Boutique Fitness

How Our Fitness Pros Fell in Love with Their Careers

The P.E. Club Team

February is about celebrating passion and love.  If there is one thing we're passionate about at The P.E. Club, it's definitely fitness! Every employee @ P.E. has a love story and fitness journey that makes them a valuable, unique part of the team.  Our trainers & instructors share how they got their start as fitness professionals!

Question: Did you find the fitness industry or did the fitness industry find you? Share your fitness love story!

"My mentor, Debbie Frank, "discovered" me at Exhale working the front desk and scooped me away to become a barre teacher... the rest is history!"

-Kevin Murnane, Trainer/Instructor

"The fitness industry found me! I mean I always was a workout warrior, but when I tore my ACL April of 2015 I really had to make a decision about strengthening my body in order to keep dancing. So I fell into fitness!"

-Kayley Stevens, Instructor

"I found fitness in a time immediately after college when I was struggling to navigate my way in the world post graduation. I first turned to the gym as a way to get out my frustrations and anxiety about all the unknowns in my future- but I quickly fell in love with getting in shape and stronger and soon enough, I was working to make fitness that future!"

-Miriam Fried, Trainer/Instructor

"I found fitness as an outlet from stress when I was in high school. My daddy and I worked out every morning together from high school until I moved to NY. Then I met my husband at the gym and now we own a gym together. So I guess you can say that the fitness industry has been apart of my life, my love and my family."

-Nedra Lopez, Owner + Trainer/Instructor

"I would say fitness found me! After graduating college a friend of mine who owned a Pilates studio gave me a job at the front desk just to get me by on my first year post grad. I fell in love with the classes there and because of my dance background she asked if I was interested in teaching. I said "of course!"and began my training. After about 7-8 months of teaching there a friend/teacher I knew through the dance world recommended me to Nedra to teach at The P.E. Club knowing that I had a background in teaching pilates! I had my interview and we hit it off! After working at P.E. for a few months, taking classes and trying out personal training I really fell in love with how my body was feeling. I realized while I complained about "problem areas" on my body I was just talking and there wasn't a lot of doing. Realizing I was in control of making those areas change into the way I wanted them felt empowering! Although I haven't met all of my goals yet I am enjoying working on them. Wanting results immediately was usually why I didn't like to work out. Because that's impossible and without patience working out will only leave you frustrated! The process makes me feel strong and healthy so I am less worried about getting there quickly. I wasn't looking to get into the fitness industry but I am so glad to have made the connections I did because I am stronger today because of it!"

-Melody Domfort, Instructor

"Fitness fell into my lap. I always enjoyed working out in college and after, but I didn't exactly know how to dive into it as part of my professional goals. One day 5 years ago, I was dancing down the street with my now husband and a woman stopped me. She asked me a few questions about myself and then handed me her card. Living in NYC has taught me that there are some very interesting people living among us. I kind of laughed her off, but a few hours later I googled her name and realized that she was an established entrepreneur in the fitness industry. Long story short, I became an instructor, made my TV premier as a fitness model on HSN and later became a host on QVC. We have since parted ways, but I have a lot of thanks to give her."

-Morgana Mauney, Instructor

"I sort of found the fitness industry, I was always active as a child- basketball, dance, tennis but when I got into my teens I started going to the gym and loved it a stress reliever. I was also exercised to keep my body and mind healthy but then I started working at a yoga studio and fell in love with yoga and working out even more."

-Mayra Rodriguez, Front Desk Manager

"I've always been very active all my life. I was always a dancer, but started experimenting with track & cross country in high school. I was very fast and placed every race. However, my after school hours were so jam packed with physical activity that it started to take a toll on my body. As my times began to slide on the track and my body was giving out each race, I had to make the decision to commit 100% to dance. I maintained a passion for running throughout high school and into college, where I competed frequently in local 5ks and even ran my first half marathon! It wasn't until I moved to the city for my first job after college where I began experimenting with group fitness. I worked 40 hrs a week and was still trying to pursue my dance career, but I quite frankly couldn't achieve that balance. It was hard to go from being very active to sitting at a desk, so I joined ClassPass right away upon moving here just to get a feel for the options the city has to offer,. I quit a month in when I realized I was really only going to a handful of places and the booking process was too stressful. I just bought a gym membership to hold me over and took a few dance classes in the city every now and then. When I was referred to The P.E. Club by a friend for a job opening last year, my whole world was about to change. I got out of a negative job situation that took a toll on my mental and physical health, I was able to focus more on my dance career, PLUS I had the opportunity to teach group fitness and learn new modalities, such as TRX and heavy lifting 101. I now have truly found balance in my routine and my body has never looked better - not to mention I'm always learning new things and sharing my love of fitness with the world!"

