You may not know this, but I am not only the "fashion police." I am also the "exercise police"! I spent 15 years studying ballet, and now work out six days a week. I think that exercise has the power to eradicate stress, lift our spirits, get rid of colds, and...well, it makes us look better in our clothes! (see, now I'm back to being the fashion police...) So, because I wanted to share a fantastic get-into-shape option with you, this week I sat down with Michael Shaw, celebrity personal trainer and owner of the exclusive, one-on-one training studio New York Personal Training (NYPT).
NYPT is in the heart of Chelsea, and you don't pay any dues...you simply pay your personal trainer (there are 7 at the studio, all of whom are some of the best in NYC) and can workout 7 days a week at all hours of the day. Each "candidate" is given a fitness assessment to determine their personal needs & goals, and is then matched with their ideal trainer who develops a personalized program for them. A select few work with Michael, and the studio counts celebrities like Olivia Thirlby, James Earl Jones, Jim Cramer, Paul Bettany, Paul Rudd, Jennifer Connelly and Regina Spector amongst its clients. Now (and this is important...) if you want a chance to have your personal consultation with Michael, he is extending a special offer to StyleWhipped's readers...just mention this article and he's all yours for your consultation! (contact info is at the end of the article)
Now I know what your next question is...do these amazing, exclusive personal trainers cost $9,000 an hour?! Absolutely NOT. If you workout with any of the 7 trainers, it will run you $90-110/hr. If you want to workout with Michael, it will cost anywhere from $200-250/hr. I have personally trained with two of the facility's trainers, and I have to tell you they are worth way more than the top of the $90-110/hr range! To top it all off, this is one of the few spots in the city that offers another option...Michael has designed a program called "LeanMAXX" that combines a half-hour of high-intensity interval training with a trainer, and a half-hour of cardio on your own. This allows you to pay $55-70 per 1/2 hour with any of the trainers, and $125-150 per 1/2 hour with Michael.
Another question that always comes into everyone's head is that they want to get into shape with a trainer, but then they want to continue working out on their own. And it's awkward to quit working with someone, right? Well, not at NYPT, actually. Michael has also developed another program called the "Spring/Summer Shape-up" and it offers two options...one is a 6-week combination of training and nutritional guidance (perfect if you're trying to get ready for vacation or a Spring wedding), and the other is the same thing for 12 weeks (perfect if you're trying to get in shape for Summer!). This gives you a finite amount of time and monetary investment in your health, and while most people do continue longer than the 6 or 12 weeks, you never get stuck in that "I want to quit the gym" situation (c'mon, we've all seen the Friends episode...).
Alison Stewart: Say you only have 30 minutes to do your cardio and you want to get the most for your time. What do you suggest?
Michael Shaw: That's a great question! I would definitely say to use either the bike or the elliptical machine, with both set at interval training. You will engage your upper and lower body, and the resistance these machines offer is more effective than setting a high incline on a treadmill.
AS: This year, there are lots of styles in fashion that add bulk to our frames...ruffles, tiers, origami folds...what can we do to make us appear longer and leaner so we can look good in these trends?
MS: The next thing people notice after someone's face is their neck and shoulders, so that's what I would work on first to emphasize in those looks. Try doing a circuit workout with three exercises per body part. The first set, do heavy weight and less reps. The second set, do light weight and more reps. The third set, do medium weight and medium reps. Don't rest in-between sets, and always do all three sets.
AS: That's a great idea, especially because Spring and Summer also bring strapless tops and dresses! Ok, last one. Everyone (men and women) are always asking about how they can better develop their calves (men don't want to have their calves to look small in comparison to their quads, and women want to look good in heels!). Can you help?
MS: This is a tough question because our calves are the most difficult muscles to workout. They are the most dense muscles in our bodies, so it's hard to create change in them. But my biggest suggestion would be to use "plyometric" exercises, which for this would basically be doing a squat that goes into a leapfrog jump, so you are extending your stretch all the way through your toes. Alternate this move with standard calf raises, and you'll work every inch possible in those muscles.
AS: I've done that move (with one of your trainers!), and I have to say, not only does it get results, but it is an incredible cardio workout at the same time! Thanks so much for all of this info, and I have a feeling you'll be seeing a lot of Stylewhipped readers in the studio soon!
MS: Thank you...and I look forward to it!
Ok, readers, want to check out NYPT? Head over to 12 West 21st Street between 5th & 6th Avenues, or call 212.673.1866!