When my alarm went off this past Saturday at 10 AM, was I happy? No. But was I excited to try a new workout studio? Hell yeah! And yes, 10 AM on a Saturday is still a little too early 🙂 Anyway…I was headed to Cornerstone Gym to check out their new space, so you can bet there was a smile on my face.
Cornerstone Gym is considered a lifestyle gym. Their classes cap out at 8 people and the workouts feel almost like a personal training session. The space is small so the instructor can see everyone, and he/she is right there with you doing every move as you are.
Cornerstone is located on the first floor of a residential building at 300 West 23rd St. in Chelsea. Upon walking into the building and asking the doorman where Cornerstone Gym was, I really had no idea what to expect. It felt a little different than the fitness studios I was used to stepping into. But, upon being brought into the space, I saw kettlebells, yoga mats, and TRX’s hanging from the ceiling. I immediately felt right at home.
Roody Dallemand is the owner and brains (or should I say, muscles) behind Cornerstone. He warmly greeted us and explained how the “War & Peace” class was going to run. Their War & Peace class is a combination of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and slow twitch muscle training. It’s designed to take you through bursts of quick exercises, followed by rounds of slow & controlled movements. This was definitely different than the hour long fast paced classes that I am used to. Although, the music was still the same up-beat, motivating music that I love 🙂
Throughout the class, I actually found the slow segments of the workout to be the most difficult. The burpees, the kettlebell swings…those were no problem. But the slowwww squats that really activated my glutes…wow, those were much harder. These slow movements allow you to focus on your breath and really activating your muscles. You are encouraged to focus on your form, not just on doing the motion for the heck of it. The goal of this type of class is not just to sweat, sweat, sweat. It’s to focus on your form and activate your muscles, to get your heart rate up quickly then slow it back down with more controlled exercises. This type of workout allows you to train functionally, burn calories, and see a change in your body.
Throughout the War & Peace class, we focused on a lot of strength + core work. Which I loved, and hated at the same time. On one hand, I LOVE cardio. On the other hand, what good is cardio without a balance of strength and core? My body needed it. So while sit-ups and planks are not what I enjoy most (does anyone really?), it is so so necessary.
When we got to the jump lunges, and the burpees, I was super excited…something that felt comfortable. Yes, as crazy as that sounds, it’s true. And when we got to the slow bicycle crunches, although I had more trouble with those, I loved being challenged. As opposed to..doing as many sit-ups as you can in the last 30 seconds of a song. Roody even had us touch our muscles (our abs, our glutes, our quads) to feel the muscles working. I had never done this in a class before and found it to be super helpful.
Typically, I’m someone who can do jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers and high knees for 45 minutes and leave class dripping sweat, feeling pretty satisfied with my workout. But this type of workout was different for me, and it felt SO good to switch it up and feel like I was doing something good for my body by working out in a smart way.
So why am I telling you all of this? Not just to share the great workout I got at Cornerstone, but because…YOUR FIRST CLASS IS FREE! In celebration of their grand opening, Cornerstone is offering a free class for all first timers.
To schedule your free class, simply email email@example.com, and mention first class free in the subject line. Tell them Fit for Free referred you, and let them know which class you’re interested in taking. Cornerstone offers a variety of classes such as War & Peace, Uppercut, Kemetic Yoga, and Body Molding. I would recommend trying their War & Peace class if you’re looking for a workout like I’ve just described. BUT I am super excited to try the body molding class next. Range of motion, flexibility, stretching, posture…count me in!
After class, Roody even showed me some exercises I could do to help my range of motion, which would improve my squats. With one quick fix, I was squatting deeper than I was before. So, if you have any injuries, any tightness, any questions about form, etc, definitely talk to Roody and he’ll help fix you back up! A class at Cornerstone Gym is like getting a personal training session in a small group fitness setting. So if this sounds like a workout you’d enjoy, email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your free class. This promo will run from now until around the end of July so grab it while you can! P.S. one class typically costs $50, so grab your fit for freebie 🙂