-Katy Kauffman, Creative Director + Instructor

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Meet our newest club trainer, Leo Alvarez!

We're excited to welcome our new trainer to the team!  Meet Leo Alvarez. 

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Leo Alvarez, Personal Trainer at The P.E. Club

Club Superlative: "Most likely to Let the guns out in the gym"

  • Fave School Subject: P.E. of course!
  • Certifications: NCSF-CPT, ViPR and CPR/AED
  • Training Style: He specializes in using strength and high intensity workouts to create a well balanced program. Leo makes sure that his clients walk out of the gym with a smile and feeling great. He loves to make exercise fun!

Guilty pleasure? Anything chocolate!  Especially Nutella...

Fave workout jam? Turn Down for What by Lil' Jon.

Your daily uniform? All things Under Armour. 

Does Leo sound like a good fit for your fitness goals? When you submit for your complimentary training consult, we arrange the best suited personal trainer based on your fitness goals and current status. That's just the first step in creating the perfect fitness game plan, tailored to you.

Morgana's Top 5 Workout Picks for Her Fitness Goals as a Dancer

At The P.E. Club, we are all about balance. We consider ourselves your fitness homeroom.  Clients of The P.E. Club still go out and enjoy everything they love to do, but at the end of the day, we make sure it all fits within their fitness game plan to achieve their individual goals.  

This week, we're featuring club instructor Morgana as she shares her top 5 picks when it comes TO planning her week of fitness based on her goals as a dancer.

By Instructor Morgana Mauney

As a dancer, it is incredibly important to keep up your technique by taking dance classes. It is a great way to work your body and mind, but to also keep your face well known in the dance community. All of this is great, but there's also more work to be done. Physical appearance is over half the battle in the audition world and sometimes dancing isn't enough. I have found that balancing my dance class and rehearsal schedule with workouts has helped me become a better dancer. I tend to gravitate towards yoga, pilates, and TRX classes. I used to be able to take HIIT classes and extreme bootcamps, but after multiple injuries and having extreme sciatic pain, I figured that listening to my body was more important than pumping crazy iron. Here is a list of my favorite work out spots, why I love them, and why it's important for my career as a dancer.

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1.) The P.E. Club

Obviously I am biased because I work there, but I have to tell you, TRX helped me gain back my balance while healing from foot surgery. Nerve damage caused permanent numbness in my big toe, so I had to relearn how to balance. TRX saved my career and my mind. Not only is the TRX upper body work great, but the abdominal exercises are my favorite! It's beyond hard and the ab sequence happens at the end of The PE Club classes when you're already exhausted! There are classes for everyone there.  Whether you want to work your booty in a Long & Lean class or get it kicked in our TRX Bootcamp class, they're all important. It's all about balance!

2.) Exhale Yoga

It took me a while to find a yoga teacher that I liked. They were either too crunchy granola for me or too flexible! Ha! My ideal yoga class brings me peace of mind, a great core workout, and a deep stretch. Maybe I'm picky, but living in NYC has taught me to always get the most bang for my buck. The classes at Exhale are challenging, calming, toning, and overall, fun. Their classes tend to incorporate core work at the beginning of the practice so I feel like I have proper alignment throughout class. It's far from a snooze fest and afterwards I feel like I can take on the world.  As a continuously auditioning dancer, it's important that I take care of my mind and body. Having casting directors judging me for how high I kick my leg or what I am wearing takes a toll after a while. Yoga allows me to find and keep my inner peace throughout the grueling audition days.

3.) Flywheel

To be perfectly honest, I am not a fan of spinning, but it is important to implement cardio into this dancer's routine. My husband is an incredible instructor there so it gives me incentive to go and get my butt kicked while being a supportive partner. It doesn't matter how far back I sit from the podium, I always get called out for not pedaling fast enough-so that pushes me even more. Dancing in shows that are long, challenging and cardio heavy can be difficult if I haven't been working on my cardiovascular health. Doing cardio helps me focus on my breath so when I am performing in a long dance piece with lots of intense partnering or movement that quickly changes levels, I am able to find my breath right from the start. Believe me, I still huff and puff during the show, but it takes me longer to get to that point.

