• June 2016 - Lisa Zivkovic
    • "Warrior Fitness Boot Camp is fantastic! No matter how busy I am with work, I make sure to get there at least three times a week! It helps me de-stress and I feel accomplished at the end of every class. The workout never gets easy, but that is what I love about it. The guys are attentive and supportive. They have come to know my strength so well that they know exactly how to push me to accomplish things I never thought I could. I’ve never felt stronger!!"





    • April 2016 - Pierpaolo Martiradonna
    • I was born and raised in the south of Italy and fitness was never one of my priorities or interest. Playing soccer socially was my only outlet. I was always an early riser and when I moved to New York over 10 years ago, I discovered a subculture of people just like me, who enjoy waking up at 4am rain or shine, snow or hail, who crave that early morning stillness the city has to offer as if everyone else who is sleeping is just not in this “club”.



      In my first apartment there was a gym just below my place. I became friendly and eventually devoted to Eddie, an ex-marine. He trained me and introduced me to the world of marine style training. After one tour of duty, he was called back. This was a sad day for me. A couple of months later, I was packing on the pounds when in a taxi I saw the Warrior Fitness ad. I immediately gave it a try. And that was it. I found in Warrior Fitness what my friend Eddie instilled in me.



      The experience is a 60 minute high intensity, nonstop work out, that has challenged me in a format that constantly evolves and adapts to my improvement. No plateau is allowed, just like in my life. The motivation from the trainers coupled with the non-judgmental encouragement from fellow warriors guarantees me the extra push and results that I would have never had if I was working out solo in a traditional gym. When the 60 minutes expire, I feel energized and ready to conquer the world. I’ve made new friends at Warrior with whom I have joined yet another subculture “military style races.” It started with one in 2015 and by years’ end, I’d completed five. The "race" day for me is a culmination of the training I’ve completed.



      This year my focus is to do more races and prepare for a triathlon. I like the discipline and fitness regimen that Warrior has given me. It’s helped me focus in both my personal and professional life. At the end of the day, I do it for myself and my family. The best part of my day is when I come home at 6:45am, and my three year old son calls me stinky.

    • March 2016 - Nirav Doshi
    • Before I was introduced to Warrior Fitness, I would describe my lifestyle as ‘actively lazy’. I would play sports with my friends, but most days would go by sitting on the couch and eating out way too much.

      I was always chubby growing up and throughout college. But I wanted to get in shape before my wedding, so I got a trainer and started working out, I was addicted to this routine; gym and hot yoga, sometimes twice a day. I shed quite a few pounds but after over a year of being married I went back to my old ways and was up to about 255lbs and did not feel good about myself.

      I tried Warrior Fitness in June 2011 after trying another neighborhood boot camp. One class and I wanted to be hooked. But it was brutal. I thought I was literally dying. The music was amazing. The instructors were motivating. But it was the hardest thing I have ever done to my body, I felt like I was going to throw up every class!

      I couldn't stand the thought of something being too difficult for me to do. I was never willing to accept that. So I bought the 3 Month Unlimited package. I went practically every morning and sometimes evenings. I was addicted.

      The results kept me going back. I started to do doubles a few times a week. I brought almost all of my friends to class. Only some were brave enough to keep coming back for more!

      However, it was not just the results. Sure, it was amazing to look and feel better. But there was this incredible sense of community. In our busy adult lives in NYC, it is difficult to make new friends. At Warrior, friendships formed very naturally and it made training that much better!

      These last 15 months have been the most difficult of my life. In November of 2014, my father was diagnosed with Leukemia. I spent as much time with him as possible. We had all the faith in the world. And Warrior helped keep a positive spirit and mind. We lost him on January 1 of this year. It is not something that one ever gets over. But I can honestly say that Warrior has changed much more than my physical well-being (now down to below 190 lbs). It has allowed me to strengthen mind, help me in business and think nothing is impossible! I would like to sincerely thank Alex and Ruben from the bottom of my heart in helping to transform my life!

      Don't let a challenge stop you from where you need to go. Anything is possible!

    • January 2016 - James Beall
    • It was late-summer 2015.  I had packed on way too many pounds since college, and my January 2016 wedding was creeping up on (read: barreling towards) me way too fast.  I knew that I needed a way to kick my butt into shape, pronto.



      I’ve always had a deep admiration for Marines … for not only their service and sacrifice, but also their no-nonsense approach to fitness.  With that in mind, I set out to find a workout routine in the city as close to the Paris Island experience as possible.  The search didn’t take long; Warrior Fitness Boot Camp was calling.



      I started out with a 3-class deal.  Just ten or so minutes into my first grueling session, I wanted to puke, give up, go home, sleep, etc.  But chief motivator and badass, Alex Fell, wouldn’t have any of that.  After giving me a few seconds to catch my breath, he had me back at it.  For the next several days, I didn’t want to get out of bed.  I felt like I had been hit by a truck.  But I did make it back a few days later, and again a few days after that.  Pretty soon, I was hooked.  After a few weeks, I could notice a significant change in my physical performance.  The weight started to fly off shortly thereafter.



      Just a few months (3-5 times per week) into my WFBC “deployment,” I have shed almost 20lbs, and can honestly say that I’m in the best shape of my life, including during my time as a college athlete.  I owe it all to Marines: Alex, Ruben, Matt, Colter, Joel, and Steven.  Without those guys, I’d probably still be wasting away on an elliptical somewhere, going nowhere fast.



      What’s more: coming into WFBC, having read all of the reviews, I knew that I was in for a serious challenge; however, what I didn’t realize was just how much support you get from your fellow warriors.  A very special shout out to the 7:30am weekday and 8:30/9:30am weekend platoons ... you all are the best!



      To anyone looking to better themselves, no matter how out of shape you are (or think you are), if you’re willing to simply show up and leave the excuses at the door, WFBC is for you.  (Even if you don’t think you’re willing to leave the excuses at the door, go ahead and sign up anyway.  Alex and Ruben will make you.)

    • December 2015 - Gabriel Drekou

      I started training at Warrior Fitness Boot Camp just over six years ago. Off the bat, I told Alex and Ruben that my intentions were to break some bad habits. They told me that they’d put me on the right path. I sensed that they were honest and intelligent guys so I signed up.



      Probably before I even took my first class, I knew that the program was just what I was looking for. To this day, it still is. It’s always changing and challenging me. Not only did I give up those bad habits, training with Warrior segued into martial arts training. Now, I’m combining Warrior training and martial arts, so that I’ll develop to be even better. It’s a complete U-turn from the life I once led. This was once unimaginable. HONOR. COURAGE. COMMITMENT.


      I’ve become a part of a big group of Warrior over the years, which I have a lot of respect for because of how hard they train. It’s awesome knowing everyone so far, including the other trainers. I know that my results really are better when I train with them than when I go at it alone. Big thanks to all the WARRIORS!



      Of course, there were times when I didn’t understand why Alex or Ruben got all up in my face and were yelling at me, especially in those early morning classes. In reality, though, the best strength conditioning depends on that. Without the push I receive from them, I think it would, otherwise, be a waste of time.



      I just want to close by thanking Warrior for helping to get me, on many levels, to this point in my life, and for doing the same for others. I’m proud to say I’m still here after all these years, and, that today, I’m even training in the newest location, BROOKLYN!

