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.

Let’s Talk About New York Part II.

new yorker

About a month ago I wrote a little blog post about my perception of New York City. Many readers may agree or disagree with what I had to say but I am sure everyone found at least one bit of truth to the argument I proposed. Now I know that living in New York is not a universal experience that everyone can relate to, but in order to better explain myself I decided to write a second blog post where I explain my view of New York by comparing it to a man. Here it goes:

New York City is that shitty boyfriend you’re so crazy about that you never manage to leave him. And if you ever do leave him you always keep him in the back of your mind wondering why things never worked out. You endure it’s shitty winter, pay it’s overpriced rent and make yourself feel better by telling yourself that all of these sacrifices will be worth it when you finally get to live the life you always envisioned yourself living with him. Except most of the time your shitty boyfriend just stays shitty forever and even though you secretly know that you are wasting spending your youth working towards nothing you still convince yourself to stay a little bit longer to see if things change.

The curious thing is that leaving him never seems to cross your mind. You are simply never willing to give up on this city/man’s potential of giving you everything you ever dreamed of. You know no one else will provide you with the thrills, exhilaration and amount of extreme emotions as he will. The thought of giving him up to pursue a conventional life sounds as logical as giving up you Louboutin stilettos for Nike Trainers (event though Louboutins hurt the hell out of your feet.) Its like leaving James Dean for an accountant who wears khakis. Its the eternal promise that one day this man will treat you right and give you everything he promised you that makes you stay.

So once again I repeat: New York is like a really shitty boyfriend. Its difficult and most times the negatives outweigh the positives, but you are so completely blinded by love you decide to overlook all of them. And that kind of passion is really hard to replicate.

Let’s Talk About New York

warhol

Let’s talk about New York City, the city that never sleeps, the one that promises you that if you can make it here you can make it anywhere. Millions of people come to New York with a sparkle in their eyes and with the hope that this city will make all of their dreams come true. And for some this actually ends up being the case, however this post is not about them. This post is about the few things that I have learned since moving here almost two years ago.

New York is a city that is constantly pushing you out. It doesn’t really have room for you, it already has enough people. It doesn’t welcome you when you arrive, doesn’t need you when you are here and it certainly doesn’t miss you when you leave. And inevitably most people do. Be it for financial reasons or simply a need for a more peaceful lifestyle, most of these dreamers end up packing up their fantasies and leaving the city that promised to fulfill them.

However after all the observations I have made in the past 20 months, New York is still the one pool I would happily drown in. I guess you could say I’m a fan of complicated relationships.

New Year’s Resolutions.

On January 1st its impossible not to talk about new year’s resolutions. We spend the days before new year’s eve making mental notes about how we are going to become better people, lose weight, find true love, get our dream jobs and become the ultimate version of  ourselves. We examine our lives and take all the aspects we dislike and decide that next year will be the year we will get rid of them. However all these resolutions generally end up being empty promises since by the end of January most of us will have thrown in the towel and stopped working toward the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the new year.

Portrait and new menu items

So lets talk about the reasons why we generally fail to make these resolutions come true:

They are too vague – Saying “I want to lose weight” is not the same as saying “I want to lose 10 pounds by March.” If you don’t set up a very specific goal it becomes hard to know what you are working towards and it makes it even harder to hold yourself accountable for making your resolution come true.

They are too aspirational – Yeah its great to make a resolution such as “I’m going to lose 100 pounds” or “I am going to be a famous writer” but realistically speaking it is very unlikely you will achieve something so big which may end up discouraging you from pursuing these goals once you come to the realization that they are almost impossible to attain. Instead aim for something doable such as “I am going to write 500 words a day” or “I am going to lose 5 pounds a month.” You will then realize that these little goals will add up to huge results by the time December rolls around.

Lack of planning – Making resolutions such as “I will travel the world” or “I will work out every day” will not happen if you don’t plan accordingly. For the former you need to figure out where you want to go and when you will have enough vacations/ample funds in order to make this trip happen. For the latter you will need to join a gym, figure out which classes you would like to take and how to fit them into your schedule. This applies to pretty much every resolution, if you don’t plan accordingly you are more likely to drop the ball on whatever promise you made to yourself.

You are delusional – I’m sorry but finding true love is not something you can resolute to and you will never become Taylor Swift, no matter how hard you try.

You shouldn’t have to wait until January 1st to become a better person – Most of the time the things we put on our resolution list are things we’ve had on our minds for a long time. So why wait until January 1st to finally make them happen? Why not make them happen December 1st, October 31st, on the first day of summer or on Valentine’s day? Don’t put off anything you truly want to accomplish because you fear you will not make it come true.

So this year I have decided that instead of making a long list of things that I am going to change once the new year starts, I am going to set a new goal or two every month and accomplish it. The thing about starting small is that once you start making small changes you will see huge results, and by the time the year ends you will definitely be Taylor Swift that improved version of yourself you so wanted to see.

Here is my January resolution: I will start writing again (being specific here) I’m aiming at 3 blog posts per week and at least one published article a month (being realistic here) since I spent the majority of 2014 trying out basically every workout and boutique fitness class in New York I will begin by reviewing every single one of them (oh hey, a plan!) and I will start by reviewing my absolute favorite class in the city Physique 57.

physique57

Stay tuned!

