We find that throughout the week we are always selecting fitness methods based on what we are looking to target or to ease ourselves into the day. Sometimes, you're focused on legs, your abs and on others - you need a really good stretch! We all know that you are supposed to stretch before and after a workout and many of us own foam rollers where we can continue the practice at home.
Stretch*d provides a Stretch*r which is certified to be able to maneuver your body. Whether you have an appointment or not, you can opt for a Quick*e (25 mins), Flex*d (55 mins) and E*longated (75 mins) for a full body stretch out. Even if you only have 15 minutes to spare, they can work within this timeslot as well.
In addition to these packages, there are additional add ons. There are services such as the Anti*aging Stretch which which incorporates a Light Slim LED that focuses on your face, feet and lower leg. You can opt for Get Buzz*d which adds a Hyper Volt to your treatment, Get Relax*d that adds CBD Cream neck massage, Lengthen*r which adds 10 minutes to your base package, Get Puls*d which is a 20 minute leg compression with Normatec Recovery Bootie, Get Stimulat*d is a 20 minute massage with a smart muscle stimulator the PowerDot, and if you happen to not have the appropriate clothing, you can also rent an outfit so that you can be in comfort.
Pre or post your treatments, there is also an area that has foam rollers, stall bar and additional stretching aids that can assist you in further treatment.
The Stretch*d Method was developed due to work with pro-athletes, weekend warriors and those who experience the wear and tear of daily life (extensive sitting, driving, picking up children, etc). The team believes that this dynamic assisted stretching is the most effective form of stretching for all bodies, no matter the activities that you do.
Ultimately, this method will allow you to perform at your peak, improve your
range of motion and posture, reduce pain, increase longevity and keep you stretched out.
A day in the life of Team Athleisure Mag can be in the studio for a session, on set for a shoot, and checking out new brands/products coming to market. Earlier this month we spent the day at Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival here in NYC at the Seaport District (the next stop is Chicago on Aug. 11th) for an entire day of workouts, sessions and we took some time to chat with celebrity fitness trainers and personalities in between workouts.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We’ve enjoyed seeing you over the past two seasons on E! Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian – how did you get involved in that show?
HARLEY PASTERNAK: I have been good friends with Kanye for about 15 years. So I’m inherited into the family. I’m good friends with Kim and Kanye, and with Kris, Khloe and the whole family. So when they were doing the show, Khloe reached out – I said let’s go!
AM: How long have you been with Propel and what was it that made you want to connect with the brand?
HP: That’s a good question. My background was originally in performance nutrition so I ran the performance lab/nutrition lab for the military for a number of years and most of the information on performance – a lot of it came from years ago from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute. That was the go to place for us as scientists to get our information to use with the soldiers. So the importance of functional foods and functional beverages has always been a big part of what I do and I really have had an issue with sometimes the sugar content of some of these beverages, and I met the Propel team through some mutual friends and I learned more about what Propel was doing. It reminded me so much of what Gatorade did back in the day and establishing itself as the definitive sports performance information source. Propel has really done the same with fitness and it’s not about the beverage, it’s about the lifestyle, the networking, the fitness community sharing with one another and celebrating together. Then they started explaining to me about Propel Co:Labs and it was really about the future and the present. I got so excited that I became a terrible negotiator because I said, “I’m in”.
The Co:Labs have been really great. As a fitness professional, it's often very individual and almost a very lonely experience. Everyone is so competitive with one another – so competitive but they have created these environments where people are sharing ideas and thoughts and celebrating moving together. They're bringing in pop stars and giving the due and professional attention to the fitness industry that most brands haven’t even come close to.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Gunnar, can you tell us about your background?
GUNNAR PETERSON: I’ve been a personal trainer in Beverly Hills for 29 years. I started working with the LA Lakers last year as the Director of Strength and Endurance and am reprising my role this year – should be a new challenge and a lot of fun. And I’ve been working with Propel for a number of years because I think that they do it better than anybody in bringing fitness and sports together by collaborating versus all the people that kind of horde information and don’t share and feel that their way is better. I think that Propel opens it up and makes it the way that it should be.
AM: What’s your method or the way that you like to work and train people?
GP: I do different workouts with people because everyone is different as they have different goals, perceptions weaknesses, injury histories, likes and dislikes – although that doesn’t play that much of a part. I'm strength based and I do a lot of cardio intervals to it, movement, mobility etc it’s pretty comprehensive. The one group that we don’t cater to or get asked to do something is body builders or those that are looking to put mass on – that’s not what we do.
AM: A lot of our readers loved seeing you in Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body on E! and wanted to know how you got involved in that!
GP: Well I’ve known Kris and the clan – I’ve known those guys for 20 years. I worked with Kris and Kim so when Khloe came to me to make a big change in her life, we got after it. She puts the work in like any athlete that I have worked with and she had her moment. She made huge changes into her body and I wrote the passage on fitness in her book and she created the show and asked me to be on it and there was no way that I was going to miss out on that opportunity to share a small part of what she did with other people and to put it out there for everyone to see. I mean I have had text messages from a lot of people that have had huge takeaways from this.
AM: So how excited are you to be here today for this event?
GP: This is terrific. I have done a number of these with Propel and they have exceeded expectations and they keep going above and beyond. I mean, every venue is great and this one with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background and this giant rooftop with no space constraints – this is going to be a great day today!
ATHLEISURE MAG: Rachel aka Yoga Girl, tell us about what you're doing at the Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival.
YOGA GIRL: I just taught a class on a rooftop overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. It’s kind of insane. We have 300-400 people here, and it’s been super, super fun. I taught a class [at Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival] in L.A. and then taught a class here, and it’s been so community building and so great.
AM: What is the best way to get started in yoga practice?
YG: I always give the recommendation to go find a studio and go take an actual class. There’s so many things you can do online. There’s YouTube and there’s online yoga. But, having a teacher who you can ask questions to, especially if you’re a beginner, is great so you can learn the poses correctly and have someone to align you if you need help. It’s good to start off with a teacher and then transition a little bit more to home.
AM: What are several yoga postures you would recommend for stress relief?
YG: Anything forward folding or forward bending, especially seated, is really nurturing. Legs up the wall pose is a super distressing pose. A forward bend, legs up the wall, child’s pose and reclined bound angle are good poses.
AM: How do you maintain balance with your busy schedule?
YG: I try to find pockets of rest in my day. If I have a really busy day full of meetings and things, I’ll make sure that I have a whole hour to eat lunch and not do multiple things at the same time all day. I’ll take a bath with my baby in the morning, always. I keep that a super serious thing, and I rest in between all the hectic stuff. And then I find it’s easy to keep the energy up all day.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Can you tell us what Akin’s Army is?
AKIN AKMAN: Well Akin’s Army is a mindset really. I like to say that it’s a higher standard with everyone that trains with me. The mindset is constant process. It’s a workout obviously but intended initially to tap into the athletes that didn’t have kind of training anymore. But then eventually it became more of a mindset.
AM: Can you tell us a little more about your fitness background?
AA: I grew up playing tennis and I went to IMG Academy which was known as Bollettieri when I went there at age 7. It was everyday except for Sundays which I had off haha. But now I train all day everyday – 7 days a week. So I started there and I got hurt around 16/17 and I was already coaching tennis at the time there too and was looking at playing pro and then when I got injured, I was out for a year and then in that time, I decided to go to college instead of trying to play tournaments. I thought that I would just go back to that when I fully healed. And then, it was tough to heal and when I came back and I was coaching at IMG, at 18, but I got hurt on my right wrist with bruising of the bone – so I moved on from playing tennis as much and started coaching. But it took me awhile before I started making coaching my everything.
I started coaching at Crunch Fitness in South Beach first in 2009. I was already teaching tennis at Flamingo Park in South Beach as well. Then I moved to NYC at the end of 2009/2010 and started teaching at Crunch here and then went onto SoulCycle in 2012 and then I really made it my everything and started teaching 40 classes a week.
AM: We have a number of friends who swear by your SoulCycle classes. How did you get connected with Propel and how did you get connected to Propel Co:Labs?
