Athos: The Future of Fitness Is Now

Gabriela (Re:Quest Models) and Mark Sopcik photographed by Fred P. Goris. Styling by Alyssa Shapiro

These compression shorts are made by a start-up called Athos and contain embedded EMG sensors that feed information on muscle effort and activation to an app on the user’s phone, allowing lab-quality monitoring of one’s own workout. The matching compression top launches this spring, alongside special partnerships with some of the country’s most elite trainers, like Stephen Cheuk, whose New York gym S10 is photographed here. Using Athos, Cheuk is able to instruct trainees on how to better activate the right muscles for the right exercise — plus tell if they’re cheating the movement.

Rapid arm movements with the rope create tension throughout the body, providing a concentrated arm workout and also strengthening the core and lower body.

Properly monitoring muscle activation during lunges ensures both legs receive a good workout.

At S10, Stephen Cheuk’s trainees focus on anabolic conditioning work. That means less jogging and more pushing the Prowler.

Few exercises build more muscle quickly than a squat — Athos allows trainers to ensure that the correct sequence of muscles is activated through the movement, essential to both increasing strength and maintaining safety.

Mark wears Athos shorts and his own shoes. Gabriela wear (from left) Athos capris, S10 sports bra, Nike Bonded Woven Bomber Jacket, Nike Flyknit Zoom Fit Agility sneakers; Athos capris, NikeLab x JFS cropped long-sleeved top, Nike Pro Fierce sports bra, Nike Flyknit Roshe Run sneakers

Grooming by Ashley Rebecca

This story appears in the spring 2015 issue of BlackBook Magazine on stands now


Get Your Thighs Quaking with This New Mega Charged Workout Class

via Jesse DeYoung

There are more boutique fitness studios today than there were Starbucks ten years ago, so standing out among them takes a winning combination. Chelsea studio The Movement’s newest offering is a class called ReXist360, and it ain’t your average class.

All classes at The Movement strive to combine elements–that is to say, yoga becomes yogaCHARGED. Pumped up yet? On top of it all, $1 from each student in every class goes to the National Brain Tumor Society.

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The studio is sleek and modern, its space is a bright white, and the ceiling lights are so distinct, they’re practically a character within the setting themselves. Red motivational mantras add color.

I’ve been to almost all the classes offered, but it was Shay Kostabi, well-known Flybarre instructor coming back East from her recent move to California, that made me rush to sign up for ReXist360. During the 45 minute class your legs are strapped into the patented ReXist360 bands, and then you proceed to work (squats, jumping jacks, planks, and more) with the bands securely strapped on. All of this does two things: 1. provide an intense focus on glutes, thighs, and your core (crucial), and 2. leave your legs wobbling like jell-o.

“If you love a good boot camp but also enjoy moving to the rhythm of a sick playlist and want to cut your workout time in half and accelerate your results all in one go… ReXist360 HIIT is for you,” Kostabi says.

Shay’s bright smile and relentless enthusiasm make this class a win, even if, like me, you didn’t quite think a whole 45 minutes of resistance bands was your thing.

As awesome as Shay is, I was psyched to ask her a few fitness Qs:

What’s your current go-to workout outfit?

These are the sneaks I am rocking right now from Nike:
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My favorite leggings from Fabletics:

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And this, from Jo + Jax, is the best sports bra EVER:

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What are your gym bag essentials?

At all times I have my Frends headphones, a good book (currently Essentialism), a day planner, a Nike toiletry bag, extra socks, Clif bars, and designer whey bars.

Shay will be in NYC next teaching ReXist360 on November 10th, so mark your calendars. 


In Their Own Words: Four Entrepreneurs’ Favorite Apps

What do a dominatrix, two celebrity chefs, and a fitness founder have in common? Not much. So we brought them all together under one umbrella question: “What is your favorite app?”And like most things that can fit inside your phone and purse, these apps give great insight into who these stop-at-nothing entrepreneurs are. It’s like hacking into someone’s cellphone, but with descriptive consent. Here are these four visionaries’ favorite apps, in their own words.

