Willspace in Brides Magazine: Don't Eat Your Broccoli: Want To Avoid Bloat During Your Wedding Week? Here Are Five Surprising Foods To Skip

Don’t eat your broccoli: Want to avoid bloat during your wedding week? Here are five surprising foods to skip.

Dried Fruits - Packed with vitamins and minerals, these portable treats should, in theory, make the perfect snack. Not so much says Torres: “They’re basically concentrated bundles of fructose, a kind of sugar that causes water retention and gas.”

Red Wine- Sure, beer will expand your waistline, but a glass of cabernet? Turns out red wine contains unfermented yeast, a notorious bloater. “Because it’s less processed, the high-end stuff is especially bad,” says Keller.

Sugar-free anything: Fake sweeteners like sorbitol and aspartame are crazy hard to digest. Fizzy diet soda is double nasty. “Bubbles equal gas,” says Los Angeles nutritionist Jackie Keller.

(Some) Raw Veggies - Superfoods can also make you super bloated. Take cruciferous vegetables like kale, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and broccoli: They’re loaded with cellulose, a type of fiber our stomachs struggle to break down. Consider switching to water-rich vegetables like celery, cucumber, and asparagus just before your wedding, says integrative-wellness guru Frank Lipman: “They act as diuretic, so you’ll actually shed water weight.”




Willspace in Z Life Magazine: Foot Fetish

Foot Fetish: How to Avoid Fitness-Ravaged Feet

If one day you’re shaking it in Zumba class, the next day clocking miles during a run, and another hurling tires at Cross-Fit, your body and mind may be thanking you for changing up your workouts, but your feet are most likely not. From blisters and ingrown toe=nails to chipped pedicures and the more serious plantar fasciitis, feet take a beating during physical activity. Here we examine the most common foot injuries and how to prevent them; plus, how to keep your feet looking and feeling their best.


Feet don’t fail me now. While most people who work out know the importance of warming up before exercise, many overlook stretching, which can lead to full=body muscle aches and foot-related injuries. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reports that more than 2 million people are treated each year for plantar fascitis, the most common foot injury that can sideline your sessions. “Plantar fasciitis is heel pain related to inflammation of a thick ligament at the bottom of the heel that occurs frequently in athletes and dancers,” says Sonu Ahluwalia, M.D., clinical chief of orthopedic surgery at Cedars Sinai Medical center and head of its sports medicine departments. The plantar Fascia is a long, thin ligament that runs the lengths of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes, and supporting the arch. It is designed to bear the weight and stress put on the feet, however, constant pressure and strains can cause the ligament to break down or rear, causing inflammation and pain. All of this pain can be avoided (and treated) with some simple stretching.

Mike Bell, fitness expert at Willspace in New York City, emphasizes that stretching and strengthening are necessary to avoid injuries. He suggests focusing on the calves because tight calf muscles can lead to plantar fasciitis. One exercise that Bell recommends for strengthening the muscles in the foot is the single-leg Romanian dead lift. He coaches his clients to do it barefoot because “there is much more demand on the foot muscles when we exercise barefoot.” To perform this foot-strengthening move, Bell instructs, “Stand and hold a bar with a pronated grip (hand palm down), at arm’s length while feet are shoulder-width apart. Bend at the knees while picking up the other leg behind you. Try to keep the leg off the floor for the entire set of reps. Making sure to keep the knee slightly bent, push the hips backward, looking up, shoulders back and lower back arched. Complete the set and then switch to the other leg.” Bell notes that these feet focused exercises can be performed daily or even as warm-up or cool-down before or after running or class. Bottom line: Stretch, people, stretch!

By Robin Diamond



Willspace in Natural Health Magazine: Take A Deep Breath

Take A Deep Breath: Shift your inhales to calm your system and spirit.

Work keeping you up at night?There’s a breath for that. The old maxim that breathing can ease stress is true - but for respiration to be a total release, you need the right technique, says Belisa Vranich, Psy. D., a clinical psychologist, wellness coach at Willspace in New York City and author of Breathe. “When most people take a deep breath, they bring their shoulders up and out. They’re using the smallest part of their lungs and activating the sympathetic nervous system, which also kicks in when you’re anxious or stressed,” say Vranich. Breathing is only calming when you take lower body breaths- they give you more oxygen. To huff the healthy way, put on hand on your belly. Feel your abdomen expand as you fill up with air through your mouth. As you exhale, blow out through your mouth. As you exhale, blow out through your lips, contract stomach and tuck your tailbone under so your hips move forward. Repeat this in-and-out cycle for three minutes. Here’s how it helps:

It works those abs: “You may feel strange pushing your stomach out as you breath in,” says Vranich. You won’t undo all those crunches, promise. In fact, tthis counts as core work! Eighty percent of the lungs are in your sides and back, surrounding your abs, and each belly breath gives those muscles a chance to move.

It sheds your stress: “This type of conscious belly breathing is an active meditation,” says Vranich. “As you complete lower-body breaths and oxygenate your body, yo relax naturally. That process takes your focus off of what’s troubling you, whether it’s your relationship, back pain or lingering soreness from a workout.”

It tames an angry tummy: Rather than reach for an antacid, put your lungs to work instead. “Belly breathing helps ease GI problems,” Vranich says. “With upper-body breaths, your middle is stagnant when it should be active. Moving the breath down stimulates your digestive system.” Try it a few times a day to settle a roiling stomach and feel soothed.

By: Emily C. Johnson



Willspace in NY Mag- The Cut: I Took Breathing Classes, And They Were Kind Of Worth It

I Took Breathing Classes, and They Were Kind of Worth It

When I signed up for OXYGEN™ at Willspace, a private fitness studio in the West Village, I was fairly certain I was about to fall prey to a cult where I would learn to live on oxygen alone, or maybe some kind of motivational workout scam. Best case, I was going to lose some money; worst case, I was going to lose my soul, free will, and rational belief that food and not deep gulps of air fuel the body. Besides, even if it's not in fact a cult, expending time and money on inhaling and exhaling seems like the bougiest of all bougie fitness trends (Lululemon aside). Breatharians even have their own guru, Alan Dolan, who hosts Transformational Breathing Retreats on the Canary Islands. These classes promise that, for $55, you can rid yourself of chronic pain, constipation, anxiety, acne, and insomnia, just by mastering the thing you've done automatically since exiting the womb. Stressful job? Creative blockage? Low energy? Bad sex? Just breathe.

I chose to meet with Dr. Belisa Vranich, a clinical psychologist and author of Breathe (out today), a book that expounds the miracle benefits of “mastering” basic lung functions. Her class, she says, is geared towards "type A people who don't respond to the idea of meditation." It's part aerobic, part yogic, and offers a fourteen-day program that's the basis of her book. She writes that “breathing exercises can energize you better than a Red Bull, put you to sleep better than an Ambien. They are the No. 1 antidote for stress: lowering your blood pressure, cortisol, and neutralizing your acidity in minutes.”

Turns out this was a promise that the weird little hippie in me couldn't resist. And so I found myself sitting alongside Vranich, belly in hands, forcing myself to hyperventilate, to see if re-learning how to breathe was the truly the pathway to higher self or just SoulCycle for lazy people. The process is as follows:

Figure out your baseline: Vranich and I started by determining my baseline — basically, figuring out how incorrect my breathing form is. While the book asks for a million (fifteen) different physical and emotional check-ins, Vranich took quick stock of my issues (I don’t sleep well, I snore, I sometimes struggle to focus, I’m generally stressed and overbooked, just like everyone else). Then she used a tape measure to measure my sternum while I took a deep breath in order to get a sense of my lung capacity. Afterward, she had me hold my breath as long as I could. It felt like one minute; actually, it was about twenty seconds.