AA: Now you have to come! For Propel, I did a bootcamp with them awhile back through my sister who had a connection.
We did a roofdeck bootcamp around Chelsea – I don’t even remember the building! I met some of the head people that were putting this kind of a thing together – it was amazing and so much fun! Then we didn’t do anything until this year when they asked me to come back and we did LA and this – it’s been incredible!
AM: What are you doing today as we know you’re on the schedule of events?
AA: My class today is again, it’s a full body workout. The way that I teach, it’s tough but you do as much as you can and it’s more about the perspective and the approach that you come to with it. Staying positive and being in that mindset. I try to keep the people hyped up and just full of energy and to do whatever they can and to give everything that they have got! That’s the point of what today is about!
ATHLEISURE MAG: You train a number of celebs and have been on a number of tours! Can you give us a quick rundown on your background?
NICOLE WINHOFFER: I studied Kinesiology, Alexander Technique, collusive body, Eastern Philosophy of well being and after that, I went on tour with Madonna and started training her dancers. She had an audition after I met her at that, she asked me to be her trainer full time and I worked with her for 5 years and I was the head trainer on her MDNA World Tour and her Sticky and Sweet World Tour, and then after those tours, I started teaching underground classes in NY in the basement of my apartment building in 2013 and we moved to the Standard Hotel on the 3rd floor of the Highline and I started to train trainers under me. I signed with Adidas by Stella McCartney as the first Global Brand Ambassador in 2014 and I partnered with Propel for the first time in 2016 when they did their first festival. Now we’re on our 3rd year and it has been such a great partnership!
and actresses, fashion designers and wealthy/affluent men and women) to bring my knowledge to people across all demographics across America and to be able to give them results and to instill in them that they have the power in them to achieve what they want. I really liked that process of being able to work with people in that way with those that didn’t really think that it was possible and were never felt to believe that way.
AM: How cool was it to be able to do your session at Propel Co:Labs in LA with Ludacris performing on stage with you?
NW: It was amazing! I call myself a Fitness Artist because I believe in self expression and music and moving your body as there is no correct way. And when Propel told me that the artist that I was going to share the stage with was going to be Ludacris, I thought – wow! It was so exciting and amazing. We worked with the Ludacris team for 6 weeks to figure out the playlist, timing, and they were so great and we had a soundcheck and the Propel team was so supportive. There were a lot of fun moments – there was one moment on stage where I grabbed the Propel bottle and like landed on a split in the floor and Ludacris looked around like, “what is happening” and I was like “yeah that’s right – this is happening right now”. The crowd loved it because they were all sweating and they didn’t feel like a work out because it was so much fun!
AM: So what is the NW Method?
NW: The NW Method is a 55 minute experience that I take you through in order to free your spirit and to move deeper into your body and accentuate your curves. It’s a type of somatic training – there’s breath work, kundalini and it’s a bit more physical exertion like physical meditation – 20 songs that I match up the BPMs and I play songs that wake up your internal organs. Then it moves people past their brains to their bodies
AM: We saw you on Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian – what was the process like for you being on that show and what have you gotten from being a part of it?
NW: They found me on Instagram! The casting director told me that my moves were cool and different and how I encompass eastern movement and dance. So I flew to LA for the audition and got the job. I loved that the show took my message (which I train a lot of A-List actors so they can feel themselves and move into their personal truth.
AM: Why do you like working with Propel?
NW: They are a collaborative brand, they listen to my ideas, they support my ideas and they are always looking to stand behind myself and the other artists that they have. Their innovation and willingness to try something new is amazing. The first Propel festival was 3 years ago in LA and it was really different because it was the first time that different fitness people came together and they provided this great experience. The last thing is music – they did a song with Jessie J. last year and the first year they did this song that incorporated a music festival and I built my brand around music. They just really support music in general and it makes it really easy for me to work with them.
AM: We love the bodysuits and the cool legwear that you have – what are your favorite fitness items that you love wearing?
NW: Oooo I’m a dancer so I love wearing Capezio and Danskin. I have friends that are seamstresses and they make me personal outfits so that’s always fun. I love my unitards and wearing bathing suits and anything that’s just not too fitnessy.
AM: You had this really cool look on your Instagram that was like chaps and a bikini bottom and embellished but it looked very cool!
NW: Yeah, yeah, yeah – that was from Patricia Field for the Propel festival. My friend who is a stylist came over and he sent them over for me to try, but they were way too heavy for me to dance in them haha!
AM: How do you give of your time?
NW: I am part of Girls Inc. which supports young girls in urban markets that don't have access to dance so I teach with them on tour and locally. I work with this group called Core Energetics which is a type of cognitive therapy and I work with some mental patients that don’t have things that healthy humans have through dance and time. I also volunteer once a week at an elderly hospital jut spending time, delivering food and playing games.
AM: Since music is so important to you and is so integral to your brand. What’s on your playlist right now?
NW: Well J Cole for sure – he’s my favorite he has a song called, Kevin’s Heart, I just downloaded the Carter’s album and I went ape shit! I love Rihanna – Needed Me, Ciara – Overdose, Disclosure's Latch featuring Sam Smith, those are my faves right now!
ATHLEISURE MAG: We're fans of Icona Pop as it's on a few of our playlists. You guys have a new album that you are working on – is there anything that you can tell us about that would be amazing!
CAROLINE HJELT: We’ve been writing on this album for quite a long time and we were just talking about it the other day saying, “how could it have taken us this long?” It’s just because we’re so bad at saying no to stuff! Like we love what we do and when we get fun things – we’re like, let’s squeeze it in and then we begin to go touring again. So it’s been taking a long time but we’re almost there and it feels amazing. I would say that I’m just as excited about this album as I am on the first one. It feels like when you're born. We've been working on it for so long and sharing situations and we’re very proud of it.
AM: That’s so exciting and your faces really show how much you’re pumped for this. Is there a drop date.
AINO JAWO: We don’t have a date, but the album will be done at the end of this year. It will be out earlier next year.
AM: So are you guys doing festivals right now?
AJ: Yes we’re doing a lot of festivals in Europe and a couple of shows as well here in the states. I think this is the last one here right?
CH: Yeah and then we move onto Europe.
AM: Did the Coppenhagen festival already happen – Soleima who is also on Big Beat was telling us about it.
CH: Oh yes, you're talking about Roskilde.
AJ: Yes Rosklide, we did that last year it was so AMAZING! We have big shows all over the place.
CH: It’s a lot of traveling but we love that!
AJ: We also just got a house in LA where we will have our studio in there as well.
AM: Do you guys also live together?
ICONA POP: YES!!!
AM: How cute is that?
AJ: It’s a big house so you get your space and we’re going to build everything – from a fitness center to a studio.
CH: So we’ll never have to leave and you’ll never see us again! But we’ll have everything that we’ll need haha.
AM: It’s like a glam compound – love it. So what workouts do you guys typically do or what are you building into your home to do?
CH: Well we bought our first thing – the Assault Bike, the first one an all retro one! It’s great for us to have all of those things. I think we’re also planning on putting in a mat so we can do different kinds of workouts.
AJ: Yeah like yoga and my boyfriend is our personal trainer – so he is taking care of all the lifting weights stuff there.
CH: We also love working outside so this gym will be outside. We spend so much time in our studios so it’s great to get that fresh air and to hang out with your friends outside. Meanwhile, we’re working out. We also love working out together and like sometimes you have a longer time and other times your schedule is crazy so it’s important to get it in when you can.
AJ: I like circuit training and that’s a good way to get strong with different types. We always say lift weights with cardio as a lot of women don’t lift weights and that’s stupid.
CH: Yeah and also you realize that it’s a thing that you slowly and slowly get better and that’s when you feel your body start to change. Your posture, you have so much more in your muscles.
AM: So how excited are you guys to be here today with Propel Co:Labs – how did that happen?
CH: I think that they reached out to us and we got super excited because we do work out so much and that’s a huge part of who we are and for us it’s important for us to jump on stage for 1.5 – 2 hours and not gasp for breath! We want to deliver to our fans and be in really good shape and that’s why we were so happy to be a part of this.