    • October 2015 - Christina Maldonado
    • All my life, I have been pretty athletic. My mom always had me in seasonal sports as a kid and starting a young age, I started playing competitive volleyball year round. Then college happened. For the first time in years, I was not playing volleyball 6-7 days a week. Instead, I was partying for the first time in my life, which was followed with eating a typical college student’s diet: anything greasy and delicious. Between my freshman and sophomore year I gained more weight than I am willing to admit and between being the heaviest I have ever been and in an awful relationship – I was miserable. I started going to the gym more often and trying to reign in on the junk food, but it really wasn’t until I got out of college that I really started to be proactive about being a healthier person.


      I was hired at my first job right out of college and immediately signed up for the NYSC with my corporate discount. I told myself, since I was commuting through Grand Central, I would have zero excuse not hit the gym. I even got a personal trainer to help intensify my workouts. I started to lose weight and get stronger, but the sessions were getting too expensive and I lost interest in the types of workouts I was being offered – I wanted more for my money. I started buying Groupons to try out different fitness studios – Crossfit, kickboxing, yoga, Pilates…if there was a deal in Midtown, I bought it. Although it was a good experience getting that type of exposure, I didn’t really LOVE anything that I tried. And then I met Ruben at a health fair my company was hosting.


      I was drawn to his uniform: the fatigues, the boots, the shaved head, the scowl.  I knew whatever he had to offer would kick my behind and not let me make excuses for myself. Man was I right. He gave me the rundown of WFBC and as soon as I saw a deal for three intro classes on Gilt City, I bought it immediately. I went to my first class in April 2013 and it was really love at first sweat drop. I was hooked – I had found my one and only addiction. It was pretty intimidating to walk in with the loud music, the yelling and all the sweaty people that looked like they just traveled to hell and back, but Ruben took me aside – as he does all new students on the first class – and reassured me that I was to follow class but go at my own pace. I jumped, I climbed, I conquered and I have never looked back. Although it was a few months in between my first and second class because of all the Groupons I needed to finish, Ruben remembered me as soon as I walked in and that was a reassurance that I needed to stick with this place. So after my introductory package was finished, I bought my first full package and I have been here for over two years.


      The progress I have made in these last 2+ years at Warrior has been amazing. These Warrior classes are the best tough love therapy sessions that money can buy. Not only have I become physically strong, but I have progressed leaps and bounds mentally and emotionally. I have learned to dig deeper than I have ever before to find my inner strength and tell myself “Yes, you can do this”...or as Alex and Ruben very eloquently put it, “YOU’RE NOT GOING TO DIE – MOVE!!!!” or “YOUR LEGS WON’T FALL OFF!! GO FASTER!!”  Every day I have seen progress, whether I run faster, squat deeper or get up the stairs with a little more ease, there is always forward progression. I have never climbed a rope in my life – who knew I could make it to the top of the Spartan rope, let alone finish a Spartan Trifecta with an all-female team of some badass Warriors (Lulu, Donia and Yin – you girls are remarkable)! And let’s not forget how Ruben conned me into my first running race. Let’s make this clear – I HATE running. He basically signed me up and let me know when and where it was. At the finish line of my first 5K, I felt so proud that I finished with a much faster time that I expected and was still alive and breathing. In fact, I felt so accomplished that I quickly signed up for an annual NYRR membership. Since then, I have participated in several running races, including the Bronx 10-mile and the NYC Half-Marathon. Who knew that I was capable of doing that – I sure didn’t. As time goes by, I check another accomplishment off the list, but there is always more to improve on. A few of my next set of goals are: getting as strong as Yin, keeping up with Amanda, and doing full pull-ups.


      I have given a lot of credit to Alex, Ruben, Colter and the other instructors – which they totally deserve – however the other Warriors are also A HUGE part of why I love this place. The camaraderie that you experience at WFBC is like none other. Anyone who has been here long enough knows that we are all there for one purpose – to not die J The Warriors that I have had the pleasure to know all are so inspiring in one way or another. They always cheer you on, encouraging you to do your best. This is a place where you really get out what you put in and all of us want to see each other succeed and progress, so there is always someone pushing you harder and motivating you to push your limits a little more. Amanda got me up that darn rope for the first time by yelling underneath me until I made it to the top! If that’s not camaraderie, I don’t know what is!!


      Shout out to my 6:30p family…you have gotten me through my roughest days and I am so grateful!


      If you were to ask me why I love this place, I could literally go on forever. I have found met some of my closest friends here. Every day, I look forward to getting through my workday to see my “crew” – you know who you are. I love each and every one of you and I am so happy that you guys are in my life. Ruben and Alex are such a strong foundation for WFBC. They love what they do and you can see it. The other instructors have done an awesome job at walking in the footsteps of Ruben and Alex – especially Colty, my personal favorite! They bring a new energy to the studio and they will kick your butt!! I am so excited to see WFBC grow to Brooklyn so we can build out the fam with some more badass Warriors!


      Now Warrior on three!! ONE…..TWO……………..THREE! 

    • July 2015 - Joushua Quinones
    • Our Warrior of the month for July is Joshua Quinones.



      Warrior Fitness Boot Camp really changed my life, I thought it was crazy to get up earlier than the six o'clock that's what my mom has always imposed on us, but now my body is up by 445 am. Ironically a week before starting WFBC, I complained to my mother that all my friends roll out of bed around 3 when school wasn't in session. Her motto has always been if I'm up after working 15+ hours you can get up. As for the weekends we get to sleep in sometimes until 7. Yeah I love it! I'm lying I have always hated getting up so early. So when my mom approached me about going to some boot camp I said sure. To my surprise the next day she was poking me to get up at 430 am. Of course she didn't make that clear when approaching me about WFBC. That's correct 430 AM ! My dogs didn't even want to get up. They were as confused as I was when we got up!



      My first class I remember being half asleep until the class began and then I met the dreaded stairs. All I could think was this is crazy! To my surprise I was addicted from the start. I love the atmosphere in the class and everyone there. Everyone is cool and I enjoy seeing my 530 am buddies. (Jonathan, Debbie,Lori.....) My weight loss journey has been a struggle but WFBC gave me the push I needed to lose 20+ pounds. All the instructors motivate me to keep me pushing myself.



      One more thing don't be late. Thank you WFBC!

    • May 2015 - Freddy Pimentel
    • About year ago, I went for my annual physical and I knew I was going to hear it from my doctor about my weight gain. I was stunned as I did not expect to hear I was a whopping 268lbs!!! I thought, how can I let myself gain so much weight??! Looking back as to why this happened may have been because it was an eventful year.  I had started a new job, which I was promoted within the year, and as we know can be a stressful experience. I was also part of 4 weddings last year and following all the parties and bachelor parties which didn’t help with my diet. We all know parties equal lots of unhealthy food and lots of drinking. I have always considered myself an athletic person, but for the past 2 years I have been completely inactive. Going to the doctor and discovering that I have gained so much weight, gave me a reality check and motivated me to make a change. I decided to change my diet and exercise again and in the first few months of working out, I lost 18 lbs.  The results were good but not great, I needed more.

