The world of fitness training goes hand in hand with motivation and providing it to those that you work with. During this season of NBC's Strong (Executive Produced by Sylvester Stallone), the Athleisure Mag team was introduced to Ky Evans who was a professionally trained dancer turned top trainer (Shape named him in the top 50 in 2014). After seeing him for a few episodes, not only did we find his passion and energy contagious but we liked his methods and how he works with his clients.
Ky's classes have a month long waitlist in Studio City, Venice and in Hollywood. His clientele
includes Olympians (Carmelita Jeter), professional athletes (Ronda Rousey) and TV/film personalities (Giuliana Rancic, Hayden Panettiere, Sophia Bush, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Rosario Dawson) to name a few. We took a moment to find out about Ky's experience on the show, his fitness method and how he obtains balance in his life.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We enjoyed seeing you on Strong and love your energy that you brought
during the weeks you were on! Prior to being a fitness trainer, you were in ballet - tell us how
you chose to work in that field, what company you were in and when you realized that you
were ready to transition your career.
KY EVANS: Strong was an incredible experience and it allowed me the opportunity to show the world that fitness is not about muscles, or medallions, but about the ability to truly express ones greatest gift – our body! I never really chose the career of dance, it chose me. I never really wanted to be a great dancer, I just wanted to feel free and alive, expressive, and safe. I spent a life time of feeling small, and not enough. Dance was the only time I felt alive and free. I started dancing at a very young age with ethnic Macedonian “Oro” circle dancing at church functions. This led me to study Ballet in college. The power and grace with the vulnerability and truth of ballet was the real reason I danced. I never wanted to be famous. I never danced in a company, never even auditioned, you see its much easier to have unlimited potential and
not try, then try and fail. I was so afraid of failing that after college I never put on ballet
shoes again. Instead I spent the next 10 years lost in complete state of fear, doubt, judgment and anger all because I was afraid to fail, afraid that I would never be enough, afraid that people would laugh at me! So I stopped doing the one thing that set me free, and started doing what most people do when they are that lost, drugs.
AM: How did you decide upon being a fitness trainer?
KE: It’s the same kind of theme, I never really thought about being a fitness trainer. I loved
expressing my body, but never really cared about the results, just the feeling and sensations that it gave me. When you train, you want to fail. Failure is a good thing when you train. You go 'till you fail, yet in life I was paralyzed by the idea of failure. I mentioned above that I spent 10 years in black hole of pity and self-hatred. At my lows, of lows at the age of 36, I had my awaking. I was homeless, couch surfing were I could, partying every night when I got a phone call from my father. It was the first time I ever heard him cry and he said to me, “I know what you’re doing. We did not escape the communists to get to this great country for you to end up like this. I want you to get up, stand up, and make it happen.” He then hung the phone up, I didn’t say a word, instead I walked down to Venice beach and took a plank position in the sand, closed my eyes and began to weep so hard that when I opened my eyes I was holding plank for almost 30 minutes. That’s when it hit me, that’s when I decide to dedicate my
life to teaching HOPE, and giving the gift of FAILURE!
AM: We know that your classes have quite the waitlist and that Shape noted you as one of the top 50 hottest trainers - what is it that keeps your clients coming back?
KE: I am truly blessed with the most amazing clientele on the planet. I am currently teaching
close to 500 people a week. I have been blessed with a lot of attention, but I think the real reason that people keep coming back is that it not about me. Its not what I can do, its not about how fast I can get you results, but what I can get them to believe in what they can do if they just embrace how truly great they already are! There can only be one you, so why do we spend so much time trying to change that. Instead we need to embrace how great we are through expressing or gift, or body! My classes are not about adding on, but rather the peeling away to the truth of how great we really are. But to do that we must first embrace failure. My classes are like a journey of self, but you're not alone. You are failing with others, proving the point that everyone fails, that we are not as alone as we might think. And when we fail together we realize we are all the same!
AM: What is Kylosophy?
KE: Kylosophy is just my interpretation of life and art. When I teach I go into a flow state where I take a lot of philosophical ideas and apply it to expression, life and failure. I studied a lot of philosophy in college and the fastest way to free the soul is to exhaust the body to complete failure so that the mind turns off and the spirit is set free. The fastest way to God is through the body. I believe that true meditation isn’t stillness, rather the ability to own one’s self during complete physical and mental failure. Adversity introduces us to our self, and failure erases the ego!
AM: What is the Megaformer and how integral is that to your training as well as to your clients?
KE: The Megaformer saved my life. It is the perfect combination of art and science. It allows me to create like no other and is limitless in its possibilities. It is my canvas and my clients are my paint. The machine itself is a custom built machine designed and created by Sebastian Lagree. Simply put it is the ultimate in neuromuscular non impact strength and conditioning. It’s the future of you!