AJ: I think that a lot of times, we do a lot of parties and people see us do shots on stage, but that's just a portion of what we do. There is another part!
CH: Yes, it’s just a part as we’re healthy and a lot of our fans say that they work out to our music. It lets them get over the hump and take their workout to the next level.
AJ: When you’re at the gym it just gives you that energy to say – yes! Sometimes I’m at the gym and I’m like “oh my gosh” this is us and I get a little embarrassed and then I sing along haha.
AM: What keeps you guys inspired when you’re making your music?
CH: I think traveling, hanging out with our friends which is so important to us but also what we’re trying to do right now is that every place we go to, we say what can we do here – what can we see? We really want to work on what we can see and to enjoy, experiencing etc. You can travel all over the world and just see a hotel room. But when you can go and taste the food that is special to that place or to meet the people from that region – that is really inspiring.
AJ: Then I feel like sometimes you need to get bored to like let things sink in. So take a little pause, get bored and then say hmm this is what I want to write. It works very well for us.
AM: Love that, it’s kind of like our belief in disconnecting to connect. So when you guys aren’t working, how do you relax and take time for yourself.
AJ: Mmmm Nature
CH: Yeah! It’s one of those things that’s so easy and sometimes you need a couple of days to say ok I can now breath and I’m not thinking about work too much. But when you come to nature, it happens instantly. Because you can look at water for hours and not feel stressed. You can look at the forest and animals and not feel stressed. This way you can connect with your body immediately as opposed to waiting to 5 days to come down.
AJ: I feel like a lot of times you don’t have that many days off. So we try to do mindfulness – just a couple of minutes a day and that usually helps a lot. It’s also about eating good food.
CH: Yeah just enjoying and appreciating eating really good food with people that you like. That’s also a luxury for me.
AJ: And exercise again. I mean you get so much endorphins from doing that. I don’t even see the workout as work as it’s just part of my routine. When I have a day off, I can do it longer and not be stressed about going someplace else. The worst thing is to be stressed in the gym as it breaks my heart.
AM: How do guys prepare before you hit the stage?
AJ: We drink coffee and listen to music.
CH: We usually, put on great music and get ready together as we have to be in sync. We talk about what we are going to focus on during the performance ….
AJ: Andwho we’re going to be on stage.
CH: Yeah like different personalities
AJ: Sometimes it’s David Bowie, sometimes it’s Prince, Michael Jackson – you name it and sometimes it’s just me haha!
PHOTOS COURTESY | Katie June Burton + Stephanie Noritz
Vanessa We know that the summer is coming and with that comes the realization, for some that they need to get on it when it comes to showcasing the summer body that has been under layers for the last few weeks. Whether you've been a Disciplined Debbie or a Late to the Party Lucy, we sat down with Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, and gastrointestinal issues and was formerly a Senior Dietitian at Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC.Rissetto, RD who specializes in Weight Loss Management and Medical Nutrition Therapy as it pertains to diabetes, cardiac disease
As you work on the physical goals of your summer body, Vanessa shares with us how to get our food plan in sync whether you've been diligent or just starting!
Summer bodies are made in the winter… at least that’s what my trainer tells me.
Well, I’ve got news for him - Mother Nature hasn’t been on her meds this winter, so most of us have been hibernating more than usual since November. And, if you’re like me and you’ve been getting your cardio by pushing your cart down the aisles of your local grocery store, then I’m sure you’ve noticed that how, er, unappealing the produce is looking these days, while over in the chip aisle that strategically placed new Doritos flavor has never looked so good! Spoiler Alert: yes sometimes I do eat Doritos, and Original is still the best.
HOWEVER, this is not the time for Doritos (new or original), or cookies, or wine, or any of that fun stuff we have been making excuses for because it was from Thanksgiving, or a holiday party, or Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are getting married.
Summer is upon us, people, and you're either going to be cool and comfortable basking in the sun with your shoulders exposed, or you're going to be searching for the a/c while hiding in leggings, and tunics. Side note - my daughter, who is six, only wears leggings, she doesn't see any reason for trying to squeeze into jeans when leggings are way more comfortable - her words not mine; clearly I’m raising a confident genius.
Wait, where were we… oh right, summer bodies - DUH! Which is likely the reason you’re even still reading, hoping I get to the point soon! You want me to impart my pearls of wisdom so you can get to work on that summer body the Friday before Memorial Day. Don’t worry, I got you; and you got this, with a few tricks and tips to help.
Rome was NOT built in a day
Guys, if you’ve been boozing it up every weekend, and ordering a daily takeout, you’re not going to do well if you start to subsist on kale and lemon water all of a sudden. Let’s be realistic here - If you’re used to drinking 6 drinks over the weekend, let’s aim for 4 this weekend.
“How can I even do that,” you ask. “Going out to bars on the weekends is basically what keeps me sane, with my job/office drama/family/single life (delete as applicable).” Well, I am a realist! So here are my tips:
Firstly, only drink spirits - vodka, rum, tequila – pure, no mixers. You’ll find you’ll drink less, which will make you consume fewer calories but still get your weekend buzz. And, if you’re tempted to drink more, (we’ve all had THOSE weeks) order a seltzer in between each drink since that will make you feel full, while disguising the fact that you aren’t really drinking. Which leads me to my next point.
OK, I know that wasn’t the perfect segue way, but I’ll try to come up with something more clever for the next one… So, you know when you’re watching RHONY and Ramona and Bethany are fighting over some nonsense that is the same nonsense they've been fighting over since the show's inception? This is the perfect moment for step two!
This is the time where I pick up my phone and start scrolling around for recipes that are quick and easy. Now I KNOW you’re on your phone while you watch TV, so instead of searching around IG and ending up on Beyonce’s mother’s European vacation, navigate towards pages that can actually help you. I personally love @SkinnyTaste for her easy recipes, @AllRecipes has pretty quick delicious meals, and you could also visit my page - @VanessaRossettoRD - but that would be a shameless plug and I wouldn’t do that sort of thing.
But do your own searches, find the things you like, and – if it’s really great, send it to me on IG in my comments, I’m always looking for new recipes!
To the Store!
Now that you’ve planned ahead, you can shop!
Meal prep is less daunting if you know what you’re making. Staples on my grocery list are: eggs, oats, almond milk, arugula, lemons, limes, avocados, onions, garlic, raspberries (8 g fiber per 1 cup when you’re craving something sweet), individually portioned 100 calorie bags of nuts, skinny pop (individually portioned bags), mini Kind bars (100 calories), non-fat Greek yogurt, peanut butter packets (Justin’s has 80 calorie individual packs), frozen bags of broccoli, green beans, and frozen cauliflower rice.
I then add in ingredients from the recipes I found.
My tip here is to plan 3 proteins, 1 starch, and 6 servings of vegetables that you can have on hand at home for dinners when you get home. That way when you come home from a long day, you don't have to stare into the abyss that is your fridge wondering what to eat - especially when it probably doesn't have any food INSIDE it right now anyway, but has plenty of those takeout menus stuck to the OUTSIDE, amirite? If your fridge is stuffed full of delicious food, you will heat it up and eat it instead of making that tempting call to your favorite pizza place. Trust me this is a way to avoid temptation, save money, and limit waste.
Get out there and exercise
Exercise will definitely help your summer body cause. But it’s also really good for your brain. And, it’s a great way to break up your day and stop you from raiding your cabinet, you know, the one with all the chocolate. If you’re looking longingly at your cabinet where you hid the cookies but the weather outside is nice, then even going out for a quick 30-minute walk is a win. It shifts your focus, makes you feel good and by the time you come back, you probably won't want those cookies anyway.
35 opportunities for greatness!
Look at your week as a succession of chances to reach your goal: you have 35 of them, actually. Every day, you get to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner and two snacks – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. That means you have 5 chances a day, and 35 chances a week to eat well! And, if you can eat well about 33 of those 35 times, you should be able well on your way to that summer body.
And for those of you thinking to yourself “eat well” is not a tip, anyone can say that! Here are some specific guidelines: have 1-2 cups of vegetables at your lunch and dinner, make sure the serving size of carbohydrates is no more than about ¼-½ cup, and don’t drink your calories, try to keep to water and seltzer (or fizzy water as my kids call it).
