My experience at EPIC Hybrid Training began and ended barefoot.
It wasn’t my usual experience but, then again, EPIC isn’t a usual studio.
The 1,500-square-foot facility in White Plains, reminiscent of an obstacle course, does not house exercise machines or heavy equipment. In fact, the workouts use minimal equipment.
And yes, that’s intentional.
EPIC challenges guests by offering high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, a series of fast-paced circuits in which participants use their own bodyweight — and some encouragement from their peers.
I arrived at the studio on a picturesque Friday morning for a 9:30 dynamic core class, led by instructor Vince Liguori. It was a class that I selected due to my lack of knowledge regarding core exercises, and I trusted that I’d be in good hands at EPIC. And I most certainly was.
The studio, owned by Anne and Pete Jones, opened its doors in November, joining a roster of EPIC spots in New York City, Miami and Providence, Rhode Island, with plans underway for Norwalk and San Francisco. Most important, all the locations follow a singular vision — to offer a friendly atmosphere for guests of all fitness levels to improve their well-being.
Before taking the class myself, I was both eager and intimidated — and rightly so. The EPIC concept has gained recognition in the fitness world and media alike, having been featured on the “Today” show and “Inside Edition,” among other programs. Though curious to see what the hype was all about, I was also concerned with how well I would perform.
The class consisted of four intervals of eight circuits for a total of 32 exercises. Each guest was to spend 50 seconds engaged at each station, with a 10-second rest in between. The class was fast-paced and challenging, though before I knew it, we were winding down with floor stretches.
Ironically, none of the exercises involved the typical core workouts, like situps, crunches or side twists. It’s another initiative of EPIC to evade monotony by offering variety, which certainly remained consistent throughout. Not to mention: None of the guests claimed to miss floor crunches.
Throughout the class — and even before — Liguori was attentive and enthusiastic. Upon entering, he inquired about my fitness experience, along with any prior injuries or discomfort. Throughout the class, he supervised all circuits, correcting the form of some 15 male and female guests while applauding our efforts.
He had a way of making the class feel as if its success was his success — and there’s hardly more you can ask for from a fitness instructor.
The camaraderie of the class was evident throughout, as all guests encouraged one another, offered guidance and were quick to applaud whenever an accomplishment was reached. My exercise partner openly shared about how the exercises at EPIC helped heal a lower-back injury that once caused her severe pain. And right alongside her, co-owner Anne chimed in, who was also taking the class.
The class was rigorous, though not overwhelming. Despite the time blocks, guests were able to exercise at their own pace and were not discouraged from doing so. Even the Monday following the Friday morning class, I still felt the burn from the exercises — signifying that I had challenged my body in a new way.
The class schedules change each month, so no single workout remains the same over a period of time. Each day is devoted to a different exercise and/or body part, although this also changes, along with the class schedule.
And along with the intensity of the workouts, the alternating class schedule is just the icing on the cake — or, rather, the protein in the shake.
Epic Hybrid Training Westchester is at 298 Tarrytown Road in White Plains. For more, call 914-285-9090 or visit westchester.epichybridtraining.com.