You hear celebrity trainer, boutique fitness class, studio on the Upper East Side, and you think you have a clear picture of the place you’re going. Picture the Lily Van Der Woodsens of the world working out with picture perfect bodies and even better hair.
That’s where I thought I was going when I was told we were trying out Anna Kaiser Technique (AKT) as part of our effort to focus on wellness this month. It’s the studio of which’s namesake Anna Kaiser is the personal trainer for Shakira, Kelly Ripa, and Karlie Kloss. Can you say body G-O-A-L-S?!
I’d been told AKT is an inclusive studio of primarily female clients with locations in NYC, CT, East Hampton, and LA. Anna’s goal was to create a series of four workouts that incorporated all aspects of fitness so we don’t have to run to all different studios to get a full body workout.
This all sounded great—but in the back of my mind I’ll admit, I was skeptical. Would I be able to keep up with these super fit women?! After all, some of the workouts included elements of dance and if you’ve ever seen me have more than one cocktail you’ll know I’m known for moving my shoulders while I sip my whiskey…and that’s about it. I’m the quintessential “don’t put me down for cardio” and definitely don’t put me down for dance cardio.
But alas, I tried all four of the workouts in eight day’s time, and I’m writing this with a very different perspective. Here’s how they went:
Workout One: A 6:30 pm Sweat Dream Class at the NoMad Location
Four of us from the Keep Team went to this class. Can you say bonding? We have a major range in athletic ability—our fearless leader and CEO Stacie attends 5 am boot camp in Harlem 6 days a week and you remember my philosophy on cardio—but we were in it to win it together.
We got to the NoMad location and were greeted by so many smiling faces. And not the endorphins make you happy so you wouldn’t kill your husband happy—really genuine ladies who literally learned all four of our names and remembered them after class. Maybe a more impressive feat than surviving Sweat Dream with Megan…just kidding, keep reading. That class was hard.
Sweat Dream is a class of strength and cardio. We used resistance bands throughout nearly the entire class and alternated between cardio and strength in 15 minute sections that involved the resistance band, weights, a box, and lots of wiping away of sweat. Sorry, gross, but true. I don’t know if I can adequately describe how simultaneously insanely hard and insanely motivating this class was. Between jacking it out and Megan very kindly reminding me of my left and right as I jumped up on the box, I left Sweat Dream thinking maybe I really could be the kind of girl who goes to and gasp enjoys crazy hard fitness classes.
Oh, and the women in the class? Kick ass humans. Lily Van Der Woodsen is fake in more ways than one, and our fellow classmates were other NYC ladies just making their workouts happen on a Tuesday night like us.
I won’t lie, we went out for wine and snacks after this class. But we earned them—and I didn’t eat the fries. Considering that a double W for the night.
Workout Two: A 12:30 Happy Hour at the Nomad Location
I’d been told Happy Hour was the most dance oriented class of the four so I was on high alert for looking like an idiot. So it was a good thing our Sales Director Jessica also opted into taking this class. We went at 12:30 on a Friday thinking it would be the perfect end to the week! And it honestly so was.
When we got there, our instructor Kate warned us that if it seemed like everyone else knew the dance moves better than us, it’s because they did. AKT changes up their choreography every 2-3 weeks to keep everyone engaged and get that full body workout in and this was the last week of the choreography. We still went in with heads held high—don’t worry.
When the class first started, I won’t lie, I felt confused and a little anxious about the moves. Remember—there was no trusted whiskey to help loosen up. But as soon as I thought to myself, “you’re here to have fun and get a good workout and so is everyone else” it got so much better. I just did my best mimicking Kate’s moves, taking a breather when I needed one to either absorb the addition to the routine or catch my breath, and prayed it was time for weights again. Who ever thought they’d be wishing for weights?! Not this girl.
Dare I say it, by the end of this 60 minute class, I was actually having fun. Channeling my inner late night club dancing was the way to go and the class flew by—and hey, I might even have some new moves to introduce on the dance floor.
Workout Three: 10:45 am Express 4Play at the UES Studio
This workout was a big one. I was going alone and to a new studio. But honestly, at this point I was starting to feel addicted and woke up on a Saturday with this workout being the highlight of my day. This 4Play class was only 45 minutes and was also a mixture of cardio and strength.
It sort of felt like a combination of Sweat Dream and Happy Hour. I loved the way the cardio and strength were incorporated together and knew that I was working out harder than I felt like I was. The choreography was so fun and easy to pick up that it really didn’t feel as hard as the others.
This class was with Megan again and she literally remembered my name and was chatting with other clients in a way that made it all feel so welcoming. And after class, other instructors and clients were all chatting. It felt like the social place to be on a Saturday morning! And they had spa water which literally makes every and any experience one million times better. Take that eucalyptus towels.
Workout Four: 7:30 pm AKTone at the UES Studio
This was the perfect way to end my week of AKT. Stacie, and I took this class together and I won’t lie, there was a sigh of relief when our instructor Alyssa told us there’d be no cardio. AKTone focuses on toning your legs, arms, and core in that order. If you think that means it was easy—you’d be wrong. With the combination of resistance bands, workout balls, and two sets of weights I spent the first 45 minutes wishing I was stumbling over my own feet during a dance routine.
I could feel my body being toned through the combination of isometric and isotonic movements. Sweet relief came after those first three sections when Alyssa informed us we’d survived and now had 15 minutes of foam rolling. I’ll admit, I don’t think I’ve ever used a foam roller correctly before. And I’d definitely never used one so intentionally. We foam rolled every part of our bodies and it hurt so good.
By the end, I had that feeling you get post massage when you can feel the toxins leaving your body and know you need to chug some serious water. It was the perfect way to end a week of some of the hardest, most invigorating workouts I’d ever done.
Now that my week as the kind of girl who goes to boutique fitness classes is over, I’m so sad about it. AKT was exactly as it was described to me—a kick ass workout studio with a super inclusive feel for awesome women looking for an inspiring place to workout. I know, I know, I’m drinking the Kool-Aid. But the workouts are hard and you walk out of every class feeling like you accomplished something huge.
For the best results (Think Kelly Ripa bod), AKT suggests taking 3-4 workouts a week and I have no doubts that you’d see major changes sticking to that regiment. For those of you who live somewhere with an AKT Studio, lucky you! We scored you 10 classes for $250 (normally $325!) with code KEEP. And if you don’t, you’re still in luck. AKT has an On Demand Platform and Keep users get $50 off with code KEEP. Also ideal for those of you who travel all the time.
Try it out and tell them Keep sent you! We’d love to know what you think of the workout so tag us in your workout pictures and tell us what you think! Who knows, maybe you’re the kind of girl who belongs in a boutique fitness studio too.