Follow these five tips to get you ready for the summer, and you’ll see the difference – and whenever you decide to cast aside your leggings and tunic and dip your toes in the ocean, I’ll be right there with you.
See you on the beach!
Read more from the April Issue and see Nutrition for Your Summer Body 2018 by Vanessa Rissetto, RD. in mag.
For the past few weeks, we have enjoyed streaming obè to workout when we can't hit the gym or when we're traveling. We're obsessed with the vibrant pops of color that remind us of aerobic workouts a la Jane Fonda and Olivia Newton John's, 'Let's Get Physical' song.
Founded by Mark Mullett and Ashley Mills (both formerly with Creative Artists Agency), they believed in an on-the-go fitness platform based on the belief that incredible fitness talent and experiences should not be limited to a privileged few in NYC or LA. Both embrace a love of fitness from Mark's need to motivate and change up the workout. Ashley's need to work out came from finding a way to combat the stress of her job, while also turning to yoga to ease her psoriatic arthritis.
"obé finally provides you with a workout to look forward to. Every morning we bring the boutique fitness experience straight to your living room from our electric, light filled studio in New York City has to offer. Where else can you wake up 5 minutes before a class, sweat it out like you’re in your own music video, and leave sore, but smiling ready to conquer the day?"
On average, there are 8 hours of LIVE programming every day, which is 16 classes! They are focused on making magic every morning across the country, 7 days a week. By sweating it out first thing, members are motivated, energized, and teed up for a productive day. Morning is the most popular time to workout for a reason!
There is also a series of obé Express programming, which are on demand classes ranging from 8 to 15 minutes. These are perfect as targeted add ons to members’ morning obé routine, or if they are pressed for time later in the day, but still want to fit in a fun, effective workout!
obé launched on Friday, March 9th of this year. Workouts are web based, accessible through PC, mobile device or tablet. Many members mirror or cast up to their smart TV. Mobile apps for IOS and Android are on the near horizon allowing people to easily take obé with them throughout the day.
Programming takes place across three verticals: SWEAT (dance cardio and circuit training) | DEFINE (body sculpting and strength training) | FLOW (yoga and restorative stretch).
Each class is full body, only 28 minutes, and does not require any equipment! The schedule is purposely crafted so that if you only have one specific time to workout each day, you can experience a variety of diverse modalities and instructors. Always fresh, never boring!
A small selection of obé merchandise will be available online shortly. This will include fun post-sweat hoodies, colorful tanks, and resistance bands that are perfect for travel.
OBE OUR BODY ELECTRIC
2018 will be many things, but we hope in addition to your other plans and goals, that focusing on your health will be at the top of the list! We took some time to talk to NYC Surgical Associate's head doctor and Co-Founder, Dr Greuner. He is an extremely exclusive and prestigious award-winning cardiovascular surgeon who is one of the most talented in his field. He is also a social media influencer for health and fitness. We wanted to find out about how he
found his calling to be a doctor, his passion for fitness (if you haven't checked his Instagram, check it out) and how we can have positive heart health.
ATHLEISURE MAG: How did you come to be a cardiovascular surgeon?
DR. GREUNER: Believe it or not, by accident. I was a NCAA athlete in college, and an economics and human performance major. My plan was to open a chain of objectively measured analytics for top tier athletes upon graduation, and this was a childhood dream of mine. I took medical classes to develop my knowledge of human anatomy and physiology for this reason in school, and became so enamored discovering how the human body functions. It’s beautiful, and completely logical. I could speak for hours on this, and I read about it more to this day for personal enjoyment, much the same way an art aficionado looks at beautiful pieces.
As my understanding grew, so did my desire to learn more, and soon, I had basically filled my requirements for medical school, solely via personal interest. My father and mother were in the middle of a divorce at the time I finished college, and I moved closer to my father to help him through this difficult time, as we had always been very close. I applied to medical school at
that time where he was living, and was accepted. I finished, but never planned on practicing, until my surgery rotation, which fascinated me. I applied to surgical residency and I was accepted.
During my surgery residency, I rotated through cardiac surgery, and it was love at first sight. The rhythm, the physiology, the technical prowess, and the nerves of steel required hypnotized
me, and I knew there was nothing else I would rather do.
To this day, everyone asks me why I am so happy heading to work in the morning. The truth is, I theoretically found the love of my life by accident…..
AM: How can we maintain positive heart health?
DR. G: There are so many answers to this question, but in short, regular cardio and a diet rich in essential fatty acids and low in foods that promote oxidative stress are the two main keys.
For the function of your heart, or “cardiovascular fitness,” you should maintain at least 3 sessions of active cardio where your heart rate is above 120 bpm, for at least 20 minutes per week to maintain your level of cardiovascular fitness. Less than that, and you will consistently deteriorate with time in terms of your cardiac function. More than that, and you will consistently improve.
The next category is maintaining pristine condition of your heart, to allow it to function effectively. Anything that causes tissue damage is called “oxidative stress”. I’m sure you have all heard of anti oxidants. These are the chemicals that act to buffer these oxidative stress. Think of it as a balance, like a mathematical equation. If you go into a negative number, because of oxidative stress, you must take in antioxidants to get back to a neutral state, and “balance it out” so to speak.
Oxidative stress can come from any source, such as chemicals in processed food, chemical injury such as smoking or pollution, and even extra strenuous workouts. It’s all about consistency, and awareness to keep you in the positive direction to avoid tissue damage.
AM: It's clear that you are also into health and fitness, why is this important and what are the benefits?
DR. G: Yes, fitness is a huge part of my life, and for a variety of reasons
1. its one of my main coping mechanisms.
I definitely have a very stressful job surgically speaking, and I also have a significant administrative role in a very large private practice, which let me tell you, comes with some unwanted stress. Given that role, I need some release mechanisms that don’t involve unhealthy habits, and working out is one of my go to methods, particularly cycling, running, and martial arts, all of which require an intense amount of focus and “zoning out” so to speak. I reach a sort of meditative state for lack of a better word, that allows me a tranquil period and a mental cleansing for other things that may be weighing on my mind at the time. Well, at least until the next hurdle…..
2. It preserves my form and function.
Lets face it. Whether we are 18 or 60, we are all aging daily, and aging takes its toll on the body. And none of that is making us more fit. In fact, it gets harder to maintain levels of fitness as we age for a variety of reasons. You can either accept that, or fight the trend by working harder to be better. I choose the latter. In fact, my lap times running, and some of my muscle functionality is better than where it was in my twenties as a result of me training so intensely these days, a fact that I’m extremely proud of. Now if only my back injuries would respond the same way…..
AM: Nutrition is key. How can we stay healthy during the holiday while splurging during this time of year?
DR. G: I’m a HUGE fan of cheat days. Both because I love to eat probably more than anyone I know, and also because there are definite benefits to them, if your diet is on track the rest of the time. In general, I’m sure you have heard of muscle confusion workouts. The basic premise behind this, is that if you do the same workout for a prolonged period of time, eventually,
your muscles become accustomed to it, and you will no longer push them to the point where they need to become stronger, as they simply become more efficient. How do you avoid this and enjoy improved function with every workout? By switching it up and keeping your muscles and body “confused” and not knowing what to expect.
It’s the same with your diet. If you keep to a strict, low calorie diet for a prolonged period of time, your body is programmed to preserve the status quo by nature, and it will simply become
more efficient and lower your metabolism in order to burn calories in an efficient way. In short, you will basically become a human Pruis metabolically speaking, which trust me, is NOT what you want. You want to be that big V8 that burns calories at a rapid rate. How do you do this? By implementing a cheat day once a week, where you consume a tremendous amount of calories, and make your body feel like endless calories will be available much like the credit market was in the 1990s. Then, just when your body is adapting, which takes a few days, you pull the carpet from underneath it, and drop it back into a low calorie state while it still thinks that endless energy is available. Just when it’s starting to sense that it needs to be more “financially responsible” from a calories standpoint, your throw a curveball again and bring in fat, carbs, and everything that it wants. Keep doing this, and your body will have to keep guessing, and you will always burn fat at a faster rate and keep it lean. Plus, you get to eat cake
AM: What are 3 workouts that guys should do to get great abs and calves?