Let your gut hang: To understand how it feels to breathe correctly, Vranich had me liberate the space — the space being my stomach. "Ever watch a baby breathe? It's all tummy," she said. That meant I had to abandon the habits cultivated in every other moment of my life — when I am sucking in, wearing Spanx, or crunching my organs in high-waisted jeans — for the sake of breathing. I got on my knees, tipped my pelvis back for proper alignment, and let it all hang like Homer Simpson. As I breathed (in through the nose, out through the mouth), I'll admit it was a relief to give my abdominal walls and shoulders a break for a moment, but picturing myself going full-tummy was unfamiliar and anxiety-producing enough to destroy any of the holistic calming benefits.

Warm up the diaphragm: As a "trained singer" (i.e., forced my mom to pay for childhood voice lessons, am now a proud karaoke addict), I was familiar with contracting my diaphragm, the dome-shaped muscle between the lungs and abdomen. This earned me a gold star from Vranich. We went through various yoga positions, like cat/cow and child's pose, while breathing in and out deeply, making sure to keep it low and in my belly. Then I just sat around breathing very deeply, making sure to tilt my pelvis back. The strategy here is to use no effort on the inhale, just to let air into your lungs passively and silently. This is similar to "fire breath," or kapalbhati in yoga, which is supposed to help you master long, deep breathing, as well as cleanse your mind and soul.

Sip some air: This is kind of the "workout" portion of the breathing exercises. To increase my lung capacity, Vranich had me take the biggest breath I could — and when my lungs were filled with air, I was supposed to try to "sip" more air by taking short, sharp breaths until my lungs literally felt like they were going to burst through my chest. Deep-sea divers call this airpacking. I call it hell.

Hyperventilate, then meditate: At the end of the session, Vranich had me lay down and take rapid, deep breaths, keeping me on pace while I inhaled and exhaled quickly until I felt like I was gasping for air. I didn't know if I was going to cry, orgasm, pee, or pass out. Then, gradually, Vranich started decreasing the pace, and I found myself doing some weird, next-level breathing. I could feel my lungs emptying completely, with a moment of suspension before I took my next breath. Once my breathing regulated, we did two song's worth of mediation to some pleasant Enya-type music by candlelight. We checked my progress, and I could now hold my breath for triple the time I managed at the beginning of class.

After being released into the world post-class, I felt high. Like I had just taken MDMA. Maybe I was just really affected by the hyperventilation stage, but I wandered around Soho feeling blissed out and transcendent. That night I slept deeply, and woke up without an alarm clock (also with aching abs, as if I'd been doing sit-ups). For the next two days, I swear I was on a non-RX creative bender that I hadn't experienced since my college days.

I had to go back. All I wanted was air. But rather than continuing to shell out money for private breathing instruction, I opted to spend ten minutes a day on the fourteen-day at-home program outlined Vranich's book. At the end of two weeks, I was calmer, I mediated every morning (sneaky Vranich), and I wasn’t out of breath on the treadmill. I recorded myself during sleep (yes), and my snoring went from jet-plane levels to a gentle purr.

Of course, this wasn't a controlled experiment — I had recently started running again, which probably had something to do with my general sense of health and well-being. And I can't speak to weight loss or constipation relief. But here's what I know: After two weeks of breathing exercises, I no longer get winded during "Total Eclipse of the Heart" on karaoke nights. That's transformational enough for me.

By Allison P Davis



Willspace in Departures: The Ultimate Workout: Learning To Breathe Better

The Ultimate Workout: Learning to Breathe Better

Taking a breath might seem like the simplest thing in the world to do, but according to Dr. Belisa Vranich, a clinical psychologist and breathing expert, 98 percent of us do it wrong—a statistic she is determined to change with her comprehensive Breathe classes at the private West Village gym Willspace.

“Breathing is the single most important thing you do,” says Vranich, who has finessed the inhalations and exhalations of everyone from convicts to corporate types. “Oxygen is cell fuel. People are running on fumes, then wondering why they are so fatigued.”

The drills are intense and specific, concentrating on two-part belly breaths that work the body’s midsection. (Shallow breathers tend to inhale from their upper body, forgetting about the underused diaphragm and surrounding core muscles.) While active meditation is included—and the studio is dim and comfortable—the work is serious. During our session, Vranich (pictured above, left) didn't allow us to lose focus during the surprisingly fatiguing drills, prompting us to power through as we would any challenging exercise routine.

The influx of oxygen might leave you a bit tingly (some people cry in response, others laugh), but by the end of the class we were more cognizant of what our lungs were doing and breathing effortlessly—freer, looser. Vranich has seen enhanced breathing improve anxiety, sleep, GI issues, energy levels and athletic performance. And while a certain amount of discipline is needed to change old habits, much of the transformation has to do with simply knowing your body—and that is as basic as it gets.

“It’s not about finding another doctor, another medication or just living with discomfort,” she says. “I want people to feel empowered and delighted that they can heal.” Call for class schedules; 254 W. Tenth St.; 212-929-1800;

By Ingrid Skjong | Fitness   



Manhattan Modern Luxury: Shape Shifters

Shape Shifters

Whether you kept up your fitness routine through the holidays or are looking for a fresh start for the new year, here are five NYC trainers to help you reach whatever your 2014 fitness goals might be.

Erika Bloom practices Pilates in her Upper East Side Studio.

1. Erika Bloom

With studios in Manhattan, East Hampton, Greenwich, Conn., and even the Turks and Caicos, Erika Bloom specializes in Pilates and yoga, while offering a holistic approach to health through bodywork, nutrition counseling and acupuncture. For a truly personalized experience, her team will even come to your home. DETAILS: 14 E. 60th St., 10th Floor; 212.288.3410

2. Ben Hart

A Tier-3 trainer at the city's Equinox locations, boxer Ben Hart is known for whipping clients into shape with an approach that works out the body while also training the mind. Watch out for more info from his Qinetic training network, set to re-launch this winter. DETAILS: Various locations

3. Will Torres

For those ready to reach new heights in their fitness level, Will Torres and his Willspace team of Precise Physical Engineers offer customized training programs that combine, lifting, martial arts and cardio with a focus on precision and proper breathing. The dedicated only need apply. DETAILS: 254 W. 10th St., Suite B; 212.929.1800

4. Mary Ann Browning

Mary Ann Browning of Brownings Fitness is a fitness-scene favorite for her signature approach to wellness. Socialites, moguls and celebs (and those who just aspire to look like one) seek out the former prima ballerina's advice at her NYC and Southampton studios. DETAILS: 980 Madison Ave.; 315.292.7547

5. David Kirsch

Combining his expertise in exercise and eating well, David Kirsch helps his celeb clients get into shape in a “New York minute” with personalized programs at the Madison Square Club. DETAILS: 210 Fifth Ave.; 212.683.1836

Heather Corcoran | Photo: Courtesy of Erika Bloom 



Willspace in Life & Style: Top-Notch Training

Live Like a Star!

Top Notch Training

When celebrities like Andy Cohen want to take their workouts to the next level, they head to Willspace, NYC’s premiere personal training facility. The gym’s special willSTRIKE program draws on elements from Muay Thai, jujitsu, and Pilates. 

