It’s 2019: what could say ‘wellness’ more than a hybrid fitness class in a studio featuring motivational videos delivered by Tony Robbins, curated playlists from Pitbull, and the temptation of a well-earned mezcal and mushroom tonic waiting for you after your sweaty workout.
The premise of GRIT BXNG, a 5000-square-foot flagship newly-opened in New York’s Flatiron neighborhood, is that city dwellers shouldn’t have to choose between fitness or happy hour ever again. The most-talked-about new workout, in a city with no shortage of innovative exercise concepts, has been financially-backed by Robbins and Pitbull, and curious exercise enthusiasts are ensuring that classes are booking up in advance.
Perhaps they’re swayed by the state-of-the-art luxury facility, which boasts Swarovski crystal-encrusted punching bags and an actual boxer dog in the lobby and a sound/lighting system reportedly worth millions of dollars. Or, maybe it’s to break a sweat in the presence of the hallowed and honed trainers, who are making up to US$1000 an hour. In an industry first, studio guests will be able to rate and tip their trainers via the GRIT BXNG app; adding a five-star review for their instructor as easily as they would an Uber driver.
The 50-minute high intensity interval-style workout itself is based on three modalities: running on a treadmill, punching drills and bench exercises. Sequences are demonstrated by trainers on a stage, in front of a giant, unmissable video wall should you be distracted by the nightclub-like atmosphere. If all these descriptions are getting your heart-rate up, that’s definitely the point. Post-session, take your endorphins to the in-studio bar, which is stocked with everything from boozy recovery kombucha to low-calorie workout beer and kale martinis. On weekends, there’s a champagne brunch too and yes, you can use bitcoin to pay for your class or your cocktail.
“The fitness industry is headed towards being a trillion dollar industry,” says CFO (Chief Fun Officer) and co-founder, Dylan Zanker, who is spearheading the venture with his entrepreneur father Bill and boxing enthusiast sister Ediva. “Millennials want to get fit and not have to sacrifice on fun. GRIT is giving people a space where they can have an intense full body workout and socialize afterwards with a drink.”
Between the booze and the boxing - is it any wonder that people are hooked?