      I was first introduced to Warrior Fitness back in May 2012 by my boss at that time. He had spoken to me about Warrior Fitness and recommended I try it since I wanted to lose fat and not muscle. Eventually, I decided to sign up for three classes. Let me just say it was hell but it was exactly the workout I needed. Unfortunately, at that time, I was not able to attend more classes due to my work and class schedule.  I took a break and decided to sign up again in January 2015. These guys have not changed their regimen at all since I was last here in 2012. With me losing 18lbs and being active, I thought I was confident about my fitness, and boy was I wrong!!With all the bear crawl, stairs and squat thrust done in class, I realized how out of shape I was. I was so sore after those classes that I would get home and head straight to bed without even turning on the TV. As I continued to take more classes regularly, the soreness was minimal and my motivation was high. Hearing Alex, Ruben and everyone in class motivating you to reach that last step or push a little harder is always helpful in finishing any obstacle. I knew these men were the real deal in motivation and fitness training.

      Since I joined Warrior Fitness this year, I have lost an additional 20lbs, my waist went from a 42 to 36, my stress has decrease immensely (thanks to the medicine ball drops!), and my stamina and confidence have increased. 

       The best thing of Warrior Fitness is the feeling of accomplishment after you finish a class. There is nothing greater than knowing you accomplished the obstacles set in front of you. I would like to formally thank all the WFBC trainers in pushing me to bring out the true Warrior in me. Warrior!


    • March 2015 - March 2015 - Namrata Awasthi
    • I first started my fitness journey at 195lbs, in my 3rd year of teaching, with a lot of visits to a plain old gym where I was self-motivated and I felt like I was doing a bunch of random exercises every single day of the week. I became obsessed and lost 10lbs that way but I then began kickboxing and did that for a long, long time. 

      When a friend introduced me to Classpass, I was intrigued by the variety and the opportunity to unleash the possibility of the "real" fit me. I began eating way healthier (and it helped that my fiancé was super supportive), and scheduling classes every day and getting into a routine. Yoga, barre, boxing, crossfit, boot camps, were filling my weeks and here is when I discovered WFBC and Ruben, Alex, and Colter. Colter was the face I always saw when I came on the weekends and he never seemed to smile but always asked me to run faster. I was intrigued by his "charm." As a person who never ran much, I challenged myself and tried as hard as I could. Classpass became my thing and I was really loving it until October 13, when I was severely injured in a class. My physical capability has changed tremendously since that class. I had a grade 2 ankle injury that got me hobbling around in crutches and I felt worse and worse each day that I could not work out. I remember having a breakdown in tears because I just wanted to go back to working out and it was taken away from me. I was trying to look my best for my big day in June, but it felt like it was becoming impossible.

      A few weeks into my injury I received an email from Ruben checking up on me. I was not injured at WFBC and did not anticipate a caring email from Ruben. That is what attracted me to WFBC that day and I kept thinking- will I be able to do WFBC again?

      When it was time to come back into the fitness world in November, I stayed away from jumping, running, or doing anything that would be too heavy on my ankles and was just lifting. When the time was right at the end of December, almost 2.5 months later, I joined WFBC and I was so scared. In fact, I still am, and always do things last on my own time and my own terms. I was scared to fall at any point or trip over my horrible ankle. At this point, it was still larger than my non-injured ankle. It's been almost three full months and I've gone to more than 55 classes at WFBC in less than 3 months of time. My over-achiever personality has brought my fitness life back into action and I am facing my fears at every squat thrust, push up, jumping jack, stair climb, run, and swing. It feels great to be back at it and doing something I thought I wouldn't be able to do.

      So now when my job as a Dean of a high school gets to me and makes my life a living hell, I anticipate that I will be slamming the ball harder or taking the frustration out around the course. It's where I let all my thoughts out and clear my mind. I end up leaving more energized than what I felt when I first walked in and I feel ready to overcome any adversity that finds my way. The classes are awfully hard and so are my days at school, but it beats the magic glasses of wine used to do. Now at 163lbs, I've come a long way of figuring out what the real "fit" me is all about. It's about doing things you can't do and sticking with it. It's about conquering your fears. After all, I'm a champion AND a warrior. 

    • February 2015 - February 2015 - Rory Duffy
    • Growing up in Ireland, I had played a lot of sports including soccer, Gaelic, & Hurling, I lived a very active lifestyle. My wife & I decided to move to America for better opportunities for ourselves & our children. 15 years later, my professional career is going very well & I have a career that I love. My work was challenging & satisfying but something was missing. I had gained a lot of weight after taking on a sales type job that involves a lot of entertaining clients and with my Irish heritage, Beer.

      Over the years, I tried many diets and going to gym on my own. I would drop a few pounds and but always put it back on. I was up and down. I turned to my friend Micheal (Mike), and told him I needed to do something about this weight "I know just the place for you, Warrior Fitness Boot Camp." I checked out WFBC's website and watched a few videos and told Mike I needed to do some training before I start, it looks intense. "Get your butt there, just start" was the response I got. He was right, so I signed up 2 days a week. 

      On Day 1, there were squat thrusts, flutter kicks, the obstacle course and those damn stairs. But I got through it and we had some laughs. The next day i was sore in places I didn't even know I had muscles. Day 2, Alex welcomes me to the USA. He introduces me to burpees. Day 3, I was hooked and no more pain after classes.

      20 classes in, and I have dropped 35lbs! I go 3 days a week now and am immersed in the class & feeling better than I have ever felt. Warrior Fitness is the best work out in NYC. Alex, Ruben and Colter kick your butt but always do it with a smile. They push you and challenge you each day and you accomplish things you didn't think were possible. Alex & Ruben believe in their clients and they give you confidence to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. What I really love about warrior is the team environment, and the encouragement that all of the warriors give each other. It reminds me of sports team in Ireland, a real family. At 7:30 am, after class is done and sitting there waiting for the shower, you feel like you have accomplished something and are ready to take on the world. This summer I will complete a Duathlon & also a Half Marathon at the end of the year, something I couldn’t have imagined before I signed up for this.

      If you are reading this and thinking you are in need of help with weight loss or bringing your fitness to the next level, my advice is get your ass here. “Come get some”, as they say in class. It all starts by getting your butt to class. Just start because after these classes you won't want beer or steak or a piece of chocolate. Everything else falls into place after you start sweating. 

      Thanks to the 6:30 am class and Alex and Ruben for changing my life!


    • January 2015 - January 2015 - 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 12th flight 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 25th hand 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!”

    • December 2014 - December 2014 - Donia 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.

    • November 2014 - November 2014 - 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 :)
    • October 2014 - October 2014 - 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).

    • September 2014 - September 2014 - Matt Mulligan
    • 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.




    • August 2014 - August 2014 - Shalin Patel
    • 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!

    • July 2014 - July 2014 - Kat Tatochenko
    • 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.

    • June 2014 - June 2014 - Knox Huston
    • 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.

    • May 2014 - May 2014 - Michelle Rumph
    • 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!

    • April 2014 - April 2014 - Kelly Chang and Tai Kyon
    • 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! 


    • March 2014 - March 2014 - Jaime Polanco
    • I 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!


    • February 2014 - February 2014 - Glenn Taylor
    • “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! 


