Category Archives: Warrior of the Month

Warrior of the Month – Jan 2015

Jonathan Levin

Jonathan Levin

 

“Looking for a few good men to join me for the United States Marine Corps Ultimate Challenge Mud Run.  You young pups want to keep up with this old dog, then join me.  But if you can’t run with the big dogs, then stay on the porch!”

 

 

This was the email challenge posed to me and others in 2012 by my life-long friend Charlie Maurone, an inspirational Recon Marine who had just returned from a decorated tour of duty in Viet Nam when I first met him at the age of 14.  I always admired Charlie’s toughness, intelligence and confidence, and always looked up to him.  Charlie’s challenge resonated with me.  At the age of 55, I felt the emotional pull to tackle a demanding physical challenge for the first time in my life.  Yet I could not imagine completing a 6.2 mile, 36 obstacle course through the swamps and mud of South Carolina.

 

 

After weeks of deliberation, I accepted Charlie’s challenge with one condition I made to myself – I had to make sure I was fully prepared and in great physical and mental shape. If I started the Ultimate Challenge, there was no way I wasn’t going to finish it!

 

 

How to find true Marine Corps obstacle training in New York City, however, now that felt like an even bigger challenge.  As I was puzzling over this dilemma in the back of a taxi just a few days later, like divine intervention, the award-winning Warrior Fitness Boot Camp taxi advertisement flashed on the tiny TV screen and I immediately knew I found my answer.  I had four months to get ready.

 

 

Unlike some who sign up for the 3 class trial, try it a few times and never return, I was all-in from day one as I viewed WFBC not as an exercise option, but rather as my life-line to survive the USMC Ultimate Challenge.  Ruben and Alex promised me they were going to get me in the very best shape of my life, and they did exactly that.  They did not disappoint and were true to their word.  Class after class after class, they pushed me way beyond my comfort zone and then pushed me further until they extracted every last drop of my sweat and energy.  Four months later, I accomplished my personal mission thanks in large part to their heavy doses of motivation, support and tough love.  It is no wonder they were both with me throughout the entire 6.2 mile obstacle mud run; whenever I saw a Marine or heard one barking at me on the course and demanding I do more, I thought of them.

 

 

With my personal mission accomplished, and the development of very bad arthritis in my knees, I did not physically return to the 3rd floor of 29 West 35th St. for eight months.  Mentally, however, I felt I had never left.  When I began waking up in the mornings to the sweet sound of Alex’s and Ruben’s “Alright 5:30! START RUNNING!” ringing in my ear, I knew it was only a matter of time.  And when I received a sensitive and caring email from Ruben inquiring about my health, i.e. “Jonathan, WTF!  It’s time to get back in the fight! It’s been 7 months!  When are you going to make a comeback!?  BRING OUT THE WARRIOR IN YOU!”, I knew it was time to do just that.  My return to WFBC was more than a year ago, and I have never looked back.

 

 

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp is a special and unique experience for anyone seeking to test their physical and mental endurance in exchange for tremendous personal satisfaction and confidence.

 

 

WFBC classes are never easy; they are not designed or conducted to be.  Like every new student who steps off the 3rd floor elevator, the first several classes for me were like going through the crucible of hell.  I was unable to navigate the monkey bars, could not do a pull-up, and almost passed out from the stair climbs “up to 12”.  I sweated like a pig and often couldn’t sleep the night before a class.  It is amazing, however, as you continue to train with Ruben, Alex and Colter, you begin to notice signs of personal achievement, both mental and physical, which create confidence to push through each 60-minute challenge.

 

 

Although the physical work of boot camp never gets easier, there are three sources of inspiration which always support me through every class.  First, there is the personal satisfaction derived when I notice a little more bounce in my step as I climb the 12thflight of the staircase, find myself moving across the monkey-bars with a little more rhythm, or “count back from 20” with a little less burn in my muscles after the 25thhand release push-up.

 

 

Not only do I appreciate the physical discipline Ruben, Alex and Colter instill, I often find the mental discipline as valuable.  One of my favorite and most powerful life lessons came from Alex when I found myself struggling with a weight exercise at the end of a class and heard the following escape from my lips, “I can’t do it”.  His response to my half-assed excuse was direct, concise and simple: “FIND A WAY!”  I often repeat these three words to myself whenever I am challenged at work or in my day-to-day life.

 

 

Second, the bond of friendship, camaraderie and support of fellow students always makes the physical grind easier to tolerate.  We are all in it together and although the work is individual, the spirit and tone of each class is cohesive.  Watching my friends and classmates excel and move quicker and faster than me always provides me with great motivation to push harder.

