Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
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.
Nobody has come out of Tracy Anderson studio that hasn't been a better version of himself or herself afterwards. Need some examples? Take Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, and Jason Bayus, now an instructor at Yogaworks and Bari Studios. The 33-year-old who hails from Dayton, Ohio worked with Anderson's top-tier students as a master trainer in her Tribeca studio back in 2009. Now, Bayus is using his professional dance background to teach artistically-inspired classes across New York City.
But when he's not working with clients in classes or hanging out in his current neighborhood of Chelsea, Bayus is out there making a difference. The former premed student is putting his education to good use as a clinical research coordinator at Mount Sinai, working to find a cure for Alzheimer's disease. He's even trying to fund that work by creating the non-profit Sweat for Cause, where trainers can simultaneously motivate clients to work out and raise money for their favorite causes.
Read on to learn more about Bayus, from his favorite outdoor workout spots in this "big jungle gym" of a city and the cardio dance queens of New York that he gets to call friends to why he thinks we should all debunk the notion of cheat meals.
What are the classes that you teach? Which one is your favorite, and why?
I teach music-driven, innovative "sculpting" classes at both Yogaworks ("Sculptworks" and "Barworks") and Bari ("Micro" and "Hybrid") that works efficiently to both strengthen and stretch the body. I love them equally as they all incorporate rhythm, which plays a huge role in both motivating our clients and maintaining the quality of contractions throughout the class. I also implement different moves and tools in each class to keep everyone challenged and engaged.
Reveal something that even your most dedicated students don't know about you.
I grew up cross-eyed, asthmatic, and a complete nerd. I'm still working on that last part...
What's your go-to song right now for getting pumped up before or during a workout?
Anything by David Guetta. Try "Lift Me Up" or 'Shot Me Down." You can check out my complete playlists on Spotify.
Can you share a moment or two with students that were truly inspiring?
That moment when a student comes in teary-eyed and says she just fit into a dress she hadn't worn since college, or when a client lights up from enjoying working out for the first time. Seeing them make that shift is so gratifying.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
One of the biggest challenges in fitness is changing the misconception that it's boring or just vanity-driven. Achieving and maintaining fitness is a necessary, constant journey, and therefore should be fun and enjoyable! My advice is to find a fitness experience that inspires you, pushes you past your limits, and changes you both inside and out.
What's your favorite outdoor workout spot in the city?
This city is one big jungle gym with so many great spots. I'll sometimes train clients at the Battery Park Pier, along the West Side Highway or on their own rooftops!
What's your favorite cheat meal?
Every meal. In other words: Every time you eat, you should enjoy it! I dislike the notion of "cheating" as it implies "deprivation," and that's a psychologically slippery slope when you just worked your butt off and dealt with the city all day. Enjoy what you eat, but seek balance—you'll digest it better.
Besides your own studio, whose classes do you love?
I still have a strong respect and love for all my former Tracy Anderson colleagues, like Anna Kaiser (of AKT in Motion), Nicole Winhoffer (of NW Method), and Katia Pryce (of Dancebody), to name a few. These women have inspiring energy and ideas and will work you until you drop.
What advice would you offer to someone who is just starting in your class?
Have fun, be safe, and follow me! Those are my three rules. Ultimately, you have to listen to your own body, since you have all the control—instructors are just here to guide and inspire you.