By Author



Willspace in Skinny Mom: 6 FAQ + Answers For Gym Newbies

6 FAQ + Answers for Gym Newbies

The new year is right around the corner, and we all know that the gym membership is at the top of most people’s resolution lists. If you’re a first-time gym membership holder, or if it has been a while since you’ve hit the weight room, take a minute to read these helpful FAQ and answers from personal trainer, Paul Booth.

What should you pack in your gym bag? Do you need things like shower shoes?

Gym bag essentials include a water bottle, workout gloves, comfortable shoes and apparel, and hair ties. Bring any toiletries you need for after your workout too, like shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and shower shoes/flip flops for the shower or sauna. You may also want to bring a journal to record you workouts or log them on your phone.


How can you know what amenities a gym offers?

Do a little research before you sign up with a gym. On your first visit take a tour of the facility with a representative from that fitness center to see what amenities they have to offer.

What kinds of sanitary precautions should people take when using different machines? Do the same rules apply to anything you touch, like free weights, medicine balls, and yoga mats?

Most gyms have sanitary stations with products to keep shared equipment clean. Wipe things down both before and after you use them. You may also want to consider investing in some personal items if you plan on using them frequently, like a yoga mat. Some equipment, like free weights, don’t need to be wiped down each time. And always be sure to wash your hands when you’re done with your workout!


The weight section seems intimidating – do you have any advice for getting comfortable with this area of the gym?

Start out light and concentrate on good mechanics and form. As you grow in strength and confidence, increase the load and complexity of movements to continue to challenge yourself. You can also try working out with a friend, having a partner to spot you will help you feel more at ease and help you motivate one another!


If you’re unsure of how to use a machine, what should you do?

If you spot a new machine that looks like something you would like to try, but are unsure about how to use it, check with a trainer at the gym. They will be more than happy to show you proper form and get you off to a good start.


Is blasting music on your earbuds rude?

Always. Choose some tunes that will inspire you to have a great workout, but make sure the volume keeps these tracks for your ears only!


This is a guest post written by Paul Booth, personal trainer at WILLSPACE in NYC.

By Brooke Griffin 



Willspace in GQ: The 10 Best Shirtless Celebrity Selfies of 2013

GQ Fitness: The 10 Best Shirtless Celebrity Selfies of 2013

We pulled together an all-star trainer, a fashion editor, and, most importantly, a real-live lady to weigh in on this year’s onslaught of famous men slipping off their shirts and posing in poorly lit bathrooms

2013 will go down in history as the year the shirtless selfie reached critical mass, as gentlemen young and old couldn’t resist the temptation of stripping down and sharing their sometimes-toned, sometimes-not bodies with thousands of strangers. And while this bro-level move is just about the fastest way to be branded a tool, there are ways to do it right—namely, having a sick body, whether you're a septuagenarian talk-show host, teen idol on the backslide, or one of the greatest athletes ever. Celebrity trainer and Willspace founder Will Torres, managing editor Jessica Glavin, and fashion editor Matt Sebra take on this year’s crop of bare torsos and tell you what works, what doesn’t, and how every exhibitionist can improve his selfie game for 2014.

10. Pete Wentz

“Anyone have a swimming pool filled with Powerade?”

Fitness: 1/5

Selfie Style: 1/5

JG: Selfie Law #1: Don’t look at the phone, look into my eyes.

MS: Selfie Law #4: Close the door for a clean background.

WT:He has a good start here, but it seems to me he is not doing anything to bring it up to the next level. I would like to see everything brought up a notch or two, including abs, shoulders, chest, and traps

9. James Franco

"All the kids are doing it.”

Fitness: 1/5

Selfie Style: 1/5

WT: If he works out, he probably only does light cardio. There is no muscle development here. I am a little worried as to how the rest of his abs look. He’s tensing really hard here to get the abs to pop.


MS: This is very Craigslist2006. The wall color does nothing for his skin tone, and that's poor selfie posture. Like everything else Franco does: just slightly left of center.

WT: We need to hit the gym fast. I would take a full-body approach with him, breaking down the program to lower body pull/upper body push comprising of deadlifting, shoulder press, bench press, dips, and pushups on one day, and then lower body push/upper body pull including squats, lunges, pullups, and rows on another day. Training 5 days each week.

JG: This is starving for a Seth Rogen photobomb.

8. Zach Braff

“Dear @channingtatum, when are auditions for Magic Mike 2?”

Fitness: 1/5

Selfie Style: 1/5

MS: #thinspiration

WT: His arms actually look good and the abs look ripped. Lighting may be helping though.

JG: It's a little emo (see: Incubus circa '99), but the lighting does add definition to his belly, like the best of spray tans.

MS: I'm assuming he took this in the subterranean darkroom where he stores all the lost Garden State footage no one wants to see. Nice job Vanna White-ing the phone, though.

WT: Feed him a burger and make him lift, lift, lift. Deadlifts, squats, and pullups to start. Full body 3-4 days a week.

7.Justin Bieber


Fitness: 2/5

Selfie Style: 1/5

MS: "NSFW: Topless Rachel Maddow photos ahead."

JG: "Mom, I DON'T NEED sunscreen."

WT: It looks like he works out. He’s thin and lean. His workout probably comprises of a lot of chest and arms, and abs as well even though you can’t see it here. He needs to start doing exercises like deadlifts and squats to exhaustion. These exercises are so challenging to the body that, when performed properly and consistently, they get your body to release testosterone naturally. Our friend Justin could increase his calorie intake a little as well to help put on a little weight.

6. Geraldo Rivera

“70 is the new 50 (Erica and family are going to be so pissed...but at my age...)”

Fitness: 3/5

Selfie Style: 1/5

JG: I always pictured him with darker areola…

MS: Dude, clean up your bathroom. Rookie selfie mistake.

WT: For a 70-year guy, I am very impressed with him. He looks good, lean and healthy. He is probably able to keep the weight off by being strict about his diet. He might do some sort of cardio and/or light lifting a few times a week. He does look a little bloated around the face--he could be drinking a little more than he should. He would benefit from deadlifts, pull-ups, and shoulder presses to develop his core back and shoulders.

MS: Side note: My great aunt Judith wants her glasses back.

5. Tom Hanks

“Thanks to the Hot Racking's crew of the "Mighty Montpelier". Loved the tour. Submariners are bodacious. Hanx”

Fitness: 2/5

Selfie Style: 2/5

WT: Shoulders look good, upper chest looks good, and the neck area looks good as well. We can see his jawline. He would benefit from stealth training: combined fast-paced strength training with cardio.

JG: Navy cap, Ray-Bans—no nip. This is practically presidential.

MS: I really thought Tom Hanks could afford a nicer home.

4. Macklemore

“This that 'I just went into the gift shop of the hotel and came up on some 50% off Cazal's that have been chillen for 20 years' selfie.”

Fitness: 2/5

Selfie Style: 3/5

JG: I dig the statement accessories; it's exactly how I imagine all rappers dress for bed.

WT: He looks like a really fit guy from this angle but in this position the shoulders should pop more, you should be able to see the bottom line of the deltoid. I don’t see this, which leads me to believe he doesn’t workout that much. I would like to see him take on some sort of boxing or kickboxing type of workout.

MS: Nice Instagram filter. He knows his angles, and he put some art direction into this, but Selfie Law #7: Always be aware of what's hanging on the walls behind you—especially if it's sad hotel art.

3. Bow Wow

Fitness: 4/5

Selfie Style: 2/5

JG: How did Bow Wow get a tour of the Downton Abbey set?

WT: Bow Wow’s workouts are most likely comprised of a lot of body weight exercises, tons of abdominal work: It’s always a good thing when your serratus anterior muscles are showing.