 

 

Third, I derive much inspiration from the limitless dedication and commitment Ruben and Alex show their students, and the tremendous pride they take in their business.  I am fascinated by the fact that one or the other teaches at least nine classes a day starting at 5:30 am, 52 classes a week.  And yet every class they lead feels to me like the only class they are teaching for the week.  The fact they give me their “A game” every time I step onto the third floor certainly inspires me to try and give them my personal best as well.

 

 

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp has become a very important part of my life and as long as my knees allow me to continue, I look forward to the wonderful satisfaction of enduring a “core tight” (arms like jello) plank position as I wait to hear those three magical words, “WARRIORS ON THREE!”

 

Warrior of the Month – Dec 2014

Doina Hopkins

 

It’s usually on my way up to the 12th floor when I often question if a few men (who shall remain nameless) completely agree with the five basic needs of air, water, food, shelter, and sleep. Despite this, Warrior Fitness Boot Camp has become my sixth. In mid-2013, I moved from the beaches of Florida to the insanity of NYC, taking on an exhausting schedule of full-time work and grad school. I started jogging to clear my mind and counteract the effects of serious stress eating, nighttime “social gatherings”, and economically satisfying dollar pizza. I even gave the treadmill a brief shot once the extreme cold of winter set in (Mother Nature was especially CRUEL). Frustrated with myself, I finally researched boot camps, never imagining where a 3-class Groupon for WFBC would lead me.

 

Class 1 – February 8, 2014: Did I blackout? I only recall endless trips up the stairs, getting over a few hurdles, and climbing one wall (#shortgirlproblems). Afterwards, I texted my sister: “HOLY [EXPLETIVE]”… her concerned reply: “Are you alive?”… and my expression of apparent invincibility: “I am a WARRIOR”. Well, the next day, this self-proclaimed warrior was couch-bound while agonizing over the soreness. Surrounded by textbooks and slathered in Icy Hot, I doubted I’d ever be able to move again.

 

Class 2: “Tonight was push-up night… I couldn’t even lift my water bottle and now struggling to hold my phone. I regret everything I ate today.” It’s highly unlikely that I did 1/4 of the push-ups as everyone else. I learned what tennis elbow is, and the delight that comes with its occurrence in both arms.

 

 

Class 3: After reading the entire WFBC website, I was inspired by the achievements of other Warriors and returned in another week. That class was all I needed: “By some miracle of God, I am hardly sore”.

 

 

Less than a year later, I constantly find myself asking “what’s next?” as I shatter each goal I set, thanks to the unwavering encouragement of Alex, Ruben, Colter, and countless other Warriors. I’m not even 5’ tall, but by the end of March I was climbing all of the walls! April – I conquered the rope. May – I finished my first obstacle race. June – I attempted a 60-min run that took me over 6 miles, a distance a long time in the making. After college, interval training and running were my mantra, and I worked my way up to 5 miles. In 2010, this all ended abruptly with the diagnosis of an auto-immune disease. Continuing my exercise regimen was entirely out of the question during the years it took to find an effective treatment.

 

 

Fast-forward to September 2014: I embarked on a race schedule to prove to myself that I had the power to achieve what had seemed impossible over the last few years. In 5 weeks, I completed the NJ Spartan Super, Queens Half-Marathon, Civilian Military Combine, Bronx 10-Mile, and two City Challenge Obstacle Races. Because of WFBC, I’ve started to overcome the greatest obstacles we all have, our own mental blocks. As cliche as it is, the values “Honor – Courage – Commitment” printed on our shirts (that I proudly wore at each race) have changed my life. No matter our ailments, schedules, etc., it is important to honor and respect ourselves, find the courage to believe in our potential, and make the commitment to never give up. I despise playing the sick or injured card, but recognizing what point is too extreme has become crucial to taking better care of myself. The instructors are always willing to modify workouts to make sure we can keep pushing our limits within a reasonable boundary.

 

 

WFBC is a place where I feel like I belong. At your first class, the instructors learn your name and from every single day on, they believe in your ability to keep going (because “you aren’t going to die”). They are there for us outside of class too. I’ll never forget when Ruben dominated a 3.5-mi obstacle race and immediately ran it again alongside me and the rest of the Warriors. The classes are never the same, don’t get any easier, and will take you out of your comfort zone. Are we all a bit crazy? Perhaps, but the motivation of other Warriors and camaraderie we have built (I will NOT be the one to drop) are at the heart of what keeps me going. It turns out I may have been right after all, I am a WARRIOR.