    • January 2014 - January 2014 - Brad Carlsson
    • I've been coming to Warrior Fitness Boot Camp for almost 4 years now.


      At the time I started I was travelling overseas a lot for work, eating a lot, drinking a lot and hardly exercising at all.  I still thought of myself as reasonably fit but honestly the effects of poor diet and little exercise was showing on my body!  I remember seeing the Warrior commercials in cab's and thinking it looked interesting so my wife and I came in for the trial class.  It was the about the hardest hour I can remember - I was absolutely destroyed, and humbled (I realized I was absolutely NOT fit) and could hardly walk for days afterwards. But a few days later I came back and just like that was hooked!


      What I like about the program is that it builds as you do - just when you think you're on top of it the guys find a way to hit you even harder.  I can't remember any class where I haven't thought to myself  "WTF am i doing here?" in about the first 15 minutes or so.  All the trainers know how to push beyond your mental and physical "limits".  You actually can do everything they're pushing you to do - it may not be fun, but you can do it!   I couldn't handle running the stairs when I started but won my age-group in last year's Ubranathlon (2nd place this year - but a faster time!). I really believe that almost anyone can do this if they're prepared to work for it.


      My wife just had our first baby at the end of November so my challenge now is to balance this additional responsibility and not let my fitness slip - I'm determined not to be a fat, unhealthy Dad!  I managed to hit 4 Warrior classes in the first 7 days after my son was born  - after getting my wife's permission ;-) - so things are still looking good! 


      Thanks Alex, Ruben, Frankie and Coulter for kicking my ass every class!


    • December 2013 - December 2013 - The Rissi Family
    • Julie (Mom):

      4 ½ years ago, my friend was raving about a new workout place near her office – she thought I would love it.  She asked me to try it with her one day so I did and it changed me forever.  At first I was a little intimidated because I wasn’t accustom to a group workout and having real Marines shout out instructions to me.  After the first day, I was so sore but I pushed myself to continue to go because it was so much fun.   As I got to know the regulars at the 9:30am class, I became more comfortable and went more often.  I now go 5 times per week and sometimes do a double class.  Little did I know that Boot Camp would change me in so many ways.  It's made me a better mother, wife, girlfriend and most of all a healthier, happier person.


      Alex and Ruben have a keen ability to make you feel the group exercise has been tailored just for you.  They taught me how to "dig deep" and "push the limits".  I would hear them say, “you won't die, your heart won't pop”.  What doesn't kill you makes you stronger couldn’t be more true.  At 50, I can usually keep up with the 25-30 year olds!


      In addition to the great workout, I’ve made some great friends.  We share the same work ethic - never quit.  I've had 3 surgeries in the past 4 years and have managed to come back stronger than ever each time.  Warrior Fitness Boot Camp has been a wonderful addition to my life.  We all talk about what a special place it's become.  It releases stress and builds up physical and mental strength like nothing I’ve ever done. 


      Recently, it has become even more special because my husband and kids have become Warriors and they seem as addicted to it as I am.  Now that they’ve tried it, it all makes sense to them - they don’t think I’m a nut anymore!  Of course, all of their friends now think they’re nuts.


      John (Dad):

      For years, I would notice how passionate Julie had become about the Boot Camp classes - she would talk about it all the time.  I then noticed how thin and ripped she became – it was quite a transformation.  And she was happy every day - always looking forward to class.  I've been working out most of my life but have never enjoyed it.  I would run in the park or on a tread mill always watching the clock waiting for it to finally end.  The result of the work out made me feel good but I would always dread going.  It took over 4 years and Julie’s 50th birthday for her to finally convince me to try Boot Camp.  She said it would be my birthday gift to her. 


      At first I was apprehensive because I’d never done anything like this and wasn’t sure I could do it.  Of course, I got out of buying Julie a birthday present if I went to just one class so I figured I can do anything once.  I tried it one day and made it through the entire class.  It wasn’t easy and the next day I was very sore but I liked the way the class was structured.  I never realized how powerful working out in a group can be.  You tend to work harder and push yourself when you’re in that type of environment.  It’s a combination of not wanting to look bad, being competitive and wanting to make it through the class – it was really fascinating.  In fact, I found that I had an instant respect for everyone there because I knew how much discipline and heart you need to make it through a class.  Although everyone in the class is very competitive, it is still very friendly. 


      I started out going 2-3 times per week until the soreness went away.  Unbelievably, I instantly became addicted to it.  The one hour class goes by so fast (no more staring at a clock) and I'm getting into the best shape of my life.  It also makes me feel young again.  When you’re 50 years old, feeling young makes all the difference – Warrior Fitness is a real fountain of youth.  I am now going 4 times per week and loving it.  I walk taller and my back doesn't hurt anymore. 


      Alex and Ruben are real Marines that are in great shape and know exactly how to train you.  They watch very closely to make sure you’re doing each exercise properly so you don't injure yourself.  It’s really like having a personal trainer. 


      My kids Sophia, Niko and Lucia have all been going to the “kids” Boot Camp that Alex and Ruben started.  So far, the kids love the class and wanted to say a few things in their own words about their experience:


      Sophia (14 years old):

      Boot Camp has changed my life in a significant way.  It's given me the strength, discipline and confidence to try out for my High School Varsity Volleyball team and somehow I made the team.  The workout is hard but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.  I'm hoping to continue the class as often as I can.


      Niko (10 years old):

      I'm Niko and I am 10 years old.  I started Boot Camp because my Mom said, if I can get Alex to start a kids Boot Camp, would I go?  Totally was my response.  Then, one day she gave me the great news, there was finally a kids Boot Camp scheduled.  I went and loved it.  It was hard work but Alex and Ruben were so nice.  I am going to try and do it as much as I can.


      Lucia (8 years old):

      Hi, I am Lucia and I am 8 years old.  The first time I went to Boot Camp, it was so so hard for me.  The next time I went, it was so much fun and easier for me.  My favorite thing to do are the monkey bars.  I love my two Marines because they make the workout so much fun.  My two Marines are cuties and the best ever because they are nice and make me strong and healthy. I am going to go with my brother and sister as often as I can.


    • November 2013 - November 2013 - Eric Wolf
    •   I started going to Warrior Fitness Boot Camp over 5 years ago.  My friend Manny convinced me to go with him.  At that time I was working out 3 days per week.  I thought I was in very good shape until I went to my first class.  After about 10 minutes I was exhausted and struggled to finish the class.  I originally started going 2 days per week and worked up to 3 days per week.  I now normally go 4 days per week but sometimes I will go 5 days.  I mainly go to the 7:30 AM class before work and I feel energized from the class all day.  What’s great about Warrior Fitness is that every class is different.  There are always new exercises and challenges in every class.  

        Last October I was able to compete in the Urbanathalon at Citifield.  I never ran in any race like that and I was able to finish the race in 1 hour and 40 minutes.  The easiest parts of the race were the obstacles and stairs.  This is something we practice so much in class.  

        Alex and Ruben do a great job of getting the most out of you.  The classes are never easy and every time you get comfortable with an exercise they always seem to throw something new at you.  My favorite part of the class is the accomplishment of being able to do exercises that you couldn't do before.  I had a heart valve replacement 12 years ago.  My cardiologist and surgeon both agree that Warrior Fitness has been great for me, and I am in the best shape of my life.

