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Welcome back to our Hottest Trainer competition: our search for NYC's most talented fitness instructor! Over the next two weeks we'll be profiling 16 of the city's top workout pros before you get to vote for your favorites.
For those who think that being a fitness instructor is just something you do between jobs in your 20s, Amira Lamb of New York Sports Club is here to prove you wrong. "My movement background started at a very young age, when I was involved in gymnastics and dance," the self-proclaimed "holistic hottie" told Racked. "I was inspired by the fitness industry and the different fitness personalities I'd see on TV, like Bess Motta, Tamilee Webb, and Donna Richardson. I remember looking forward to my 18th birthday when I could finally become a certified group fitness instructor. I've been leading classes consistently since turning 18!" Now 39, Lamb has no plans of slowing down.
The Brooklyn resident who studied exercise science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (where she's originally from), has dedicated the past 14 years to NYSC, teaching classes like cardio kickboxing—"which I teach as my signature BattleGroove® class"—and total body conditioning at locations across the city. If you want to see her in her element, sign up for a Saturday or Sunday class: "Weekends are my favorite days to lead classes, because the energy people bring to them is just the best!"
Read on to learn more about Lamb, including her favorite way to own fitness style outside of a studio, what you'll find in her gym bag, and the crazy-hard class she likes to take when she's not teaching her own.
Describe your training style: Are you a drill sergeant? More laid-back?
I know that we all start somewhere, so I'm welcoming and encouraging. I make people work, but I don't scream or ridicule. In a way I'm laid-back, but I also hate wasting people's time with an incomplete workout. I make the most efficient use of the time I have with you.
Gym style (or athleisure, if you will) has totally exploded over the past couple of years. What's your favorite way to rock it?
I try to get away with rocking my spandex pretty much all day, every day. I feel fortunate to be an ambassador for Carbon38, so I have a lot of cool options from some of the best brands in the industry.
If we spilled out your gym bag right now, what would we find?
A one-liter glass bottle of water, a cooler with one or two small meals, Nike Wraps for footwear, The Motivation Manifesto by Brendan Burchard, Lafe's natural deodorant, vitamins, my iPhone6 with Zablea headphones, a small cosmetic bag, my Metrocard, and some money.
Reveal something that even your most dedicated students don't know about you.
Some of my most dedicated students have no idea that I'm an IFBB Bikini Pro, am a fitness presenter at industry conferences like MANIA, and that I have a podcast!
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
Some people think a career in fitness is a self-serving job—the reality is that we give a lot of ourselves to our students and clients.
What would you say is the hardest thing about being a trainer?
Balancing an odd work schedule with a social life—people's break time and play time tend to be my work times.
Can you share a moment with a student that was truly inspiring?
This will sound cliché, but I'm inspired by my students every single day, especially those who have come to class while battling illnesses like cancer, and those who are in their 50s and above.
Besides your own studio, whose classes do you love?
I love taking Aerial Contortion at Body & Pole with Elaina Royter.
Have any of your clients ever come on to you or asked you out? (or vice versa?!) What did you do?
I've never come on to a client and have never asked one out. Vice versa...that's a different story!
What's your favorite cheat meal?
It's not exactly a meal, but I love plantains—sweet or salty!
Where can we find you when you're not working out?
At Trader Joe's or Body & Pole!
What advice would you offer to someone who is just starting in your class?
Besides acknowledging any injuries and group class experience my advice would be to "hang in there!" and to pace themselves as needed.