4.) Core Pilates

I absolutely love pilates. It works all of those inferior muscles that I didn't even know existed. I am a stronger partner because I have a strong core. I am able to push my body in certain ways because I know I am executing movement safely. The instructors at Core Pilates have incredible cueing and never once do I feel lost. In class, I shouldn't have to look around at other students to see what the instructor is talking about. I find that pilates instructors don't let you get away with anything! So many profanities want to come out of my mouth during pilates classes, but I know that going through the movement correctly and slowly will benefit me in the long run. 

5.) Earth Yoga

I love hot yoga, but I have to say that I'm very particular in which hot studio I take. Sometimes I feel like goldilocks trying out the three bears' porridge. Some hot yoga studios are too hot, some are not hot enough, and some are just right - cue Earth. It is a beautifully hot studio where I can do some awesome power poses from great yogis, get a good sweat on, stretch a little deeper all while not sliding off my mat into my neighbor. As a dancer, I love to move and I feel like the sequences are creatively put together so that when I'm flowing I can really dance through the movement. Why not implement dance into as many different aspects of my life? It combines the soul soothing calm that I crave while still being able to actually move.

So there you have it! Some of my favorite studios throughout the city. Remember folks, life is about balance. Try to keep your work outs exciting and consistent. I hope you're able to check out these studios for yourself and see what your type 5 favorite NYC studios are.  Share below!

The Boutique Fitness Studio Disrupting Industry Trends

You’ve done it all before.

The fad diets. The New Year’s Resolutions. You stick to a routine, you feel good and then you stuff things into your mouth.

You know, all the things. ;)

You feel bad, you stress eat some more, skip the gym, call it a day and promise yourself tomorrow is the day you hit the restart button.  Only thing is, the restart button doesn’t even have the words “restart” on it any more from all the times it’s been pushed.   

We get it.  There’s a damn wedding or brunch date every weekend.

It’s time to think of getting fit as a lifestyle change.  Even bigger than that, a change that requires a support system to keep you motivated.  One that will get you through those what-could-be cheat days. Who encourages you to push yourself beyond your limits, but doesn’t annihilate your body.

There’s a place on the Upper East Side where your fitness journey begins as you walk in the doors, but it doesn’t end once you leave.  We help you achieve your physical fitness goals, while keeping things personal - tailored to what you need to work on and what you love to do, while providing support to help you get past those physical/mental barriers that may be in your way.

At The P.E. Club, we’re disrupting the ongoing trends in fitness.  

  1. You love Barry’s & Soul? That’s great.  We’ll see you afterwards. At The P.E. Club, we won’t get between you and your current fitness crush. We’ll help you incorporate your favorite workouts into a personal training and workout schedule that is 100% tailored for you.  

  2. Millions of reps got nothing on good form. Our group fitness classes are designed to keep you in correct form and alignment throughout the entire class.  We cap the classes at 9 people, so there is enough hands on action to go around.

  3. There’s homework involved. Yeah, everyone hates homework. They hate it because you have to put in a little extra work.  But the thing is, a little extra work is what it takes to get better. Every week, our team of pro trainers outline cardio homework to keep you occupied when class is not session.  Our cardio equipment isn’t meant to sit there and look pretty - it’s ready to be dominated.

  4. We want you to be disruptive.  Be obnoxious.  Laugh so much you get in an extra ab workout. Tell us how much you hate planks and grunt when you’re doing them. Hate a song? Let us know.  Love a teacher? Tell us that, too.

  5. Give us the responsibility of getting you results. We work with you and for you, keeping your preferences and results at the top of our list of priorities. Our programs are  tailored for you, and we’ll make sure to make adjustments along the way if there’s something standing in the way between you and your best self.

  6. We keep things, like, really clean. Bathrooms? Flawless. Floor? Flawless. Mats? Flawless. We’re a gym, but we don’t smell like one.

  7. We’ve got rules. And we’re not talking about club policies.  Here are the 3 things we need you to follow once you join the club. 

Moral of the story? We get you.  No matter who you are, your level of fitness and what your goals are, we work with you & for you. A gym that makes clients their priority even when we close? What a novel idea.  

The P.E. Club Shield