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modelFIT - NYC's hottest new fitness studio from Justin Gelband

July 11th 2014 / Marissa Montgomery


Karlie Kloss swears by the Sculpt class at celebrity personal trainer Justin Gelband's new studio, but can training slowly really help to tone?

I’ve been a big fan of personal trainer Justin Gelband since I first met him in NYC, so when I heard he’d opened his first ever studio, modelFIT, I ran across town to check it out.

Justin is known as ‘the butt man’, responsible for the toned and honed behinds of Candice Swanepoel and Miranda Kerr and many more A-listers. It seems only fitting, then, that he should open his female-focused studio in NYC’s uber-trendy Bowery neighbourhood at Terry Richardson’s old photography studio. The studio offers a variety of classes from Body Sculpt to Boxing; I tried the sculpt class which Karlie Kloss swears by – well, if it’s good enough for Karlie…

I can see why she loves it, too; using light ankle and hand weights, resistance bands and the tiniest step I’ve ever seen, it was one of the best classes I've been to. The emphasis is on doing it slow and right rather then lots of repetitions with the wrong form. I felt muscles working in my body that I never knew existed, and even though it's slow it doesn't mean you won’t feel the burn.

Gelband is not alone in his new venture; his business partner Vanessa Packer has trained with him every week for the last six years as a devoted follower of his workouts. A trained nutritionist, Vanessa offers her services at the studio so that it's providing the full model-body package. Not only is your health taken care of, but your beauty too; Vanessa has stocked the studio full of organic skincare products for your post-class shower as well as lots of delicious cold-pressed juices to give you a boost. I caught up with her after the class to find out why modelFIT is set to be a success…

What makes a modelFIT workout unique?

We built the modelFIT method off of Applied Functional Science and take into consideration all planes of movement. Our isometric workout focuses on slow controlled movements to lean out and sculpt the body while also building strength and endurance.

Is it for everyone?

Our workout is geared towards women but yes it is for everyone. Everyone can benefit from this way of training.

What can you expect if you are taking the class for the first time?

It's very different than most other workouts out there. We really slow it down, I think that catches most people by surprise. When you slow down the movements you really feel the smaller muscles of your body working, some muscles you've never felt before or never thought you had! It gets sweaty! People think you have to work so hard and do so much cardio to break a sweat, but many of our clients find they get just as good of a cardio workout from our mindfully paced classes as they would from a boot camp style or high impact, cardio driven class. Your body is really working hard.

What's your favourite class to take?

I really love them all. I like the energy of modelFIT boxing, it gets your heart racing and you sweat a lot. The sculpt class is extremely effective and I love the way my body looks after I've been doing those classes regularly.

How did you meet Justin and decide to start MF together?

Justin and I met when I emailed him for personal training. He changed my body, and I just knew there was a future for the style of training he was pushing. I thought we could be a good team and build a great studio and brand, and here we are today. We started training together six years ago, and now we own a business together. Just amazing!

What's your background in health and fitness?

I've always been an athlete and into being fit and healthy. Nutrition is very important to me. I have my degree in holistic nutrition and about a year ago I launched Bonberi, a curated online guide to food, fitness and wellbeing, with my friend Nicole Berrie. I really believe in the power of eating wholesome nutritious food. The combination with consistent mindful exercise cannot be beaten! It's really a lifestyle.

What else does modelFIT offer?

At modelFIT we offer personal one-on-one training, group fitness classes, holistic nutritional consulting, and cold pressed organic juices.

How many sessions do you think it takes before you see results?

It varies depending on the person. As long as you are consistent and stick with it you will be different. Some clients have seen a difference after one class! Others sometimes a week or two.

Best health and beauty tip anyone's ever given you?

This is a tough one. My mum has given me so many over the years. She has always emphasised taking care of you, staying in shape, eating right, and getting proper sleep. The natural ways of keeping your energy high and your youthful glow through what you eat and how you live… it comes from within.

Who is the modelFIT girl?

Anyone can be a modelFIT girl, we like to call them modelFIT babes! I'm constantly inspired by our clients. They are the living, breathing proof of the modelFIT Method and that one can change their body, their lifestyle, live healthier and happier.

Single Classes are $40, ModelFIT is located 212 Bowery 2nd Floor New York, NY 10012

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