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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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David Barton

Earlier this week, I got an email from one of the guys at the upper east side David Barton offering me a free training session.  I said yes.  (Duh.)  And then I wondered if that was such a good idea.

Free personal training sessions sound great in theory, but they're usually disappointing.  After all, gyms don't give freebies to be nice; they do it to convince you to buy sessions.  From what I've seen, a lot of trainers knock you down to build you up.  The more insecure they can make you about your weight/shape/strength/health etc., the more dependent on them you're likely to become.  The technique must work, because I've encountered it a lot, but it drives me absolutely batty.  I really didn't want to spend an hour hearing about how we're going to slim down my bulky thighs or strengthen my weak back or whatever.

I needn't have worried.  I arrived at 6:00 am and was set up with Taisha.  She was awesomely chill.  There was no pre-workout interrogation.  She had one question for me: when was the last time you were in a gym?  Then we got started.  We chatted as the hour progressed, about my upcoming half-marathon mostly, but it felt totally conversational.  She told me about how she's starting to train for fitness competitions.  About three quarters of the way through, as I was using a funky squat machine, I caught her looking at my quads.  I braced myself.  But what she said was: "You've got great muscle mass on your quads.  A lot of runners get too skinny.  It's good that you lift."  Woohoo! 

Truth be told, the workout was pretty vanilla.  We stuck to the machines.  The weights weren't particularly heavy, but that makes sense since it was out first time working out together.  All in all, I was pretty happy.

The gym itself has an industrial chic vibe.  The pipework is visible, and the main room is lined with pillowed window-seats and dotted with mirrors.  The music was clubby, but not obnoxiously so.  At 6:00 am, the gym was super quiet.  Taisha said that's because it's the first week of school and people are just getting back from the Hamptons.  (This is 85th between 5th and Madison, after all.)  Soon, the gym will be packed at that hour.  Taisha described the gym as intimate; most people work out with trainers, and everyone knows everyone.

If you want to check out any of the David Barton locations, consider scheduling a training session for September 22nd.  Sessions that day are $50, and the proceeds go to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and The Clearity Foundation.  (More info here.)

Perhaps I'll check out the legendary Chelsea location that day...

-Gym Belle-


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