MS: Selfie Law #12: If you're trying to flex like a man, best not to wear the same underwear as a high school student.

WT: He should probably starting adding weights to his training. The chest and shoulders can use some attention. If he’s doing pushups, he can add a 25 plate on his back or just hit the bench twice a week with some heavy weight for 8 reps.

2. Lebron James

“Call 911. The weight room just got murdered.”

Fitness: 5/5

Selfie Style: 3/5

WT: This guy looks amazing.Great development everywhere. The legs match his upper body.Both upper and lower body look jacked and it doesn’t look like he’s pulling his stomach in. What’s most impressive about him is that for a big guy he moves with incredible speed and agility.This guy is all muscle.


MS: Impressed with the pic stitch…and that he’s man enough to let himself be photographed in tights.

1. Chris Pratt

“Six months no beer. #GOTG Kinda douchey to post this but my brother made me."

Fitness: 4/5

Selfie Style: 4/5

WT: He has come a long way on his transformation. He should feel very proud of himself. Would be great for him to lean out with some faster-paced weight training sessions combined with shorts bouts of cardio.

MS: Now this is a humblebrag selfie we can get behind, until he posts 100 more of the same thing.

JG: The only thing that bothers me about this photo is the wedding ring.

By Jessica Glavin, Matt Sebra, and Will Torres



Willspace in Dragon Door: Dragon Door Interviews Pro MMA Fighter And RKC Instructor Mike Medrano

Dragon Door Interviews Pro MMA Fighter and RKC Instructor Mike Medrano

Dragon Door: You've been an athlete for a very long time, how did you get started?

Mike Medrano: My mom knew I needed to find an outlet. When I was twelve, we were at a local fair in Bayonne, New Jersey and I saw a powerlifting and Olympic lifting team doing a presentation. I loved watching the guys lift weights and asked if I could go up on stage. They let me lift a little that day then immediately asked me to join the team. Lifting made me a lot stronger, and I competed in Olympic lifting from age 12 to 16. Once I started playing football I really fell in love with it—football carried me all the way through college and beyond. I competed in football, wrestling and track in high school, then continued with football and track in college. I've been training all year round for a long time.


Dragon Door: What's your secret to successful year-round athletic training?

Mike Medrano: Variety. And especially when I was a kid, having good coaches who understood I had a lot of energy and potential. I didn't have a father to guide me in a good direction, and because I grew up in the inner city, my mom tried to find good male role models for me. I really connected with my football, Olympic lifting, and track team coaches. And I always played basketball, because in the inner city basketball courts were everywhere. I wasn't tall enough to really be great at it, so even though I am a very good basketball player, it wasn't something I could go to college or pro playing. But, I believed that I could with football, given my strength and talent. And it carried me all the way through school. I competed in track because I wanted to get faster for football. So while I trained all year round, I did it to be in the best possible shape for football.

My mom was raising three kids—I was the oldest—and we didn't have much money. Mom made sure I knew it was very important to go to college. But I knew that I couldn't go to college without a scholarship. My coaches for football and track told me I could get a college scholarship for either sport if I could stay focused. So, in high school I didn't get a job—my job was working out. Mom told me that it was my job to get good grades and play sports. And I was able to get a scholarship, go to college and get a degree.


Dragon Door: What is your degree?

Mike Medrano: I have a triple major in education, history and political science. I wanted to be in education so that I would have the same schedule as my children. When I was 30, my son was born, and I went straight into education. But, with the fighting between governor Christie and the board of education, many non-tenured teachers—myself included—lost their jobs. At the time I transitioned to MMA fighting full time and soon found a job as a trainer.


Dragon Door: How did you transition from college and teaching to MMA?

Mike Medrano: In college, I didn't complete all four years in athletics. For three years I led the team in rushing and touchdowns, then my Mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I transferred schools to be closer and started working full time so I could take care of her. It took about a year for her to have the tumor removed, heal, and rehabilitate so she could take care of herself again. Once she was healthy I went back to Monmouth University, but I couldn't play on the football team because I had transferred schools. Transferring from a Division III school back to a Division I school meant I had to follow the NCAA regulations and not play for Monmouth University anymore.

After I graduated, I started pursuing semiprofessional football, Canadian football, arena football, and I even went to the NFL tryouts. At the NFL level, you need to be in shape when you get to camp. Even though I had all the skills I needed, I knew I couldn't just show up, work out with them and be ready. So I started with martial arts to get in shape. I practiced Capoeira for three years, then I started with jujitsu and American kickboxing. All of it added together nicely and I enjoyed the training—and exercise benefits. In martial arts I had to get smaller—since I’d been bigger for football, I had to learn how to get skinnier. After I knew I wasn’t going to get into the NFL, I played a little arena football but it didn't pay much. Instead I put all my energy and focus into fighting. I went professional in 2007 at age 28 and have been fighting every since.


Dragon Door: How did you find kettlebells?

Mike Medrano: One of my jiujutsu instructors had a student at AMA (American Martial Arts in Whippany) who brought his kettlebells to work out. He taught me the swing, snatch, and the Turkish get-up which is very important for MMA. We'd do one minute of kettlebell swings, a minute of get-ups, a minute of snatches—going for five minutes on, then resting for one minute. So, whichever kettlebell exercises we did, we did them at the pace of an MMA fight. I loved it, and the way it felt was realistically comparable to a fight. I didn't have to get bigger and it kept me safe. I could even work with kettlebells before or after an MMA workout—which is great because you really can't beat people up all day long because it takes a toll on your body. Before, my hands and neck would hurt, and if I slammed someone the wrong way, my back would hurt. After an MMA training session, you really don't want to lift heavy—while I could squat 500 pounds, I don't always want to put 500lbs on my back. Kettlebells really work perfectly for MMA—I can use my energy to work on my conditioning and strength without getting big. And it is safer, so it matches up perfectly.


Dragon Door: You specifically mentioned that the get-up is good for MMA. How has practicing it helped you?

Mike Medrano: In a fight, let's say I lost the wrestling takedown and someone is on top of me. I literally can put my hand on my opponent's neck or shoulder and if I simulate the Turkish get-up movement, I can actually get up and ready to throw an uppercut or overhand right. As soon as I stand up, I'll throw a punch. The get-up with a kettlebell and in a fight when someone is on top of me is the same exact movement—just faster. It really helped and as I got stronger, it became more and more difficult for someone to stay on top of me and beat me up. I love the get-up.


Dragon Door: When did you start training others?

Mike Medrano: About five years ago I started a job with Kevin Mullhall, a UFC referee. I started teaching jiujutsu, kids’ jiujutsu, adult Muay Thai, and adult conditioning—which is where we added kettlebells. I started working in New York as a trainer about a year and a half ago. I’d noticed a close friend of mine since childhood talking about kettlebells on Facebook. I sent him a messaging saying how much I loved kettlebells and how they had helped with my MMA career. He responded, we reconnected and soon after he offered me a job at his gym in New York City. I train a few celebrities, but mostly train models and people who are on TV who want to look their best. They don't want to fight, but they need a different way to train since they're looking for a different experience than just going to a gym to lift weights. So, I teach them a little bit of Muay Thai, boxing, and some jiujutsu to get their core tight. We also use kettlebells because they're safe and allow trainees to burn a lot of fat and get trim. Basically, I get my clients TV ready.


Dragon Door: How did you decide to attend an RKC workshop?

