Switch Playground is perfect for people who live that go, go, go lifestyle (aka New Yorkers). In this HIIT style workout class, you and a partner will switch from workout to workout every two minutes, with the exercises ranging from the elliptical to medicine ball burpees, with trainers there to sort of tell you what's going on along the way. If you’re not stoked on being paired up with a (perfectly friendly but still unknown) stranger for the entire workout, bring a friend.
The class begins with vinyasa yoga, but it feels more like a glorified stretch. After seven or eight minutes, the music abruptly switches, the lights go down, and a live DJ is bumping your least favorite Yeezy song in the background.
From there you’re off to the races, starting with your assigned first station where you will (or won’t) be told what you have to do via a series of hand motions. You’ll likely nod along and then look at your companion, practically screaming what are we doing? with your eyes. By the time you actually have the workout down, the two minutes are up, and you’re switching to the next station—but you’re just as lost as everyone else in the room, so at least there’s that.
There are no “trainers” in this class. There’s a lead instructor as well as three to four additional instructors, but they mostly serve in a motivational capacity. They dance, they clap, they shout “let’s go!” and occasionally, they’ll correct your form. The lack of hands-on instruction, combined with the intensity of the workout, means that Switch shouldn’t be your next stop if your fitness journey to date consists primarily of running on a treadmill.
The class does go by quite fast, and you’re definitely sweaty and tired by the end. If Switch sounds like a lot, you might want to try Switch 40, their new 40 minute option. It costs less and runs for, you guessed it, 40 minutes. There are three styles of Switch 40: Cardio Circuit (the original, just shorter), Ab-Lab, which focuses on the core, and BoxCore, which is a cardio and strength based class that relies on boxing style motions. No matter what you choose, you’ll be very, very sore the next day.
Post-workout, the locker rooms are clean and nice, with plenty of showers, and they have all the fancy stuff that leaves you walking out happy and smelling nice. If you’re looking for the branded experience and cushy amenities of a SoulCycle, HIIT moves, and like working out with friends, you’ll love Switch. It’s easiest to get the most out of this workout if you already have a solid baseline fitness level, and you’ll enjoy it most if you bring along someone you already know.
— Photo Credit: Active Spaces.