Warrior of the Month – Nov 2014

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

LUCINDA MCCONNELL

 

 

I worked it out and it was a little over 3 years and 9 months ago that I had my first warrior class, it was terrifying and I hated it. I had flashbacks to this horrible gym class my mother sent me to as a child in England, where the evil gym instructor left me hanging from a bar for what seemed like an hour. If it wasn’t for the fact that I am a very frugal person (I believe that is the polite way of saying cheap), I probably would not have shown up for the remaining two classes in my introductory 3 pack.

 

 

Prior to finding warrior I was in a bad relationship, living on the Upper East Side (yuck (sorry Li)), 189lbs, smoking. Then I decided to make a change. I quit smoking, my bad relationship quit me, I became addicted to spinning and had a little bit of a dubious eating plan (lets just say there was a little too much lean cuisine in my life). I dropped a bunch of weight, moved to Chelsea and started going to school. The spinning studio that I loved was too far away and ended up selling up. But it was as if in answer to my prayers, Gilt City placed an offer for 3 sessions to Warrior Fitness Bootcamp in my inbox and everything changed.

 

 

So back to my induction to Warrior and the flashbacks, and the sorry scene of either Ruben or Alex carrying me through the monkey bars.  Yes, I went back for the second session, which to my surprise was not as bad, and then the third and of course I was hooked!  It’s like crack, not that I’ve tried crack, because I’ve heard crack is whack! But, I digress again, I felt stronger and although the workouts never get easier you get better at them, faster, are able to lift more weight, or just yourself. I struggle a lot with mental blocks, so it took me forever to get the whole way across the incline monkey bars, but when I did, my God the whole Facebook world heard me roar!

 

 

Something that I never ever would have thought to call myself before becoming a Warrior is an athlete, and I think I can proudly say I am an “Athlete”. I have completed two Empire State Building Run Ups, three Spartan Sprints, three Spartan Supers, two Spartan Beasts, a Tough Mudder, a bunch of other OCRs, Lots of half marathons, and this year I ran both the London and New York Marathon and next year will bring more (I have a Marathon problem). I don’t think any of that would have happened without the support of Ruben and Alex, Colter, and all of my fellow warriors.

 

 

Alex and Ruben have put up with almost four years of me coming in with some kind of injury or medical issue, and have either worked around it or have made me suck it up. They know when to push you and when you need to slow down, they also know when to yell at you when you over train and break yourself, which is what happened to me last year whilst training for the 2013 New York Marathon. Three weeks before I ran 22 miles and then tried to run a half marathon the next day, apparently that equals a stress fracture and broken dreams. After calling and telling me off, Ruben told me to come in boot and all and we would figure out how to work out. I am proud to say I can one legged bear crawl like a pro, but only on one side!

 

 

One hugely important lesson I have learned and both Ruben and Alex would kill me if I didn’t mention this, is to listen to my body, to not overdo it and when in doubt ask one of them and then take the advice.

 

 

I still have a lot of obstacles I need to conquer, namely that bloody rope! But I’m pretty positive I’m not going to get away with not being able to do it for much longer, especially now. This place is truly like a family, we are all a little bit crazy, but we love each other :)

Warrior of the Month – Oct 2014

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

DANIELA GUERRERO

 

So where to begin…Three years ago, I came across Warrior Fitness Boot Camp while on a cab drive out in the city with my best friend heading to another night of drinking and binge eating. I specifically remember not feeling good about the way I looked or felt that night. I had gained weight, always felt lethargic, and my clothes sizes were getting bigger every year. Anyway, as I tried to turn off the taxi screen the video for WFBC was playing and I was sold! I needed something to push me. I never liked gyms or yoga studios. This felt different so I told my girlfriend that we should do it. I came for a trial class and it kicked my butt.

 

 

After about 10 minutes into the introductory class, I wanted to die. Yet while I was pondering the fact that death seemed a comfortable alternative to this seemingly endless (please be reminded that it had only been 10 minutes) barrage of exercises, the instructors kept pushing me beyond what I had thought I could do. The class ended up completely kicked my rear-end, figuratively. However, by the conclusion of the class, I realized that not only could survive the class, but that I needed to come back and kick its butt.