Mike Medrano: A few months ago, my boss said, "Mike you're a great trainer, what do you want to do this year?" I told him that I wanted to go to seminars to help me improve and master my art, job performance, and career. Since I was a kid, coaches taught me Olympic lifting, football, and track and now I wanted to be that type of professional. I wanted to learn the best ways to communicate the movements, and to help clients improve their technique for maximum benefit.

So, my boss signed me up for the RKC. It was an awesome experience—if you ask Phil Ross, he'll say I was like a kid in a toy store. Even though I'd seen the basic movements before, the meticulous approach to form was really exciting. I could do all the exercises with no trouble, but I felt like a big kid because I love learning, and especially loved the way the lessons, movements, and techniques were taught. I was always the first person up front with my eyes wide open adding tool after tool to my tool belt.


Dragon Door: What's the biggest thing you learned at the RKC?

Mike Medrano: I learned how to really help someone with their form while they're using a kettlebell. Also, I learned how to be very specific, but also very patient when teaching kettlebell exercises. When I originally learned about kettlebells in MMA, it wasn't pretty—it was about getting our heart rates up, controlling a 30kg kettlebell in any way possible, and mimicking a fight. But when I worked with Phil Ross and the other instructors at the RKC, I learned about stability, control, and performing the movements correctly. The new information allowed me to really master the joints and muscles involved with the movements. I learned to slow the movements down, be patient, and really learn how and what we were doing.


Dragon Door: When's your next fight?

Mike Medrano: I fought three times this year, and want to take a little vacation from fighting because it's hard on my wife! Since we've been together, I've fought 35 times including 22 professional fights. In 2010 I broke my jaw, last year I had MRSA and almost lost my leg, and in my most recent fight I fractured my eye socket. Physically, my body can still continue to do it, my mind and spirit are ready, but my family is sometimes drained by watching me go through these trials and tribulations. I'm really doing well as a trainer, and don't need to fight to supplement my income, but I am having a lot of success with fighting, so I'm going to be patient.

In March I'm competing in the CrossFit Games. The host of the RKC here in New York offered to sponsor me because he saw my potential and how much fun I was having at the RKC Workshop. My boss is also encouraging me to compete because there's less chance I'll get hurt as compared to a fight. If I get hurt in a fight, then I have to take off a few days from work—and training can be a tough sell when I’m black and blue everywhere! My clients love me, but these are some of the reasons I'm considering fighting just 2-3 times a year.


Dragon Door: What's your favorite kettlebell lift?

Mike Medrano: Snatching—it maximizes my explosiveness and requires strength to lock it out overhead. It's my favorite as far as kettlebells are concerned, and it's safe too.


Dragon Door: What's your next goal?

Mike Medrano: This year my goal is to improve my technique with the Olympic lifts. Even though I have known the lifts since age 12, my muscles have grown so much that I need to adjust my shoulder flexibility. And I want to get ready for the CrossFit games in March. I can at least make it to the regional or farther if I stay focused and work on my technique. My conditioning is already there from MMA, and my strength is solid from all my lifting. I just need to put everything together by working on my technique, and kettlebells will help me continue to work on that technique past the barbell. If I am tired, instead of doing a heavy barbell clean and jerk, I can still work on my explosiveness with a set of 20 kettlebell swings. It's a safer way to continue training, and kettlebells are a very good complement to all of my training.


Mike Medrano trains clients at WILLSPACE in New York and can be contacted through He fights professionally with AMA Fight Club.

By Adrienne Harvey, PCC-TL, RKC-2, CK-FMS, Primal Move Nat'l Instructor



Willspace in Refinery 29: The 10-Minute Workout is Real


We have a million excuses for cutting a workout off the calendar: too much work, too far from home, holiday travel, and a marathon Scandal binge before the season cliffhanger.

Well, lo and behold, we’ve decided to stop the insanity and get our daily workouts in, even if it’s just 10 minutes to focus on building up a sweat. We issued a challenge to the insanely talented (and quite handsome) Will Torres, personal trainer and founder of the private training gym WillSpace, to create a simple, safe, and butt-burning workout that you can do anywhere. The only thing you’ll need? A file box with handles that weighs about eight to 10 pounds, some floor space and some sweat-wicking workout gear, because you WILL break a sweat with this workout.

Ready to stop the excuses? Yeah, so are we. Let’s get to work, people, and demonstrate a workout that builds crazy heat, tightens and tones, and torches some serious calories, all in just under 10 minutes flat. The only equipment you’ll need is a file box or a square container with handles that weighs about eight to 10 pounds.


Box Taps

Place your box on the ground in front of you about three to six inches away from the toes. Place one foot on the box so it’s bent at a 90-degree angle, while bending your arms at a 45-degree angle.

Tap that toe on the box and quickly switch feet so the previous foot will land 3 to 6 inches from the box while raising the other foot to tap the box.

Quicken your pace so you’re swiftly tapping your feet on the box without stepping all the way onto the box, keeping your arms raised at your sides at the 45-degree angle. Keep this pace for 60 seconds. Ok, now you’re warm and ready to start your workout.


Box Dead Lift

“For women, this move is one of the most important for lengthening the legs and improving your posture,” advises Will. As professional desk jockeys, we like this idea. Go ahead, we’re listening.

Stand, holding your box with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your chin slightly raised and your abs engaged to protect your spine and lower back, which helps your spine remain straight.

Engaging your glutes, butt, and core muscles, hinge forward by sending your hips back and lowering the box straight to the ground between your knees with straight arms, keeping your head neutral and your eyes peering to the floor in front of you.

When the box hits your knees, you’ll feel a slight stretch along the back of the legs. At this point, bend at the knees and lower the box safely all the way to the ground.

Take a breath, then engage the glutes by pushing through the heels to raise your body into a standing position, keeping your back straight. Repeat this move 20 times.


Butterfly Sit-Ups

Don’t let the bent-knee version of this workout fool you: It’s not any easier than the straight-legged version. You’ll see.

Benefits of this move: “By bending the knees at an angle rather than keeping your legs straight out, you’re able to feel the move more in your abdominals,” advises Will. “You also able to move more quickly, which is the key to this workout: we want to try to get your heart rate up and fatigue your muscles at the same time.” This move is also the key to flat abs. Which, you know, wouldn’t suck for most of us.

Start with your back flat on the floor with your knees bent and the soles of your feet touching.

Raise your arms behind your head along the floor, then engage your abs and lift your upper body, pulling your arms overhead.

Use your abs to pull yourself forward so your hands touch your toes or the floor in front of you. Release the position and slowly return to the original position. Do 20 reps of this move.

Trainer’s note: “Keep thinking ‘touch and go’,” says Will. “Once your hands touch the floor, quickly go backwards to your starting position, and once your back touches the floor, swing the arms forward to maintain momentum…even when it burns.”


Modified Burpee

Most trainers love this move for the speedy fat burning and toning. We love it as long as they’re over quickly, which these are. We also love the “girly” modification in case you’re not quite rocking a buff upper bod. “Many women have a hard time performing the pushup portion with their backs straight, so this modification ensures proper form,” says Will. We’ll take it.

Benefits of this move: “It’s a great way to do a burpee while maintaining complete alignment. It helps work your arms, triceps, shoulders, chest and, most importantly, your core.” Amazing, this will be great for our sleeveless looks.

Start in a standing position with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart.

Squat, extending your hips straight back, keeping your knees in line with your toes, and reach your hands toward the floor.

Spring backward into a plank position. Focus on maintaining complete alignment with your entire body straight from your heels to the top of your head.

Lower your body to the floor for five seconds, keeping your abs engaged.

Push your upper body backward onto the knee, with your arms outstretched in front of you, hands flat on the floor.