DR. G: You should always think of gaining muscle mass as a separate category than acquiring muscle definition. A muscular, ripped physique is the Holy Grail for most men, and there are
many reasons most of us are not walking around looking like Greek gods. It’s very difficult to achieve both. To gain muscle mass, we have to stress our muscles, beyond what they are used
to stimulate them to grow. Most of the gym theories on heavy weights with low weight vs light weights and high reps are false. The endpoint needs to be complete and total muscle fatigue so that your body is uncomfortable and is stimulated to adapt to be able to deal with the new level of performance you demand from it. It doesn’t really matter how you achieve that level of stimulation, as long as you achieve it. If you are trying to attain a different level of functionality, meaning strength vs endurance, the type of training you do definitely matters.
This being the case, I always pick the easiest way to look the best. And for me, that is doing heavy weights with low reps, as it’s the quickest, most efficient way to stimulate growth. My ab
routine typically consists of hanging leg raises with leg weights, ab pulldowns with heavy weight (150+lbs) and weighted, slant bench sit ups with a 40-50lb medicine ball. When it comes time to train for an event, I switch to more reps to improve my function. For calves I use weighted donkey presses, and weighted calf raises.
In order to allow your muscles to grow, you must also give them the fuel and rest they need, much like a growing child, which is why it’s difficult to stay ripped and build muscle. Girls have it so easy…..
To show off that hard-earned muscle, you must be in a calorie deficit, to make your body lose the fat and expose that hard-earned mass. Without a low body fat, you will never look good, regardless of the amount of muscle you build.
You may ask, “When I drop my calories, won't I lose muscle?” which is a legitimate concern. The short answer is, yes you will. But you can minimize muscle loss by manipulating your diet, as well as supplements promoting testosterone, and supplying branched chain amino acids, which are key to my routine. BCAAs basically fool your body into believing it has broken down muscle already, so it shifts to breaking down fat instead when you are in a caloric deficit, and are one of the keys to preserving muscle mass when dieting hard for fat loss.
AM: What are your energy foods that you enjoy eating that you can take with you when you have a hectic day and can't get out like you would like?
DR. G: I typically bring some lean, but very satisfying meat cuts to work with me, which promote satiety, but at the same time, allow me to not over indulge in calories. Turkey, lean beef, and chicken are my go to choices.
The key to any diet that promotes a lean, muscular physique is to avoid high blood sugar levels, which stimulate insulin release. Insulin is the main hormone involved in fat gain, so you want to minimize its presence in your blood.
The best way to do this is to avoid high sugar foods. So if you’re going to snack, use high protein snacks like beef jerky, or complex carbs, like high fiber or oat bars with low sugar content. As soon as you cause a sugar spike, you basically put yourself behind the 8 ball in terms of your physique. Yes, it's THAT important.
AM: As a stylist, I'm prepping a number of my clients for their red carpet moments during Awards Season what are food must-haves and workouts that you would suggest they incorporate into their routine?
DR. G: In general, I look at workouts and diet as trying to achieve two different goals. How you look is 80 percent a function of your diet, and how you perform is mostly dependent on your workouts. The only exception to this, is trying to attain a very high level of muscle in which case you absolutely must work out consistently to stimulate muscle growth.
That being the case, diet is the key to looking great. You could work out all day long, but if you eat badly, you will look terrible. If you barely workout, but your diet is clean, you will look much better than you think, which is often overlooked. Often I hear “I work out, I can eat whatever I want today.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. If you think about it, in a hugely strenuous workout for an hour, the average person would burn maybe 1000 calories, or one larger slice of cheesecake. Do the math on that. Fat loss is a simple mathematical equation. Eat
fewer calories than you burn, and you will lose weight. The easiest way to do that, unless you want to work out 6 hours a day, is to keep your diet clean.
We've been fans of SoulCycle for years and were excited when we heard about SoulAnnex, the next evolution in fitness and wellness. The Flatiron location is where top instructors are piloting the latest and most effective off-the-bike classes. The focus of this platform is about elevating the way you move off the bike by strengthening, dancing, stretching and moving the body in a whole new way.
Classes are offered 4-5 days and provide a full 360 approach to training that compliments their on-the-bike programming at SoulCycle. The classes focus on three key training areas.
MOVE: Feel the beat, embrace the rhythm, and experience how energy and momentum can take your workout to the next level. Every move you make is done with and for a purpose:
Choreography, set to epic playlists, revs your heart rate and tones muscles from head to toe. The result is an incredibly fun workout that leaves you breathless and happy.
DEFINE: These total-body sessions utilize body weight, free weights, resistance bands and more to sculpt strong muscles. Drawing on varying modalities like high-intensity interval training and plyometrics, instructors will coach you through each rep to help you unlock
your inner athlete and achieve your highest level of physical fitness.
ALIGN: The perfect balancing supplement to your cardio and strength sessions, our restorative classes stretch, lengthen and rehab overworked muscles. Drawing on disciplines like yoga and Pilates, you’ll release tight hips, glutes, and more while improving core strength. Each session integrates mindfulness and body awareness for a 360-degree experience that replenishes you mentally as well as physically.
During the first week of SoulAnnex's opening, we took Fundamental Flows with Eve which was a vinyasa workout that is a balanced mind-body experience where your breath, mantras and
movement come together on the mat and beyond. As you transition from Inner Warrior to Warrior II, each person finds the shapes that awaken your muscles to find clarity, strength and
Prior to and after class, guests can enjoy complimentary studio amenities that include hair care products by Ouai and 100% organic tampons by LOLA. SoulAnnex features a lifestyle boutique
with SoulCycle's original performance and athleisure collections, as well as a capsule collection that features the signature triangle logo of SoulAnnex.
On any given day, there is a festival taking place and although the concept may convey images of DJs, rock bands etc - there are other gatherings that also exist in this category. We learned about Wanderlust a few months ago and finally caught up with the trio to find out about their wellness-focused festivals that are four-day weekend retreats filled with yoga, meditation, live
music, speakers and outdoor activities as well as those that are single day mindful triathlons. These take place throughout the country and overseas to allow a series of people to come together as a means to become a like-minded tribe.
We found out more about these events, what's new this year and a quick snapshot of their growth.
ATHLEISURE MAG: When did Wanderlust launch and who are the creators of this wellness festival?
WANDERLUST: Wanderlust was founded in 2009 by three friends: Sean Hoess, Jeff Krasno and Schuyler Grant.
AM: We know that Wanderlust has operated in a number of cities, are there cities that are new to you that will have festivals in 2017/2018 - will you be in NYC anytime soon!
W: Our NYC event happened just two weeks ago at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park. And we broke a Guinness World record at that event.
AM: What takes place at Wanderlust?
W: Wanderlust holds two different kinds of events—our multi-day festivals which are four-day weekend retreats combining yoga, meditation, live music, inspiring speakers and outdoor adventures for an entirely unique mindful getaway. And, our single-day “mindful triathlons” called the Wanderlust 108 which take place in public parks all over the world. The Wanderlust
108 includes a five-kilometer run (or walk), an outdoor 90-minute yoga class, and a guided meditation. New for 2017, participants can add a scheduled class such as aerial yoga, acro-yoga, hooping, walking meditation, photography or essential oils workshops, or a community yoga experience from favorite local teachers. At all Wanderlust 108 events, the Kula Marketplace will showcase local craft vendors, including clothing, jewelry, and handcrafted
items. Local and organic food vendors will be on site, as well as a retail store and juice bar collaboration between Wanderlust and Adidas housed in a 60 foot, geodesic dome.
AM: At the end of September, you will be in Tampa which was affected by Irma. How are you supporting the community and will there be any changes to the event because of the hurricane?
