What’s New at Equinox

One of the perks of working for a publication like Haute Living is that you occasionally get to enjoy things like the South Beach Equinox Media Day, which was held on Thursday, March 11 at the Collins Avenue location. The state-of-the-art gym opened its doors to certain members of the press (including myself) who were able to preview two new group fitness classes, get some life-changing diet advice from Keri Glassman, author of the groundbreaking book The O2 Diet, and meet Leandro Carvalho, renowned trainer to the stars and creator of the Brazilian Butt Lift.

After indulging in a complimentary healthy breakfast spread of fresh fruit and juices, it was time to get to work. The two new classes we got a sample of were Tabata 2010 and Sexy Sweaty Yoga. Both were on the cutting-edge of what fitness is about right now, offering innovative and effective twists on the usual workout. Sexy Sweaty Yoga combined the best of both worlds—classic flow yoga and high-tempo drills—and Tabata 2010 was a very demanding fusion of exercises that included weights, squats, push-ups, and dance routines.

After we were all officially sweating, the club’s nutritional consultant, Keri Glassman, gave us some essential advice about eating well and living a healthy lifestyle. Her new book, The O2 Diet, encourages people to emphasize what they can eat as opposed to what they cannot. The diet is based on the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) scale: a high-ORAC diet strengthens memory, prevents cancer and heart disease, improves skin, and contributes to healthy weight loss. She generously distributed complimentary copies of the book, and I can recommend it wholeheartedly for its genuinely helpful and doable advice. Glassman is extremely knowledgeable about nutrition, what works and what doesn’t.

Another person who is a successful force in his field is trainer Leandro, who I had the opportunity to sit down with and hear a little bit about how he got into the personal training world, and what drove him to create the extremely well-received Brazilian Butt Lift technique. A former dancer, Leandro came to New York from Brazil with a physical therapy degree and a plan to dance with our top companies; however, he soon found himself earning a plethora of personal training certificates, eventually devoting himself to the field full-time. Leandro says he was inspired to create the fresh approaches to fitness, which led to his signature classes, called Brazilian Butt Lift, Brazilian Groove, and Brazilian Tummy Tuck. He wanted to inject fun back into working out. To this day, his favorite part of his work is creating new exercise programs that continue to be snapped up by the world’s best bodies, including Victoria’s Secret models Gisele and Alessandro Ambrosio.

Since Haute Living has publications in four cities—New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami—I couldn’t resist inquiring about the fitness guru’s opinion of which city in home to the hautest bods. Leandro gave the fitness award to the City of Angels, emphasizing how hard Angelenos work out and how seriously they take health and fitness.

As I left Equinox, with a generous gift bag including Leandro’s DVD, a gift card to Equinox’s spa services, and Glassman’s book (I’d go to the gym a lot more often if it always involved gifts!), I vowed to return more frequently than my usual bi-monthly workout. With its fabulous classes and inspiring environment, the South Beach Equinox gym is making it easy to follow L.A.’s lead in the fitness department.