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
Luke Lombardo, who also goes by Lucas Paul (an occasionally, his alter ego LuPaul), teaches indoor cycling at Flywheel and AQUA Cycling at AQUA, the underwater spin studio in Tribeca that opened this past April. In addition to being pretty easy on the eyes, he's also a certified personal trainer and a running coach, and says he's been an athlete in training "since I could walk." And if you've ever taken a class from him, then you probably already know that one of his biggest fitness inspirations is gymnast McKayla Maroney.
Describe your training style.
I'm a performer, it's in my blood—and I know what is most effective for each environment. With my one-on-one clients, I'm Luke: the serious, pensive, dedicated athlete. In my group classes, I'm your friend Lucas Paul, the fun loving, sometimes serious, often comical happy-go-lucky guy who will give you the best workout of your life. THEN, sometimes, only at the right moment, my absolute alter ego comes out....LuPaul (like RuPaul, but even better). Let's just say LuPaul likes to have fun and party and LuPaul really, really likes to dance. Oh LuPaul!
What made you want to become a trainer?
My interest in professional fitness was sparked when I served as a model for several fitness videos in 2009, but my schedule was stacked: I was working, a full-time college student, and also constantly training myself as a college athlete!
I ran my first marathon in 2011, and discovered a true passion, love, and a surprising natural talent for running. I joined a wonderful running club in NYC with an amazing coaching staff, which gave me direction and happiness that carries through all aspects of my life. I met an amazing woman named Sandy, an Olympic Trial marathon runner, and former running coach and athlete at the University of Oregon. She took me under her wing and taught me how to become a running coach. Training with Sandy helped me cut over 30 minutes off my initial Marathon time, and I placed in the top 20 of my age group at the LA Marathon!
What classes do you teach? Do you have a favorite?
I teach Indoor Cycling at Flywheel and AQUA Cycling at AQUA. I also train individuals for races by helping them plan their race training schedules, and I pace them for races. These are ALL favorites, and I like them all for very different reasons. The Flywheel concept is absolutely brilliant: the display board with torque and rpm inspires intense competition (with yourself and the rest of the class!), yet there is a huge element of fun and entertainment that drives it all.
I love AQUA because I've seen the class get people who were injured, afraid, or who hated working out to truly enjoy such a unique exercise activity. (AQUA is the greatest class for people with knee injuries!) Finally, I LOVE my running clients, and I love accompanying my running clients along their journey—knowing the obstacles they overcome to reach the grand race day finale and witnessing the happiness they get by reaching their goals brings true joy to my life.
Tell us a fun fact about you—the weirder and wackier, the better.
You'd have to ask LuPaul because LuPaul is cray, but I make it very well known that I am a HUGE fan of women's gymnastics, especially McKayla Maroney who I consider to be my hero. I watch her perfect vault before every race in order to inspire me to GO FOR GOLD!!! I bring her up in class a lot and tell the class that it is their goal to IMPRESS MCKAYLA!!! She's everything.
Want to take a class with Luke? Check out his Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter below, or sign up for one of his cycling classes at FlyWheel and Aqua.
· Lucas Paul [Facebook]
· Lucas Paul [Twitter]
· Lucas Paul [Instagram]
· Aqua [Official Site]
· Flywheel Sports [Official Site]
· All Hottest Trainer 2013 Contestants [Racked NY]