        The best moment I had in class was during a lunch time class it was snowing outside.  Of course we had to do the stairs multiple times.  One time on the way down a few of us decided to make snow balls.  We brought them down and started to pelt Alex and Ruben.  That alone was worth any of the recourse that happened after that.  The advice I would give to any new person is to make it thru the first class and keep coming back.  The people in the class are fun and the camaraderie is great.


    • October 2013 - October 2013 - Marissa Rocker
    • When I moved to NYC back in 2008, I began working at a company where every morning I would see one of my coworkers run from the elevator straight into the office locker room all sweaty and red and always in that same black shirt.  I finally decided to ask her where the heck she was coming from, she told me Warrior Fitness Boot Camp.  It intrigued me, so I called and signed up for my first class. 


      Not knowing what to expect, I showed up to the 6:30am ready to go.  Oh my, it was a disaster!    All I remember is the room going black and telling Alex I needed to sit down.  I literally sat down between each obstacle so I wouldn’t pass out.  I was the only one left on the course and Alex stood with me the entire time motivating me to continue and despite it taking so long, I got through it.  Determined to have a better class, I signed up for a package and began regularly taking the 5:30am class.


      I took some time off a couple years ago because my schedule had gotten a little hectic, but once I settled in I started picking up my group fitness classes again.  You name it, I was doing it, other boot camps, spin, barre classes, private boxing lessons, boxing boot camps, hot yoga, Pilates…  Then one day as I was in the middle of another class it dawned on me that despite doing two-a-days at all of these places nothing made me gasp for air, sweat as much or work as hard as I did at Warrior.  That feeling of pure fatigue, trying to catch your breath after you do 30 squat thrusts, run four laps and head up to 12 is not repeatable.


      I still get extremely nervous before every class.  There are days when I sit waiting for class and I think, oh goodness, I can’t do this, I am going to leave.  But come the end of the hour, you feel great. We all have our good days and bad days and we work through them together.  I find Warrior to be such an effective hour workout; I would never make myself work that hard alone.   Alex and Ruben get to know you and learn what to expect out of you and then expect more than you expect out of yourself.   I love how personalized they make the class for you.  They motivate you to try harder and just when you think, “ Oh I am having a great day, look how fast I am going!”, they strap a weighted vest on you.  I mean where else do you skip class for a couple days and all of a sudden an email pops up from Ruben with the subject line of “Freak” and the body reads “Stop being nasty, where have you been?”   


      During Hurricane Sandy, I didn’t have power or water and I lived on the 29th floor (with a dog who needed to be taken out).  I hiked up and down those at least stairs six times a day and a few times with 4 gallons of water (not to mention this was on top of the stairs Alex was making me do when I showed up to Warrior to take class & shower!).  It didn’t faze me at all!  I think I was the only one left on a floor that high by the end of the week. 


      I always tell new people it gets “better” but never easier and showing up is the hardest part but you will never regret it after the hour is done.   


    • September 2013 - September 2013 - Simina Cana
    • I started WFBC in 2008 and consistently became a night class warrior.  The initial draw for me was that this was the first activity that got me to exercise.  Since classes are always different (5 years later and still there are new things that we do) I was hooked immediately and I was never bored and it always kept me on my toes.   When I switched jobs in late 2009 my schedule worked best to start every (five days at least ;)) day as a 730am warrior. I thought the 7:30 am class would be the only class I would ever do.   Like in most classes, the people in the class were inspirational and became close friends immediately.   Going to class at 7:30am became an integral part of my day.   It prepared me for what lay ahead as I was able to clear my mind.  This became critical for me as I made a major switch from Wall Street to entrepreneurship and started my own business.   I was so busy at work that the 60 minutes of morning boot camp were the only minutes that were "Simina  time" - of course with a little yelling from Ruben and Alex.   I was fortunate enough to keep this schedule of 4-5 times a week until late 2012 when in my 20th week of pregnancy I was diagnosed with vasa previa.   The condition could be fatal to the baby if I went into early labor and required that I stopped all physical activity immediately.  The doctors assured me that with bed rest at the end of the pregnancy and precautions before, I would have a healthy baby boy.   For me, the thought of not starting my morning with a run up the stairs was almost unbearable.   My body immediately felt it too.   I was more tired, less focused and missed everyone terribly.   I was counting down the days until I could return. Twenty-one weeks and one healthy chubby baby boy later and I was cleared to start working out again.   I was at the 7:30am class the very next day.  It was a love hate feeling being back.   My mind was so ready to be back but my body was in complete shock.   Although that's what most classes are like - as I tell all new people in their first class, don't worry it gets better but it's never easy!   And now almost twenty-one weeks from when I was cleared to return I'm back to mypre-pregnancy weight and have potentially even surpassed my fitness level.  It's truly amazing how inspirational Alex, Ruben and the fellow warriors are.  I'm sadly no longer able to make the 7:30 class but I make it a priority to go at least 15 days a month to any class I can squeeze in.  Whether in the mornings, lunch or after work having an hour to work on my body and not worry about anyone else has become even more important.   It's so easy to say that I don't have time to workout, as a new mom and having my own business there are a million other things that I need to do.  But to focus on myself for just one hour roughly every other day of the month has to be doable.  Even more, I truly believe it makes me a better mom, wife, businesswoman and warrior.


    • August 2013 - August 2013 - Fred Paliani
    • I started at Warrior Fitness almost four years ago.  I remember that I called and spoke to Ruben and asked him if I would be able to handle it as a 52-year old.  He said, "no problem."  I don't know that I believed him, but he was right. I handled it.  It wasn't easy.  In fact, I called my wife right after that first class, which was an evening class. and told her to fire up the jacuzzi because I really needed it.  But now I'm 56 and I'm in a lot better shape than I was then.  In fact, I'm probably in better shape than I was 20 years ago.  But it's not just the fitness part of it.  It's the fact that I am challenging myself every day and accomplishing things that I sometimes cannot believe I am able to do at my age.  Climbing to the 12th floor carrying two 40-pound water cans.  You've got to be kidding me -- you mean I actually did that!  Last year I took a physical with a stress test and my doctor said "I don't know what you're doing, but keep doing it.  You have the fitness level of a very active 35-year old."  The whole experience has been life-changing.  The discipline, the hard work, the results and, of course, the camaraderie.  The same essential group of Warriors is still the core of our 6:30 a.m. class.  We push each other; of course, they push me more than I have to push them, but we still end up getting it done together.  Alex and Ruben know what all of our limits are and they make sure that we each reach and often exceed our own individual limits.  Assuming my joints hold up, I plan to do this for a long time.  Way to go 6:30!!

