To start the year off with a bang, we’re stoked to introduce you guys to our Studio Spotlight this month: Switch Playground. We discovered Switch Playground as soon as its first US location opened by Union Square, and after our first class, we were hooked. This studio has it all: a live DJ, cool lighting, amazing machines, and tons of sweat. We caught up with Director of Business Development & Marketing, Susan Harrison, who gave us the lowdown on Switch Playground. Bonus, your first class at Switch Playground is free and because we know you’ll be hooked like us, they’re offering HBFIT readers 5 classes for $100 with code HBSWITCH20. Come sweat it out with us all month long!
Our experience at Switch Playground was unlike any other workout we’ve ever done! Can you explain the workout to someone who has never been before?
SWITCH is a precisely choreographed total body H.I.I.T. workout which challenges every fitness level. You perform the circuit with a partner. The 60 minute workout starts and ends with a 4-6 minute yoga flow. The workout itself consists of 20 different circuit stations, with various different exercises ranging from kettle bells,TRX, Assault Bikes, Rowing Machines, Treadmills, Heavy Bags, Medicine Balls, Box Jumps, the list goes on and on – it’s a fitness Playground for adults. Each round is 2 minutes long and broken up into 30 second intervals. Combining circuit training with intervals is one of the best ways to burn fat and gain lean, strong muscle.
We love that Switch prides itself on challenging the body, mind, and soul. Can you explain a little about the philosophy behind the workout?
Everyone should be able to tap into what it feels like to work their body as an athlete, and we believe that the mind, body, and soul are all intertwined. It’s not enough to just workout, its about having a healthy mind, body and soul. That’s why we use the first few minutes to center you, we ask you to leave everything outside the studio door and focus on getting your mindset where it should be, setting your intention for the next 60 minutes. Our philosophy is that when you are engaged on all 3 levels, you are truly “switched on” and realizing your best self.
How does Switch Playground’s vibe as a studio differ from other studio cultures?
SWITCH has a very inclusive, fun, edgy vibe. We want everyone who comes in our door to feel like they have found their fitness home. The Playground concept extends beyond just the studio doors. We are working hard in that studio, but we are also playing hard. It is serious fitness, but it should be fun. If we can inspire you to bring out the very best inside you, that’s when the magic happens. When you walk through the doors of The Playground you leave the world behind, you set that intention for the next 60 minutes — and you flick the switch on your day.
We noticed that the studio’s use of multiple trainers, high-tech lighting and sound, and state-of-the-art facilities makes up for such a fun, unique workout environment. What was the intention in all of these cool details?
Because we believe in the SWITCH Trifecta – where the best results are achieved when mind, body and soul are all engaged —we make a special effort to ensure our studio caters to this mission. When you are truly “switched on”, you are capable of being your best. So music, lights, sound system, all of those things are key to creating an amazing environment, and inspiring hard work. Multiple trainers are very important to us, as they help ensure proper form, safety, and provide modifications to any exercise, if needed. The state of the art facilities are something we are particularly proud of. We have spent a lot of energy and resources to ensure that we have the highest quality equipment and amenities. We don’t believe in cutting corners in our workouts or in our studios.
We heard Switch Playground was originally founded in Cape Town, South Africa. How did it make the move to the US?
It was the lifelong goal of our Founder, Steve Uria, to share his fitness concepts with the NYC landscape. The SWITCH Playground philosophy vibrates at the same energy as this city, so that was always part of the plan since founding the workout in Capetown 2 years ago. Bringing the workout here is the first step of our international expansion.
What would you say to a beginner who might be intimidated to take a class?
We cater to every level! Because we have multiple trainers, you will always have someone watching you and helping coach you along. And the fact that you have a partner working out with you makes the experience that much more fun! Because each station is 2 minutes, broken into 30 second intervals, even if you find one move particularly difficult, anyone can do anything for 30 seconds! We are not a bootcamp – no one will be screaming or yelling at you. We are a fitness Playground. So, yes we take the workout seriously, but you will be having so much fun you will forget how hard you are working. That’s the beauty of SWITCH.
We also love that Switch Playground prides itself on never offering the same exact class twice. How is this done?
Our workouts are choreographed daily. Because we have a plethora of state of the art fitness equipment at our disposal, we are able to literally switch it up on the daily. We are careful to balance the strength, conditioning & cardio each time, as well as paying equal attention to every body part. It looks like a fun party, but there is actually a lot of serious thought and work that goes into each and every class.
How do you want people to feel after a workout at Switch Playground?
Fitter, faster, better, stronger, happier.
What are some of the jams currently playing at Switch Playground?
Our DJs are versed in the journey we take all our players on. We try and cater to all different types, so in addition to the cutting edge new music, we also play remixes of popular songs and trap, and hip hop. (Check out what they’re listening to in the studio below!)
The first Switch Playground opening in the US is super exciting. What’s coming up in the new year for Switch?
In addition to our Union Square Location, we are opening our second studio in Soho this winter. We are making a big commitment to NYC, and to the United States. Stay tuned for announcements on more locations this year!
Photos by Aydin Arjomand Photography