 

 

What’s fantastic about Warrior is that the constant motivation from the instructors and your classmates helps me push through what I thought I could do. In addition to improving my physical endurance and feeling more energetic though out all of the other phases of my life, I’ve met great people and that includes some of(just kidding) the trainers as well. I never thought I could climb ropes and jump walls but now those are some of the very activities that make this place my “temple” to relieve stress. But my favorite, favorite part is wearing that vest! (just kidding, again).

 

Warrior of the Month – Sept 2014

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

 

I grew up playing sports and have gone through a lot of different fitness phases. Which Christian Bale should I go for this year? American Psycho Bale (lean Adonis) or Batman Begins (slightly meatier), I spent most of my time sitting in front of a computer, a fairly sedentary lifestyle unless you’re lunging to the water cooler 30 times a day. After about 9 months at my job, I knew I was on a sure path to the American Hustle Bale (Batman Begins Bale with a John Belushi workout regimen). I used to think that my job was too demanding to stay fit. Then I decided that was a crappy attitude so I signed up for a half marathon in the spring of 2014. Was I prepared for it? Not at all, but I knew I had to start getting out there again. I was looking for a wakeup call. When I finished the race, I was tempted to ask my mom to carry me to the car. I could barely take another step. 5 months and countless sessions at Warrior Fitness Boot Camp (“WFBC”) later, I have completed an 18-mile race, placing 7th in my age group, I placed top 75 at a Spartan Beast, completed a GoRuck Challenge and I’m one month away from running a NYC marathon.

 

Why I love WFBC

 

I leave every session thinking, “Wow that was hard, but I feel spectacular”. Then I go eat breakfast that I deserve and I sit at my desk. No (sane) person loves running flights of stairs with kettle bell, doing laps of bear crawls or climbing a rope and as much of a masochists as I may, I can say confidently that I would never think to do those exercises on my own. And that’s what makes this experience unique. Alex, Ruben and Colter each bring their own brand of dynamic and incredible rewarding torture instruction. It may feel like hell, but it’s beyond worth it.

 

With that, allow me to caveat the last few sentences with the following… This class suits all fitness levels and all ages. Every class of Warriors is a testament to that. You can count on the instructors to work with you to create a challenging workout experience that caters to your fitness levels as any injuries / Sensitivities you may have.

 

The class is great for anyone looking for a challenge to feel good about themselves, to improve strength and endurance, to crush obstacle course racing, to meet great people and let off some steam.. The list goes on.

 

Warrior

 

Warrior of the Month – Aug 2014

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

 

Physical activity, especially being outdoors, was always a regular part of my life growing up in the southern US, both during childhood and college.  However, things quickly changed when I took a job in New York City.  Between working long hours, traveling and enjoying all that the City has to offer, fitness took a back seat and I started to put on some extra pounds.  I knew I needed to be more active, but, as a working professional, I just couldn’t find the time.  The wheels completely fell off when I was asked to move overseas for work.  While I enjoyed the experience of working abroad and discovering a new country for almost two years, staying in shape wasn’t at the forefront of my agenda.  Clothes stopped fitting and I felt more tired and sluggish than I ever had in my life. 

 

 

Soon after my return to New York, I went to see my doctor for a routine physical and man, did I receive a wake up call!  I had gained almost fifty pounds since college and was more than thirty pounds overweight.  I knew I had gained a few pounds over the years, but this was an absolute shock.  My doctor told me that if I didn’t start to address my weight gain soon it could lead to serious and chronic problems as I got older.  This was enough motivation to get back on the fitness horse, but I didn’t know how I was going to lose the weight.

 

 

I heard about Warrior Fitness Boot Camp (WFBC) through a friend who was a fellow busy professional living in New York City.  He highly recommended it, but I had never taken any kind of fitness class before and so was a bit skeptical, especially given the whole marine basic training concept.  How was I, someone who hadn’t worked out in so long, supposed to survive a military workout?  Cue Alex, Ruben, and Colter (the instructors)!  These three guys (and my fellow Warriors) provided me with so much positive encouragement from day one that I really felt like I belonged.  The first class was definitely one of the toughest things I’ve done.  I was so sore the next day that I couldn’t even sit properly in my chair at work!  However, I quickly felt that, if this was something I could stick with, I’d get the results I wanted.  Slowly but surely, I started to feel more comfortable and kept coming back.

