Spring has finally arrived in New York City after what has felt like an eternity of winter. I swear, I feel this way every year. I know we had it abnormally mild this year – remember when Christmas Eve was like, 65 degrees and we all were contemplating putting the gifts under tinseled Palm trees instead of Evergreens? No? Just me? Ok, moving on.
Anyway, this beautiful 50 and 60 degree weather has me like:
So when I’m looking to plan my workouts, the last place I want to be is enclosed inside a sweaty gym – no matter how good the class is. I want to be OUTSIDE! Breathing New York’s clean and crisp and not-at-all polluted air!!!
I’ve been looking to differentiate my workout a bit (and also am taking a brief hiatus from Classpass) so I’ve been doing some exploring. Through my research, my wonderful friend and coworker Alexa and I came across The North Face’s Mountain Athletics training session on Twitter. It’s free. Yup, you read that right – completely, 100%, no hidden fees – FREE. All the time! Finding anything for free – let alone a workout class – in the money trap that is Manhattan is insane. I decided to get down and dirty, and give it a shot.
Class Name: The North Face Mountain Athletics
Neighborhood: Union Square
Sweat Factor (out of 5): 3/5
Fun Factor (out of 5): 4/5
Class Overview: After being stuck at my desk all day with lots of meetings and calls, I was SO excited to get my booty out of my office chair and down to Union Square. I practically skipped from the Union Square subway station until I saw the big, red ‘Train With Us’ sign that I had see on the Mountain Athletics Instagram account. Rachel & Alyssa greeted everyone with welcoming smiles, and by 6:30, we had a pretty big group assembled just north of Union Square Park.
Class began with a dynamic warm up series – walking lunges, jumping jacks, side-shuffles, butt-kicks, high knees, and the works. Once we were loose and ready to go, we split into groups of four for circuits (yay!). The stations were: 1) Tuck-Jump Burpees, 2) Cross-Over Mountain Climbers, 3) Isometric Squat, 4) Traveling Push-Ups, and 5) V-Ups. One minute at each station, then we rotated. This circuit was completed twice through, and was tough – especially the burpees. Then we did circuit two – a more booty centric circuit, so you know I loved it 😉 Stations were: 1) Alternating Glute Bridges, 2) Reverse Lunge to Single Leg Dead Life (Left Side), 3) Right Side, 4) Speed Skaters, and 5) Lateral Jump Burpees. Again, one minute each, twice through. Phew!
From circuits we moved on to partner work. First, one partner did Russian Twists while the other did Squat Thrusts holding their feet. Switch! Then, we did jump squats with high fives up top cause TEAMWORK and partner clapping pushups cause YAY ALMOST DONE. Our workout was completed by a quick abs circuit on the ground and then, obviously, a squad pic.
There was something truly different about this workout, I must say. I loved it because for the first time in a long time, I had no idea what to expect from a workout. And something about being outside just after sunset made me feel like I was 15 again, at soccer practice. No fancy boutique studio, no purified water filters, no brand-name face wash or hand lotions, no eucalyptus-soaked towels. At the end of the workout, I was dirty, sweaty, and felt like part of a team. What a cool way to work out. I seriously recommend this, at least to switch things up a bit. It’s a blast!
- Obviously, because it’s outside, there’s no place for bags / no place to change. Come ready for class. Everyone leaves their belongings together, and in sight at all times.
- Bring hand sanitizer omg don’t forget. Your hands get so dirty!
- If you’re like me and do your pushups on your knees, wear long pants. Concrete + bare knees = no no.
- While the workout is challenging it’s easy to kind of take it easy. So remember to stay motivated throughout – you get what you put into it! No cheating when instructors look away!
Will Visit Again?: Yes, absolutely! Looking to try out Columbus Circle, too. 🙂