Refine-moi

I don’t know why when I think of the word “Refine” I think of France. French people. French things. Along those lines after reading that sentence, I don’t know why anyone would continue to read this post. But I will forge on. The lovely Dori had been touting the fabulosity of Refine Method for quite some time. I don’t know about you, but I tend to get into workout “zones”. This current zone I am in is “intense”. It involved fast-paced cardio sculpting classes, quick treadmill speed-runs, sweaty spin sessions and other full body training. Everything I do at the gym lately has seemed really intense, in a specific way. I thought it would behoove me to try a ‘different’ intense. So what is Refine? Well first of all, a chance to hate learn  from Brynn (hello, amazing dancer body…sorry, I call it like i see it… 😉 )

According to the website:


Benefit from Cardio and Resistance Training Together: Through resistance training, we produce a cardio burn while building metabolically-active lean muscle, the antidote to traditional repetitive cardio and the most efficient way to change your shape.

Move the Way You Were Made: We exercise your body in the way it was designed move. Refine’s circuits are made up of Five Essential Movement Patterns to prevent muscle bulk, develop transferable strength and encourage functional mobility.

Harness Refine’s Intelligent Sculpting Sequence: First, we focus on large movements, stoking the metabolism and stripping the fat. Then we move to targeted finishers to activate and attack the smaller problem areas, leaving an attractive, balanced physique.

Escape the Herd: At Refine we want to help you make smart choices about your exercise program. Refine trims the fat off all the fitness jargon, educating clients about what works and what doesn’t so you can navigate the NYC fitness scene and separate fact from fiction.

So I took the subway a cab (sorry M!!!) Saturday morning to join Dori in an effort to “Refine” my current routine.

My thoughts:

  • I was underwhelmed by the studio. And I mean that in a totally AWESOME way.  Follow me here. Walking in and seeing a tiny studio with individual areas dedicated to each person in the class and knowing it wouldn’t be a packed mad-house was IMMEDIATELY calming and centering.
  • The ‘materials’ were few and easily accessible. The pulley system on the wall acted as your weights and resistance, a weighted ball and mat was the rest of the ‘get-up’. I love simplicity.
  • The class was great. The mix of cardio and strength definitely kept me huffing and puffing, but, for lack of a better description, in a “Refine-d” way. I hope Brynn doesn’t kill me for using 1,000 puns to describe her awesome class. I digress. I felt like everything I was doing was focused, tight and appropriately sequenced. I personally believe in circuit style workouts across the board and feel them to be the most researched/effective, and Refine offers just that in it’s own way.
  • Individual attention became key here. Brynn walked around the entire class fixing and critiquing form. There is nothing I hate more than doing a workout wrong. And although Equinox may be my happy place, there is no way in a room of 30 you can offer the attention to posture, form and general practice you can as in a small Refine Method class. There is no substitute for doing something correctly, and only downside to doing it wrong. I see this aspect of the class as a fundamental benefit.
  • Brynn is awesome. Her no-BS attitude and obvious personal work ethic really shows through in her class and teaching, and that really spoke to me

Bottom line? If I lived closer to the studio (for non-NYC-ers the trek to the studio is over 45 minutes for me including two trains) I think this is something I would easily be convinced to add to my fitness regime. So if you live uptown or on the UES?

The first class is free, so no excuses, check it out.

And not to be forgotten, Dori and I shared a delicious brunch at Cilantro

which was new to me and a great recommendation. The omelette (my usual go to on the weekends, egg whites, veggies and some variety of cheese or protein) had delicious and fresh veggies and the place was an adorable Mexican hole in the wall. And I love me some Mexican. Ole. Great workout, great brunch and great company. Doesn’t get much better in my world.

So tell me, lovelies:

  • What’s your go to brunch?? I’m an egg girl, the sweet stuff just never calls to me (I know, weird…)
  • What’s a workout you want to try that’s out of your ‘routine’??


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17 thoughts on “Refine-moi

  1. I love this review so much!! You said it all perfectly, I could not have said it better myself. I am lucky enough to live 10 blocks from Refine so I get to go all the time. You should move! Haha.

    Brunch was good, I loved the side of guac. The guac/egg combo is a yummy one. Like I said, I need to bring you to Bistro 61, obsessed with their omelettes.

    I am actually obsessed with ALL breakfast foods, they are my favorite foods in the world. Pancakes, French toast, eggs are all my favorite depending on my mood.

  2. Great review! I felt the same way about the Refine studio. At first I was like, “This is it?” Then I was quickly like, “This is perfect.” I also loved Brynn’s hands-on corrections. I never would have realized I was doing stuff incorrectly, and she made tiny tweaks to my body, making a huge difference in the impact of the exercise.

    Go to brunch? Current obsession is the California Wrap at Coffee Shop: scrambled egg, Jack cheese, bacon, avocado. Heaven in my belly.

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Refine-moi | Miles and Manhattan -- Topsy.com

  4. my sister lives literally right across the street from cilantro! the one on 1st ave! she goes there allll the time haha and i love where she lives because it’s right on top of a tlc 🙂

  5. “There is no substitute for doing something correctly, and only downside to doing it wrong. I see this aspect of the class as a fundamental benefit.” Spot on comment about Refine and any other workout that exists. Adjusting your body one inch can put you into a position that completely changes the exercise. Man, how I wish I could teach everyone what I know.

    Anyhow, Bryn is lovely and I hope to get back to Refine soon!

  6. That sounds like a great workout! There are so many workouts I want to try one day, including a Bosu ball class and kettle bells.

    Brunch needs pancakes…otherwise it just wouldn’t be right. 🙂

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