    • July 2013 - July 2013 - Li Gilman
    • They say when the student is ready the teacher appears. In this case I had two bad ass marines enter my life and it's never been the same since – and I am forever grateful for that! I first discovered Warrior Fitness Boot Camp through an online fitness boutique I joined. I had absolutely no idea what I was in for, especially when my first thought upon walking into the studio was “wow how cool, a playground!” Ha – careful what you wish for. I was never athletic beyond aspirations of being a gymnast as a kid. Yeah I was the one they picked last during gym class (feel free to aww in pity for me). When I was in college, I didn't do the Freshman 15, I did the junior 50 and that was my introduction to fitness and weight management. Over the years though my weight has been up and down, I've always remained active. Two years ago I started developing a host of unexplainable symptoms that at least 10 doctors could not diagnose or treat and it, along with other personal issues left me in a terrible state emotionally and physically. I felt completely lost and unhappy on top of not feeling well all the time. It was a few months later I started taking classes at Warrior but not regularly. I had no real idea what to expect which was probably a good thing or I might have turned around running for my life! I didn't know what hit me and for the first time in my life, I had (and still do) anxiety before class started!!! Whatever it was, somehow I knew I found what I needed. Every time Ruben or Alex would say run 4 laps I thought I would die but I pushed through (we also won't discuss the F-bombs and other assorted goodies that went off in my head) and soon other workouts I was doing were gone and I was coming to Warrior regularly. My “breakthrough” moment happened climbing over the big wall with Ruben saying to me a week before the Urbanathalon race (9.5 miles of running and obstacles), “so you signed up for the race right.” Er have we met Ruben? He badgered me into doing it (badger, more like demanded!) and although I finished with a horrible time and that was the one day that year we had snow, I did it. Something changed at that time and I was completely hooked. I dropped the fitness boutique program officially joined Warrior. I found a good doctor and was properly diagnosed and treated. I dropped the 25 pounds I put on and have gotten in the best shape I've ever been in. Almost more importantly, I developed a sense of confidence and I now welcome challenges whether they involve races, Warrior classes or personal obstacles, knowing I can do it. As a music teacher, it's always an attitude I've instilled (or tried to) with my students – a can do rather than I can't or I quit attitude, but somewhere along the line, I stopped believing in myself. I've since completed two Urbanathalons and the second one I shaved my time by 20 minutes, done 2 5K runs and a Spartan Race. I do back to back bootcamp classes 5-6 days a week and sometimes when I'm feeling spritely, will do a weekend trifecta to which I still hear their words “don't think I'm going easy on you just because it's your third class”. Thank you and no I never want any of them to take it easy, despite giving them evil eye at the time! Beyond the fact the workouts are always different and incredibly challenging, there is something so special about what Alex and Ruben have created that I've not seen anywhere else and I've done a lot of programs over the years. It's in part that marine training – you're a family, a unit, a team and you do it for the greater good. It keeps you on your game because not only do you not want to let yourself down, but the rest of the class as well. It's also very clear they absolutely love what they do and care so much about all their members. They know what you're capable of and do not let you slack. They see when it's time to push you to the next level. You'll suddenly notice you're being told to take heavier weights, run more laps, do more reps etc. They'll help you train for an event, restructure your diet to balance it better and lose weight. If you're injured, they will give you alternate exercises to do. In many ways, being there really saved me and I will be forever in gratitude for Alex and Ruben, a big shout out to the other bad ass instructors I've trained under: Jared, Titus, Frankie, Mark and a welcome aboard to the newest bad ass Colter, as well as all my weekday and weekend warriors who have been incredibly supportive and encouraging all along the way. I hope you guys wi

    • June 2013 - June 2013 - Anita Girdhari
    • I decided to try out Warrior Fitness Bootcamp several years ago. For most of my life prior to joining Warrior Fitness Bootcamp, I played on various soccer teams and so never really thought about what it took to plan a good workout, how to fit a workout into an otherwise hectic day or about pushing myself – I simply just showed up for practice and did whatever the coach told me to do! In fact, I spent more hours than I would like to admit praying for rain (so that maybe practice would be cancelled) and wondering if the tickle that I thought I felt in my throat meant I was getting sick and should skip practice. Once I started working, I was no longer a part of an organized team and was in charge of my own “workout destiny,” and, after a couple of years of “me being in charge,” it was apparent that this was not a good thing! So, I decided to give bootcamp a try.

      My first day at bootcamp can be characterized (in the nicest way possible, of course) as living hell. By the end of class I was convinced that I may never be able to properly move again and, as a matter of fact, I was partially right, I am pretty sure that it took me about 3 full days to be able to even lift my arms to wash my hair without grimacing. Notwithstanding some soreness though, I was hooked. It was the first time in years that I was pushed by someone other than myself to run faster, try harder and not give up…and it felt great! 

      Several years later, I am happy to say that because of bootcamp I’ve rebuilt a lot of the endurance that I used to have and feel stronger and fitter than I did prior to joining. Plus, it has helped me to prepare for big events in my life, like my wedding! Recently, in November, 2012, I found out that I was pregnant and made the (crazy, some would say) decision to keep attending bootcamp classes. For me, regularly attending bootcamp classes during my pregnancy has, so far, greatly helped to alleviate many of the pregnancy symptoms that I would otherwise be coping with....from sleeping better at night, to fewer back and other muscular aches, to an energy and mood boost, I know that I can count on feeling like a new (but tired) person after every class! Plus, it makes up for all of the extra junk food that I love eating these days:)! 

      My favorite things about bootcamp, and the reason that I think that it works for me as an exercise regimen and that I have chosen to stick with it over the last several years, including during my pregnancy, has more to do with the people and the attitude and energy of Warrior Fitness Bootcamp than the actual physical workout itself. Don’t get me wrong, physically the workout is the hardest that I have found in the city that can be fit into one hour and, due to the varied nature of every class, is an awesome full body workout that doesn’t get boring. That said, if it was only an amazing workout, I don’t think I would have stuck with it for so many years, including during the last few months when I, at times, would have preferred to go for a leisurely walk rather than waddling around a track and up and down stairs. What really sets the bootcamp workout apart from any other workout I have tried in the city is the great combination it offers of fun and motivating instructors (who will, among other things, hold you accountable if you stop showing up), friendly and encouraging class members and a diverse, tough workout! The people, the physical results and, I’ll be honest, the dance music keep me going during class and keep me coming back for more!

      Parting words of advice for any newbies out there: the first class is the worst, it gets better and the results are amazing, the stairs are your secret friend (the instructors can’t see you in there) and if you hear an instruction to do the “backwards bear crawl” or the “one-legged bear crawl” it may be a great time to request a bathroom break!