Curl your toes under and spring into a squatting position while keeping a flat back.

Push through the heels and stand tall by squeezing the glutes at the top. Repeat this move 10 times.

Trainer Note: If you have lower back issues and can’t necessarily spring back into a plank position, place your hands on the floor and step back into plank one foot at a time. This will protect you from any risk of injury.


Single Leg Hamstring Stretch

“You want to think about reaching your fingers away from your toes,” advises Will when it comes to form. We’ll picture an ice-cold beverage just out of reach for inspiration, preferably one with a masseuse holding it.

Benefits of this position: “This is all about strengthening and lengthening your legs, getting them to look toned and long,” enthuses Will. “But it’s also a great balance exercise since your backside is working like crazy to keep you stable on one foot, and you’ll also feel it in your calves and your lower legs.”

Start by standing tall with your feet together and arms comfortably at your sides.

Soften your standing leg, then extend the opposite leg straight back behind you.

As you begin to hinge at the hips, raise both arms forward. Imagine your fingers reaching away from your toes. While keeping your spine straight, your gaze should be down at the floor and slightly in front you. Imagine your neck and head as an extension of your spine. Hold for two counts, then engage your core and return your body to your starting position. Perform 10 reps on each leg, and then repeat on the other side.


Kneeling Core Overhead Press

Since many of us have moved multiple times, lifting a box over our heads isn’t necessarily a new concept. But with bent knees on the floor, it becomes a whole new level of exercise, and quite the pathway to a tighter core. We kind of love it.

Benefits of this position: It helps to strengthen your balance, but it really also activates your core muscles: your glutes and your abs. Oddly enough, this move is a big time stomach and butt shaper, even though you’re using your arms to lift the box.” Sneaky, Will. We like it.

Start by kneeling on the floor with your shoulders, hips, and knees stacked in line with each other. Press the thighs together and hold an eight-to-10-pound box in front of your face with your arms bent at a 45-degree angle, hands underneath the bottom of the box.

Engage your core by squeezing your glutes and tightening your the abs, then straighten your arms, raising the box overhead so that the hands are directly over your ears at the top.

Imagine lengthening your torso as you reach overhead and for the sky. Lower your arms to your starting position, and repeat this move for 20 reps for a daily attempt at a ripped core and high-and-tighty-Lord-Almighty backside.

Trainer’s Note: If the eight-to-10-pound beginner's box isn’t challenging enough for you, increase the weight to 15 to 20 pounds — without worrying about adding bulk.


Box Taps

This is how you warmed up, and it’s also how you’ll cool down at the end of the workout. Place your box on the ground in front of you about three to six inches away from the toes. Place one foot on the box so it’s bent at a 90-degree angle and bend your arms at a 45-degree angle.

Tap that toe on the box and quickly switch feet so the previous foot will land three to six inches from the box while raising the other foot to tap the box.


Okay, now you’re cooling down.

Afterward: “You won’t be hungry right away, but plan to eat at least 30 minutes after. I’d recommend something light and simple, like salmon with sautéed spinach or quinoa with broccoli and tomatoes. If you don’t have time to sit and eat, grab a green drink, but avoid beverages that contain more than one fruit: They’re loaded with sugar.”

By Kristen Booker



Willspace in Well + Good: The Workout Habits of 7 Top Models

The Workout Habits of 7 Top Models

Ashley Smith: Smith, who’s been the face of campaigns for brands like Gap and Forever 21, has been working out with Will Torres at Willsapce for more than two years.

“To keep her body toned and her metabolism burning, we use our Lift program, with an emphasis on lower body and core,” says Torres, who typically trains her two to three times a week. “We’ll do deadlift, which lengthens the hamstrings and glutes while keeping her posture muscles aligned. This combined with squats, lateral lunges, and step-ups keeps her legs long and her butt toned.”

“When she has a photo shoot, we do more Stealth work with her, where we combine aerobics, like kicking and punching combinations on pads, with movements like rope slams or medicine ball tosses,” he says, which helps her stay slim and strong without looking pumped. “Ashley is always up for the challenge and we love her energy and passion for living a healthy, fit life.”

By Ashley Smith



Willspace in W Magazine: Why Body And Soul


Air Supply: The key to a smaller waist and a sharper mind might be learning to inhale.

Who hasn’t been annoyed by the advice- usually offered when a shot of tequila or a Xanax would be more welcome - to just take a deep breath? But it turns out there might be something to that recommendation. According to Jill Miller, the creator of the Yoga Tune Up program at Equinox, exercising your breathing muscles-namely, the diaphragm and intercostals-can not only chill you out but also improve your physique. A perfect inhalation, Miller says, reaches all the way down to the lower lungs, puffing out the belly. “If breathing muscles are aligned properly, your heart and digestive style work better,” says Miller, who created a workout during which students roll their bodies over rubber balls to get those muscles working optimally. and there’s an aesthetic upside: Miller likens strong intercostals to “an internal corset” that holds in your midsection.

Meanwhile, in New York, clinical psychologist Belisa Vranich’s Breath classes at Willspace studio combine posture correction, core work, and inhalation practice to get students using more of their lung capacity. “You break down nutrients with oxygen-your brain runs on it, and your muscles heal with it,” she says. But stress, combined with sucking in our bellies, drives most of us to breathe shallowly. It’s a vicious cycle: Stress causes shallow breathing, and shallow breathing increases stress, leading to elevated levels of cortisol, a hormone linked to increased belly fat.


Breathing exercises, on the other hand, have been shown in recent students to lower blood pressure and improve hand-eye coordination. The self-proclaimed “breath guru” Alan Dolan believes they can also save your career- and even your marriage. Dolan conducts retreats on the Canary Islands, where, in additional to yoga, he uses stretches, breath work, and music to help clients reset respiration. “I’ve ‘breathed’ athletes, actresses who need help steadying nerves, and couples working a relationship, “Dolan says.


If an island retreat isn’t in the cards, check out Vranich’s book, Breathe, out in January. Her DIY techniques draw on martial arts, pulmonology, sports psychology, yoga, and Russian special-ops training. “My clients are type A people who tune out as soon as they hear the word ‘meditate,’” Vranich says. But that isn’t to say her breathing lessons don’t have a trippy side. At the end of each class, Vranich uses music, aromatherapy, and cycles of very deep, very fast breaths to flood student’s bodies with oxygen. The side effect? A light-headed, blissed-out state that, for some, borders on hallucinogenic. Even Xanax can’t compare. 

By Katie Beaker



Willspace in Glamour: Top Fitness Pros Share The Meals That Keep Them In Shape


Will Torres, celebrity trainer and found of Willspace in NYC

When he’s looking  to shed pounds, Torres relies on this light meal: “A strawberry egg-white smoothie is low in calories and very filling. I like to start the day with it or have it as a light meal in the evening.” Blend four strawberries, eight ounces of pure almond milk, a scoop of egg-white protein powder, and a scoop of a fiber product like Smart Fiber. In a rush? “The chia bars from Health Warrior are great. They’re delicious and light and have only 100 calories.”

By Marissa Gold



Willspace in Women's Health: Ask Women's Health

Ask Women's Health

Q: How often should I switch out my toothbrush? - Lorraine, Newark, NJ

Every month or two. When your toothbrush gets wet, bacteria jump on board- “and the longer you have the brush, the more bacteria accumulate,” says Sherri Worth, D.D.S., a dentist in Newport Beach, California. (And bacteria can came from anywhere- including your mouth and even the air!) But time isn’t the only gauge: Worth says to toss a brush that has worn, frayed, or bristles going in different directions; ditto after you’ve had the flu or a cold. To lengthen the life of your brush, rinse it thoroughly after each use and allow it to dry completely before popping a clean cover over the bristles.


