everyone catches their balance.
When the music shifts from Hawaiian beach jams to Kanye West’s “Stronger,” you know it’s about to get real.
Diana is gracious enough to warm us up on land before we hit the boards, but once we do, it’s a workout like no other. Combining elements of cardio, power, strength, flexibility, and balance, Surfset is the true total body workout, with a twist.
I should mention, this was a beginner class and I’m no slouch, but by end of the class I came off of the board drenched in sweat with every single muscle group engaged.
“Run and Dive!” “Hot Sand!” “ Starfish Crunch!” “Wave Runner!” “Carve and Squat!” are just a few directives you’ll likely hear as you push your limits on and off the surfboard. Described by Aaron and Diana as equal parts challenging and fun, Surfset uses a variety of exercise movements from different disciplines all combined with surf savvy.
One of the class participants, Judy Lin, described the class as unique to other group fitness classes. “I’ve never surfed before, so it was interesting to learn the fundamentals and simulate the steps you would take on a surfboard out on the water without actually being in the water. It was fun, and almost made me forget that I was working out”
Another class goer, Sabina Parker called the class “Fun, innovating and challenging. It was a great combination of cardio and strength training.”
Surfset NYC exceeded expectations on all counts, so 20somethings – if you’re looking to switch up your workout in a very west coast kind of way, I highly suggest you visit www.surfsetnyc.com to book a class at their East Village Studio.