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Welcome to our search for New York City's hottest trainer. Over the coming weeks, we'll profile twenty-two smoking candidates who work at local gyms and studios. Once you've gotten to know everyone, we'll host a March Madness-style showdown in which you get to vote for your favorite.

Photos by Driely S

Eric Salvador is the Head Instructor at The Fhitting Room, a high intensity training studio on the Upper East Side. In lieu of treadmills and your run-of-the-mill weight machines, The Fhitting Room houses things kettle bells and rowers—and Eric'll show you how to use them all to get as ripped as him. He teaches The Fhitting Room's Signature FHIX and FHIXtreme classes, as well as Advanced Kettlebell, plus classes at CrossFit Metropolis. His nickname? El Capítan.

How long have you been a trainer?

I've been a trainer for 10 years. My fitness journey began when I enlisted in the US Marine Corps, which changed me physically and mentally. Marine Corps boot camp was the hardest thing I have ever done, but once I graduated I felt strong, confident, and like I could accomplish anything I set my mind to.

A few years later I found myself training guys I worked the night shift at Coca-Cola with, and pursued a training position at New York Sports Club, where I was a Master Trainer, group exercise instructor, and co-creator of the Ultimate Fitness Experience small group training class until I joined The Fhitting Room as Head Instructor (a.k.a. El Capítan) in January.

What classes do you teach? Do you have a favorite?

I love teaching all my classes, but my Saturday morning FHIXtreme class at The Fhitting Room is my favorite one to teach. It's an advanced version of our Signature FHIX class, which gives me the opportunity to really push people out of their comfort zones to achieve physically and mentally beyond what they thought possible.

What I love most is that there's not one particular type of person who takes this class in terms of age or gender, but everyone in the class shares the desire to work really hard and rise to a challenge. As an instructor, I love seeing everyone's strength and endurance progress from week to week.

Describe your training style: Are you drill sergeant, or more laid back?

I'm both. I do my best to read people in my class and take on the style that will most encourage each individual. With my background in the Marines, I make a great Drill Sergeant, and some people respond great to a firm, no nonsense approach. Others prefer a charming and entertaining style, and for those people, you may see me showing off my Latin dance moves, hurdling over someone while they are doing burpees, or just offering upbeat, supportive verbal encouragement.

Tell us a fun fact about you.

I'm fitness apparel clotheshorse; I have over 30 pairs of sneakers and like to color coordinate with what I wear. I have one entire section of my closet dedicated to my Lululemon workout collection (I'm an Ambassador), and another section for all my CrossFit workout attire.

I'm also an awesome jumper; I get great vertical height. I'm less than 6 feet tall, but I can grab a ten-foot hoop and have been known to spring into a straddle jump that would give an Olympic gymnast a run for his/her money.

Thinking of trying The Fhitting Room, or want to train with Eric? Check out the fitness studio's website below.
· Eric Salvador [Twitter]
· Eric Salvador [The Fhitting Room]
· The Fhitting Room [Facebook]
· The Fhitting Room [Official Site]
· All Hottest Trainer 2013 Contestants [Racked NY]