 

 

The best thing about WFBC is that the instructors constantly push you to test your limits.  The high intensity, one-hour workout varies each time you do it and incorporates exercises for all your muscle groups.  Just when you think it’s getting a little easier, Alex, Ruben and Colter switch it up on you so that you never get too comfortable and are always working your hardest!  Also, they understand the demands of a working professional’s schedule and offer so many classes a day (morning, lunchtime, and evening) that you can’t possibly use work as an excuse not to go!  After about six months of boot camp combined with a healthier diet I saw the results I wanted, losing over thirty pounds!  I’m back to a healthy weight now and feel better than ever.  Instead of feeling lethargic all the time, I’m thinking about running organized races as part of the WFBC team!  Thank you Alex, Ruben, Colter and my fellow Warriors for pushing me through every class, helping me to never lose sight of my goals and reminding me that a healthy lifestyle can be fun too!

 

Warrior of the Month – July 2014

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

 

I’ve always stayed fit. Workouts used to be running and some sit ups, not that I was really good at either. About eight years ago I got into personal training. Found a trainer that I liked, started kickboxing, started getting into a new level of fitness. Two and a half years ago a friend of mine (Alison) who shrunk to almost half her size, told me that there is a class that she started going to that she loves. I bought an intro pack, went and the rest is history. I have been coming to Warrior for close to three years.

 

 

The first class I took I didn’t know what hit me. It was a work out like no other. With the trainer, you always had breaks, you can catch your breath and reset. Not here. For a full hour we did not stop. Always doing something. Your rest was doing some jumping jacks. Then there were the stairs. First time you hear: “go up to 12″ you think you can’t do it. But you can, and you find that you still have energy to go on after.

 

 

It was a better class then a personal trainer session. Having people around you made you feel like you’re not alone in the pain you were going through. You get a sense of family coming here and as you get to know the people around you that feeling grows and you really look forward to class.

 

 

A little over year ago I found out that I was pregnant. I have seen others do the class with the baby bump and wondered whether I could do it. Strangely Alex and Ruben had to be one of the first people who found out that I was pregnant because they needed to make sure that workouts got adjusted accordingly.

 

 

They took it very seriously and regularly had to tell me to slow down and make sure that I didn’t do certain exercises. I think Warrior helped me defy family history. I ended up having the healthiest pregnancy. I had no back pains thanks to crazy number of planks. If ever I had foot swelling, it would be gone by the end of class. In general, I had more energy than not just other pregnant women, but folks in general. Life doesn’t time itself and put itself on hold just because you decide to have a baby, so this coincided with one of the most stressful periods and Warrior was the thing that kept me grounded. People asked when I would stop and I said my body would tell me. It told me at 38 weeks.

 

 

Fast forward two months ahead and then came the hard part, coming back after the baby. This was the hardest climb back up to fitness I’ve ever had. I remember Alex saying in passing if you stay consistent you should be able to come back pretty strong. Now consistency with a baby, work and a longer commute was hard to come by, but I committed to coming at least once a week. Seems like a small step, but it made such a difference. Some weeks I was able to come twice, some weeks even three and within two months I finally felt my strength come back.

 

 

Coming to Warrior also gave me a mental release from all the stresses that come with every day life. There’s something about knowing that you leave every last bit of worry and stress on the floor mats, often times it is in a form of a puddle of sweat. Walking out of there I know I just gave it my all. I feel more energized, more centered and more balanced. It’s like a yoga class and a really really hard workout but only takes an hour.

 

 

So thank you to Alex and Ruben for creating and environment that allows us to have as hard a work out as we are willing to handle and place that feels like you are doing this as one big family.

 

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

Warrior of the Month June – 2014

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

The easiest way to sum up Warrior Fitness Boot Camp is that it will change your life. Growing up I had always been active – I played various sports in high school and was a regular runner after college. However, after a number of years of not exercising, I was vastly out of shape. I had tried to get back into running, but after being away for so long it was tough to build up the mileage and get back to any sort of respectable fitness level. Finally I just stopped working out altogether. That’s when I discovered Warrior. And so, on a dark morning in 2011 my wife Ashley and I went to our first class at 5:30am. Not the best time for someone who is out of shape and not a morning person.

