What We Tried: Exceed Physical Culture's SUMMIT (Strength & Ultra Metabolic Movement Interval Training) Class
Where: At Exceed's Upper East Side location in New York City. (There's also an East Hampton location.)
What We Did: SUMMIT classes are constantly varied to keep you body guessing. Instructor Mike Jock (not kidding) told me no two SUMMIT classes at Exceed are ever alike, although they have a lot in common. The instructors lead a small group (my class had eight people, almost all new to Exceed) through a combination of high-intensity intervals using tools like TRX suspension bands, kettlebells, medicine balls, BOSU balls, jump ropes, rowing machines and more. After a five-minute warmup, this particular class was heavy on the TRX -- we did pushups, squats, lunges, planks and more with the assistance of the bands -- interspersed with two mini circuits of rowing, jump rope, BOSU ball jumps and planks and more. I'm tired just typing it all.
For How Long: Classes are 50 minutes long.
How'd It Feel: Considering how challenging a seven-minute HIIT circuit can feel, I was slightly nervous about keeping up the intensity for nearly an hour. SUMMIT kicked my butt, but in the best way. Drenched in sweat, I caught myself smiling a couple of times, even when I could barely keep moving. Mike did a fantastic job encouraging us without seeming like a drill sergeant, by reminding us we had "just a few more seconds of work" to go. It helped that we didn't do any particular exercise for longer than 45 seconds, good news especially during the hardest movements. The 50 minutes flew by. The space is half boutique cycling studio half CrossFit box -- it's a simplified space for a high-intensity workout without any intimidation factor.
What It Helps With: Strength, endurance -- even balance. This workout hit all the bases.
What Fitness Level Is Required: One of the things I liked best about the TRX moves was that each was easily modifiable to my level of comfort. I could challenge myself more on moves I was really comfortable with, like high-knee running in place, and ease off a little on moves like suspended pushups. Jock assured me that this was normal, and that anyone can try a SUMMIT class, and will only get more out of it the more comfortable they get with the movements.
What It Costs: You can nab one class for $32 or save by buying a multi-class or monthly unlimited package.
Would We Do It Again: Yeah! It's pricey, but worth it for someone looking for an extra push. It's tough to get so much variation (not to mention positive encouragement) if you're curating an interval workout yourself.
For photos of Exceed, check out the slideshow below:
And sweat along with Mike's playlist from our workout:
Sail (Unlimited Gravity Remix) - AWOLNATION
Anxiety - Black Eyed Peas
Goin' Down On It - Hot Action Cop
Kick Out The Epic Motherf**ker - Dada Life
Feed The Dada - Dada Life
Killin' It - Krewella
Bangarang (feat. Sirah) - Skrillex
Still Getting It (feat. Skrillex) - Foreign Beggars
Fast Lane - Bad Meets Evil
Yes - LMFAO
We Can't Stop - Miley Cyrus
The Hardest Mistakes (feat. Cassadee Pope) - I See Stars
Feel Me - Krewella
Ready Set Roll - Chase Rice
For more from our We Tried It series, click here.