Q. Should you exercise if you’re still sore from a previous workout? - Kaitlin, Lakeland, FL

Unless you’re aching form a hugely intense effort- like a big race- you should power through, says Will Torres, a trainer and owner of Willspace, a personal training studio in New York City. “Light exercise will increase blood flow and help recovery.” Ease your muscle pain by changing your routine: If a cycling class left you hurting, do toga or Pilates; if you’re feeling limp from squats, work a different muscle group with pushups. Take it slow, lighten the weights when necessary, and say hydrated - H2O helps ward off soreness, says Torres

By Lorraine, Newark, NJ



Willspce in Skinny Mom: Want Long, Lean Muscles? Work The Primal Movements!

Want Long, Lean Muscles? Work The Primal Movements!

Monkey see, monkey do – fitness expert and personal trainer, Will Torres takes it back to the basics.  Clients channel their inner animal as they move, stretch and lengthen muscles during these dynamic exercises at WILLSPACE in New York City.

Referred to as ”animal movements” inside the gym walls, these dynamic stretches are more effective because they work to lengthen muscles through movement as opposed to static stretching.  The benefit is that you improve flexibility while strengthening the connective tissue, tendons and ligaments. Practicing these animal movements improve stability and balance in joints while also developing muscular strength.

This homage to the mammal and reptilian species is an effective way to warm-up and cool down the body.  They can also be sprinkled into your normal strength routine.  “One combination that we love to do is performing lunges followed by Scorpions or Spidermans,” says fitness expert and founder of WILLSPACE, Will Torres. “In this combo you are strengthening the muscle then dynamically stretching it to create a long, lean look. After a 9 to 5 love affair with your desk chair, these movements allow the body to open up and provide a much-needed stress relief. ”

1. Inchworm: Stand tall with shoulders back. Hinge at the hips, keeping legs as straight as possible. While keeping your legs straight, walk your hands out as far past your shoulders as you can. Keeping core tight, walk your legs up to your hands. Right before you get to the point where your knees bend, push your heels into the ground and walk the hands back out repeating the move 10 times.

2. Flamingo: Stand on your right leg with your right arm extended toward the sky. Reach your left hand behind and grip your ankle from the outside. While pulling the left leg up, hinge at the right hip, reaching forward and towards the ground with the right arm. Think of a flamingo’s head dipping down towards the water.  Lower as far as you can while maintaining balance.  Come back up.  As you release the foot, step forward with the left leg and repeat on the other side.  Repeat for 5-8 times on each side.

3. Scorpion:  Stand in downward dog with right knee bent and leg curled up toward the ceiling. Keep the knee even with the hip or higher. Walk hands out slightly in front of the shoulder and take a small hop forward with the left leg. Stabilize and repeat 10 times then switch legs.

4. Bullfrog:  Begin in a high plank position.  Hands are shoulder width and below the shoulder.  Lower the entire body towards the ground.  Push down through the hands and straighten the arms while jumping the feet toward the outside of your hands.   Work to perform both pushing and jumping actions at the same time.  Walk hands out to a high plank position and repeat 10-12 times. (photo credit)

5. Spiderman: Begin in a lunge with your right knee bent and your left leg straight behind you. Lean your upper body forward, keeping your right elbow on the inside of your knee, as close as you can drop it to the floor. Keep the left arm bent on the floor for support. Drag left leg forward staying close to the ground into the same lunge formation as you repeat on the other side. Repeat 10-12 times. (photo credit)

Willspace is located at 254 West 10th St at Hudson Street, Suite B. To learn more about Will and his gym, check out his site here.

By Tori Tarvin



Willspace in Skinny Mom: Expert Trainer Shares The Skinny On Marathon Training

Expert Trainer Shares The Skinny On Marathon Training

Expert Trainer Shares the Skinny On Marathon Training

September 17, 2013t’s officially three months until the NYC Marathon and as runners hit the pavement to amp up their training routines, WILLSPACE personal trainer Paul Booth shares his expert tips for improving performance and warding off injuries.



  • Too much of any one thing creates over-training issues, which affects connective tissue, recovery and joints. To avoid this, Booth stresses the importance of strength training to develop symmetry between muscle groups.
  • We find that runners have very developed quadriceps, the front muscles of the thighs, in comparison to their hamstrings, the back muscles of the thighs. Strength training helps to build up the hamstrings and glutes to produce force and absorb impact.


  • When training for a marathon, it’s important to cross train.  The same repetitive movement on the body leads to over-stress on the joints.
  • Performing strength training movements in a fast paced Turbo Sequence improves stamina without logging as many miles running.



  • If you do cardio alone, you’re using both fat and muscle energy as an energy source.  If you’re just doing cardio you are losing muscle.
  • Each pound of muscle tissue burns 50 calories/day.
  • Losing muscle not only affects your strength, but your metabolism as well. For example, if you lose 1 pound of muscle you can potentially gain 5 lbs of body weight in one year because of slower metabolic rate.



  • Being stronger will make you faster and allow you to go longer without form breaking down. Once muscles become fatigued the body begins to make subtle adjustments to compensate.  This leads to bad form and eventually injury.
  • Strengthening ligaments and tendons helps to avoid injuries.  The impact of each step while running is about 4 times your body weight of pressure put onto the spine and joints.  The stronger the muscles are the more of the impact that will be absorbed.  This will lead to less stress on the body and the ability to go longer and further.

Whether you’re a seasoned runner striving to beat last year’s timestamp or a first-timer working towards the finish line, one thing remains true – too much of one thing is never good.

By Tori Tarvin



Willspace in Hamptons Magazine: Create Customized Workouts For Clients

Will Torres of Willspace creates customized workouts for clients.

House Calls

27 HAMPTON SALON Reputed salon available for private bookings. 27 Hampton Road, Southampton, 377-3107; MASSAGE HAMPTONS NY Masseuse Diana Stone offers aromatherapy, deep-tissue, relaxation, and Swedish therapies. 34 Bay St., Sag Harbor, 917-742-9177; massage

PAUL LABRECQUE Famed stylist available for Hamptons house calls. 888-757-2566;

VÊNSETTE At-home beautification by a talented team. 800-670-7959;

Specialty Workouts

BARRY’S BOOTCAMP Intense cardio and strength workouts, frequented by celebrities. 325 Montauk Hwy., Wainscott, 537-2668;

FLYWHEEL SPORTS Fast-paced combination of music and spinning. 65 Montauk Hwy., East Hampton, 329-8622; SOULCYCLE Made famous in Manhattan, a discothèque on wheels. 68 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, 324-6600; 760 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, 324-6610;

Private Trainers

BROWNINGS FITNESS Smart eating plans combined with personalized workouts. 60 Windmill Lane, Southampton, 315-955-6989;

JAMIE LERNER Experienced fitness expert offers in-home training sessions. 604-1462;

JT PERSONAL FITNESS STUDIO Private, one-hour sessions in a Southampton Village studio. 30 Main St., Southampton, 287-5156;

WILLSPACE Customized training in your backyard. 212-929-1800;

Hampton Botanicals is a locally made skincare line.

Will Torres of Willspace creates customized workouts for clients.