    • May 2013 - May 2013 - Charlie Serotoff
    • I decided to try WFBC because I decided I no longer wanted to have the physique of a refrigerator with legs. I spent over 10 years going to the gym off and on, and for some reason decided the potentially masochistic notion of large former marines yelling at me would be the best idea in order to push myself into getting abs. I googled “boot camp” and WFBC came up. I figured why the hell not.
      My first WFBC was fun in the same way getting a root canal is pleasant. It was something I knew I had to do in order to get where I needed to go. After my first class running up and down all those awful stairs I felt like I was going to vomit, collapse and die. I should point out that I didn’t actually die, which is how I’m writing this gorgeous piece of prose and why I go back multiple times per week.
      In the past 6 months, I have gone from 210 lbs, to about 180 lbs. I have gone from approximately 27% to 17% body fat. I have gone from a 35 inch waist to a 32. It’s all thanks to WFBC and the self-discipline it has helped instill in me. I love that my skinny jeans are now loose on me. I bought them in 2003 and can FINALLY fit into them. It’s an awesome feeling.
      I used the app “lose It” on my phone in order to track my progress. I also got a body fat and muscle mass scale that I used every day. I highly recommend the "lose It" app as a way to keep yourself accountable to diet and exercise. Also, Ruben and Alex giving me shit about going out drinking also helps to keep me on track.
      Controlling and being conscious of my breathing has become key to getting through class. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed and feel like your lungs and heart are about to explode all over the obstacle course creating a huge mess for Alex and Ruben to clean up. Taking a step back and taking 3 deep breaths does wonders to bring you back down to baseline and help you not collapse into a puddle of quivering jello.
      What keeps me coming back is the progress I’ve made physically, the meditation that each class in WFBC has become for me, and working towards my goals of becoming skinny enough to put Rachel Zoe to shame. “You are stronger than you think.” This mantra is something that has helped me change my whole lifestyle, physical appearance and mental state.
      The workout itself is almost like a meditation for me. Being a New Yorker, I am either worried about getting food poisoning from the nearest street meat cart, annoyed by tourists who don’t know where the hell they’re going, or feeling like work is scrambling my brain on a hot waffle iron. WFBC has become an oasis in the city for me where, for an hour each day, it’s literally impossible to worry about anything else going on in my life. Going through such a strenuous workout leaves no room for idle thoughts. My only thoughts in class have become “Keep breathing, keep going. If you’re not passing out, you can keep working.” Also, I’m slightly nuts so that’s how I think.
      My favorite thing about WBFC is the camaraderie. You’re all going through the same shit. Alex, Ruben, Jared or Frankie are putting you through hell (in the best way possible of course), but at the end of the day it’s the other people in the class that make it fun.
      The one thing I could live without during class is those god damn stairs. I hate them way too much. Every time we have to “run up to 12,” all I can think about is how much I would rather try juggle chainsaws while listening to “call me maybe” than go up and down those stupid things.
      At the end of the day it’s all about self-accountability and commitment. You’re stronger than you think. You can literally get yourself into any shape you want if you make the conscious decision to make it your top priority. Everything else will fall into place, but you need to first commit to doing it. No time will be the “right time” for a lifestyle change, and you can make anytime actually work. You just have to do it.
      Newbies, just jump in. Don’t be scared of being “yelled at.” That’s complete bullshit. You live in a city where you regularly see subway rats gnawing on McDonald’s refuse, where crazy people thrive and yell obscenities at you, and where crane collapses sometimes just happen. Honestly, saying you’re “scared” of being yelled at is bull. You’ve been through worse. Plus, they don’t even yell at you unless you’ve been going for a while. Even when they do it’s something cute like “move your ass, cupcake.”

       — with Ruben BelliardAlex FellFrankie Geeand Charlie Serotoff.

    • April 2013 - April 2013 - Gina Collura
    • My story is about making choices that have led to changes. Radical changes that have affected my attitude, my spirit, and my sleep schedule. Radical changes that have affected what I eat (and what I don’t), how I act on vacation (I go running!) and how I feel about myself.

      As a native New Yorker, I’m going to tell it to you straight: my path to change started with a few, “Holy shit!” moments:
      - There was the time a relative asked me if I was pregnant (on 2 separate occasions, within a 6-month period).
      - The time I went on a video shoot of a 33-year-old woman who was about to undergo gastric bypass surgery to lose 120 pounds on her 5-foot frame (Hey, that’s how tall I am).
      - The invitation to my 20-year high school reunion was coming. How did I know this? I was on the reunion committee and helped select the July 2011 date. 
      - It’s coming: I turn 40 in July 2013. 

      The beginning of my radical change: It kinda-sorta started in 2009
      In 2009, I was wearing a tight size 12 in certain jeans brand that everyone knows is sized-down. That means, while the jeans’ label said “size 12” or there was an “L” in the shirt, it’s really a size bigger than that, making it a Size 14 and an XL. Holy Shit. 

      I joined Warrior Fitness Boot camp twice. The first time was through a 3-package Groupon in September 2009. I went to one class with my husband and it was the longest hour of my life. It was filled with panting, doubting, groaning, and whining. I was lugging around extra 50 pounds that my 5-foot-frame had never done before. 

      You realize how much weight this really is when you attempt to do 75 jumping jacks or when you attempt to do your very-first squat thrust. I made it through that 60-minute class (barely) and didn’t come back to WFBC until December 2009. I needed to prepare myself. I was defeated after class #1 and needed to get my head ready, because I realized the mission ahead. So, I made some changes to my diet. I got myself ready. My head needed to get ready for the radical changes that I needed to make.

      Year One of my radical change: Stepping it up in 2010
      During 2010, I went to WFBC after work and this posed some challenges to this ad agency creative director. Who was I kidding? It was hard to get to class and it was easy to opt-out, but I did start seeing results: I was wearing a size 8 by December 2010, but I knew that I had to kick things up. I was starting to feel better, stronger, and even kinda bad-ass. I had completed my 1st obstacle mud race (the Spartan Race) and wanted to do more: more races, achieve more weight loss, gain more strength, and sparkle at my 20-year reunion. After all, it was about 7 months away and counting.

      Year 2: Amping it up in 2011
      2011 was a new year with a new boot camp schedule: I managed to convince my husband that we needed to wake up earlier so I could go to the 7:30 am class (and by earlier, I mean, get up at 5:15 am to catch the 6:32 LIRR train into the city). He reluctantly agreed, because he knew I was on a mission for more change: lose more weight and gain more strength––both physically and emotionally––and feel confident at my reunion in July. 

      I’m not going to lie, it was tough to change a sleep schedule, an eating regimen, and function during the work day. But I did it. I was going to at least 5 classes/week and was in awe of the changes to my stamina (I think I’m starting to like running?), the shape of my arms (Did I mention that I had Italian bread arms when I started WFBC?), and the shrinking of my butt (I was called “Fat Ass” throughout 6th grade, so this newfound tush was starting to walk with some swagger). That gets 3 Holy Shits for faster, toned-er, and tighter.

      By March 2011, my husband seemed to enjoy our earlier schedule, by getting a jumpstart on his emails and have early meetings. As for me, I started feeling better than ever. I was following Weight Watchers to help understand portions. I had donated most of the clothes in my closet. There were medium shirts on my hangers. I had size 8 pants that were starting to look too baggy. 

      Oh, and the reunion? It was a fantastic night of memories and good friends. I felt young, vibrant, and sparkly.

      2012: My third year and there’s more radical change coming
      By now, I was craving this 60-minute morning fix and had set a goal of climbing up the 10-foot rope found at the end of the obstacle course. I was now going to WFBC 5-6 times/week and was looking ahead to doing more obstacle course races. Finally, I was another year closer to 40. Holy Shit. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a body that I had never seen before. I was starting to see those Janet Jackson biceps that I always wanted and envied (remember the “Love will never do” video?) My stomach was getting flatter. My butt was…hey, where’s my tush going? Hello, size 4 and oh wait, size 2. I was down a whopping 45 pounds. I felt compelled to keep explaining all of the shopping bags to my husband. “Don’t these clothes look better?” He never questioned a purchase and continues to be my anchor of love and support. 

