Fashion and fitness are two worlds that are inextricably linked, and designer Anya Hindmarch has found a positive way to bridge the gap between them. Rather than focusing on the thin quotient, Hindmarch has become a crusader striving to instill both fitness and healthy-eating into the equation for those around her, whether it’s an employee, a fashion editor, or her children.
In Hindmarch’s downtown New York City showroom, editors and socials gathered to partake in Anya’s Gym Class, a challenging Physique 57 workout followed by nutrition advice doled out by experts from Nu-Train, one of New York City’s premiere nutrition centers.
This is the fourth time that the designer has hosted this particular gym class for members of the fashion industry, each time receiving rave reviews from participants. “I think Physique 57 is one of the best fitness programs in New York. It is a fast paced, intense workout that covers a lot of ground in one hour,” Hindmarch explained of her decision to partner with the gym that has received cult status. “You gain flexibility and stretch and tone muscles you didn’t even know existed! It’s stupefying how successful the exercise program is at achieving a total-body work out through creative poses.”
Physique 57 is the crme de la crme of gyms. The exercise philosophy is a modern interpretation of the Lotte Berk method, but has been tweaked and perfected to become a faster paced, more cardio induced workout that ensures every muscle in your body is used, according to co-founder and CEO Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi. Offerings include the original Physique 57 class (in difficulty levels ranging from introductory to advanced) where many of the exercises are ballet barre based, and Mat 57, a combinatio [removed][removed] [removed][removed] [removed][removed] n of pilates and physique where most of the workout is done on a mat on the floor. There are also a variety of yoga and prenatal classes specifically designed for mothers-to-be that have been wildly popular.
Maanavi and co-founder Tanya Becker, who also doubles as the head instructor, have been at the forefront of the gym’s success. They have seen Physique 57 propel to national fame since first opening the first West 57th Street gym just three years ago, now with additional locations in SoHo and the Hamptons. “The best part about Physique 57 is that you can never conquer it,” said Maanavi, who worked in the finance sector for over a decade before starting the gym with Becker in February of 2006. “It’s so hard, you never get comfortable with it. The women we see are ambitious, tenacious, intelligent, and keep coming back. They strive to have a great figure and to be healthy. It’s a very smart way to work out.”
The evening’s Mat 57 class was led by Physique 57′s associate director of fitness, Shelly Knight. Her peppy personality and pleasant, midwestern demeanor could fool even the most intuitive of people, as no one at Anya’s Gym Class knew that they were in for the most challenging workout of their lives. Knight, who has been certified in pilates for almost 13 years and the Lotte Berk method for nearly five, teaches three to four classes a day and also works with private clients as well.
Immediately following the Mat 57 class, Hindmarch called upon the talents of registered dieticians from Nu-Train to bestow their knowledge of all things healthy eating to Anya’s Gym Class. Striving to help their clients build positive relationships with food, both Dara Godfrey and Stephanie Middleberg aim to educate and create a proactive approach to healthy eating.
Founded by Heather Bauer, Nu-Train’s basic philosophy is to live your life, not your diet,’ according to Godfrey. “All too often, people make unrealistic diet and lifestyle changes in their daily routine that are impossible to maintain long term. Instead, we provide a simple, customized nutrition plan that revolves around our clients’ current lifestyle.”
Middleberg agrees with Godfrey when she says that the biggest no-no is letting your weight loss goals control you because New York is a city where food is integral to the fabric of most people’s daily lives. “We believe you should be able to enjoy food and not limit yourself to the typical diet.’ We don’t even like using the word diet’; instead we encourage our clients to look at our plan as a healthy way to live.”
So forget the guacamole and margaritas you gorged on last night at happy hour, because it’s a new day and a new opportunity to get off on the right foot. Who wants to go to Physique 57 with me later?
To schedule an appointment with a registered dietician at Nu-Train, go to http://www.nu-train.com/” target=”_blank”>nu-train.com or call 212-769-3200
To sign up for a class at any of Physique 57′s three New York locations, as well as see a complete class schedule, go to http://www.physique57.com/” target=”_blank”>physique57.com
See Anya’s pick for her summer gym bag: the reusable Seasonal Tote, available in either gray and yellow or off white, blue, and brown canvas, $78.40, at anyahindmarch.com