 

 

I will never forget that first hour. Already nervous to begin with, we rode up the elevator with a silent Ruben and had no idea what to expect, but it was intimidating.  Class started and I felt ok after the warm up laps and the stretching, but then things really started. I had never worked out so hard and made it about half way through class before I had to sit down and take a break. It was so bad that during a set of sit ups I sat up and said to my wife, “I’m never coming back here.”  But all along, there was a great sense of camaraderie, and the encouragement from Ruben and the other warriors helped me make it to the end of class. I went home and fell asleep on the living room floor, thinking that was surely the last time I would ever see the inside of WFBC.  But then a funny thing happened — after a day or two of being extraordinarily sore, I realized I couldn’t wait to go back. That was the start of eight months of getting up exactly at 4:42am to attend the 5:30am class, getting into the best shape of my life, and losing a ton of weight that I had gained over the previous couple of years. I even had to buy a new wardrobe. . .twice. But most of all, I can’t say enough about the two people who helped me get to that point — Alex and Ruben. Always great motivators, they know exactly when to chime in with a well-timed “dig deep!” or a “you got it!” They won’t let you get away with giving anything less than a complete and total effort every single class. If you are slacking, watch out, they will know it and you will hear about it. Besides being two of the most dedicated and friendly people you’ll ever meet, they truly care about bringing out the best in every person who walks through the door of WFBC, and they are always willing to take extra time to answer a question or help with proper technique. They have created a community around WFBC and their enthusiasm is infectious — all the people who come to workout are just as encouraging to others in the class.

 

 

After that first stint at Warrior, we moved farther away and stopped going to class for a while. I tried staying in shape, and even trained for the New York City marathon but could never get over how much I missed going to WFBC. Finally, I started back about three months ago - going to the much more awake 5:30pm class – and it was as if I had never been gone. Ruben and Alex picked up right where they left off and I was back in great shape in no time at all. As hard as every class can be, I can’t wait to get there and see what challenges await. Warrior has truly become an important part of my day and my life. No matter how intimidating it may seem at first, if you do what Ruben, Alex, and Colter tell you to do, keep consistent with your workouts, and focus on a healthy lifestyle, you can transform yourself and have a great time in the process.

 

Warrior of the Month – May 2014

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

 

I heard about Warrior Fitness Boot Camp from my work colleagues in May 2013. They expressed that warrior is a great workout and it will help you lose weight. I thought ok, I can give this a try.  My first class at warrior was intense. As I was running slowly out of breath around the track I had a reality check; I felt so out of shape! I started to cry and thought about giving up. Ruben encouraged me to continue and needless to say I finished without giving up.

 

 

I admit that I was intimidated after the first class and I did not come back for a few months. When the new year started, like every other year, I said I want to lose weight. Fortunately my job had a weight loss challenge and I signed up to run 6 marathons this year as way to motivate myself to workout.

 

 

Once again my co-worker encouraged me to give Warrior another try. My second experience at Warrior was much better. I went to class with positive thinking that I may not be the fastest or strongest but I would not give up and I will complete these workouts.

 

 

Now I’m hooked on Warrior and attend classes twice a week. My best moment at Warrior was being able to go up 12 flights of stairs without being tired. In addition, Warrior has helped me develop more stamina which played a big part in completing my first Half Marathon in April and so far I have lost almost 30 pounds. Working out at Warrior Fitness Boot Camp is also a big part in helping me train for New York City Marathon in November.

 

 

This is a new journey for me. I have changed to a more positive/healthier lifestyle and I’m losing weight the right way. Warrior is an excellent workout but I can definitely live without push-ups and bear crawls and I’m determined to climb over the 2nd wall on the obstacle course.  If anyone wants to go thru the Warrior experience remember, go at your own pace and never give up!

 

Warrior of the Month – April 2014

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

 

 

I heard about Warrior Fitness Boot camp back in 2010 from my sister. She would constantly rave about the workout; about how challenging they were, and how much she was addicted to the classes. From hearing what she had described about the class, I didn’t understand how someone would ever get addicted to something like that! Eventually, she convinced me to try out one class with her and I did. Needless to say, I was dying during my first class! I was out of breath, winded, and overall just struggled my way though.  The intensity to the workouts was nothing like what you would normally get in a gym; squat thrusts, pull-ups, climbing over walls, push-ups, climbing endless stairs, and then everything all over again x 3. The funny thing was however, I ended up going back to it and spent many of my weeknights pushing through the workouts.

I had taken some time off a few years ago due to other obligations. I continued to work out on my own doing mainly spinning, running, boot camp, and other of the more intensive workouts at the gym but they just never felt the same! Around the end of 2012, I got engaged and one of the first things that crossed my mind (before any other wedding plans) was to go back to WFBC  to help prepare me for the big day. I reached out to Alex and Ruben, and soon after, I started back at it again. This time, I had convinced my fiancé to join me!

