Review of Physique 57 Classes

Hey guys! I hope your week is off to a good start. I’m feeling kind of icky today. I’m not sure if it’s something I ate or if I’m coming down with something (I always think I’m immune to sickness in the summer…) so I skipped my planned yoga class and have just taken it easy tonight. I ate canned Amy’s lentil soup for dinner and started season 2 of Downton Abbey.

And now, I’m gonna hand over the blogging reins to my bestie Crystal. After Physique 57 sent me their book (read my review here) and DVD to try out (review to come soon), I wanted a review of an in-person class to go along with them to complete the review trifecta. 🙂 Since, unfortunately, I have no plans to visit NYC or LA anytime soon, I sent Crystal in my place. Enjoy reading about her experience – I know I did!

Hi all! I’m Crystal, one of Teri’s ‘besties’ [Teri interjecting here: ha! I just noticed she wrote besties after I just wrote that above…she knows me well…] and since Teri can’t attend a Physique 57 class in person (whaattt? Winston-Salem doesn’t have a Physique studio!?), I am reviewing the class for her to go along with her book and DVD review! So here we go:

There are 3 Physique 57 locations in Manhattan. I took two classes and chose the Spring Street location both times because it was the easiest to get to from my office and also the studio where my longtime friend and avid Physique-er goes [hi Dani!]. A few hours before my first class, someone called to remind me of my reservation and to give me a heads up on what to wear and to arrive early to sign my waiver.

The studio is bright white with blue accents, really clean, with hallways lined with framed celebrity endorsements from every magazine ranging from Health to Vogue to US Weekly. The waiting area has a few racks and shelves to sell Physique 57 books, resistance balls, and crazy expensive workout clothes (last time it was Stella McCartney and Lululemon, the first time is was some other brand that made me immediately release my grasp and retract my arm in horror when I saw the price). Overall, it was exactly the feel you would expect when shelling out that sorta cash for an exercise class [see insane prices below].

Both classes were ‘mixed’ classes, meant for beginners and intermediate. In my first class there were only about 10 girls, in the second we had a full studio of 20 lovely ladies, in both cases: almost all of them were skinny and perfectly coiffed, meanwhile ALL of them in were in head to toe Lulu (in fact, an instructor even gave a compliment to “yellow Power Y-Tank” on her form).

All the instructors are ridiculously cute and impossibly toned, the vast majority being professional dancers. In my second class we had 2 instructors, I’m assuming because of the larger size of the class. It was nice to have two because there were double the eyes to adjust form and posture but I didn’t really love one of the instructors. They took turns leading the class and when it was her turn I felt like she was so rehearsed that she was just singing the moves rather than giving instructions, and I generally had no idea what we were supposed to be doing.

Also, in the first class, the studio was fully mirrored so when we started class we were in a circle with the instructor in the center. I really liked that, it felt really inclusive for everyone. On my second class, I failed to notice that one wall didn’t have mirrors. So I obliviously set myself up along the long mirrored wall and only realized at the very last moment that everyone was facing towards the mirror I was standing at.

My horror at realizing I was at the front of the class.
Cue minor panic attack that I’m in the very ‘front’ of the class now where everyone is going to see how uncoordinated I am at this. Luckily this only lasted for the first few exercises and then people returned to their respective mirrors or blank wall.

The workouts were basically the same both times. It was front loaded with arms exercises for your ‘warm-up’, followed by intense thigh and butt exercises utilizing the resistance ball, ending with a short [but grueling] abs workout. I really enjoyed that even your cool downs were still working out a muscle group (some awkward hip thrusts and shakes) that the moved seemed real easy at first but had you shaking by the end. Even though I didn’t sweat too much, the instructors claimed we were burning up to 590 calories per class (and as I sit here drinking a post-class glass of red wine I choose to believe them).

My finals thoughts as I was leaving the class, went something like this:
1. Ohmygod, I am NOT going to be able to walk tomorrow!
2. Man, if I kept up with this class, my butt would look phe-nom-enal.
3. Howwww, oh how, can I make myself able to afford this?! [again, see insane prices below]

Overall, I would definitely recommend taking the classes to anyone who was interested (and local to New York or LA where they have studios). Having almost no dance background (except from age 5-6) I feel like I really got a lot out of having the instructors correct my form (over and over and over again). I could really feel the difference between how I was doing it and then when they nonchalantly slipped to my side to nudge my knee a few inches.

what I thought I looked like

what I actually looked like
 There’s also the intense pressure to push yourself when 19 other girls are right there with you (because if they can do it, obviously I should be able to too right!?). However, and this is a huge however, Physique 57 classes are pricccceeeyyy! You know those insane prices I kept mentioning? A single class is $35 and packages of classes don’t make it much cheaper. A ‘newcomers’ month unlimited is $250 but then it bumps up for $375 a month for regulars!  

So if you an afford it (I can’t) I suggest you totally go for it. Your buns will thank you.



  • lisa

    I enjoyed your review, I just bought the DVD’s from my used bookstore and really like them although it isn’t something I have been able to do consistently.

    • Alex @ Brain, Body, Because

      Yes, this. I think I’ll probably stick to the DVD’s and book. Also, I don’t live in NYC or LA 😛

  • Shanna

    Nice review! I’m glad to hear my thoughts aren’t totally off base, sounds we like had much of the same experience…undoubtedly an effective workout, but sort of an annoying vibe, and absurdly priced.

  • Alex

    This sounds a lot like Pure Barre. I don’t know how some of the girls are in head to toe lulu every single time. Targay anyone? It is a flipping good workout, especially for someone like me who needs the stretching.

  • Mrs Type A

    Great review, crys! It does sound a lot like Pure Barre, which was also like $30/class, filled with fit women who looked rich and wore head to toe lulu. That was also a great workout and I was legit VERY sore after it, but dayammm WAY too expensive! It’s just crazy.

  • Dani

    Great review Crys! You’re hysterical – can’t wait to workout again with you next week!

  • ellen

    nice review! i live in nyc and have attended about a dozen physique classes (they have a pretty good newcomer beginner deal – unlimited month, i think?). anyhow, i agree with the assessment here. great workout, loads of $$, and lots of lulu. certainly not something i could put in my regular workout rotation. though, to be fair, the mixed classes are generally those who are above level one, but not quite intermediate. they offer beginner classes (which are great and truly instructional and ‘beginner’). you’ll also find that the clientele is a bit more in my comfort zone at beginner and level 1s (yes, normal bods and tarj workout clothes) haha. so if anyone wants to try it out, i strongly suggest a beginner class!

  • Annette @ FitnessPerks

    I could see how it would be way intimidating. And that is wayyy crazy expensive for a class! Great review!