I Played at Switch Playground Tonight

Switch Playground Fitness

Um, whoa, you guys. 

I’ve tried a lot of workouts in my years, but I tried an insane one tonight — Switch Playground. There’s not many workouts I won’t try, so when my coworker Mallory asked if I’d try it, I was game. Playground? OK! 

This workout is no kids’ play.

Walking into it, I honestly had done no research. I walked into the ginormous studio (how did they get such a big space in Union Square?!) and the instructors (yes, multiple — there were 4-5 instructors and one dude who was almost an announcer, booming over the mic to let us know how much longer we had in each set, when to switch) told us this: 8 minute yoga warm-up, 20 stations, two minutes each.

Oh, and we had to sign on the waiver that we acknowledged there was a fog machine. So, I knew there was a fog machine. That’s about all I knew.

You’re given a towel with a number on it when you walk in, and you’re paired up with someone. Luckily Mallory and I got to work/play together. 

With the name Playground, I thought it might be like Throwback Fitness, but I think it’s called that because it really is a fitness playground for adults. Oh yeah, and there’s also a live DJ. 

Among the 20 stations: some crazy Bosus, stairmills, the goddamn Assault bike that’s showing up everywhere lately, box jumps, Arc trainers, treadmills, resistance bands, rowers, steppers, TRX, medicine balls.

Sometimes, circuit training drives me NUTS. When it’s not programmed well, or an instructor is a little dull, it bores me to tears — so I LOVED that once you finished a station, you were done. 

I have some chronic low back pain/tightness, so I sometimes have to make a few adjustments. I’ve dealt with this for a few years, so I know where/how to modify usually — no bent-over rows/flys, no v-sits. I don’t have particularly weak wrists, but renegade rows have never worked for my wrists. When we got this move, I immediately modified and the trainer tried to tell me to try it on my wrists. I told him it bothered them, and he was immediately fine with that. There were several other moves that when I immediately did the modification I knew worked best for me, they were about to tell me I was doing it wrong. 

I really enjoyed the class, but I’d say communication in those types of situations is kind of difficult because it’s so loud and fast-paced. That energy made me feel really competitive, but I also made sure to focus to make sure that I had the right form and wasn’t rushing through the movements sloppily in order to keep up with someone else. Because of that communication, I’m not sure this is the best class for a beginner. Usually, even most high-intensity workouts can be modified down, but I think it’s important to have a foundation in at least basic moves before trying this class.

If you were building your own “fitness playground,” what equipment/moves would be a part of it? 

I’m the sick one who would include burpees, for sure. Probably also an erg, treadmill, and DEFINITELY A TRX. <— Still can’t explain my weird obsession w/TRX. 

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