Stepping foot into FitSocial is bewildering in the best way.
From the start, the boutique fitness center strikes an eye-catching impression. Done entirely in hues of black and white, the space draws its color from the personalities inside it. Those personalities — a mix of certified trainers and locals — are chatting amicably as they walk out of yoga class, catching up over smoothies at the SocialBar, or making plans to meet new friends during spin class next week. In other words, they’re socializing. They’re happy. They’re sticking around for more than just the 60 minutes that class is in session.
It is FitSocial, after all.
“There’s so much energy in this place,” enthuses Steve Farris, FitSocial’s CEO and founder. Indeed, energy is key to the studio’s identity. It’s part of the beats that power the indoor cycling classes, a focal point during restorative yoga sessions, and a driving force in each of the HIIT workouts.
Yet just as energy defines the classes themselves, so too does it embody the space as a whole. As Farris explains it, FitSocial isn’t just a place to work out; it’s a place to hang out, make new friends, and forge a healthy lifestyle that is just as enjoyable as it is sustainable.
For Farris, the concept behind his studio at 188 Main Street began to take form in 2015. The Hudson Valley native, who grew up in Saugerties and now calls Poughkeepsie home, spent a number of years working in both the fitness and hospitality industries. Yet after graduating from Queens College with a degree in fitness and nutrition as a supplement to his degree in exercise science and wellness from Dutchess Community College, he found himself struggling with his own personal fitness.
“I fell into a complacency state of mind and couldn’t connect,” he recalls. To shake himself out of it, he pursued group fitness classes and soon realized they were the perfect fit. “I’m a very social person. I was yearning for a social side [of fitness].”
By 2017, Farris was playing around with ways to meld the fitness programming he loved with the social component he craved. As he tossed out one idea after the next, he couldn’t shake the concept of Instagram from his brain.
“How can a fitness studio resemble social media?” he remembers asking himself. “How can I create a social environment that fosters that same feeling for members?”
And so he landed upon FitSocial. Designed entirely with socializing in mind, the studio is nothing less than #InstagramGoals IRL. Indeed, FitSocial’s Instagram is a perfect embodiment of what to expect inside the space. As a few scrolls of the @fit_social_studio feed reveals, the boutique center inside the Queen City Lofts building at 188 Main Street is just as cool as it is approachable. In terms of design, Farris overlooked nary a detail to get the vibe just right. His decision to stick with matte black and white colorations creates a simultaneous sense of grittiness and refinement that welcomes everyone from teachers who stop by to cycle before class to lawyers who crave a power workout during their lunch break.
Even though FitSocial is relatively new to the Hudson Valley – it opened in October 2019 – it’s already carved a niche for itself a place for everyday people to get fit and have fun. The studio offers three main courses: HIIT, or high-intensity interval training; RIDE spin classes; and YOGA. Along with restorative yoga sessions, the gym also boasts a proprietary HIYo, or high intensity interval yoga, course for individuals who crave an extra burst of exercise as they find their zen. In all of the classes, FitSocial keeps enrollment size small to enable instructors to work closely with participants to make sure everyone gets the assistance they need. For more individualized exercise, Farris hosts personal and small group training as well.
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There's 𝐍𝐎 time to HALF-A$$ anything. Not in this lifetime. When we HIIT, 𝘸𝘦 𝘏𝘐𝘐𝘛 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥. Our classes are not level based because we don't believe in self-limiting. When you step into our studio it’s a different level of motivation. Ya, it just feels right. We only believe in one level and that is 𝐘𝐎𝐔.
Inside the three studio spaces, technology places a critical role. In the RIDE room, for instance, the spin bikes wrap around a center “stage” from which instructors control music and oversee riders. Music is a critical component within each class and operates as a motivating force to inspire attendees to work to the beat. As for the gear, every bike is hooked up via Bluetooth to a monitor to track performance and, later, send results to each participant’s app profile.
Yes, FitSocial has its own app.
While the app is an easy way for attendees to register for classes, it’s also a home for them to measure their progress and workouts each month. With statistics about calories burned, class rankings, and overall attendance, it’s a tech-friendly resource for fitness accountability.
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The 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘵𝘩 is that the idea of waking up at the crack of dawn or working out after a full day of work isn't the easiest for everyone. That's why we love to get things 𝐚𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐝 𝐮𝐩 + keep this place in 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐲 𝐦𝐨𝐝𝐞 at all times🔥 Once the upbeat tempo hits, it doesn't matter what the clock says or how you were feeling before you got here. This is your home away from home that is STRESS FREE + all about YOU.
What FitSocial does not have, however, is mirrors.
“We don’t believe in having mirrors,” Farris explains, adding that the entire space is 100-percent judgement-free. “We have amazing certified trainers who are walking through and correcting form.”
Even after classes end, the FitSocial experience continues. After taking a shower in one of the spa-style bathrooms, guests can stop by the SocialBar for a smoothie and a bite to eat or, depending on the time of day, a beer or a glass of wine. And did we mention Zeus Brewing Company is right next-door?
“Once someone walks through our doors, they feel like they’re part of the studio,” Farris enthuses. “Our members are taking multiple classes per day [because] we’re creating a space where you can come in and find yourself. That’s the end result here…to keep people connected to their health.”
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There's a reason why the 𝐒𝐎𝐂𝐈𝐀𝐋 𝐁𝐀𝐑 is such a hot spot!! Our lifestyle is about more than fitness. Leave it to us to nourish and give your body what it needs to thrive with our fresh smoothies, toasts, @millhousebrewingco meals, pressed juice, @craftedkup coffee, kombrewcha, + much more. Craft beer + wine will be up next on the menu! Sip & spin night anyone? To make life even easier (because we love to pamper our SOCIALITES), orders can be placed 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦 class to be ready + waiting after you killed your workout. It's what you deserve🖤
Fit Social may be relatively new to the Hudson Valley, but its positive reception has Farris eyeing future locations outside of Dutchess County. While Poughkeepsie is his home, he’s excited to spread his passion for fitness as a social concept to other corners of the region.
“The difference maker for us is we carry our vibe into each and every aspect of what we do,” he notes. “You feel like you’re walking into our actual Instagram feed.”
188 Main St, Poughkeepsie