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 Rebecca Dale
Last but definitely not least is trainer Andrew Speer, our final Hottest Trainer 2013 contestant. Andrew is one of the owners of Soho Strength Lab, a new studio on Mulberry Street that specializes in high quality personal traning and group fitness. Among other hobbies, Andrew has a background in gymnastic, pole-vaulting, Olympic lifting, kettlebells and modeling—maybe you've seen him on the pages of Men's Health or Men's Fitness.
What made you want to become a trainer?
I've been involved in sports my whole life. I competed in gymnastics for 10 years and was the pole-vaulter on the University of Miami's track and field team. I was a wiry little kid growing up, and through sports I grew physically and developed confidence in myself. I always had a natural tendency to push my teammates in training, and even remember "training" my family and friends unofficially, helping them with routines and nutrition plans. After college I was working as a model, living in Europe, but feeling very unfulfilled. I returned to NY and that's when my family pushed me to turn my passion as a trainer and coach into a career. I never looked back.
What classes do you teach?
I teach several classes at my gym, Soho Strength Lab. They are athletic training based metabolic conditioning, weight training, and agility classes. My favorite is Soho Speed, an agility based cardio/conditioning class. I like it because it allows people to really move, and not be stuck in one spot on the studio floor. I love helping people find their inner athlete. When people move better, they feel better and look better!
Describe your training style.
I do have a lot of "coach" in me. I'm a very positive motivator. Everyone reacts differently to certain types of motivation, and I love the psychology behind finding the best way to motivate certain people. I push people very hard in training sessions and classes, but it's always with positive reinforcement and encouragement.
What's one piece of advice everyone should hear before beginning a new workout?
Check other factors in your life: nutrition, sleep, stress. If these things are not in order, no matter how hard you work in the gym, you won't get the results you're looking for.
Tell us a fun fact about you.
I love snakes, lizards, and fish tanks. I had a walk-in closet full of snakes, lizards, and fish growing up (yes, they were all in tanks). I had a 6' Boa Constrictor until last year when I moved and gave him to a good home. Next time I move I'm getting a salt water aquarium. I can't wait.
Want to take a class with Andrew, or try out Soho Strength Lab? See the studio's official website and Twitter below.
· Andy Speer [Racked NY]
· Soho Strength Lab [Twitter]
· Soho Strength Lab [Official Site]
· All Hottest Trainer 2013 Contestants [Racked NY]