Ocean City scored major points in the health and wellness category when PLAAY opened up in January. If you haven’t heard about it yet, don’t be too surprised. Although I spend hours a day online, evaluating websites and managing various blogs, I somehow missed the memo that a new business was in town. The grand opening was well under the radar and I heard nothing of this place until a friend told me last month. Since news is still spreading, and I have become utterly and completely hooked, I wanted to share the info on the best new gym in Ocean City New Jersey!
PLAAY Fitness and Yoga the Best New Gym In Ocean City New Jersey: The Class that Kicked My Butt
This new fitness and yoga studio on Asbury Avenue is just a few blocks up from the 9th Street Bridge. The convenient location at 910 Asbury Ave, Ocean City, NJ 08226 is great motivation for those on the Mainland to head over the causeway and visit the best new gym in Ocean City New Jersey. There are several nearby gyms and yoga studios, including Local Gym & Fitness right next door, but PLAAY is in a league all of its own.
This state-of-the-art facility is huge and it reaches all of the way back to the street behind Asbury. This gym has literally everything onsite. The large gym room has a rock wall that never ends, and there are hoops and rings, ribbons and heavy bags hanging from the ceiling in various places. The padded floor is marked for gymnastics and floor exercises.
My first visit to PLAAY was spontaneous. A good friend of mine had just returned from Alaska, where she’d been practicing aerial gymnastics and acro-yoga for nearly three years. She was searching for a place to practice during her time in New Jersey, and she told me about this cool new place that she found. The next day, Tracie and I were walking three miles over the bridge to PLAAY Fitness and Yoga Studio.
If you’re wondering what makes this place the best new gym in Ocean City New Jersey, I will tell you: It’s the STUFF. All of the stuff they have inside and all of the stuff their instructors teach you to do. They have the stuff- all of it. That’s why PLAAY is a game changer for the local fitness community.
The Facility and Location
First of all, the “where” is pretty amusing! To get to PLAAY, you can either go down the block past the skinny fashion-clothing boutique or head the other way to pass by the amorous doughnut shop on the corner. It’s your choice- and who am I to judge? We are all on different walks of life. Some days, you’ll want a new dress to show off your shape. Other days, you’ll need a post-workout session treat. ☺
Once we arrived, a young man greeted us at the desk and patiently answered all of our questions as we poured over the extensive class calendar. He gave us a full tour, and all we could say was: WOW.
This state-of-the-art facility is huge and it reaches all of the way back to the street behind Asbury. This gym has literally everything onsite. The large gym room has a rock wall that never ends, and there are hoops and rings, ribbons and heavy bags hanging from the ceiling in various places. The padded floor is marked for gymnastics and floor exercises. There’s a heavy ball suspended in the air that’s used for God knows what- but I imagine Miley Cyrus might want it for her next show. Speaking of music, there’s a great sound system pumping out upbeat, workout-friendly tunes.
Going through a door we entered a smaller room that was used for yoga and aerial arts. This room was dim lit, and I saw ballet bars and cloth hammocks and silk ribbons hanging down from the ceiling. Down the hallway, there’s a spa room for massage therapy and facial treatments. There is a locker room, and mens’ and womens’ bathrooms with ample room for changing, and a small scale if you’re keeping track. At the back of the gym, there’s a large party room with a long table with chairs with plenty of space for a party of 20 or 30 people, to take a guess.
Another great perk is the juice and smoothie bar where a nutritionist works to create healthy and delicious refreshments. He also provides sixty-minute nutrition counseling onsite. I ordered a mango and banana whip with cacao nibs. Next time, I’ll hold on the cacao nibs. (They’re not sweet. If you want chocolate, opt for that doughnut shop.)
Classes and Instructors
PLAAY’s specialized classes are brand new to most residents and visitors on the island. Their unique class schedule has attracted and converted a number of athletes and yogis from every level of experience. A great team of instructors lead classes each week, from high intensity workouts and mixed martial arts to balance and flexibility training, rock wall climbing, and other strength building exercises. There are open gym hours daily, plus group classes and private classes are available by appointment.
From a marketing standpoint, I think this business has tapped into a niche market. Everything at PLAAY reflects a clearly defined lifestyle brand. The instructors are clearly devoted to their art, and everyone I’ve met has really “great vibes” to put it in the words of the yogis. They truely are trying to be the best new gym in Ocean City New Jersey.
Bri is the one to talk to about natural health and essential oils, and she teaches pole fit and aerial arts, and stand-up-paddleboarding (SUP) the summer. Johnny has practiced acro yoga all around the world and he teaches students every week at PLAAY. Military veteran and martial arts expert Walter teaches Krav Maga. There are many other instructors that teach classes through the fall and winter, and even more spring and summer.
So, about the kickboxing class that KICKED. MY. BUTT.
I met the owner of PLAAY at my kickboxing class on Friday. Liz Beasley is a friendly, patient lady who is passionate about fitness, health, and self-defense. She gave Tracie and I the most killer workout that had me sweating out every toxin in my body. Liz demonstrated jabs, right hooks, and a ton of other punches and kicks- moves that I was only familiar with from book titles by marketing mavens like Gary Vaynerchuk. It was a great workout experience and I’m really looking forward to my next class.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t eaten breakfast before racing out the door that morning and I was also partially dehydrated. After doing four or five uninterrupted 30-second intervals, I felt myself start to lose it. Feeling nauseous and dizzy wasn’t part of the plan, so I sat down and ate a protein bar that Liz gave me with some water. In a little while, I was fine and back to tearing up the Muay Thai bags.
A Little Inspiration
Liz asked Tracie and I, who were panting heavily and sweating profusely by this point, whether we’d seen the new Wonder Woman movie. This led to an exuberant conversation about lead actress Gal Gadot, the most incredible woman in Hollywood today, in my opinion. Gal Gadot started out as a beauty queen at eighteen, winning the title of Miss Israel in the Miss Universe competition. Bored with beauty pageants, she went and joined the Israeli military where she became a monster, physically. Gal trained soldiers in fighting and Krav Maga. Her praiseworthy role in Wonder Woman (which, besides Stronger, is the only movie I justifiably paid to see this year) is even more inspiring since she did all of her own stunts. If that’s not enough to inspire strong women, here’s another piece: she was pregnant on the movie set. What? Yes. She was pregnant and rocking out in Hollywood. Any time you need a push of motivation, think of Gal!
Liz told us that Gal Gadot does two workouts regularly to keep in shape: Kickboxing and Krav Maga. Tracie took Krav Maga a few weeks ago at PLAAY. I haven’t tried that one yet but it’s only a matter of time. I can feel myself heading down a path, fully determined to master these classes. I am going to finish this year strong. VERY strong. And several pounds lighter, too, I imagine. I’ll take that.
After class, I stuck around to talk with Liz and learned that she studied medicine at Temple University and her husband went to Penn. They have four children and a house in Pennsylvania. Liz has been renting out properties in Ocean City for about ten years. She knows the Ocean City community very well, and she wants to get as many people as possible to visit PLAAY and see what they’ve got going on. Through the best new gym in Ocean City New Jersey, Liz is using her passion for fitness and wellness to propel her new business venture.
Get Over to The Best New Gym in Ocean City New Jersey!
Anyway, go to PLAAY. Take some water and please ingest something for breakfast besides liquid caffeine. Wear your yoga pants. You’ll have fun.
Check the PLAAY Facebook page for promos and info, and give it a “like” to the best new gym in Ocean City New Jersey.