W: It was important to us to be of service to the local community. It’s our intention at all our events to come together as a community to lift each other up, and we wanted to help who might be in need in the local Tampa area. $1.08 of each Wanderlust 108 Tampa ticket sold in 2017 will be donated to the Tampa Bay Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund. The Tampa Bay Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund (TBDisasterFund.org) is a strategic collaboration of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, Pinellas Community Foundation, United Way of Citrus County, United Way of Hernando, United Way of Pasco, and United Way Suncoast. This fund provides a trusted and reliable way to make tax-deductible donations to local storm recovery efforts. 100% of the funds collected through this effort will be directed to address immediate and mid- to long-term recovery needs through grants to select nonprofits.
AM: How many times a year do you host these festivals?
W: Wanderlust 108 first launched in New York’s Prospect Park and Atlanta’s Piedmont Park in 2014, bringing the mindful triathlon experience to over 10,000 participants. After this overwhelmingly positive response, Wanderlust 108 expanded to 17 cities in 2015, 32 cities in 2016 and now, to over 60 cities in 17 countries in 2017.
Ketanga Fitness Retreats launched in 2014 and is founded by Stacy Schwartz, a born-and-raised Manhattanite. The dream of creating a career out of her love for seeing the world and keeping active was one that she could not have imagined. She began thinking about it when she tried to book a vacation a few years ago that also incorporated fitness (particularly boxing and high-intensity interval training); however, she was unable to find anything.
A few years later in 2014, she quit her job in Corporate America to travel the world for 100 days by herself. Was it scary? Yes - but it was her best decision as she was able to travel the way she wanted and to see the sights while being active through bike tours, horseback riding, jogging through neighborhoods, dropping into local gym classes, and even flying a 2-person glider plane.
Upon returning home, it clicked. There was something special about crafting a vacation that combined the perfect amount of fitness, adventure, and relaxation into one trip. It was at this point that Ketanga Fitness Retreats was born.
Ketanga Fitness Retreats organizes fitness retreats around the world! They work with top trainers, studios, and gyms to plan custom experiences that combine fitness, adventure, and relaxation.
With a mission to make wellness travel accessible, varied, and fun, they curate small group fitness adventures that feature the best-of-the-best vetted instructors, unique activities, and a relaxed yet motivating atmosphere.
This company, has many partners from around the US (and other countries) who are gym owners and independent trainers who have a vision of hosting a retreat for their clients, but don’t know where to start. Ketanga Fitness Retreats specialize in helping to bring their vision to life by handling the planning, organizing, and logistics behind a producing a fitness retreat.
They also produce local fitness events and wellness workshops in NYC, builds corporate wellness programs, and organizes private group retreats.
They offer custom retreat planning experiences, and work with private groups to create something special. Whether it is a birthday celebration, a bachelorette trip, a corporate retreat, or a girls getaway, they create experiences for clients that combine fitness, adventure, and relaxation in unique ways!
For guests who join existing retreats (vs planning a custom retreat), there are itineraries that are expertly curated and customized for each program. Guests are always welcome to opt out of a workout or activity, and there is ample free time for guests to take part in different experiences and activities, or just relax and reflect on the beach!
Ketanga organizes local events in NYC to bring the wellness community together! They host many special events including their famous Fitness Krawls (think of a pub crawl but with visiting fitness studios instead of bars!), Sunday Funday workouts, Muscles & Margaritas events, outdoor workouts, and more. These events are fun as they combine wellness and something social like a workout plus drinks or a wellness talk and brunch. It’s all about balance!
Retreats for this year includes a Colorado Adventure Retreat coming up October 20-23 which I am very excited about! We will be exploring the mountains with rock climbing and hiking, plus an amazing coach with us to lead HIIT, yoga, and mobility sessions. And, of course, we will be trying some local craft beer! We have a few spots left.
In 2018 Ketanga Fitness Retreat will announce a HUGE event to kick off the New Year in Costa Rica! Without giving away too much, it is going to have 6 different retreats over a span of 5 weeks ranging in themes from yoga and adventure to boxing to cooking and more, and people can sign up for any (or all) retreats to kick off the New Year healthfully, with amazing instruction, and like-minded people.
Whether you’re an athlete or live an active lifestyle, the concept of optimizing your body to its utmost performance while preventing chronic pain and injuries is an essential element that can
be done prior to (maximizing results) and after your workout (to reduce recovery time, aches and stiffness). Over the past year, we have worked out utilizing the MELT Method which has a
Performance Roller that has changed our approach to fitness! This method focuses on whole-body communication, rebalances the nervous system, rehydrates connective tissue and releases compression in joints. Developed by Sue Hitzmann (a manual therapist and connective tissue specialist in NYC), creator of the MELT Method, MELT Performance includes a series of
techniques that are based in science and includes the use of the soft Performance Roller and the Performance Band. By going through her exercises, you improve your athleticism, have an
increased range of motion generate core strength, and you have joint stability.
We’re fans of the customizable nature of this program as you can target an array of sequences including NeuroCore Stability, Lower Body Stability, Upper Body Stability, and Bonus Neck Stability. Whether you follow along via DVD, or On Demand (they just released their app), this is a workout that you can do from the comfort of your home, office or from your hotel room. In addition to MELT Performance and MELT Method, there is also the MELT Hand and Foot
Treatments that allows your body to feel its effects in just minutes and can be done with MELT Treatment Balls that are made specifically for these activities.
MELT focuses on maintaining a pain free life by ensuring that there is a balanced nervous system and healthy connective tissue. Fundamentally, this self-care targets these needs by providing your body with the support it needs as well as optimal mind-body communication. Going through these techniques improves the body's ability to restore balance and to repair itself, which is key to lasting changes that you will see through your life.
There are over 1000 MELT classes, workshops, and events offered every week by trained MELT Instructors. A live class can be a great way to try MELT for the first time. Find an instructor or class near you here.
MELT professional education offers a series of trainings at various locations in the US and the UK. Trainees learn how to share the MELT Method in a one-on-one or group environment in
these practical, interactive trainings, while discovering the latest in fascial science and the nervous system.
The MELT Method Hand and Foot Instructor Training is the introductory training to learn how to teach the MELT Hand and Foot Treatments and the science behind the revolutionary MELT Method®.
MELT On Demand provides streaming access to your favorite sequences, MELT Maps, and videos, including the newest release, MELT Performance! For a small monthly fee, you can do
as many classes, tutorials, sequences, and MELT Maps as you like, gain unlimited access to our entire video library, plus discover new content every month!
Discover new classes every month with Sue Hitzmann, including her newest creation, MELT Performance! These can be watched anywhere with 24/7 access and become your own Hands-
Boxing continues to trend as a workout and Overthrow Boxing Club brings it in all its gritty glory at its headquarters on Bleeker as well as its location in Williamsburg. With its doors open, at anytime you're seeing people entering, classes taking place or you could also see Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez and even Usher getting a workout in.
In addition to being in an iconic area, the very building it resides in was the home of Overthrow Magazine (which is where the name of this studio comes from) as well as the headquarters for
the activist group, The Yippies.
The ability to peek behind the curtain to see this gym in action was the exact vision that Joey Goodwin, founder of Overthrow, had in mind. Think of this studio as Fight Club brought to life in a setting with posters and stickers on the wall, an upstairs studio and a red room for smaller classes downstairs. Of course, there is the cool neon that is showcased throughout.
Regardless of your skill level, Overthrow is open to all. Classes can be booked onsite as well as online. In addition, there are themed classes such as Boxing and Booze which gives you a cold beer post workout on Mondays and there are those classes which provide donations to organizations such as the ACLU and Planned Parenthood on Fridays. Workouts are created by
former Golden Gloves Champion, Alicia "The Empress" Napoleon.
Unlike studio fitness brands that are known for premium amenities for beauty products that can be enjoyed post workout, Overthrow does not have this. But they do have a line that is based in the love of boxing and it was actually created prior to the launch of the gym as Goodwin is an entrepreneur who has also been in the fashion industry. The line, also known as Overthrow, allows you to wear your fighting spirit in and out of the ring and has had great editorial pieces that you could wear for a night out.
When it comes to wellbeing brands, we think of Exhale which focuses on mind and body through spa and fitness in its 25 properties in the US and the Caribbean. The Hyatt has acquired Exhale to connect with high-end travelers in more ways, beyond traditional hotel
stays. We're excited to see its global expansion, new free standing locations as well as its placement in Hyatt hotels. When we're traveling, we like to bring these must haves with us.
