Health & Fitness

By Erika Hackmann

This past summer, I had the pleasure of becoming absolutely addicted to Manhattan-based Physique 57, the thigh-burning, ab-tightening, high-energy workout class responsible for the toned tushies of celebs like Kelly Ripa and Christy Turlington. This torturous workout managed to keep my body in check despite my margarita and tortilla chip habit, giving me muscles I never knew I had. To my dismay, a hectic work schedule and tight budget permitted me from going as much as I wanted. Never had I craved a workout routine quite like this; no matter how much it hurt, I kept coming back for more.

The fitness gods must have heard my prayers, because just a few months ago, Physique 57 bottled up their magic in the form of three DVDs, perfect for any time of day. I got the full scoop from Shelly Knight, Associate Director of Training and Physique 57 guru, who shared some insight on the method and the new DVDs.

BN: What is Physique 57?
SK: Physique 57 is a focused and proven cardiovascular program of isometric exercises and orthopedic stretches. Physique 57 tones your seat, abdominals, thighs and arms; strengthens your legs and back; and improves posture to produce a beautiful, sexy body.

BN: How did it start?
SK: The Lotte Berk Method (a revolutionary exercise routine developed by world-famous ballerina, Lotte Berk and her orthopedist) has been updated and fine-tuned over the years by former Lotte Berk instructor, Tanya Becker, Physique 57 co-founder and head instructor. I joined the team shortly after Physique 57 was founded and sprinkled my Pilates knowledge into the abdominal sections of the exercises to improve on the long-respected and effective technique.

BN: What makes Physique 57 so effective?
SK: Our interval training sets use your own body weight for resistance, and through dynamic exercises your muscles are targeted and overloaded to the point of fatigue, then stretched for relief. We call our process “Interval Overload,” overloading the muscle to create long, lean sexy muscles. It’s fun and keeps you coming back for more.

BN: Tell me a little bit more about the DVDs and the process of creating them. Why now?
SK: It was a blast creating the DVDs. It was long hours practicing and going over cues…there was a lot we wanted to say in a little amount of time. We even did our own editing so you can imagine how many times we watched them!

We created the DVDs now because we have noticed over the years that our clients’ bodies can transform so quickly with Physique 57 that we felt it would be well received to distribute this unique workout to those who are not able to make it to our NYC classes.

BN: Aside from doing Physique 57, what else would you recommend to readers looking to get in shape?
SK: I am a Pilates fanatic! I also recommend your readers find something that makes them feel good on the inside, that way they’ll also build consistency to achieving and keeping a body you love.

BN: What do you like about being a Physique 57 instructor?
SK: Being an instructor is far more rewarding than I could have ever imagined. I see and hear graceful changes in people’s lives every day, and not just in their bodies. Some clients are going through a difficult emotional change and tell me that my classes have helped them be a calmer spouse and mother. I give them something in which they leave with a sense of accomplishment, dedication and being proud of themselves for taking the time out of their busy day to do something ‘healthy’ for themselves. So, it’s so much more than just the good-lookin’ Physique they acquire.

BN: Can we really expect the same results from just doing the DVDs?
SK: Absolutely! There are three different DVDs and three different levels to each DVD; therefore, a person can do a different class 9+ ways. These DVDs are safe, low impact and one can do them every day following a different instructor for more effective results.

And I can attest – my legs and arms were still aching the next morning! Get all three Physique 57 DVDs for $49.95 or purchase them individually for $24.95 at http://www.physique57.com.

Originally published November 2009
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