Yesterday morning, I made my way to a small private gym not far from Union Square to check out Justine Gelband’s ModelFIT class. The class is held at Mushin Mixed Martial Arts, an unpretentious space that’s half padded with wrestling mats for mixed martial arts.
After a light warmup, the small class divided for either circuit training or kickboxing. I started with the five-station circuit with Gelband. Using a step, resistance bands, medicine balls, a bosu ball, a balance board, and floor station, no exercise was repeated twice. Each client was given individualized exercises as they cycled around the circuit, based on their needs and fitness level. As someone who spends much of my day hunched over a keyboard, Gelband asked me to focus on my posture continuously.
After the circuit, I went to kickboxing, led by Muay Thai trainer Joe Hernandez. Like most of the other women working out with me, I had never done kick boxing before. Although we covered very basic technique, there was a lot of action and I definitely worked up a sweat. The ModelFIT class concluded with everyone coming back together for stretching. However, Gelband’s workouts are never identical, and the ModelFIT classes incorporate elements from Zumba, martial arts, functional strength training, Pilates and yoga.
Overall, I found the workout to be the satisfying physical challenge one looks forward to in a good workout. I left without feeling depleted, which I consider to be important for a morning workout.
Gelband created the class as a response to popular demand. “It came from the public,” he says. He explains that while training with models, like Kate Upton and Irina Shayk, many women came to him asking for workouts for “just normal, everyday people.” Thus, ModelFIT was born, to help women of all shapes feel and look their best. “ModelFIT is about getting in shape for you,” says Gelband. “To do the best that you can do for your own body.”