Inside Grand Central nightclub, the lights are dim, and the music is throbbing. On the dance floor, beat freaks jump, bounce, and flail around to the rhythms of the live DJ on the decks. In the corners of the room, onlookers belly up the the bar and sip their drinks. Every so often, the music swells and the dancers go wild in a burst of energy that leaves them sweaty, heart-pounding, and spent.
But this isn't your typical 2 a.m. club night. Outside the doors of the venue, the sun's just beginning to set. And these dancers aren't wasted; they're just high on endorphins.
Welcome to LazerFitness, an exercise program that turns nightclub dance floors into temporary workout zones, due to launch in Miami this fall.
Created by Fort Lauderdale resident Scott Liebman, LazerFitness aims to give participants all the perks of a night at the club paired with the health benefits of hitting the gym. If you, like Liebman, have ever woken up with sore muscles after a particularly crazy night on the dance floor, you know that clubbing can be a straight-up workout.
"I had spent a late night, dancing for several hours, and when I woke up the next morning my legs were hurting, my back was hurting. I was past my physical limit," Liebman remembers, laughing. "It dawned on me that night -- this would be a great way to exercise."
So Liebman created a business plan and found a series of partners: a fitness expert who designed workout moves interspersed with a series of high-intensity "cardio bursts" lasting 30-40 seconds; a nightclub partner, Grand Central, willing to host events in the early evening; and a steady musical partner, DJ Supersede, to get the EDM-heads moving with house and trance. Each class will last between 40-50 minutes, and Liebman plans to host three to four classes per day, with varying intensity levels for dancing beginners to all-night party experts.
LazerFitness aims to give its members that intense, fun nightclub experience, but without the unhealthy drawbacks of partying into the after-hours. The program will take over Grand Central in the early evening, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., offering wanna-be buff clubbers an alternative to happy hour rather than a long night out at Mansion. And those drinks being served up at the bar? They're booze-free smoothies, shakes, and sports drinks.
"We want it to be more than just a fitness experience; we want it to be a lifestyle experience," Liebman explains. "Like a nightclub, there'll be a live DJ, lights, smoke machines, great music, and people dancing and having fun. But there'll also be people hanging out at the bar, talking, networking, connecting. After the class finishes, you can stick around, get a shake, talk to people.
"It's a better way to meet people than to meet people out at night, when you're drunk and not thinking about things the way you should be," he continues.
But will the club scene seem as appealing without party drugs and the possibility of a drunken hook-up at the end of the night? We'll find out September 17, when the program launches with a special VIP event at Grand Central. Classes will be open to the general public starting in October. Visit lazer-fitness.com.
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.