October 11, 2012

Refine Method- Former Ballet Dancer Creates an Inviting Workout Studio

If you avoid the gym for any of the follow reasons:
  1. Get intimidated by all the gym rats
  2. Feel lost or uncertain in the weight-room
  3. The place is just too smelly and gross
  4. Hate waiting in line for the elliptical/ stair climber/ leg press
  5. Hate that the weirdo in the cutoffs keeps watching you do your lunges/squats/crunches.. eww

 ...then Refine Method is probably your workout of choice.

This place is the exact opposite of all of the typical gym workouts.  Refine creator Brynn Jinnett has created the perfect workout studio for those of you who cringe at the sight of CrossFit.

Slip into your Lululemon gear and get sweating as you burn the fat and increase your strength…
This workout is circuit training based mixed with cardio bursts in-between. After a warm up consisting of quick  yoga moves and stretches you'll get your heart rate up with a series of cardio which may consist of jumping jacks, running in place, or jump squats.  Next it's time to move on to the circuit based training utilizing  minimal props such as: kettle bells, their wall attached pulley system (a great alternative to weights and machines), sliding disks, bands, or medicine balls. But don't worry about those, most exercises here use your own body for strength training with plenty of squats, pushups, and planks.  There's no relaxing here because In between circuits they'll raise your heart rate again with more quick cardio. Which is the perfect recipe to increase strength and burn calories.

Really it's a well thought-out workout plan for those of you who dread the gym. The weights are not intimidating, there isn't a ton of equipment to master, and you get individualized attention. With that said, Refine may not be enough of a challenge for those of you looking for something more hardcore. 

Classes are small so you'll get plenty of individual attention which is great. They try their best to call you by first name, which is a nice touch. The only improvement that I would make to their classes would be the music. Throughout the class they play music to warm you up, keep you motivated and then relax while you stretch; this is great but.. it was a bit dated. I wouldn't mind if they took a page from Soul Cycle and played something more exciting when the workout really got underway. 

The studios are small, but feel spacious with cleaver equipment placement. The amenities seemed to be good, although I did not make use of them. All locations have or will have showers  (still being finished at the new UWS location when we went). It's no spa, but you should have everything you need in a clean and kept space.

Classes are expensive at $32 but become more affordable with packages. I strongly recommend the Monthly Rewards Program if you workout a minimum of 2x a week.

Locations on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side and Union Square

Rating- out of 5 sweatbands
Studio -5
Instructors- 4
Sweat factor- 4
Amenities- 3


  1. Great review! I've been taking Refine for two years, pretty much from the beginning and it continued to challenge me every time. It gets harder, not easier, because they're always changing up the format to make it more intense. I absolutely love this class, I always have so much fun during it and I feel AMAZING after. I'm definitely one of those people who doesn't know what to do in a gym and I can never push myself on my own, so this really is the perfect workout for people like me.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I really think Brynn has created something special here. I look forward to returning to Refine very soon.