What to Wear to Culture, Chelsea’s Boutique Training Gym

Photos: Courtesy of Culture 

When scheduling a workout becomes harder than a workout itself, all bets are off. After all, who needs the added stress? Boutique training gym Culture Fitness seeks to solve that problem. Members are treated like members. They have time slots that belong to them, trainers who track their progress (Excel graphs, charts, and more included,) and intimate attention in a small space.


The training plans are curated and personalized so that three sessions per week really packs a punch. I went once and left with the sulky feeling that all the barre, yoga, and spin in the world would never quite compare (though they might be more of an experience).

Head trainer and co-founder Larry Twohig asks questions that get to the heart of the matter so that he can customize those plans. At one point, when I have been introduced to a torture device otherwise known as a Jacob’s Ladder and have ‘climbed’ 100 feet, and have another 100 to go, Twohig asks me if it’s my lungs or my legs that are feeling the pain. “My lungs,” I say, and he explains that I should work on endurance though my legs are strong (spin and whatnot).

culture 1Dreaded Jacob’s Ladder pictured at left

Being that Culture is for the working professional who returns to a phone with 75 emails after a single training session, the gear required is street-chic athleisure at it’s finest — who has time to change? Also, without the darkened ambiance of a spin studio, and with lights and omnipresent mirrors, a girl’s gotta look good. That is, after all, the best possible encouragement. For this, I returned to an aforementioned favorite, Alala, whose founder Denise Lee excels in making her customer feel like maybe she will never actually wear jeans and a top again. That’s how sexy, transitional, and chic this stuff is. The perfect confidence boost for those last five push-ups you don’t think you can survive.

IMG_9906Unabashedly admitting to being obsessed with my own outfit: twilight tank + this amazing neoprene sweatshirt + these leggings.

I’d love to see what miracles will occur were I to go to Culture 3x/week for even just a month. If you’re looking to hold yourself to high standard on any big time New Year’s resolutions, this might just the place you’ve been looking for.

Top 5 Ways to Werq Your Body and Mind and What to Wear: The Detox Diaries

Working out is so much easier in the summer. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. For me, it has nothing to do with bikinis or beaches, so I can’t entirely explain the phenomenon. Alas, it persists. Fall means getting creative to keep it interesting.

Here are the best solutions I’ve discovered to fix such a quandary:

  1. Look fly as f.
  2. Pick really kick-ass instructors and studios.
  3. Mix it up.

Post fashion week, I got mine handed to me in a variety of ways in a variety of neighborhoods and an even larger variety of outfits (thankful for that last one!).


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Pilates is no joke, and SpringTone, the latest class down on Duane Street, will make sure you’re damn clear on that. Alycea is the realest-deal, she’s trained everyone from Madonna to Claire Danes, and somehow manages to teach in a style I can only describe as 50% militant trainer, 50% maternal encouragement.

What to Wear:


I kept it chic for my TriBeCa workouts in Alala, which I am just as glad to wear on the street anyway.


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Named for Miami’s area code and started by 24-year-old firecracker Sadie Kurzban, 305 is deceptively difficult. Instructor Jess Evans could out-dance the Energizer Bunny.

What to Wear:  

zara terez

Photo by my sister, Aliza Spruch-Feiner, who is as unhappy to take it as I am to have volunteered myself to model fitness gear 😉 

Since I love the “Make Sweat Sexy” tagline, I opted for a class-tank and appropriately-bright Zara Terez leggings via Exhale, which might just contain the best variety of workout clothes in town.


nesh booty 1

During the initial week of the detox I carved out Exhale’s Central Park South location as a second home. Sakara oatmeal in tow, I pulsed from Core Fusion Barre to Deep Detox at the spa which is not so much a spa treatment as a second workout. This treatment is recommended both after a barre class and as part of a series (though I only did one), and I’d liken it to nothing I’ve ever experienced before, short of maybe electric stimulation in physical therapy.

deep detox

At the conclusion of my treatment, I was told I’d it was like I had done the equivalent of 648 crunches. K, cool, thanks!

What to Wear: Head-to-toe Nesh, an outfit that got lots of compliments in and out of downward dog.


crunch disq

I’m pretty sure I could try a different workout in NYC everyday for the next year and still have some options. TRANSFORMER WITH DISQ (available at Crunch gyms) is one of the less typical. It was developed as a tool to add resistance to essentially anything, anywhere, but for your average person, it makes more sense kept in a gym setting. Strapped on your ankles and hips, classic moves like mountain-climbers become that much harder when sporting a DISQ system. But you can’t help but smile when with every move; you feel like a robot/marionette.

What to Wear:

disq robot

Capitalizing on that robot-thang for a photo-op

Comfy sneaks and high-socks are key, so as to prevent friction between your skin and the ankle straps. Mine are Asics, as are my crops.


emily f s

As soon as I thought about detoxing the body, I knew a mental detox was necessary too. Somewhat surprisingly, meditation has not been boutique-ified in the same way yoga has and since I didn’t have time to join a monastery I was thrilled to meet Emily Fletcher, who I’ve since dubbed NYC’s queen of accessible meditation. Fletcher speaks with the mixed enthusiasm of a former-Broadway-actress and calm of a very seasoned meditator. I enrolled in her online course, ZivaMind and changed my habits (and brain chemistry) in eight days. But nothing compares to the serenity of Fletcher’s small in-person space, which I also visited for an extra sesh.


Proudest new posession

What to Wear:

spiritual ganster 2

It was pretty obvious that Spiritual Gangster was the way to go to get zen.