Manhattan's East meets West Spa Country Club, Premier57 reopened their doors in May of this year with Steven Chon as its CEO. Guests can enjoy a full day's access to hydrotherapy Bade pools, six unique sauna rooms, resting lounges, water lounges and baths. One of the most popular treatments offered are its Korean Body Scrubs.
Based in traditional Korean practices, the exfoliating process uses textured gloves to remove dead skin. It not only removes the dead skin to a new level, dirt, oil it also improves circulation,
tones the skin, stimulates the Lymphatic System and aids in clearing your mind. Treatment requires hot tub soaking prior to service.
In addition to this method, guests can enjoy an array of treatments that include an assortment of facials, body treatments/wraps, massages (as well as those that focus on Asian remedies),
HAMMAM and more.
In addition, there are a number of sauna rooms that you can select that are not only ornately decorated but fit various themes such as infrared, igloo, Himalayan salt rooms, Loess clay and a
Guests are able to access their lockers as well as to add treatments and amenities to their day via their electronic band which allows for a seamless experience. In addition, as is tradition in
Asian bath houses the space is to be enjoyed without wearing shoes and a robe is also provided upon entrance. Although you can make reservations to enjoy Premier57, it is not required.
In between treatments, guests can also access, relaxation lounges as well as a number of options for food and beverage. Premier57 has an Aqua Bar (perfect to enjoy cocktails as you relax), Cafe Bistro (food to be enjoyed by a number of palettes) and Asian Cuisine (if you're looking to have Korean dishes - you will find them here).
It's all about balance. Looking and feeling your best is all about giving yourself what your body needs from exercise, eating right, having personal time and also getting sleep. Our lives are pretty hectic so sometimes it may be tough to make sure that we have everything that we need. We took some time to chat with Cassey Ho, who is not only the founder of Blogilates and continued on to POP Pilates.
, but travels around the country motivating others to embrace their bodies and to stay moving. We chatted with Cassey to find out more about how she got started, what her day is like and her partnership with Zzzquil and how essential sleep is to her routine to stay on top of it all.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We've been fans for years! Please tell our readers how you came to creating Blogilates?
CASSEY HO: I created Blogilates back in 2009 when I was teaching a class at 24 Hour Fitness in Los Angeles after college. I was teaching about 30-40 students every Tuesday and Thursday
night. I was about to move to Boston for my first job out of college and my students were like “what are we going to do without you during the week? No one else teaches Pop Pilates.” I decided to film a video just for those 40 people, put it on YouTube and then I left [for Boston]. The next time I looked at that video, it had thousands of views and hundreds of comments. I read the comments and people were asking if I could do another butt video or another ab video and these were not just the people at 24 Hour Fitness, they were from people all over the world. Now we have over 3.7 million subscribers on YouTube, which is craziness, and it all is stemming from the intention to want to teach.
AM: What drew you to Pilates and why is this such a good method to do in terms of toning your body?
CH: I really love Pilates because it is all about competing against yourself and who you were yesterday. You do not have to compete with anyone else. Pilates is so good for your body because if you are doing mat Pilates you do not need any equipment and you are using your body strength, which also means you have fewer excuses when you are traveling. You don’t have to go to the gym to do Pilates; you can do it literally in your hotel room or at home. My form of Pilates is called POP Pilates, which is Pilates with pop music, so it makes it really fun to do and it is like a dance on the mat.
AM: What are you currently working on and tell us more about Sheroic podcast?
CH: I am currently working on the next POPFLEX collection, which is my active wear line and we are hoping to launch some new lines in the fall, which will be fun! Also on June 21, we are launching the Sheroic podcast. I am super excited about it and I am hosting it with my good
friend and fellow female entrepreneur, Lisa Bilyeu. We are talking everything female empowerment, how to follow your dreams, how to have successful relationships and how to deal with failure. We also talk about body image, plastic surgery and pretty much anything and
everything else. We get real, we get raw and every episode will leave you with at least one nugget of knowledge that will enrich your life.
AM: What are 3 exercises that are good to tone abs, legs and your butt?
CH: A great one for abs is the eagle crunch. You would cross your knees over each other and then cross your ankles if you can and cross your elbows over each other and then your wrists, if you can. Essentially, you are trying to make the body nice and tight. While you are laying on your back, squeeze and crunch up touching your elbows to your knees and then you release. That action is really going to attack your core, your abs and it is pretty insane. You will want to
try about 15 or 20 of those and the slower, the better.
For legs, I really like squat lunges. This is from my PIIT28 workout (Pilates Intense Interval Training), in which you begin in a squat with your legs hip width apart and toes tracking forward. You squat down with your chest open and back flat. Your butt will be almost to the floor, at least parallel to the floor. You then jump up and land in a lunge. Then you go back
into your squat, jump up and land in your lunge on the other side. This is all cardio, lots of legs and added butt too.
If you want another butt exercise, one that I really do enjoy is the standing single leg lift. Imagine you are balancing on one foot, leg is straight, hands on the hips and the other leg extended behind you, nice and long with your toe pointed. Now, while balancing on that foot like a flamingo, bend your knee and extend it up. That is really going to tack that one glute. Then to get the other glute, you lift the other leg high in the air and bring it back to that parallel position. This entire sequence is so good for your legs and your butt.
AM: What are great power foods that we can eat in order to maintain our energy when we're running around or about to work out?
CH: If you are looking for energy foods, you are looking for something with a bit more carbs in it for that quick energy. For me, I enjoy a really good acai bowl. You get your fruit, maybe some granola and it is fun to eat. Acai is really so good for you so I like that. They also make beautiful pictures.
AM: What is your personal style when it comes what you wear when you work out vs what you wear for brunch vs going out for date night?
CH: For working out, I love looking really cute because it keeps me motivated. I also think that looking cute helps with better form. If you look in the mirror and feel good about your outfit, you will have better form. I like wearing my own line, POPFLEX Active, because I like testing
my clothes to make sure they are working. I want to make sure that the pants are not see-through when you squat or that your boobs stay in when you do jump squats. These are all very important things, so I love testing the clothes before anything comes out.
In terms of what I wear for brunch versus going out, sometimes I finish my workout and head straight to brunch. I’m cool with doing that because I feel like the workout wear is very versatile, but I also really love rompers. I can wear rompers all day long. Rompers for brunch, rompers for date night, rompers all the time.
AM: Being healthy focuses on eating right and working out, how important is sleep to this formula?
CH: The three pillars for health are eating healthy, being active daily and getting enough rest daily. I think many people skip on the sleep part because it is not often talked about with the same level of emphasis as working out and eating right. I think people need to try to get 7-8 hours of sleep a day. Obviously, everyone is different but that is the number that tends to work for me and when that happens you will not only learn better, but you will remember more and
feel happier, which studies have proven. A recent ZzzQuil survey found that nearly nine in ten Americans (87%) say they experience trouble falling asleep—I can definitely relate to this! When life keeps me up, like when I get back from a big trip, I get major jetlag and it is very difficult to fall asleep, which screws with my entire weekly routine. On those occasional nights when jet lag keeps me up, I will take ZzzQuil, a realistic solution that helps me fall asleep usually in as little as 20 minutes. Then I am able to wake up the next day feeling refreshed and
ready to go!
AM: Tell us about your partnership with ZzzQuil and why do you prioritize sleep?
CH: I’m very excited to be partnering with ZzzQuil to promote the importance of sleep and rest to my fans. Sleep is so important and people often try to take time out of their sleep so they can get more done. The truth is when you try to get more done, you are not as productive because you don’t feel as good or energized.
Sleep needs to be there and it needs to be done every day. Of course sometimes when you aren’t able to sleep because you’re going to go out later or something comes up, that’s fine every once in a while. However, over a long period, it can be detrimental to your wellbeing.
