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LI Surfset, SkyFit, other classes take offbeat route to fitness

Quirky workouts involve wielding swords and surfing on dry land.

Long Island's offbeat fitness classes can help lighten your mood and your weight this holiday season. Mary Beth Lessing, owner of Surfset Long Island in Bay Shore and Rafael Gomez, instructor of Jungshin Sword Fitness in Farmingdale, explained their non-traditional workout classes. (Credit: Jessica Rotkiewicz)

Seeing the damage done to your body after eating and drinking too much during the holidays can quickly put a fork in your festive spirit, but you can lighten your mood and your weight in some of Long Island’s more offbeat fitness classes. All the classes last about an hour and have various pricing packages and class schedules available.


To get a real jump on getting back in shape, you might want to give the SkyFit class at the Sky Zone Trampoline Park in Deer Park or Mount Sinai a try. It’s a very intense trampoline workout during which you can burn up to 1,000 calories, according to the company website.

A warmup includes scissor kicks to get heart rates up and to prepare for a series of sweat-inducing exercises including squat jumps, ball tosses, burpees and “rouncing" (prancing while zigzagging across trampolines). "The SkyFit classes truly work the whole body all at once – giving you a fun and entertaining core workout that you’ll actually want to participate in,” operations manager Andrew Neumann says. He adds that even regular jumping on the trampoline is good for the core. “It gets the heart rate going, gets the body moving in ways it’s not used to moving, and gets the blood flowing.”


You can both work your core and take your fitness efforts to new heights with a Levi-Tique aerial barre class at Barre-Tique Fitness in Port Jefferson Station. The exercise involves floating on something that looks like a long silk hammock to do poses in midair.

Barre-Tique Fitness owner and former dance instructor Donna Spadaro says Barre-Tique is her invention and that the name refers to the other exercises offered at her studio that are done using a traditional dance bar.

For the Levi-Tique class, the silk becomes the bar, Spadaro says. She notes she taught dance classes in Port Jefferson and Huntington before opening her exercise studio in 2013, and she was trained for exercises used in Levi-Tique by people involved with Cirque du Soleil.

“Aerial fitness is widely popular because it has a lot of benefits,” Spadaro says. “A lot of it is dance-inspired.” She says that addition to weight loss “aerial barre” can improve flexibility and strength.


You’ll be swinging red oak swords through the air as “warriors” in a Jungshin Sword Fitness class held at MAX Martial Arts & Fitness in Farmingdale.

Members of the class assume different stances and do a variety of sword “strikes” for a full-body workout, says chief instructor Rafael Gomez. He notes the program is based on martial arts and was created by San Francisco resident Annika Kahn.

“Jungshin means focused mind and this works the entire body,” Gomez explains. “There are a lot of meditative and breathing aspects to the workout and pulling the sword behind you works 80 percent of your back muscles,” he says, adding that abs also benefit from the moves.


Exercise will be a beach — well, almost — in the surfing-inspired fitness classes at Surfset Long Island in Bay Shore.

Owner Mary Beth Lessing of Islip became interested in the workout after seeing it presented to investors on “Shark Tank” where one of the shark’s — billionaire Mark Cuban — took the bait and is now helping the three founders grow the brand worldwide. Classes are now offered at more than 200 locations in 18 countries, but Lessing says hers are the only classes licensed on Long Island. She opened in May.

Lessing says classes are designed to make participants feel like they’re working out on the beach, complete with real surfboards and a beach mural for inspiration.

Balance, resistance and ab workouts are part of the program, but the vibe always remains beachy, Lessing says. “A surfboard is one of the best pieces of fitness apparatus, but it’s the antithesis of CrossFit. We work out sometimes to reggae.”

WHAT SkyFit trampoline fitness class

WHERE Sky Zone Trampoline Park, 111 Rodeo Drive, Deer Park 631-392-2600 or 269 NY-25A, Mt. Sinai 631-938-1420



WHAT Levi-Tique aerial dance-inspired fitness class

WHERE Barre-Tique Fitness, 200 Wilson St., Port Jefferson Station

INFO 631-496-4226,

WHAT Jungshin Sword Fitness class

WHERE MAX Martial Arts & Fitness, 1741 NY-110, Farmingdale

INFO 631-270-4772,

WHAT SurfSet Long Island surfing-inspired fitness class

WHERE 166 W. Main St., Bay Shore

INFO 610-220-4120,


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