Education That Make You Sweat
June 15, 2013 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Kinda fit 20ish guy in NYC looking for classes that have physical activity as a large component. I'm not looking for sports teams or exercise classes, but " learn a skill/a thing" classes that just happen to require you to lift, run, haul, etc. A spinning class would be out, but horseback riding would be a bit closer ( but not actually horseback riding). Ideally I could get to this class on the subway.
posted by The Whelk to Education (28 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Indoor climbing. Chelsea piers or Brooklyn boulders.
posted by sweetkid at 7:58 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure if it would feel too much like an exercise class to you, but how about a dance class at a dance studio - one that is focused on learning technique, not a "dance" class at a gym.
posted by insectosaurus at 8:02 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Fencing!! (The kind with swords not cattle.)
posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 8:07 AM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:14 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Archery might amuse.
posted by BenPens at 8:18 AM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Should've mentioned, I'm an ex fencer and Archer, and apparently the only decent Archary range in the city is waaaaay out in Queens so that's a no go. A dance class is closer than rock climbing, as there are more dance classes then rock walls around here.
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 AM on June 15, 2013

You might want to look into a woodworking or blacksmithing class. Both are unexpected workouts.
posted by juniperesque at 8:24 AM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Volunteer with NY Cares. There are plenty of very physical opportunities which offer you the chance to learn a lot.
posted by bunderful at 8:29 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Sailing, rowing, kayaking. All useful skills besides the exercise.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:34 AM on June 15, 2013

Dancing. Lots of schools have adult beginner classes. Personally I find tap to be a lot of fun. A "stretching and strengthening" ballet class would be great too.
posted by inertia at 8:50 AM on June 15, 2013

Martial Arts.
posted by Octoparrot at 8:51 AM on June 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

posted by sweetkid at 8:51 AM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

Not from NYC, so I can't speak to any specific opportunities, but are there any "Open Spaces" programs or habitat reclamation projects going on nearby-ish? Lots of volunteer landscapers needed there, and you would learn about native species (flora and fauna) as well as landscaping techniques. I suppose it wouldn't really be a class, however, so maybe not what you're looking for exactly.

Another possibility - my town has a volunteer emergency services department, where regular citizens sign up to mobilize a coordinated response during emergency situations. (In our area, this would most likely be large-scale power outages and other severe weather issues.) Anyway, I see these people outside the village hall almost every Saturday doing various kinds of physical drills, like carrying an unconscious person around an obstacle course, or once, I saw a group of them carrying a huge log around the parking lot.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:53 AM on June 15, 2013

Sailing! Memail me if you wanna go.
posted by functionequalsform at 9:14 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Taiko drum class, check out taikoza
posted by crazycanuck at 9:34 AM on June 15, 2013

Thirding a martial arts class.

You should look for one that teaches you how to fall safely ("ukemi" in Japanese). That's a practical skill: depending on who you are, you're more likely to slip on ice than get into fights. In that sense, some sort of Japanese jujitsu, aikido or judo class would work out fine. (The links are for schools I am currently attending or have been to in New York).
posted by chengjih at 9:43 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

You can even take a free kayaking class with these people. I've been meaning to go for a while.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 9:43 AM on June 15, 2013

Ballroom and latin american dancing is fun, sociable and once you get past the basics, they're a fantastic workout. Ideally you want a school that run lots of social events as well as classes because that's the best bit.

I also adore taekwondo - really feel like I'm learning something and not just jumping around for the sake of it.
posted by kadia_a at 9:56 AM on June 15, 2013

I'm happy to point you in the direction of my martial arts school - it's great, and it's in Chelsea. Nice bunch of people, and it's great for developing balance and general coordination (and getting to consensually punch people is awesome, although you have to stick with it a while before you get to do that.)
posted by restless_nomad at 10:01 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Glass blowing! Guaranteed to make you sweat both because you're moving and it's HOT. There seem to be a few places in Brooklyn that offer classes.
posted by cecic at 10:26 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Gardening is surprisingly laborious, and NYC has a huge number of community gardens to join.
posted by decathecting at 10:58 AM on June 15, 2013

Become a volunteer technician for a local community theatre group? Set-building is great exercise.
posted by naturalog at 11:36 AM on June 15, 2013

You can even take a free kayaking class with these people.

Or the group I belong to (which has a bit more space for you to practice in).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:51 AM on June 15, 2013

nthing karate or some form of martial arts. To keep with the educational aspect, I'd suggest you find a dojo that focuses on both the physical and mental aspects of training (e.g., not mixed martial arts or a sports dojo with lots of trophies. They tend to focus on the physical and competition, YMMV of course.) Alas, I have no specific suggestions for NYC, but something to keep in mind.
posted by absquatulate at 12:45 PM on June 15, 2013

tennis. courts are everywhere, it's fun and it'll make you sweat. sign up for a class at a center or club, join a round robin or use the backboard to practice solo.
posted by wildflower at 2:51 PM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I took a car mechanic class that was like that - focused on teaching you to maintain your own car, and you did supervised activities like oil changes, brake inspections, putting on the spare tyre, changing fuses and spark plugs, and stripping down an old engine to see how it worked. So you were moving 90% of the time and lifting and pulling at things and crouching down and scooting around. Sometimes lifting semi-heavy things.

But if you are in NY I guess you probably don't have a car, so this might not be very relevant to your lifestyle. I'm mentioning it anyway just in case, and in case other people who read this thread for ideas might want to try it.
posted by lollusc at 8:39 PM on June 15, 2013

If you're interested in tennis, there are groups through TennisTip and BumbleBee tennis around town that cater to all levels, including absolute beginner. I play several times a month with the TennisTip group (link is to the local group lessons, and you can also get Groupon/LivingSocial deals if you're new to TennisTip), and it's a lot of fun, not to mention subway-accessible.
posted by yellowcandy at 6:01 PM on June 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Orienteering? I live in Colorado so don't know anything about the organization I'm linking to but it's the first thing that popped up when I typed in "Orienteering NYC"
posted by BoscosMom at 11:11 PM on June 16, 2013

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