So many people ask me my secrets to maintaining a healthy lifestyle when life gets busy and honestly, one of the biggest factors for me is sleep. I prioritize sleep because it helps my body literally function. I had issues with not being able to lose weight because I was not sleeping enough. That was something that I didn’t realize until I discovered it, because I didn’t sleep enough. Sleep also helps with my memory, which is awesome because I have to memorize
POP Pilates choreography all the time and that is a lot of moves and sequences. Getting a good night’s sleep after practice is helpful to be able to drill the moves into my memory.
AM: Do you have a sleeping routine, such as writing in a journal, drinking a tea etc. to begin the process?
CH: My sleep routine consists of some stretching at night and if I have time I’ll put on one of my favorite Netflix shows and stretch for about an hour to really open up my body. That puts
me in a calm mood physically. Then I’ll head to bed and I will begin to read, which calms my mind and helps me drift off into sleep.
AM: Please share anything that you feel you'd like our audience to know!
CH: For anyone out there that feels like they can’t pick their butt off the floor and they feel unmotivated to work out, I would say you need to figure out what it is that makes you really excited and really happy when you are moving. Even if it’s something as simple as walking, that’s fine. It doesn’t have to be crazy or intimidating, like CrossFit or running a marathon, but everyone has something that will really work for them and get them excited. We are all different human beings, so all of our workouts and diets are going to be a different prescription for ourselves. I suggest you try everything and I know you are going to find that one thing that gets you excited to want to jump out of bed and just do it, and that will be the right workout for you. Working out should make you happy, it shouldn’t feel like a chore.
Our bags hold so many things, and if you ask your friends, we always seem to have a series
of must haves in case we need to clean something, hydrate our lips, fight skin chafing,
clean our jewelry and of course nourish our cuticles. Here's what we're carrying this
| KUR BY LONDONTOWN Nourishing Cuticle Oil | BOOT RESCUE Sneaker Rescue + Sandal
Rescue | ANDI NEW YORK Diamond Charcoal | C.O. BIGELOW No. 13 Lavender Save | BODY
GLIDE The Original Anit-Chafing Anti-Blister Balm | BAUBLRELLA Bling Brush Natural Jewelry
TMPL GYM is where NYC's sexy fitness focused come to get a workout. Created by CEO and Founder David Barton (creator of his iconic namesake, David Barton Gyms) in March 2016, this Hell's Kitchen location is the ultimate destination in fitness. Keep your eye out for additional locations that will pop up in Manhattan.
The 40,000 square foot gym is filled with amazing amenities, including but not limited to; a group fitness studio, 25-meter saltwater pool, spin studio, juice bar and all showers in the TMPL
locker rooms have Oribe shampoo and conditioner.
A sense of community and connecting with those that work out extends beyond the styled walls of the gym. David and his team are dedicated to fostering a community at TMPL since its launch. The community is created throughout the gym starting with the lobby, in the weight room, at the pool and even at the Juice Bar where members congregate daily. TMPL additionally hosts monthly events such as Yoga in the Plaza, Pool Parties, DJ nights and more.
TMPL has also connected the community of members outside of the gym via social media. Through the gym’s growing social presence, members can be kept up to date with all the
happenings at TMPL and connect with each other through their mutual love for the gym.
TMPL offers a slew of group fitness options including yoga, strength training, spin, cardio, and aqua-based classes. Membership at TMPL includes customized metabolic programming. This unique training program combines state-of-the-art technology with an assessment of one’s metabolism. This makes goals like strength and muscle gain or fat loss attainable.
Pop by TMPL's boutique which just launched a retail line including all athletic wear from tank tops and leggings to swimwear and sports bras.
355 W 49th St NY, NY 10019
We love having a smoothie to jump start our day as well as to keep us full in a healthy way. We also wanted to know more about what makes smoothies such a great item to include in our diets with Molly Breiner, Head of Marketing at ALOHA and Amy Geant, a nutrition expert.
She shares how this wellness trend has a number of benefits, its ability to boost energy and more.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Why are smoothies having such a moment right now?
MOLLY BREINER: We’ve seen the “wellness trend” really take off over the two years, and people are becoming more mindful of what they are putting into their bodies. That said, we live in a world where everyone is constantly on-the-go and convenience is crucial. Smoothies offer us a way to pack tons of nutrients and vitamins into one portable package, which is a rare feat these days. Plus, they’re easy on the eyes - the Instagram hashtag #smoothiebowl has early one million posts. People want to eat a healthy, satisfying meal, but we also eat with our eyes and it’s important for food to look as good as it tastes.
AM: What nutrients do smoothies provide?
MB: Smoothies are a great way to incorporate plant-based protein into your diet. Our finely-ground powder blends in seamlessly, and with flavors like vanilla, chocolate, banana and mixed berry, it adds flavor and richness. Our unique blend of pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds and pea protein is specifically designed to keep you feeling satisfied and energized.
Hemp seeds are one of the rare complete source of protein and are rich in Omega-3, 6 and 9, which are all necessary for optimal brain function.
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. These tiny seeds contain manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, a unique combination that keeps you feeling full and energized for hours.
And, unlike its whey counterpart, our plant-based protein is anti-inflammatory and free of the most common allergens (dairy, gluten, and soy), making it a perfect option for almost everyone.
AM: What are 3 smoothie hacks to boost energy?
MB: The reason we love smoothies so much is because you can add almost anything to them without altering the flavor too drastically. A few of our favorite energy-boosting additions include matcha powder, a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea that is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and detoxifying properties - plus, ½ teaspoon
packs as much caffeine as one cup of coffee, without the jitters and eventual energy crash.
Maca powder is another one of our hacks - it has countless health benefits - far too many to explain in one paragraph, but we use it in our smoothies because it’s known for increasing
stamina and endurance. It is also an abundant source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, 20 different kinds of amino acids - almost all of them, and anti oxidants. Not to mention, it stabilizes your mood, clears your skin, and prevents diseases.
Our favorite energy hack, however, is adding our Superfood Greens. Not only do they provide 200% of your daily Vitamin D requirement, they are packed with superfoods like spirulina,
mushrooms, and wheatgrass juice, giving you a much needed nutrient boost.
AM: What are 3 secret smoothie ingredients that boost nutrients in our smoothies?
MB: The nutrients completely depend on the ingredients you decide to incorporate into your concoction. We love to pack our veggies with as many smoothies as possible (much more fun
than eating them, right?). Some of our favorites are kale (high in copper, iron, magnesium and calcium), cauliflower (great way to get that thick, smoothie bowl texture and packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6) and sweet potato (adds a subtle sweetness and is loaded with vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber).
AM: How can a smoothie keep us full and what do you suggest should be in them?
MB: We asked our go-to nutrition expert, Amy Geant, to weigh in on this question. We always consult registered dietitians before giving out any nutrition advice.
AMY GEANT: Protein is one of the most important ingredients to help keep us feeling full. Carbohydrates like fruit are broken down by the body quickly, giving us a quick boost of energy, but not always a feeling of fullness for longer periods of time. Whereas protein takes
two to three hours to be fully metabolized, meaning your blood sugar, energy, and feeling of satiety should be quite stable for at least a couple hours. I usually recommend people put 10-15
grams of protein in their smoothies for snacks and 20-30 grams of protein if the smoothie is being used as a meal replacement. Protein powders are a great way to add the adequate lean
protein into a smoothie without taking in too many calories or carbohydrates.
AM: What does protein do in our bodies?
AG: Protein takes longer than carbohydrates the body to fully break down into glucose (sugar), so you get a gradual stream of energy over two to three hours after eating protein rather than a quick spike and then a crash. Keeping blood sugar steady is essential in keeping one's energy and metabolic rate stable (and avoiding that afternoon energy slump which can lead to cravings for sugar and carbohydrates).
AM: What smoothie would you suggest to someone who is new to adding this into their routine?
MB: Our favorite, easy, palatable combination is our very own Clean Green Smoothie. The best part is it’s low in sugar, high in protein and dietary fiber to keep you feeling full and energized
for hours. We have included the recipe below.
-½ frozen banana
-½ cup of frozen cauliflower (trust us on this one)
-One handful of fresh spinach
-2 scoops of ALOHA Vanilla Protein Powder
-Your choice of plant-based milk (¾ cup for a smoothie bowl, 1 cup for a drinkable smoothie)