Want to stay committed to your fitness journey and avoid boredom? I know how easy it is to fall into a routine that eventually becomes a workout rut. Finding new ways to have fun while getting fit is something I always like to encourage my clients to do because I have been down that road before. This summer Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises (Pier 83 at West 42nd Street) teamed up with Crunch Fitness to put together an innovative cruise series to get New Yorkers in shape all summer long with CruiseFit. I loved the concept behind this experience largely because it is something I have never tried before. Workout enthusiasts got to enjoy the entire boat (all three levels), mixing and mingling and getting a killer workout. The crowd was diverse, with participants who appeared to be regulars and a few newbies like me. The workout was scheduled to happen rain or shine, and fortunately we got clear weather to get the full experience of exercising outdoors. As we all waited to depart, the instructors entered the ship, and their enthusiasm changed the entire dynamic and eased the tension of any newcomers. CruiseFit hosted two 30- to 45-minute workouts, kicking things off with a POUND workout, which I have been eager to try. The POUND workout was created by two women drummers and blends cardio interval training with using drumsticks to provide an additional challenge. Even with the confined space, everyone was still able to get an effective workout in that short period of time. Both the instruction and the music were upbeat and kept the intensity and moods high! Guests were given a break to hydrate and take photos as we circled around the Statue of Liberty. I caught a few new friendships forming in the crowd, which didn’t surprise me since it was such a memorable experience. We were also given the opportunity to order healthy or alcoholic beverages, but many of the guests stuck to water until after the second workout. Zumba was the next fitness session, and it appeared to be a crowd favorite. I like the variety of styles that were offered, as each instructor took turns working out the crowd. I wanted to dive in and learn more about the series and how the public had been responding to this unique workout experience, so I took the opportunity to speak with Brookelyn Suddell, director of group fitness strategy and development at Crunch Fitness. (Note: This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.) Nadia Murdock: How has the public responded to the CruiseFit Series? Brookelyn Suddell: The response from our members and the general public has been overwhelmingly positive. The uniqueness of the experience is in our Crunch brand identity to offer the most interesting, innovative, and fun fitness experiences we can dream up. We had originally thought that this series would be desirable to tourists primarily, although most of our guests are locals who love being able to watch the sun set over their city while getting a great workout and having a great time! Murdock: In what ways do you as an instructor help to make the experience even more unique than it already is? Suddell: My team and I are always trying to create a unique and positive experience for our members and guests in and out of the gym. For this program specifically, we look to really connect with the guests on a personal level. As instructors, it’s not often that you have extended one-on-one time with members and vice versa. So being able to really talk to them, see what they like, maybe take a few song requests, [and] even grab a drink with them offers a unique opportunity to take an instructor–member relationship and transform it into a friendship. Murdock: What do you love most about teaching the CruiseFit Series? Suddell: Tough one! My team and I love everything about it! We’re able to do what we love [and] share our passion with amazing people, and the setting is unmatched. Personally, I am really proud of this partnership. The Circle Line team has been fantastic, and I think the program as a whole embodies everything we stand for here at Crunch: inclusive, innovative, creates a sense of community and camaraderie, and most importantly, it’s FUN! I give this unique wellness experience a thumbs up, and I am hoping it will return again next summer!
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