Workout Review: Refine Method NYC

by agirlandhermutt on April 24, 2012

This is going to be a little different from reviews I have done in the past. There was no appetizers inhaled, fried pickles inspected, or entrees that I couldn’t live without. Instead this review will be filled with sweat and maybe a little tear near the end.

It is officially my first Workout Review! I might have a few more in the future (Piloxing, Zumba, etc.). These are just my own thoughts and experiences and are certainly not the thoughts of a fitness pro. You know, just in case you didn’t realize that.


Workout Review: Refine Method NYC

When I first let Meg know I was coming to visit her in NYC she asked me what interesting boutique workout I was interested in trying. She is a BIG pilates fan, which I have tried, but we were both willing to try something new. Enter the Refine Method.

A new location in Union Square just opened and was offering a pilot program to get the studio started so we took advantage of their offer for a free class for first time Refine clients.

Refine was developed by former New York City Ballet dancer, Brynn Jinnett. It is a combination of cardio and resistance training. You work a variety of muscles all at the same time instead of just one muscle at a time. This is done through cardio movements, kettle balls, and a customized pulley system that offers resistance similar to free weights.

The studio is a lovely, but simple space. A large waiting area with a few lockers and changing areas. We took our shoes off and walked into the actual fitness area to be greeted by our instructor who just happened to be the owner, Brynn.


Everyone there looked like a former (or current) ballet dancer except for myself and one gentleman. They all seemed to know each other too which I think says something about the consistent following the Refine is gathering.

We were directed to our stations and given a brief overview of how the class worked. I appreciated that Brynn acknowledged that we were newbies,but didn’t focus on speaking with just us. Points for not making me feel like I’m the only one who has never done Refine before!


Then we got started. Right off the bat we started with jumping jacks. If there is one exercise that I hate it is jumping jacks. Right behind my hate of jumping jacks is jumping rope. I’ll give you one guess as to what move we did next? Ugh. It gets the heart rate up, but it makes me feel all floppy. I did them though and got through it.

The class is a series of circuits. Cardio, strength with kettle balls or your own body weight, and then another strength move that utilized the pulley system. Right off the bat I was reminded of my time with Jillian during the 30 Day Shred. Fortunately Brynn didn’t yell at me like Jillian does. Just like Jillian, there were no squats unless kettle balls were being utilized by the arms at the same time.  I love the multi muscle approach!

Brynn guided us through the class, giving corrections where needed and encouraged us often. She had an assistant, or another teacher?, there as well that would demonstrate the move to do before we started. It was all fast paced and hard for any person to get bored at any point. Don’t worry. I tried and failed.

My only complaint is about the pulley system. I wish we used it more! I love lifting weights and was excited to give the pulleys a run for their money. In our first circuit we only used the pulleys as a place to put our hands as we did single leg lunges. The second time we used them was to do bicep curls. I was really hoping to use them more since it isn’t something you find in any other class or workout.

At the end of the class I was sweaty, totally worn out and my butt muscles were screaming at me. Meg and I walked out totally pumped for the day and looking like a hot mess. Little did I know that the same afternoon I would be texting Meg that she might have to come home to help me off the toilet because my butt was so sore that I couldn’t pull myself off the seat. True story. Embarrassing, but true.

$$$– Working out at a boutique fitness center doesn’t come cheap. A drop-in class is $32 and they offer packages that range from monthly unlimited ($300/month) to 10 class packages ($304). No contracts or requirement to join though.

Final verdict: I love Refine Method! I felt like I got a complete total body workout. The class seemed challenging, but doable for a non-fitness pro like myself, but it also seemed to be a good workout for a few women there who were talking about their first marathon that is coming up. The class size is small enough for individual attention, but big enough that you don’t feel like you are on display the whole time. I plan on visiting again on my next trip to NYC and if I lived in the area I would definitely purchase a class package!

*Just a note…while this class was free for me, it is also free for any first time client. I was not asked to do this review and all opinions are my own. I am not a fitness professional. *


Do you have any unique fitness classes in your area? Any suggestion on what I should try next?

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dori April 25, 2012 at 9:49 am

Great review! I love Refine and have been going for about a year and a half now. I’m glad you had a good experience! The great thing about Refine is that every class is different, so sometimes we use the pulleys a lot but others we might not at all, or a mix. I hope you come back!


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