AM: You worked with Sebastian Lagree who taught you the Lagree Method - what was that like?
KE: Sebastian Lagree was the only person that gave me a chance. After I had my awakening, I was washing dishes at a hotel on Sun got to see and train on his first machine in the “Proformer.” After that class my search was over. I found my vessel of truth, and the man to mentor me. He took me under his wing, and the rest is history. He still is my mentor and I am currently working at his newest studio with his newest creation the SUPRA.
AM: How was it being on Strong and what did you learn from being on the show?
KE: Strong for me was never about showing off, or look at me, I’m fit! It was never about
winning money or even the tower. Strong for me was about sacrifice. Sacrificing my ego for the benefit of my partner’s growth and success. It was about vulnerability and being able to fail in front of the world. Owning the idea that win or lose, I am enough. At the end of the day, it was just a TV show. The real tower started when I got back. The only tower that matters, is LIFE! And when I got back from filming the show, my partners told me that I was no longer needed and that the brand that I started was going in a different direction. So basically when I got back, I lost everything. At the highest point of my career, I was back to zero. Talk about the ultimate test of Strength! Losing one’s entire identity, career, and income in less than 10 minutes. Now the real Tower begins!
AM: Were you able to meet with Sylvester Stallone who Executive Produced the show?
KE: That was my only regret. I never got to meet Sly. But the wardrobe people keep telling me that I reminded them of him. Sly gets it. He trains to express who he is and how he feels. He is an artist. He writes, directs, produces, and acts. He does it all. All because he embraces his body, he lives to train because he knows that his training keeps him in total inspiration! The ROCK is like that too!
AM: Will there be additional seasons and will you be coming back for the next one?
KE: There is a good possibility that there will be a season 2, I am currently on hold by the
network and that I might be coming back. So I better get practicing on my climbing!
AM: What's next for you?
KE: Everything and anything! Right now I am working on opening my own super gym here on the west side of LA. I have spent the last 10 years helping others uncover there gifts and reach their goals. I have opened over 12 gyms in LA, and it is time for me to own my worth and create my own place. A place that is the ultimate in self-expression, creativity, and inspiration for all to experience. After that I need to finish my book, and hopefully turn that into a motivational speaking tour. I am a huge fan of Mastin Kipp, Bob Proctor, and of course Tony Robbins. And I hope to be that next generation of self help guru’s that end bullying, and show people how truly great they really are if they would just trust their body, embrace failure, and lead with
AM: What exercises that can be done to get that lean ballet style body?
KE: No workout changes body composition better than the Lagree method. There are over 300 studios world wide, so go out and find one near you and get to class. Also nutrition will be key, I have an amazing program on my site. It was designed by PFC Nutrition and it was the same programming I used for my partners transformation. You are what you eat! Your sport is Life and your body your instrument. You can train all day but if you are not eating to support the demands of your daily life nothing will ever change!
AM: Do you guest teach in other cities?
KE: I would love to travel and do a guest teaching tour. We are currently working on getting
that up. With over 300 studios would wide I hope to be coming to a city near you very soon! So if there is a studio near you, have contact me and I would love to come out and do a little preaching and teaching! For more info go to my site: kyevans.com
AM: How do you maintain balance?
KE: HA! Balance!? It’s called no sleep and a lot of coffee! Actually when you truly embrace one’s higher purpose, it’s never work, and its play. I am truly blessed to be doing what I love, and I can never really get enough of it. I am driven with the simple idea that if I can just get through to one person day. Show that one person that he or she is enough. That there is one you, and there can never be another you ever. And that the worlds needs you. That you are enough! That we train to reveal how truly great we already are. So stop competing, and start creating. My fear is that if I stop, I wont be able to get through to that one person that needs me the most. And that would crush me.
Personally, I try to meditate once a day. Sometimes it's for 5 minutes, other times is an hour I try to train 6 days a week, again sometimes it's 30 minutes other times its 2 hours. I read a lot and on Sundays I go to a monastery and hang out with monks in Malibu to kind of recharge myself. The bottom line is, its not about how much you do, or how often you do it. It’s about doing the things you need to do so that you are always the best version of yourself at all times. To truly understand self, one must truly embrace failure. I try to fail at least once a day!
AM: Please feel free to share anything that you would like to from charities that you are apart of, projects that we may not have covered etc.
KE: I am currently working on getting with this amazing charity called “Defeat the Label.” It's an anti bullying organization out of Detroit, where I am from. I spent my life being made to feel small, not enough. And I am really excited to help teach others to take back their power by own their greatest gift, their body!
Pictures courtesy of Ky Evan