July 19, 2012
Courtesy The Berkeley
As the London Olympics prepare to kick off on July 27, hotels around the world are offering exclusive fitness- and sports-related experiences. From elite-level workouts to something completely new (synchronized swimming, anyone?), these four opportunities score high.
Olympic-Caliber Conditioning: Beginning July 27, the Olympic package (from $320) at select hotels in the Morgans Hotel Group will offer access to two classes at Equinox fitness centers: Shockwave, a circuit-training workout of rowing intervals and functional training via kettle bells and body bars, and MetCon 3, a nonstop workout that focuses on high-intensity metabolic conditioning. A healthy breakfast, customized hikes and runs in L.A.’s Runyon Canyon and San Francisco and discounts on Equinox spa treatments can also be had. Offer available at Mondrian SoHo, Royalton, Hudson, Ames, Delano, Mondrian South Beach and Shore Club; morganshotelgroup.com.
Polo: The Dorchester Collection’s 70-room Coworth Park is a country escape with an added bonus: polo. Led by Andrew Hine, former captain and manager of the English National team (which calls Coworth Park home), Guards Polo Academy at Coworth Park allows academy members and hotel guests to experience the game firsthand. Options cover everything from hour-long introductory sessions ($203) to group lessons ($190 a person) and full and half-day polo experiences, all on the high goal standard fields. Blacknest Rd.; 44-77/0890-6810; coworthpark.com.
Synchronized Swimming: Synchronized swimming doesn’t come along often, which makes the weekly master classes ($195) at the Berkeley hotel in London’s Knightsbridge so special. Participants will learn the basics (sculling, the “eggbeater” kick) from synchro-swim team Aquabatix during 90-minute sessions and work up to a full routine complete with music. You won’t take home a medal, but you will tote away a Berkeley swim cap. Through August; Wilton Pl.; 44-20/7235-6000; the-berkeley.co.uk.
Wakeboarding: The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, in Greensboro, Georgia, sits on the shores of Lake Oconee, the second largest lake in the state. Water sports, unsurprisingly, are popular here, including wakeboarding, which is scheduled to be a trial sport in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Through this week, pro wakeboarder Corey Bradley will be teaching lessons at the hotel (full package, $485; upgrade for current hotel guests, $225). After that, book wakeboarding outings with a captain ($250 an hour) or attend the hotel’s wakeboarding weekend August 24 and 25 (from $359). 1 Lake Oconee Tr.; 706-467-0600; ritzcarlton.com.
August 01, 2012
Photo courtesy of Josh Holland
Josh Holland, a 28-year-old celebrity trainer (Madonna is one of his clients) and fitness expert, is a talented man. This month, he takes that talent to the 2012 Olympics in London as the only American Technogym trainer to travel to the Games. Technogym is the exclusive exercise-equipment supplier to the main gym in the Olympic Village and to all Olympic workout centers. Holland—a former professional basketball player, second-degree black belt in karate, dancer and actor—specializes in functional training, which focuses on improving flexibility and efficiency, allowing the body to better perform everyday activities. We caught up with him to learn more about his philosophy and his Olympic appointment.
Q: How does it feel to be the only American Technogym trainer at the Olympics?
A: It’s such an honor! This is huge for me in representing my country. I feel honored that they have the trust in believing in me to be able to do this job.
Q: Which athletes will you be working with?
A: Right now I don’t know any specific people that I will be working with. I would be happy with any of them. Some of the ones I hope to work with are, obviously, the Americans, especially the basketball players.
Q: How do you plan to train them?
A: I plan to use whatever we need to get the job done. I will be working with the full range of Technogym equipment: stretching equipment, free weights, treadmills, recumbent bikes, spin bikes—everything!
Q: These are the first Wellness Olympics in history, and as Nerio Alessandri, president of Technogym, said, it’s a “unique chance to promote wellness as a social opportunity and to get increasing numbers of people interested in regular exercise.” How will that happen?
A: Social media has a very important role in this. And Technogym is able to reach out to people, other than just the Olympians, and provide them the same equipment that [the athletes] will be using but can also be used at home. I think that’s good outreach. They are also promoting wellness in a sort of “green living.” I know the way they built the entire Olympic arena was done very green.
Q: Technogym’s Kinesis system focuses on functional training and helps protect the joints. Can you get the opposite results with traditional training methods?
A: As far as traditional training versus functional training versus any other method of training, it’s not necessarily my job to condemn one style. I like to approach it from a standpoint of moving better, regardless of what you do. Many Kinesis movements are traditional movements but within a system that allows for better joint health.
Q: Do you have a personal fitness philosophy?
A: My main philosophy is simply move better. I think it’s a very powerful statement because it raises the question, “Well, how?” That’s what I’m here for!
70 Greene St.; 646-578-8001; technogym.com.
August 09, 2012
Photo courtesy of SLT
Just when it seems as though another new workout couldn’t possibly wedge itself into the fitness universe, the next big thing comes along. This time it is SLT Yoga (the “SLT” stands for Strengthen Lengthen Tunes), which debuted this spring. An offshoot of the original SLT (Strengthen Lengthen Tone)—a Pilates-based group workout done on a Megaformer, a souped-up version of a traditional Pilates Reformer—the yoga classes set to music were borne of the nearly inescapable popularity of downward dogs and sun salutations. But make no mistake: SLT Yoga is more about muscle overload than oms.
The creation of Erin Jacques, formerly the director of yoga at Exhale, is designed to get results. We tried Hardcore, a challenging combination of Vinyasa flow and a particularly pointed—or, depending on your outlook, particularly cruel—focus on the core. Planks of all kinds (on forearms, bending alternating knees; on hands, bringing knee to elbow) interplay with traditional poses and sequences. Breaking a sweat is a guarantee, and since coasting through a class simply isn’t an option, your body is constantly engaged. Two additional options stoke things even more: Fast-paced Shred weaves in cardio moves and strength training with light weights; Yoga Flow takes the practice in a decidedly athletic direction. 37 W. 57th St., Suite 701; 212-355-1737; sltnyc.com.
September 19, 2012
Photo courtesy of Wellness Weekend Montauk
If you thought you had taken your final dip into the Atlantic this season, think again. In conjunction with Escape to Shape, a traveling fitness and wellness spa, The Surf Lodge in Montauk will host its inaugural Wellness Weekend September 21 to 24. Escape to Shape offers programs in a variety of far-flung locales, from Istanbul to Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, and has designed its first three-day experience for the Hamptons event.
The schedule includes yoga and fitness classes by SLT (Strengthen Lengthen Tone)—which offers heart-pumping, music-bumping workouts with a cult following—as well as hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, lectures on nutrition and courses in meditation and astrology. DestinationDetox chef Nicole Gimmillaro will create healthy, locally sourced meals, and juice cleanses from Hamptons favorite The Juicy Naam will also be available (try the pineapple).
"Montauk is all about nature and experiencing fresh food, amazing landscapes and quality of life,” says Jayma Cardoso, owner of The Surf Lodge. “This weekend is a way to jump-start healthy living or slow down and reprogram to be conscience and think and act in a healthier way.” After three nights of falling asleep on Frette sheets, counting oms as Fort Pond laps at your door, the reprograming plan will be well on its way to completion. Namaste indeed. $1750 per person (based on double occupancy), private rooms, $2,500; 183 Edgemere St.; 631-668-1562; thesurflodge.com.