Fitness gets fun: Party rock is in the gym
No one looks good exercising under the unflattering glare of fluorescent lighting. No one. The good news is that the “cardio party” is in, bringing wild lights to the forefront and your sweaty appearance to the back of everyone’s mind.
“I love a good light show!” says Tomas Mikuzis, a SoulCycle instructor. “All you need is a black light, disco ball and candle light and you’re set.”
Mikuzis, who has been teaching fitness classes for years, relies on various lighting to motivate his students.
“It helps get a mood for your class when you start off with soft lighting. Adding different lighting throughout class helps build up the intensity. Many of my students have said that the lighting has helped them finish a class or even push themselves more than they have ever before.”
The light show doesn’t stop at SoulCycle — plenty of other fitness studios use the same techniques to push students through tough workouts.
At Crunch, students in The Ride class peddle to flashing disco lighting. Bright red, green and yellow flares illuminate sweat beads and keep bikers focused as they sprint their way to the end of class.
Neon lighting also sets the scene at JumpLife, a fitness studio that opened last fall.
On individual trampolines, students in the JumpDance class bounce their ways to better bodies with flashing colorful lights, black lights and disco balls.
Owner Monserrat Markou says the lights are pivotal to the club-like atmosphere.
“It makes [working out] that much more fun … They make the class feel effortless even though they are really intense.”
And at Barry’s Bootcamp, you can sweat out Friday’s hangover with themed Saturday night workout parties. There’s live music and vibrant lighting, making this class more like an evening at the club than a gym session.
Speaking of the club, rapper Lil Jon joined with Zumba Fitness for a “Zumba Nightclub Series” earlier this month. He DJ’d a session in Queens and played his newest Zumba-inspired song, “Work,” under wild lighting.
If rappers are getting down, why aren’t you?
Mikuzis says the importance of setting a mood for a class cannot be stressed enough.
“Sometimes in class you are trying to get a strong message across, and lowering the lights ... helps people get into the right state of mind,” he said. “Also, there are times when you want to have a good time and party on your bike ... That is when you hit the lights and pull out all the bells and whistles.”
Where to get your groove on, and take the weight off
SoulCycle: multiple locations, Soul-cycle.com, 212-406-1300
Barry’s Bootcamp: multiple locations, Barrysbootcamp.com, 646-559-2721
JumpLife: 404 Broadway, Jump-life.com, 212-966-2604
Crunch Gyms: multiple locations, Crunch.com, 212-533-0001