Overworked. Underpaid. Caffeinated. Stressed. Bloated. Depressed. Sleep Deprived. If these words have become a staple in your vocabulary and your only form of exercise is speed walking to the PATH station while balancing your wallet on your coffee cup so that you can cram a breakfast sandwich into your mouth, it’s time for a wake up call.
Summer is right around the corner, but a winter filled with comfort food, long forgotten resolutions, and way too much booze has left our jeans a little tighter and our stomachs a few inches thicker. And the short, cold days haven’t just taken their toll on our waistlines; they’ve darkened our moods as well. Throw a turbulent economy and general sense of uncertainty into the mix, and it isn’t surprising that ‘gloomy’ seems to be the buzzword of the year.
Fortunately, with the right motivation, you can get your mind and body balanced again–and you don’t have to become a gym rat or run 40 miles a week to do it. Along with being packed with restaurants, bars, and boutiques galore, the mile square also boasts some of the hottest spots to sculpt your body and tune your mind.
Whatever your goals, workout style, or fitness level, Hoboken has something for you. So switch off the TiVo and step away from your Jack and Coke… it’s crunch time.
As you climb the stairs that lead up to 900 Madison, your eyes linger on the posters of chiseled men and lean women that are plastered all over the walls. You feel a mixture of inspiration, lust, and envy. And then you hear the music–loud, bass-thumping, booty-shaking music. Welcome to Club KO.
To some people, this 10,000 square-ft. studio filled with heavy bags and drill sergeant-like instructors, with guilty pleasure favorites blaring from the stereo, is their idea of nirvana. To others, it’s more like a torture chamber of pain and sweat. But one thing that all Club KO members can agree on is that it works.
It’s All About the Music
Hoboken native and CEO Joe Andreula has a black belt in karate and started doing these music-infused kickboxing workouts when he was in high school.
“I got into the routine of listening to Donna Summer, John Lennon, and Alvin and the Chipmunks,” he says with a grin. “Mainly Donna Summer, because that was the most upbeat. And I hit the heavy bag in my basement practicing for karate. That’s how I know this workout inside and out.” Fast forward 25 years, and Andreula is the owner of one of the most successful kickboxing chains in the US.
How it Works
The recipe for success is an hour-long bootcamp-style workout that can burn up to 1,200 calories per class. “Our brand of kickboxing is completely unique,” says head trainer, Mike Andreula. “There are a lot of factors involved that allow you to burn more calories and tone up faster than the elliptical trainer or running. We do it all–warm up, stretch, calisthenics, plyometrics, running, sprinting, core training and of course, hitting a heavy bag. Our workouts are tailored to get you lean and toned up–fast.”
But don’t think that that you have to be an elite athlete to get through a class. It’s designed so that each individual can go at his or her own pace, and fitness levels range widely. Their thousands of dedicated members are a testament to their mantra, ‘Get Addicted.’ “People reach a physical and mental high when they step into our studios,” say Mike.
Joe puts it simply. “A workout is only effective if you actually do it consistently–and if you’re not addicted, you just won’t do it.” And when you’re doing it to the beats of LL Cool J, AC/DC and Journey–well, then it’s even better.
Location: Uptown at 900 Madison Street, Downtown at 127 Grand Street
Price Points: $72/month gets you unlimited access to kickboxing classes and gym use at any Club KO location.
Achieve Your Ideal
If the idea of kicking bags and running laps with 50 other people sounds more horrifying than intriguing, a limb-lengthening Pilates session might be more your speed. At Premier Pilates and Training, group classes max out at six, with each person using their own Reformer (Pilates machine) and mat.
“The small class sizes allow for each client to garner the personal attention they may need, whether they are a beginner or a dedicated Pilates-goer,” says owner Meghann Koppele. “Pilates is all about form, so it is vital that we are constantly correcting and challenging each client.”
And there is no better instructor to learn from–at a time when most twenty-somethings are finishing up college or trying to get out of their parent’s basement, Koppele, who holds a masters from Columbia University and has been a Pilates instructor for eight years, opened up her own studio at age 24. Nearly four years later, business is thriving–and showing no signs of slowing down despite the economy.
O2 and Long Limbs
The studio’s clientele are mostly women, although she occasionally sees men who are seeking relief from back pain or a new way to get 6-pack abs.
“Most are looking to achieve strength, long lean muscles, stress relief, fun, and let’s be honest…they want to look good in a bathing suit,” says Koppele, adding “I can confidently say that after only a few classes you will see and feel a difference; Pilates can really transform the body.”
Additional benefits? The deep breathing ramps up oxygen circulation while improving energy and stress levels.
Koppele’s goal is to make sure that her clients walk out of every session in a good mood. “My motto is work hard, play hard, laugh hard. You’ll get a killer workout, relieve some stress, and most importantly–you’ll have fun.
Location: 22 Hudson Place
Price Points: Sessions range from $35 for a group class to $80 for a one-on-one. Packages are also available
It doesn’t matter if you’re hitting the heavy bag three times a week or doing 200 sit-ups a day. The bottom line is that you won’t see results if your idea of a well-rounded meal is 2 slices of pizza and a Diet Coke. So if you want to take it to the next level but could use some schooling on the basics, a consultation with a nutritionist could add even more ammo to your fitness plan.
“When it comes to weight loss, food is 70 percent,” says Complete Nutrition and Wellness owner, Inna Topiler, MS, CNS.” “Working out is very important, but you won’t be able to reach your goal with working out alone. You eat 3 to 5 times per day, so you need to feel and fuel your body correctly to sustain your life and sustain those workouts you are doing. It really comes hand-in-hand.”
Detox Your Diet
At her practice, Topiler counsels patients on everything from general weight loss and nutrition concerns to food allergies, digestive issues, and even stress and mood disorders–all things that she knows about first hand.
Topiler decided to pursue a career in nutrition after years of working a corporate job that left her sick, stressed, and imbalanced. A visit to a clinical nutritionist inspired her to completely change diet and lifestyle. “I underwent testing that determined all of the different imbalances I had which did not show up at all on conventional blood tests. Once I implemented all of the changes, I started to feel better and within the first year could not believe how much better I felt.”
Most clients that receive nutrition counseling are unaware of just how poor their choices are. “The biggest surprises are over how bad white carbs and sugars really are, and how much of these substances they are consuming. They also don’t realize how toxic artificial sweeteners are. By not reading labels properly, many chemicals are consumed.”
And kicking your sugar addiction won’t just benefit help you lose those last stubborn five pounds. Topiler stresses that, “keeping sugar low and balancing blood sugar has huge effects on mood, stress and overall well-being.”
Now that sounds tempting.
Location: 80 Park Avenue
Price Points: Initial in-depth 75-minute consultation is $155. Follow-up consultations are $80.
When you consider the impact of everyday life in the Metro Area on mood, stress and overall wellbeing, it’s nice to know there are options right here in Hoboken to help counter any negative effects.
When you consider the impact of everyday life in the Metro Area on mood, stress and overall well-being, it’s nice to know there are options right here in Hoboken to help counter any negative effects.