City Pulse

By Susan Romero

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Finally, a health club that doesn’t blast loud music under bright lights making me want to crawl into a hole. See Smart Workout, and the name says it all. When I first entered this intimate setting, I felt as though I was in someone’s apartment. The blond hardwood floors, red and chrome furniture scream modern décor. Ahh, but on the right, there is the Hydraulic Resistance Circuit – a series of weight machines that automatically adjust resistance to the individual effort applied and guides you through the entire circuit with a recorded CD. In the center of the room, there’s a silver pole. Hmmm, I thought, this is some kind of workout place.

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The hallmark of Smart Workout is the personal touch. Owner Lois Cooper says that she likes to get to know all the members personally. The cozy setting is conducive to a relaxing workout and the classes are so small – none are larger than six people – that you feel like you’re working out with a personal trainer.

By far the most popular class seems to be the Pilates Reformer. This class certainly reformed me. All Pilates moves are performed on the Reformer apparatus, a flat piece of equipment with a headrest and a handle at the bottom that slides up and down. All four of us slid up and down working every part of our bodies during the 40-minute class.

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After this tough workout, I relaxed in the Face Conditioning class which was a real eye opener. I never knew my face was so out of shape! You laugh. Just try blowing like Satchmo only without the trumpet and one cheek at a time. The class ends with facial massaging and inversion to get the blood flowing.

The gym offers a wide variety of other fun classes including Hip-Hop Yoga, which begins and ends with yoga and has hip-hop dance moves in the middle. There is also a Pole Dancing class (yes, it’s that kind of pole), a Tango Workout class incorporating tango music and steps and a Warrior Workout class – a boot camp body conditioning class focusing on strength, agility and speed. The choices are divine.

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Smart Workout has something for almost everyone. Beginning October 1st potential “smarties” can sample the gym for ten days for $60. If you join, the money is refunded to you. Or check the website for a free one day guest pass and try this secret oasis yourself. It’s the smart thing to do.

Smart Workout
124 East 40th Street
Suite 603
212-661-1660
www.SmartWorkout.net

Originally published October 2007
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