By Susan Romero
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.
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.
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.
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.
124 East 40th Street
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