When I first moved to New York nearly 13 years ago, I started to work out with an incredible trainer at Crunch Fitness. George was a perfect fit for me. He knew how to tap into my competitive spirit, but understood that my incredibly out-of-shape body could not keep up with the badass image I had in my head. Instead of pushing me to the breaking point, he knew how to challenge me to the point of exhaustion, but not defeat. How to point out when I was phoning it in, while encouraging me when my gasps for air were out of desperation rather than laziness. George helped me to establish a foundation of fitness and helped me to realize that I was an athlete-waiting-to-happen.
Fast forward 10 years, 2 kids, 5 marathons and countless Bikram yoga classes later. I was reading Self magazine on a plane back from a conference and stumbled upon a kickass sandbag workout. The article drew me in because it was designed to give you maximum results with minimal equipment and a small commitment of space (something that is at a premium in any New York apartment or home overcrowded with toys and small children). After flipping through the workout, I went back to the opening paragraph to find that the workout was created by George Vafiades (my George!) of As One Fitness.
I jumped onto the website and felt catapulted back in time. George and his partner, Mark Merchant, have created an incredible group workout system that combines all the benefits of personal training with the added boost offered by a group dynamic. With class size limited to 16 people, you get the individual attention of a personal trainer with the bonus of wanting to work harder than the person next to you (not that I’m competitive or anything….).
I entered my first class skeptically. While I looked forward to seeing George after so many years, I hadn’t belonged to a gym since my first son was born (while I’ve recently added Bikram Yoga into my rotation, I worked out on my treadmill or with exercise videos for the past 6+ years). In just over an hour, I did over 150 burpees, 110 mountain climbers, 50 assisted pull ups and 55 each of jumping squats, pushups and dead lifts. It was a killer workout, but I’m proud to say that I held my own. The next day, I couldn’t lift my arms higher than my shoulders and saw more definition in my arms and upper back than I’d seen in years.
Needless to say I came back this week.
If you’re in the New York area, check out As One Fitness at www.as1effect.com. Your first session is FREE!