#TrainlikeanAngel is the only resolution we’re making this year.

A little less than a moth ago we got to witness what was an hour-long infomercial of lingerie, perfect physiques and Taylor Swift (drool) in the 2014 Victoria’s Secret fashion show. And while you my feel like these angels are the only girls on this planet capable of achieving a flawless look, it turns out that their appearance goes way beyond just winning the genetic lottery. These angels train for the show the same way an athlete trains for the Olympics, and prepare for this occasion months in advance.

 If the Victoria’s Secret fashion show left you feeling like you need to skip the cupcakes step your fitness game up, then fear not. Here at Foreign Concept we have created a roundup of the Angel’s workouts of choice, and the fitness gurus behind these perfectly sculpted bodies. And with resolution season just around the corner, instead of making the clichéd “I need to lose weight” resolution (come on! We are all guilty of that one) which seems vague and difficult to attain because its so unspecific, we should all aspire to #trainlikeanangel in 2015.

So here is what it takes to obtain an Angel-status body:

ballet beautiful

Ballet Training: Ever since she trained Natalie Portman for Black Swan, Mary Helen Bowers has gained a cult like following among Victoria’s Secret Angels. Her ballet inspired moves help create the long and lean muscles and those enviable abs. Among her Angel following we can find: Miranda Kerr, Doutzen Kroes, Romee Strijd, Isabeli Fontana and Lily Aldridge.

aerospace

 Boxing: It may sound like an oxymoron that the world’s most delicate Angels can beat pretty much anyone in a street fight, but boxing is the sport of choice for Angels like Adriana Lima who has been boxing with trainer Michael Olajide Jr. for the past 10 years. Other model boxers include: Gigi Hadid, Sara Sampaio, Cara Delevingne, Elsa Hosk, Maryna Linchuk and Constance Jablonski. Their boxing gyms of choice include: Aerospace High Performance Center, Mendez Boxing and the Insta-famous Gotham Gym.

soul-cycle

Soul-Cycle: There are many brands of indoor cycling studios, but none with the model following that Soul-Cycle has. On any given day you may bump into Angels like Alessandra Ambrosio, Karlie Kloss and Lily Aldrigde in their peaceful yet heart-pumping classes. Because we all feel a little more motivated to turn up the resistance in our bikes when we have an Angel pedaling next to us.

Justin Gelband

Body-Sculpting: Those incredibly toned limbs and Victoria’s Secret abs are due to resistance training and body sculpting exercises with weights. While there are many personal trainers out there who can whip your body into shape, the Angel’s secret weapon is trainer Justin Gelband. What’s even more awesome is that he recently opened a studio in the Bowery where commoners like us can go and benefit from the Angel whisperer’s techniques. His model following includes: Karlie Kloss who constantly instagrams pictures of herself in Gelband’s studio, Lily Aldridge, Candice Swanpoel, Behati Prinsloo and Lily Aldridge.

running

Running: It may sound like the most over simplified way of training but the Angels attribute their tiny frames to running since it is the highest calorie-burning workout and doesn’t create bulk. Among the angel runners we can find: Gigi Hadid, Izabel Goulart (well she practices pretty much every discipline under the sun) Mirand Kerr and Heidi Klum. The best part about running is that the only fancy equipment you’ll need is running shoes and a good attitude and the second one is generally free.

In case you need some extra motivation to start training like an Angel, here is a slideshow of your favorite girls breaking a sweat.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Yoga A Manicure And A Hairdo? There’s An App For That.

In our technology crazed world it seems that we can get virtually anything we want with a few clicks and a few taps on our phone. But what happens when you want beauty, fitness or fun “on demand”? Here are 3 apps that will provide anything from at home manicures to blowouts to personal trainers all from the comfort of your smartphone.

Priv

Priv: This app offers a wide range of services like at home blowouts and private yoga sessions and massages all delivered to your home. It employs a big team freelance professionals whom are ranked via a tier system based on relevant experience, years in the business, and celebrity clientele. What’s even more amazing is that the app shows you the candidate that is closest to you at the moment, so you know exactly how long you will have to wait for their services. Think: Uber for manicures.

glamsquad

Glamsquad: Glamsquad if your on demand beauty salon. Like seamless but for beauty services. You select from a wide menu of beauty services, plug in your credit card, set up an appointment and voila! You can get all the services you normally have to travel to multiple salons for, all at the comfort of your home or office. What’s even more convenient about it is that all transactions are made through the app, so you don’t even have to worry about taking out cash to pay you beautician.

vensette

Vensette: Vensette can be considered the Net-A-Porter of on demand beauty services. It’s main focus is to provide it’s clientele with high end beauty services such as full makeup applications and sophisticated up-dos. It’s the kind of app one would use when going to a wedding or a formal event. What’s even more awesome is that one can look through a makeup artist’s or hairstylist’s professional portfolio before deciding who to hire. It sure eliminates having to worry about what the end product is going to look like!