Bouncy Blow-outs

THE KEVIN MAPLE SALON Southampton salon offers supreme blow-outs. 46 Jobs Lane, Southampton, 283-8230; REVOLVE HAIR SALON Southampton’s go-to salon for the perfect blow-out. 34 Hill St., Southampton, 377-3555; SALON 66 Master stylist Jackie Fuchs works hair magic. 66 Main St., Sag Harbor, 880-1711;

Striking Brows

ANANAS DAY SPA Serene day spa that provides brow waxing, tinting, and shaping. 71 Hill St., Southampton, 287-9099; E DAY SPA & SALON A dedicated team offering brow threading and waxing. 154 W. Montauk Hwy., Hampton Bays, 723-3200;

THE SALON AND DAY SPA AT AMAGANSETT SQUARE Come for eyebrow shaping, stay for a massage. 6 Amagansett Sq., Amagansett, 267- 6677;

A Day of Pampering

GURNEY’S SEA WATER SPA Popular day spa that utilizes the healing properties of the sea. 290 Montauk Hwy., Montauk, 668-2345;

JOHN DILLON SALON & DAY SPA Extensive waxing services and a unique signature facial. 16 Hill St., Southampton, 204-3664; NATUROPATHICA HOLISTIC HEALTH SPA Serene spa known for soothing massages and product line. 74 Montauk Hwy., East Hampton, 329-2525;

Formidable Facials

HAMPTON BOTANICALS Plant-based, high-performance local skincare line. 68 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, 329-3993;

SALON ECHELON Rich, vitamin-packed facials firm and rejuvenate. 295 Montauk Hwy., Speonk, 288-4200;

SPA MYC Blissful and rejuvenating facials in the esteemed Montauk institution. 32 Star Island Road, Montauk, 483-5555; montauk

Relaxing Massages

BLUE SAGE DAY SPA Experienced masseuses focus on reflexology points and loci of tension. 140 Pike St., Mattituck, 298-4244; THE ART OF MASSAGE Therapists have a stress- relieving touch and offer hot-stone massages. 200 Montauk Hwy., Westhampton, 288-5588;

SALON BAR Chic salon with luxurious massage offerings. 66 Newtown Lane,

East Hampton, 604-5500; SALON XAVIER Deep-tissue, shiatsu, and sports massages at this sleek salon and spa. 1A Bay St., Sag Harbor, 725-6400; salon

Marvelous Manicures

ANGEL TIPS The place for flawless paraffin, glue and gel, French, and buffs. 2012 Montauk Hwy., Bridgehampton, 537-0100; LA CAREZZA SALON DÃ SPA Extensive list of manicure options, such as shellac and acrylic. 43-45 Windmill Lane, Southampton, 283-7683;


Luxurious packages abound in this indulgent

spa. 5720 Route 25A, Wading River, 846-2339;

PURE NAIL & SPA Perfect for a polish change or gel manicure. 22 Jagger Lane, Southampton, 287-7200;

Makeup Applications

EVY DREW Wedding services, lessons, and makeup organization. 718-237-8552; MONIKA CROUCH Eyelash specialist and most-sought-after aesthetician. 917-561-3118;

NUBEST SALON AND SPA Makeup services for galas and cocktail hours. 1482 Northern Blvd., Manhasset, 516-627-9444; nubest

WARREN-TRICOMI SALON The Plaza’s famed salon provides top-notch services out East, too. 64 Park Pl., East Hampton, 324-3036;




Willspace in Teen Vogue: New To The Gym? Everything To Know Before Your First Workout

New to the Gym? Everything to Know Before Your First Workout

Exactly how to get familiar with this fitness space.

The gym can be an intimidating place. There are so many unspoken rules, unfamiliar machines, and hard-to-navigate areas. But you’re not alone in your uneasiness - everyone feels a little uncertain when entering uncharted territory. That said the best remedy for your pre-gym anxiety is to get yourself comfortable before heading in. Cut the workout pro!


Paul Booth, personal trainer at WillSpace in New York City, is giving you enough insider info to feel like a regular even if you’re a total newbie. And yes, seasoned gym goers can pick up a trick or two as well.


Before you even head out the door, you need to pack a bag. Seriously these essentials will make your experience much more pleasant. “Bring a water bottle, comfortable shoes and apparel, and hair ties,” advises Booth. “And pack any toiletries you need for after your workout, like shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and shower shoes or flip flops for the shower and sauna. You may also want to bring a journal to record your workouts or log them on your phone.”


Take a tour. Did he say sauna? “Do a little research before you sign up with a gym. Tour the facility with a representative from that fitness center to see what amenities they have to offer.”


Utilize the locker room. Keeping bags piled around your machine just ins’t considerate to the people trying to navigate the gym. “Whether or not you have to bring your own lock depends on the gym, so make sure to ask this during the tour. It’s always a good idea to bring one along to secure your personal items if the gym doesn’t offer them.”


Gyms can be germy, but you can steer clear and stay clean. Everyone sweats, but it’s what you do about it that counts. “Most gyms have sanitary stations with products to keep shared equipment clean. Wipe things down both before and after you use them. You may also want to consider investing in some personal items if you plan on using them frequently, like a toga mat. Some equipment. lie free weights, don’t need to be wiped down each time, but always be sure to wash your hands when you’re done with your workout.”


Even beginners can use the weight room. You don’t need to be a body builder to work out in this part of the gym. “Start out light and concentrate on good mechanics and form. As you grow in strength and confidence, increase the load and complexity of movements to continue to challenge yourself. You can also try pairing up with a friend. Having a partner to spot you will make you feel more at ease and you can motivate on another.”


Not knowing how to use a particular machine is not a problem.  There so much awesome equipment that’s often ignored because people don’t want to look silly (or get hurt!) if they use it incorrectly. “If you spot a new machine that looks like something you’d like to try, but you’re unsure of how to use it, check with a trainer at the gym. They will be more than happy to show you proper form and get you off to a good start.” But don’t stay on that machine too long! Often gyms have time limits on popular cardio equipment during peak hours. If no signs are posted, ask a staffer about the rules.


Music is motivating, but don’t overdo it. A great playlist can get you pumped up-just proceed with caution. “Choose some tunes that will inspire you to have a great workout, but make sure the volume keeps these tracks for your ears only!”


Have any more questions? Call up your gym before you head over or approach a trainer while you’re there. These facilities want you to feel comfortable and safe while you workout, so utilize all the staff milling around and ask away! If you think asking a question may make you look dumb, just think about how you’d feel flying off an ab slide. Yeah. Better to ask. 

By: Eden Univer



Willspace in Racked: Hottest Trainer Round One: The First Group Of Men

Hottest Trainer Round One: The First Group of Men

Welcome to our search for New York City's hottest trainer. Over the coming weeks, we'll profile twenty-two smoking candidates who work at local gyms and studios. Once you've gotten to know everyone, we'll host a March Madness-style showdown in which you get to vote for your favorite.

Twenty-two contestants later, we're finally ready to vote for New York City's Hottest Trainer. We've separated the competitors into two groups of men and two groups of women for Round 1. Next week, the winners from each group will compete against each other in Round 2. On Wednesday, we'll have the final face-off and crown one of them the winner.

Yesterday, we introduced you to the first group of women. Now it's time for the guys. Today's poll includes Antonio Freeman of Crunch, Dell Polanco of Brick New York, Eric Salvador of The Fitting Room, Mike Bell of Willspace, and Andrew Speer of Soho Strength Lab. Click through the gallery above for a refresher on each contestant, plus a link to their profile on the site.

Each poll will close 48 hours after it's published, so you have until 11:30am on Thursday to vote for a trainer in this group.

Update: The poll is now closed. Winner Dell Polanco will be advancing to the second round next week!

By Tiffany Yannetta