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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.
The age of 23 is the perfect age to hustle. Just ask 23-year-old Shayne Cureton: When the Indiana native isn't having students run over hurdles or sprint with bungee cords attached to their torsos on the black turf of Tone House, where he's been instructing for nearly a year, he is hustling all over the world to build his modeling career—that's what brought the current Hell's Kitchen resident to New York City in the first place.
And before the modeling hustle came the literal hustle—on the track, that is. While Cureton both ran track and played football in his hometown of Avon, he decided to focus on track and field activities when he got to Indiana State University while majoring in pre-dental. Now, when he's not at photoshoots for everyone from Abercrombie & Fitch, Old Navy, and Macy's to CR Fashion Book—or hitting the runways for Givenchy in Paris or at the revived New York Fashion Week: Men's—he's working on his Tone House training game by employing a personality that's "like a handful of Percocets," according to one satisfied student. As Cureton's motto goes: "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."
Read on to learn more about the (single!) trainer-model, from his favorite outdoor workout spot in the city to how his own students are informing his teaching styles.
Describe your training style: Are you a drill sergeant? More laid-back?
I am a more laid-back coach, but I'm not afraid to raise my voice—it all depends on the vibe I get from each athlete.
What's your go-to song right now for getting pumped up before or during a workout?
"Really" by The Game featuring 2 Chainz, Yo Gotti, T.I., and Soulja Boy.
Gym style (or athleisure) has totally exploded over the past couple of years. What's your favorite way to rock it?
My style is totally random—it really all depends on my mood that day. I may wear a one-layered, basic, all-black outfit, or I might throw on some leggings, shorts, a nice pair of trainers, (usually Nike), socks with a design, and a loud matching top.
What's the biggest misconception about what you do?
That I am here to kick your ass—wrong! I'm here to grow with you. As a trainer, I want help you reach your goals by motivating you in a way that actually motivates you.
Can you share a moment with a student that was truly inspiring?
When I told an athlete that he could do it, and he agreed with me. It showed me that the way I was trying to motivate him was the right way and that he trusted my process.
What's your relationship status?
I am currently single.
What advice would you offer to someone who is just starting in your class?
Keep coming in! It gets a tiny bit easier, but the improvement in your mental and physical toughness grows tremendously.
What's your favorite outdoor workout spot in the city?
The East River Park.
Where can we find you when you're not working out?
You can catch me hanging out with friends or relaxing in the park.