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I have been going to gyms and working out consistently since I was 14 years old. This means that fitness has been a part of my life for over 10 years. Since I have moved around so many cities in the past years one could say that I have become really savvy at finding a new gym and fitness routine to incorporate into my new lifestyle. When I moved to New York for me the obvious thing to do was join Equinox since it is a large fitness chain that has locations all over Manhattan and it offers a really wide variety of group fitness classes as well as top-notch personal training and locker room with amenities that could put a lot of hotels to shame.
However in my first few months in New York I noticed something that really sparked my curiosity: Small specialized studios that offer the same type of classes as large gyms (think Spinning, Barre, Yoga) but at a much higher price and sometimes in a single location. I discovered this when one of my really close friends told me that she was going to ditch her gym membership because she would rather do Soul Cycle. To me this seemed really bizarre, I mean why would she ditch her gym membership that includes multiple classes that range through a variety of disciplines for a smaller, more expensive studio that only offered one class? So I decided to investigate.
After a year and four months of trying around 40 boutique fitness classes here are my conclusions: Usually when people have a gym membership they are loyal to only one or two classes and only take class when they are available. At a boutique fitness studio you can take the class you like every day of the week and it is offered multiple times a day so you don’t have to adapt your schedule around it. Boutique fitness studios are small, therefore they provide a community feeling that a large gym does not. At a boutique fitness studio the classes allow a limited number of people so the instructor is more likely to remember you and give you pointers on how to tailor the workout to your specific needs. Since most of these classes need to be pre booked, pre-paid and have high cancellation fees, you are less likely to skip a workout than if you are a member at a gym where the classes are included and you feel that they are “free.” At boutique fitness studios they really pay attention to the client experience. This means that most of them have a nice and welcoming waiting area, friendly front desk staff who remember you and locker room amenities that are comparable or superior to the ones at Equinox.
Of course boutique fitness classes are expensive, but they also keep you more honest. The pay as you go model makes you really evaluate how often you want to work out and what is a realistic plan that works for you. It also makes you more likely to pick an activity you really enjoy and look forward to, which is the whole point of working out anyways!
Reviews of my favorite boutique fitness studios coming soon!
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 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.
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: 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.
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: 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.