A New Lease on a Healthier Life

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Never fear, workout warriors. After 10 years in the same space, Physique 57’s SoHo studio has closed, but the new one across the street at 180 Sixth Avenue is now open.

The lease was up, and Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi, the Physique 57 co-founder and CEO, wanted to stay in the neighborhood. The new studio joins three others in Manhattan, as well as places in the Hamptons, Beverly Hills, Dubai and Bangkok; and on-demand video classes.

Maanavi started Physique 57 in 2006, after a decade of working on Wall Street and working out at The Lotte Berk Method. The popular studio from London incorporated ballet movements into cardio and strength training, but when it announced its closing, Maanavi was inspired to start her own. “I used to go three or four times a week—it was slam dunk amazing,” says Maanavi of Lotte Berk Method. “My back pain went away. I went down two dress sizes.” She took matters into her own hands, working with one of Lotte Berk’s top instructors Tanya Becker to create Physique 57. 

The barre craze is not new to New York City, but Physique 57 brings a unique aspect to the workout by focusing on interval overload training, “which is where you take the muscle to exhaustion and stretch it to release,” says Maanavi. “Physique 57 is a blend of cardio, strength training and flexibility training.” The interval overload method also helps with injury prevention and rehab, because the classes focus on building muscle and as well as stitching. “When someone has a bad back or knee, it can be because there isn’t enough muscle around the area. Because we’re working on building muscle and then taking the time to stretch it, it ends up improving peoples’ injuries.” The method is available to participants of all levels, as each instructor is trained to incorporate modifications into individual exercises as necessary.

Though barre is traditionally done on carpet, the new Physique 57 space will feature a new type of flooring, which will eventually be installed in all locations. “It replicates all of the cushioning aspects of carpets, but will allow us to do different forms of exercise,” says Maanavi. Already introduced is a dance cardio class (think Tracy Anderson or AKT), and there are plans to feature other classes like HIIT. Also new to SoHo is a lighting system that will allow the classes to take advantage of color therapy—and participants to forget that winter-like temperatures outside.


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