In the never-ending pursuit of staying fit—and staying on top of fitness trends—people are shelling out more and more money on boutique fitness classes. In 2017, the average NYC class costs $34; there are some insane individuals who spend upwards of $13,000 per year on attaining (and maintaining) chiseled abs. But your money and your time is precious, which is why you shouldn’t waste an hour sweating and struggling through a class you hate with an instructor you can’t stand, all set to the worst playlist of all time. That’s where Sweat Concierge comes into play.
“As the boutique fitness industry continues to grow, deciding where to take a fitness class is as difficult as choosing where to eat,” the site’s founder, Tori Scott, admitted to the Observer. “There wasn’t a dedicated place where we could seek honest, straightforward reviews from a source we could trust.” That’s why they’re aiming to become “the Zagat or Michelin of the fitness world.”
Similar to your extremely toned workout buddy who isn’t afraid to speak their mind, Sweat Concierge offers insightful, well-researched and curated takes on the best spin instructors and the most friendly barre studios. Rather than providing a crowdsourced opinion on these classes (there’s Rate My Burn for that), Sweat Concierge depends on a team of esteemed reviewers to criticize each bicep curl, Pilates roll up and downward facing dog.
While these women are not fitness professionals, they are “regular people with extensive knowledge of specific activity areas, such as barre, pilates, or spin.” Basically, they’ve accrued hours of time in boutique studios and they just know when a class is working. The reviewers do not accept free classes, special treatment or any other forms of compensation. Like a food critic, their presence in class is always unannounced.
Each reviewer takes a three-pronged approach to their evaluation, taking into consideration the workout, the instructor and the space. They then delve into the minute—but important—details, such as the difficulty level and class structure, the instructor’s etiquette and technical knowledge, plus the check-in process and shower situation.
“James demo’d everything throughout class, making it clear what his expectations were. During the circuit, he was constantly circulating to support us and to clarify moves or comment on/correct form. At the end of class, he reiterated how hard we worked and that he was proud of us,” read one review of Exceed Physical Fitness on the Upper East Side.
“The fact that there are only two showers is kind of a nightmare after class but considering that other locations have no showers at all, we take it in stride,” reads Sweat Concierge’s take on the Fhitting Room Flatiron locker room. “The water pressure and rain-style shower head tend to melt away the stress of waiting in line and the Modern Apothecary product line doesn’t hurt either.”
Clearly, the site really delves into details and is extremely familiar with the sweaty subject at hand.
Sweat Concierge launched in Boston in 2015, but has expanded to New York this summer with 80 studio reviews to start, including every single Barry’s Bootcamp, SoulCycle, FlyWheel, SLT and Exhale in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Though the selection is now a bit basic, including the go-to spots that have been around for years (like Physique57, Yoga Vida, Cyc Fitness and SWERVE Fitness), the site does plan on expanding to include two or three new reviews each week. That’s in addition to specific guides based on location, activity, and occasion, to encourage you to book that class. Up next, Scott has her eye on Los Angeles, followed by the other major American cities.
As for the Michelin star rating on your post-workout protein shake? Well, good luck figuring that out.