Aarón Sanchez
Aarón Sanchez is the co-star of two Food Network series (Chopped and Heat Seekers), and the culinary visionary behind NYC’s taqueria Tacombi, Kansas City’s Mestizo, and Crossroads restaurant at House of Blues nationwide. Sanchez was recently a guest chef at the White House and received the “National Award” at the Flavors of Passion Awards, honoring the nation’s best Latin chefs.

"Since my wife, a pro musician, and I are constantly on the road, we like to use SongKick to find which of our favorite bands are playing in the cities we travel to. It’s also a great way to track lesser-known artists who may not have the reach of bigger acts. It’s brilliant.”

Brynn Jinnett
Brynn Jinnett is a former dancer with the New York City Ballet and the founder of Refine Method, a chain of boutique circuit training studios in NYC, whose clients have included Ivanka Trump and Kelly Ripa. Rooted in the latest research in exercise science, Refine exercises your body by using its own weight – pairing squats, kicks, and pushes with its own unique pulley system and high-intensity cardio. Since opening in 2010, Jinnett’s Method has exploded, expanding to three locations across NYC.

“My favorite app is MindBody Biz Mode [FREE], which allows me to schedule clients on my iPhone. With our third location opening this month on the Upper West Side, it’s great to be able to manage multiple locations while on the go!”

Hung Huynh
As the executive chef of NYC’s Catch seafood restaurant in Meatpacking and third season-winner of Top Chef, Hung Huynh is joining with EMM Group again to open the second outpost of Catch in South Beach, inside the James Royal Palm on Collins Avenue.

“My favorite app, Seafood Watch [FREE], keeps me up-to-date with current and fresh fish from the area’s nearby restaurants and stores, inspires new ideas, and educates me on the importance of sustainable seafood.”

Nina Payne
Nina Payne is the founder and president of Domi Dollz, a company of professional dominatrixes who bring kink out of the dungeon and into the mainstream with their New York-based workshops and educational performances. This month, the Dollz are launching their first eBook titled Kinky Amour; with personal stories and kinky tips from Payne and company, as well as video tutorials and photographs, the Dollz’ teachings will be downloadable and available worldwide.

“The Domi Dollz love the Dirty Game – Truth or Dare app [FREE]: it’s a huge collection of very naughty and wild truth or dares. It’s such fun to revisit the game we played as teenagers, bring the app to parties, and spice things up.” 

Flywheel Sports: Spin Me Right Round

Most of the adrenaline and fear I feel riding a bicycle in New York City is derived from various morbid fantasies featuring a car door, the pavement, and a funeral in quick succession. The bike commute is dangerous but thrilling business. As a cyclist, I’ve traditionally regarded spinners with derision. The idea of pedaling furiously in a dark room while house music blares and no one goes anywhere seems tribal and gerbilish in the worst possible way. So I arrive at Flywheel, a new spinning studio that is spreading like wildfire through New York, where they just opened their third studio; the Hamptons, where they just opened their second; and Boca (Boca!) where they just opened their first, with some degree of skepticism.

But Flywheel is essentially a metrics game which appeals to the geek in me. Unlike other spinning studios, there’s a proprietary Torqboard, which adjusts resistance on the bikes with real, not relative, numbers, so you can be competitive easier. That’s also helped by the pair of flatscreen displays which show a leaderboard. I don’t care about spinning, but I hate to lose.

That first class was something between mortification of the flesh, motivational seminar, and hip-hop sing-a-long. Our eerily defined and definitely perky instructor Holly knew all the words to Cam’Ron’s “Hey Ma,” which was nice to hear though at one point she sang, “You smoke, I smoke. I drink. Me too,” which was definitely not true. (The music is curated by “internationally known” artist, DJ Scott Melker.) Also not true but appreciated was her refrain “Every day is Saturday.” It was Thursday morning.

As Holly guided us through frantic periods of low resistance and painful periods of high resistance, she also proved herself remarkably good at pushing one through agony by sheer perkiness. Any scorn I felt for spinners was subsumed by anaerobic agony by minute 23, halfway through the class, during a remix of “Freedom.” “It’s all about freedom,” yelled Holly. “We’re not sprinting, we’re flying. Can I get a ‘Heya’?” “Heya!” I yelled.

Illustration by Matthew Jennings