Monday, January 30, 2012

Review of Stoked 360 with Kira Stokes

A few weeks ago I got a pass to check out the Reebok Sports Club/NY.  Reebok has a group class roster that includes fitness superstars like Kira Stokes, Ilaria Montagnani and Kristin McGee. Not too shabby. I chose to go on a day when Kira Stokes was teaching her signature total body conditioning class, Stoked 360.


The Gym: Gorgeous! Six floors of state-of-the-art equipment. Two Basketball courts. A pool. A running track. Cycling studio.

The Scene: The class was held in one of the 2 group exercise studios and it was packed! I chatted with some regulars as we waited outside and it's clear that Kira has a following. There were lots of regulars and it was obvious that these ladies (and a few gentlemen) came every week. In fact, there were way too many people and I constantly had to watch out for neighbors to ensure that I would not crash into them.

The Class: Required a lot of props including two sets of weights, a jump rope, a stepper, and a medicine ball. This is a total body workout and is described as "combining elements of traditional and functional conditioning, with high intensity cardiovascular intervals and body weight exercises." Compound movements are the theme here. Exercises included forward lunges with overhead presses, pushups with alternating dumb-bell rows, pushups with burpees, to name a few. Each set contained 3 exercises and sets were repeated before moving onto a new set of exersies. In between sets we had to jump rope, do jumping jacks or jog in place as Kira would demonstrate the next set of exercises. The class is high-intensity and very fast-paced. As soon as you get the hang of one set of exercises Kira has moved you onto the next set.


The Instructor: Kira pays a colossal amount of attention to form.  A couple of times she stopped the flow of the class to demonstrate what the class' overall (incorrect) form looked like and how it should be corrected. I did see her give a few individual form corrections but that is hard to do in a class as large and fast-paced as this. If you are hoping for a warm and fuzzy instructor then this is not the class for you. She's the type of instructor who wants to make sure you worked as hard as you possibly could. I was hoping to talk to her after class but she walked away from me while I was go talk to one of her regulars! Rude? Or just flaky? I will never know, but either way, not the ideal last impression I would have wanted to be left with.

Overall: Great class. 75-minutes of high-intensity cardio and strength training in a fast-paced setting. Gym classes always pack in too many people, as did this one, and it would be interesting to try a class with fewer clients just to experience the brunt of Kira's intensity.