I’ve been active my whole life, from soccer and dance as a kid to spin and barre classes more recently. I always love finding a new workout to break the redundancy of hour-long group classes. Nothing against SoulCycle, but I like to switch it up, especially when the workout doesn’t feel like, well, work.
So naturally, I tried out one of NYC’s newest trends: Bungee 101 at Om Factory. While bouncing around may sound like a fun time, it’s actually an intense full-body, cardio workout. Prepare yourself for a series of squats, jumps, push-ups, and dancelike movements that will leave you absolutely exhausted by the end of your 75-minute session.
When I arrived at the second-floor studio space, I was welcomed into a shoe- and socks-free zone by a friendly employee, given a waiver to sign, and offered an invitation to the relaxing upstairs loft. Savoring those last moments within my comfort zone, I met five other classmates as we sat in a circle stretching. After about 10 minutes of introductions and going over the correct way of raising and lowering your heels for safe “jumping and bouncing,” it was time for us to get tethered in the harness.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like a waddling sumo wrestler after getting fitted. The tension of each person’s bungee is adjusted based on his or her size. After being fitted, the instructor climbed up a ladder and hooked us each in. It took some time to fully put my trust in the bungee holding my weight, but I soon found myself mindlessly bouncing while waiting for the rest of my classmate to be hooked in. (I felt almost like these babies learning how to jump.) If you sign up, don’t worry about feeling awkward; everyone else in the class will look exactly as ridiculous as you will.
Set one is dedicated to getting used to the tension. As I bounced, I reminded myself not to take this too seriously and to maintain my balance by leaning back so I wouldn’t fall forward. Simple tasks like these don’t feel like working out too much, but it definitely hit me when I headed down for my first water break 15 minutes in. I was beginning to realize that this class was a little more intense than I thought it would be!
Set two is all about running and jumping against the tension. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a superhero, now’s your chance; you’ll be flying across the room in no time.
On the decline, we were told to simply fall back and let our feet slide across the floor after jumping through the air. Again, trusting all the while that the bungee will hold us.
Our instructor called the next set Mission Impossible, which makes sense since describing it is impossible. We were instructed to trust fall forward into a push-up, and then spin in a circle while in push-up position. That was the moment I realized this is a full-blown, full-body workout as my arms bounced me high off the ground. The last few minutes in this set are based around the art of spinning; it sounds a lot more simplistic and artistic in theory, especially because our instructor was a dancer. Along with core strength, this takes a lot of hand-eye coordination. Personally, I felt like a sloth slowly spiraling down a tree.
By the end of class, we were doing a full-on dance bungee routine. Our instructor grabbed our phones for photographic proof since, as she put it, “If you didn’t post it on Instagram, did it even happen?” By then, I’d hit the point of exhaustion—after she shot my video, of course—jumping a little less high, moving a little more gingerly. Luckily, I was the first one filmed: We had to repeat this routine five more times for everyone else’s social media feeds!
Walking out, I realized two things. One, I’m definitely going to be feeling this intense workout for a few days, and, two, I’m ready to bounce again. When’s the next class?
873 Broadway (at East 18th Street), Union Square
$45 for a single class; $25 for new students
Strap in and hang tight; book your next class at Om Factory with us.