My usual class has been the 9:30am class. Still to this day, I would get butterflies in my stomach when I hear the music suddenly get cranked louder and either Alex or Ruben would step out of the office and yell, “let’s go 9:30!” I can never expect what is going to happen for the next 60 minutes after that, but I know I can always count on having the most intensive and the best work out that I could get for those 60 minutes.  For the past three months I have been going on a daily basis, not only do I see great results during my wedding dress fittings, I also feel much stronger and healthier overall. I had torn my meniscus on the right knee about a year ago and haven’t been able to return to running like how I used to. The workouts at Warrior have been very helpful for strengthening my muscles and I am looking forward to running in the Brooklyn Half Marathon coming up in a few months. However, far and beyond anything else, I’m ready to get into that wedding dress and get married!

In the relatively short amount of time (~6 months) that I’ve been with Warrior Fitness Boot Camp, my perception has changed dramatically.  To be completely honest, I was skeptical of the class at first as I asked myself “what are these two guys going to do for me that I can’t do by myself at my own gym!?” Well, I know now that I don’t dare to utter those words in front of Ruben and Alex or there will be consequences.

My fiancé Kelly (soon to be wife) convinced me to sign up for classes as an activity that we can do together as we get ready for our wedding.  I thought it was just going to be another wedding experience for us but I didn’t realize that WFBC would be part of our lives now.  The workouts including countless pushups, stairs after stairs, and sprints after sprints with Ruben yelling “Tai, REALLY? REALLY?” while Alex pushing me to do just a few more bicep curls so he can “make a man out of me” really sticks out on my mind.  I always wonder before a class what they are going to do today and they are never the same.  What is the same is the great feeling that I get after the workout.

I love how they have multiple sessions to fit everyone’s schedule and the 1st class is just as tough as the last class.  The WFBC process works and they make you work for it.  Along this process, there are other Warriors with you and it is very encouraging and motivational.  The beautiful thing is each one of them helps you along your individual process.  With leads me to the people responsible!

Alex and Ruben – What can I say?  Without them, this all goes away and it’s the main reason that my perception changed.  These are 2 INDIVIDUALS who are out there for your interest and are genuine.  In the last 6 months, I’ve gotten to know them better, not only as the Boot Camp instructors, but as individuals with lives outside.  I’m really glad that we share some experiences together and we can talk about anything, including the crazy workouts.  I look forward to continuing with those experiences. (maybe not so much the crazy workouts) I thank you both for kicking my ass the last 6 months so I can have this awesome body to show off on my honeymoon!

Kelly – I love you baby and thank you for convincing me to join WFBC!

KYON – WARRIORS!!

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

 

 

Warrior of the Month – Jan 2014

Jamie

Warrior Fitness Boot Camp

 

began Warrior Fitness Boot Camp in February 2013. From the first day, I was hooked as I knew I would be. I believe people hit a level of fitness and are not able to exceed it on your own. I was at that level where I could go no further by doing my own gym workouts. I mean after all, I wasn’t going to yell at myself and demand 50 pushups. But if Alex and Ruben told me to, I knew I would drop immediately and bang them out without complaining. This mentality is what brought me in the door and has kept me at WFBC.

 

 

I take the 5:30 a.m. class, Monday through Friday (and occasionally come on the weekends). I live in The Bronx. In order for me to make that class, I have to get up at 3:40 a.m. every day. I leave my house at 4:10 a.m. Most people think I’m crazy. Others have asked me how I’m able to do this and be so consistent. My habit and love of exercising was formed at a young age. I was never involved in sports but always worked out 5-6 days a week. I’m one of those freaks that actually likes it. If I miss a workout, I’m miserable, cranky, and can barely deal with myself let alone have the rest of the world deal with me.  In addition, I work full time in a hospitality environment and am a mother to a teenager daughter. Pretty much my entire day is spent taking care of somebody else. This one hour every morning is my time to be selfish. It’s my time to focus completely on myself and no one else. I forget about my employer or what I have to do that day at work. I forget about all the problems that comes with having a teenager. I push it all from my mind and just do whatever Alex and Ruben tell me to do. It’s the one time in my life that I like to be lead and not in control.  This is what pulls me out of bed every morning at such an absurd hour.

 

 

There are so many reasons why I like WFBC. I can go on forever, such as, the health benefits, change of workout every day so you’re never bored, the amount of strength and confidence I’ve gained, the fact that I can climb a rope and get over a 6 foot wall, etc. But what I’d really like to take time and mention is the genuine camaraderie amongst the 5:30 a.m. crew. Everyone is so supportive of each other.  This has extended outside of the gym and true friendships have been made. I’m so glad I met all of you and think we’re all Warriors of the month for getting up that early!

