My theory about why workouts like hot power yoga and SoulCycle are so popular is that they accomplish several goals at once: You get in your cardio and strength training while meditating and listening to music. By the end of the session, you’ve ticked off several crucial items on the day’s to-do list within the hour.
The Museum Workout is a similar concept with a glamorous and amusing only–in–New York twist. Basically, if you’ve ever wanted to sweat to “Stayin’ Alive” while simultaneously gazing upon Perseus With the Head of Medusa, this is the group workout for you.
Scheduled before opening hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on various days each month, the workout is part fitness class, part gallery tour, and part audience participation performance art, created by a handful of notable New Yorkers. Choreographer Monica Bill Barnes, known for her accessible and often funny dances, leads the routine with her partner, Anna Bass, in a sequined gown and sneakers. (You, fortunately, can wear standard exercise attire.) Participants travel past a series of works curated by artist Maira Kalman, cocreator of the genius post-9/11 “New Yorkistan” cover of the New Yorker; expect to see Sappho, Diana, and other priceless sculpted bods.
Why You Should Go: By the end of your 45-minute workout, you’ll have traveled two miles, done strength training, and soaked up some culture, all before the rest of the city has finished breakfast.
The Museum Workout
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue (between East 80th and 84th Streets), Upper East Side
Various dates between Thursday, July 13, and Sunday, December 10
Sessions meet at 8 a.m. or 9 a.m.
Spend the rest of your morning on the Upper East Side by looking swole with our custom-made itinerary: