Its Not Model Thin, Its Model Fit.

December is one of the most important months of the year for me. Not only is it holiday season but it is also when the entire world takes a deep breath and watches the 45 minute commercial that is the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. It seems every year the shows get more elaborate and the models get more gorgeous and fitter. There have always been a million myths about what these girls do to get runway ready. However, the common denominator I found among the most prominent angels was that all of them had trained with Justin Gelband at some point in their careers. So when he opened a gym for common mortals like me I simply had to go and see what kind of magic he was teaching these girls.

modelfitModelfit is a small, gorgeous fitness studio located in The Bowery. The space used to be Terry Richardson’s old studio so you could say the place was destined to always be a model hangout. It has plenty of natural light, hardwood floors and even some art by Baron Von Fancy. Also, I don’t know what kind of candles they are burning in there but the studio always smells delicious, which is kind of an oxymoron considering this is a gym. The place a very spacious locker room which SURPRISE! is only for girls. In it there are lockers, fully stocked showers and even a vanity area with all sorts of hair and face products.

modelfit4Now I was definitely expecting a very luxurious gym but what really surprised me was the workout itself. You see I went prepared for a workout along the line of Barry’s Bootcamp but when I got there the workout consisted of doing really tiny movements with two pound weights and resistance bands that were not even that tight. After my first session I was super skeptical about what I had just done and thought that maybe Gelband was playing some sort of trick on us. I mean, I didn’t even come close to breaking a sweat during the class. I didn’t see how this workout was worth it but I had bought a five pack of classes and figured I might as well use it.

modelfitI took class every other day during a 10 day period and to my surprise I started seeing some real results. Out of all the things that have blown my mind during my stay in New York Modelfit would be something I would place high on the list. When I asked Steve Pasterino, who is another trainer who works there, what the secret magic to making these super easy moves produce such great results was, his answer was simple: When you do tiny and precise movements you can focus more on your form and therefore do them more accurately than when you are speeding through a workout.

During the time that I took class there Gelband did not repeat a single sequence. I took Modelfit Sculpt (they offer other classes like Modelfit Boxing, Modelfit dance cardio and Modelfit Yoga) every single time and each class was completely different. Not only that, but Gelband actually paid attention to everyone in the class and came up to the clients and corrected their postures when they were doing the exercises wrong. You would think that a guy who trains models all day wouldn’t care about a bunch of randos who take his class but he actually remembered me after only a few sessions and even commented on the fact that I am always trying to “speed through the workouts.” Yes the class may be less intense than a session at SoulCyle, but the results speak for themselves.

The painting by Baron Von Fancy that I mentioned before.

The painting by Baron Von Fancy that I mentioned before.

Plank Time!

Yoga is a workout that has become a little bit of an obsession for me recently. After years of making fun of people who practiced Yoga I have to accept defeat and admit that they were really on to something. Here in New York there are loads of studios that offer all sorts of styles, practices and vibes and I’ve had a blast trying them all and discovering them while growing my practice.

I have been traveling to Miami a lot in the recent months so I needed to find a studio to visit whenever I am there, since I don’t wan to stop practicing yoga just because I am traveling. This is how I discovered and fell in love with Plank Yoga studio which is conveniently located 6 minutes away from where I live.
plank yoga 3
The studio’s vibe is very clean, the decoration is minimalistic the floors are light wood which contribute to this cleanliness vibe and the color scheme is white and purple. There isn’t a whole lot going on in the studio, just the check in desk a small waiting area with an even smaller retail area. Yes the studio is tiny, but the number of people they accept is limited so you will never feel like you can’t stretch because you will hit a fellow Yogi.
I took a Power Vinyasa class with Taly Ostfeld who is the studio’s owner and man was that class challenging. It consisted of a traditional Vinyasa Flow sequence but on steroids. The transitions were incredibly  fast and the workout was mostly core-centric. My boyfriend who is a little less experienced in Yoga than I am, told me his abs were hurting for two days. This is not a class that I would recommend to someone who is a beginner but definitely one I would suggest to someone who wants to practice Yoga with a cardio component to it.
plank yoga 2 plank yoga
Overall I was very satisfied with my experience at Plank and will be visiting it again in the future. There are two downsides to this studio which are the fact that they offer very few classes during the week and also the classes are super expensive. At $25 per class they are more expensive than even the most expensive studios in New York and buying big class packages does not lower the cost per class. Towels and mats are included which I guess compensates a little for the price of the class.