 

 

Last but not least, I really need to recognize Alex and Rueben. You two are amazing. The fact that you remember everyone’s name (which is a task in itself) but you also know everyone’s physical capabilities is simply incredible. There is no slacking with you two. You both can tell when I’ve lost focus during the workout and need a mental wake up call to come back to reality and step it up. You guys make the place more than just a gym but like a family. I hope you two like me because I think you’re going to be stuck with me forever!

Warrior of the Month – Feb 2014

Glen

 

“My Journey has just begun”

 

My name is Glenn Taylor and I am the guy who is either sweating while bear crawling a lap or climbing up 12 flights with his backpack and clothes on because he was late. I once suggested Alex and Ruben type Hell into their GPS and follow the directions.  That cost me a trip to 12 with two tires and kettle bells. Yep, that is I. I guess you can say I am a glutton for punishment.

 

Jokes aside one aspect of my life I completely ignored: My health. I was a high school teacher at the time for an Orthodox Jewish High School. Teaching was a stressful endeavor for me; rarely did I feel appreciated. I was also pursuing my Masters in Social Work, all the while attending my internship in a clinic 21 hours a week.  I obtained my Masters of Social Work degree from Yeshiva University and started postgraduate studies of psychoanalysis at an institute.  Due to my work/study mode I did not even venture to work out or keep up any type of physical activity.  I totally ignored my weight gain and started getting frequent chest pains.  My pants started to rip and tear while I walked. I even had a hard time exiting and entering vehicles; I was a hot mess.

 

I would love to talk about how an 18 year kid from the Bronx got involved with Judaism, but this is not the place. To be honest, being an African American Jew can be lonely due to the lack acceptance within my community.  Faced with this perpetual loneliness I opted to eat.  The only problem with that defense mechanism was that I continued to eat. It was my way of ignoring the very frustrating circumstances of my religious life.  Eventually a long talk with my doctor convinced me to lose the weight. I joined various gyms, but found that I needed something intense, more meaningful.

 

While waiting for a patient, I surfed the Internet and happened to visit the Warrior Fitness Boot Camp website. I read some of the testimonials. I was impressed with the statements of the participants’ claims of weight loss and regained confidence. I was in need of that as my self-confidence was shot. So I decided to give WBFC a try!

 

My first class at WBFC was intense! I believe Alex and Ruben were on deck, handing out cans of Whoop ass by the dozens. After my fifth climb up the stairs, I started to wonder if this was the place for me. As I lay on the mat exhausted, Fred Paliani came over to me and said he was impressed that I lasted the whole hour without walking out or passing out. I thought about his statement for a while; I realized that I had indeed “survived.” I felt like I accomplished something, and I knew that I would return. I purchased a packaged and decided to attend 3 X a week. After  months of inconsistent attendance, Alex pulled me aside and encouraged me to recognize the benefits of committing to the program. He was right.

 

After our talk, I decided committing to attending four days a week and doing a double whenever I could. I noticed my pants started to slip off my hips and I remembered having to hold my pants up while running to catch the train.  I started at 325 pounds and I am now down to the 290 mark.  The great thing is that I’ve been able to keep the weight off for about six months. My biggest struggle is learning and committing to healthy food choices. I go to work early in the morning and work late into the evening. Thus, I have no time to prepare food, and I often eat fast food.  I’m still trying and will not give up!

 

One surprising effect I noticed is the determination I have gained from WFBC.  I tend to doubt my abilities and keep my confidence level down buts that’s all changed.  For example, after six months of WFBC, Ruben suggested I sign up to run the Men’s Health Urbanathlon . I laughed at the idea, but Ruben strongly suggested I run. Well, I signed up and completed it.  I had never run more than 1 mile and here I was about to start a 9 mile race.  That was the longest 2+ hours of my life, the defining moment was Ruben, at the finish line yelling encouragement “Don’t you Mother F- stop!” as the other participants  looked on with amazement. That was the best moment attending WBFC to date. I have my fellow warriors to thank, as they are quick to offer encouragement. This is the favorite thing about WFBC: A sense of community. This is the one thing I could not live without at WFBC. Oh I almost forgot the advice and encouragement from Ruben and Alex; they are the driving force behind WFBC.  You are not alone in this endeavor. My advice to anyone who is thinking about joining: Just do it! You will not regret taking the steps needed to gain control of your life. I haven’t regretted the positive changes to my health thanks to WFBC!