Marc Santa Maria on Law School, Hip Hop, and Crunch Fitness

It all began with a day pass. Marc Santa Maria was an NYU Law School Student trying to fit in a workout with his busy schedule. He took a Hip Hop class at Crunch and the rest is history. He fell in love with dance. After graduating NYU, practicing law for three years and being a Federal Judge for two years, Marc took a step in a new direction, ditched his law career for dance and choreography, and began teaching classes at Crunch. Today Marc Santa Maria is the National Global Fitness Director of Crunch Fitness and the mastermind behind some of the gym’s most popular classes.

Crunch has been at the forefront of innovation on the group fitness scene since its inception in 1989, launching some of NYC’s most renowned classes and national fitness brands including Zumba®, Spinning®, TRX® and Pound®.  FIT+LOVE caught up with Marc Santa Maria, the mastermind behind the new group fitness schedule to learn about what’s hot and happening now.

What are the three top classes trending on your group fitness schedule at the moment? 

Anti-Gravity Yoga based workouts that use hammocks and silks are very popular. The newest class in the series, ANTIGRAVITY ® COCOONING takes the power nap to an all new level. This class, a guided meditation, will leave you relaxed and recalibrated in both body and mind.

Hero based theme classes are also very popular. The X-Treme Firefighters Workout® is a favorite! The workout will take you through physical drills that simulate activities performed by firemen like handling hoses, swinging axes, climbing stairs, racing up a pole and carrying victims to safety. This total body, circuit-based workout will test your fitness level and teach you to survive under the extreme conditions firefighters face every day.

Technology inspired workouts like Acceleration Powered BY Fitbit engage the data driven enthusiast. Accelerate your fat burning potential in this 30-minute high intensity drill based cardio class. Get your heart racing and body moving with interval and signature fast track rounds. Push your limits, torch calories and fast track your improvement by stepping up to the challenge of Acceleration. You can use your FITBIT® and get real-time stats during class, see your progress, and stay motivated from week to week.

Where do you find inspiration for classes?

Entertainment, music and pop culture are major sources for inspiration when innovating new classes for the group fitness schedule at Crunch.  We look at trends, mainstream media, movies, theatre, needs on our schedule, instructor generated ideas, partnerships, and new equipment.

We love that you update the schedule with seasonally themed classes. What are some of these classes? We just wrapped our Winter Boarding® for snow season and are kicking off spring with some fun dance celebratory classes. You can look forward to Beach Body® and our outdoor inspired classes this summer.

Marc shared a few tips to motivate you to get out and work out!

  • Make a date with a friend. It helps you be accountable and makes the workout more fun
  • Schedule a short class that is manageable for your fitness level and time availability.
  • Pick a class that is in the neighborhood where you are going, live, or need to be and do what you can, even if its 15 minutes on the treadmill and a short class.

And if that’s not motivating enough, we got the inside scoop on how easy it really is to try class. All you have to do is go to your locale Crunch location, connect with the Group Fitness Manager and they will give you their card, also a five day pass to Crunch. Get moving!

About Marc Santa Maria

Marc serves as the National Director of Group Fitness for Crunch Gyms.  He has presented master classes in over a dozen countries and throughout the U.S. and served as Creative Consultant to nearly 100 different workouts.  Marc also served as a Nike Elite Athlete & Master Trainer for five years and a Wellness Coach for NBC studios’ iVillage.  He has starred in dance workout videos for Exercise TV and Gaiam and appeared in national fitness segments, including on The Today Show, Dr. Oz, Live! With Regis & Kelly and Good Morning America.  Check out for more details.

About Crunch

Headquartered in New York City, and co-owned by New Evolution Ventures (NeV) and private-equity firm Angelo Gordon, Crunch serves over 600,000 members with both corporately owned and franchised locations (Crunch Essential) in cities throughout the U.S. and in Australia. Crunch continues to expand across the U.S. and around the globe.