      2012 Races: Can I finish it without dying?
      The Hero Rush in the Poconos: A firefighter themed 5k Obstacle Race (my dad is retired FDNY) and this race had wading through a lake and a water slide. It was great!
      The Men’s Health Urbanathalon at Citi Field was my 2nd race of the year: 9.5 miles of running and obstacles. WFBC started prepping us 2 months before the race, so physically, I felt ready. It’s that damn mental part (still working on that). I wanted to finish it in 2 hours. I was damn close, coming in at 2:06 and I couldn’t have done it without the encouragement of Alex and Ruben. Ruben ran along the steps at Citi Field with me and cheered me on during the last leg of the race. It. Was. So. Hard. Alex coached me over the crazy high walls and I got myself over. It was a miracle. 

      As I crossed the finish line, I saw my husband taking pictures of every step of my where-did-this-come-from adrenaline sprint. I was overcome with pride and accomplishment. Holy Shit. I did it. Even though I was sore for 2 weeks, I kept up with my boot camp schedule. I was turning 40 in less than a year. Let’s do this. 

      Year 4 and 2013: Gaining and losing
      In March, I completed my first-ever fundraiser, the 5th-annual MS Climb to the Top. My team raised nearly $20,000 and climbed 66 flights of the Top of the Rock in NYC. I thought I might be able to do it 20 minutes. Then I started doing some math and thought, “25 minutes…that’s do-able.” 

      It’s amazing how our perspective can be so skewed, even when we’ve changed so much. 
      I raced to the top and did it in a whopping 15:19. Holy, holy, holy shit. 

      So what’s next for 2013? Enjoying my 50-pound weight loss and feeling good in my skin. More boot camp. Eating more of a plant-based diet. More juicing. Turning 40 in T-minus 3 months. Losing more inches and gaining more strength. Feeling good. No, feeling great and enjoying the radical changes from the last 4 years. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth every bear crawl, every squat thrust, every Japanese sit-up, every 4-lap sprint, and every plank. 

      I once described taking a class at WFBC as making me feel like I start the day off “winning.” The members have become supportive friends and teammates, the instructors have become trusted coaches and trainers and the sweat that I leave in the gym has become a true sign of my hard work. Nearly every class, I surprise myself and you can usually hear me saying, “Holy Shit!” at least once.

    • March 2013 - March 2013 - Johnny Garcia
    • The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong in the broken places--Ernest Hemingway

      February 10, 2013, was third anniversary of my first time at Warrior Fitness Boot Camp. Third anniversary? How could I remember a date so seemingly insignificant? We remember the important dates in our lives: birthdays, passings, holidays, wedding anniversaries; but it’s notable, to me at least, that I remember the first day I joined this small, third-floor gym in midtown Manhattan. It’s the date, I realized only in retrospect (through recurring meditations on the meaning of the rigor, the sweat, the very real pain and occasional nausea), that I began in earnest to reclaim my life. 
      An appreciable number of members that sign up at WFBC are looking to lose weight, and I was no different; but the weight I was trying to lose was in my head. Emotional distress, brought on by the reality of a sudden, humiliating divorce, had brought with it sleeplessness, anxiety, and a loss of nineteen pounds in ten weeks. My doctor rather flippantly tossed a prescription for Xanax across the desk; I, deciding “liquor is quicker”, self-prescribed cigarettes and alcohol. 
      And then one morning I saw a piece on the morning news about this bootcamp thing. The correspondent related that after class she felt numb, sore, and halfway dead. I felt that way already. What did I have to lose? I decided to give it a shot.
      That first class ended and Ruben remarked that I did “basically okay” for my first time, and did I want to sign up for more classes? I stared at him with glassy-eyed sincerity, my insides rumbling in that awfully familiar way that they sometimes rumbled back in college, on mornings-after as I sat hunched over my toilet bowl about to reacquaint myself with last night’s nachos and tequila. I strained to emit a casual “Uh, let me think about it,” but all I really wanted to do was avoid leaving a technicolor Rorschach Test all over his floor or, worse, just lying down and expiring right there in a smelly, sweat-soaked bed of faux-wood chips. 
      Something important happened afterwards, however: I went home and fell asleep for three hours in the middle of the afternoon. It was a deep and dreamless sleep, a restful slumber I hadn’t experienced for months; and although I wasn’t yet sold on the idea of going back to that bootcamp hell-hole, I did feel that if I could sleep like that again, it might perhaps be worth it.
      Class after class came and went and I continued making my way home and straight into bed thoroughly exhausted, and I liked the feeling. I wasn’t able to turn over the circumstances of my divorce and its attendant bitter realities--I was just too tired. For a few nights a week I could sleep. There was no insomnia, no need for a six-ounce high octane night cap, and no more need for the amber vial of pills that whispered “loser” to me every time I opened the sock drawer.
      And then one day while I was shaving, I noticed a change in the mirror. “Wow,” I thought, “I’m not a scrawny little punk any more.” I was gaining some weight back. I was adding some muscle. “I must be all the way up to average punk. Maybe even exceptional punk if I gel my hair up and get a tattoo of some indecipherable symbol on the back of my neck.” I realized that mine wasn’t a short-lived physical fitness phase; rather, I was becoming dependent upon the rush of that good bootcamp sweat. I signed up for my first 30-pack. 
      Twenty-two months after my first class at WFBC, my divorce became final. I’d gained back the weight I’d lost, and it was distributed in much more favorable ways. I felt better about myself and my circumstances. I realized that I wasn’t going to die--the end of my marriage wouldn’t kill me, and it should be noted, neither were Alex and Ruben. I continued to improve physically and more importantly, emotionally; I was steadily losing the weight I came in with. I began to receive regular visits from my old friend, Optimism. 
      Hmm, maybe this new life is what I was meant for all along.

      POSTSCRIPT: I’ve often marveled as I stand on the sidelines at bootcamp, looking around at all the other athletes as we wait for the class to begin. I marvel because I know in my heart that if it was just physical weight I was trying to lose, or if I was going for that nebulous idea of “in better shape” that I never would have lasted. The class is just too demanding, too difficult, too damn hard. I’ve stayed with it because I felt I had to, had to silence the voices, had to salve the wounds and address the pain. But then I realize that we all have important reasons to be here. We all are trying to silence the voices that chide us as we lie awake at night, the murmurs that tell us that we aren’t good enough, that we’ll never reach our goals, that we’ll never recover. We all have a bitter and sneering voice that we seek to silence. And with each push up, each journey up the stairs and back, and with each ascent of the rope, we push those little nagging voices farther and farther away. We push them away as we pull ourselves along, proving slowly and methodically that it is the simple pursuit of The Better Version of Us that finally quiets the ghosts of doubt, that finally kills them off for good. It is the better version of us that we are all searching for, and with each drop of sweat, the better us that we attain.

    • February 2013 - February 2013 - Rebecca Rubenstein
    • I can honestly say that Warrior Fitness Boot Camp has changed my life. I have been going to WFBC a little over a year and in that time it has stripped me of over 40LBs and dropped me from a size 16 to a size 0-2. I went from being hypertensive to healthy. WFBC has made me physically, mentally and emotionally stronger and it has instilled in me a sense of self confidence I never thought possible. It has given me the ability to deal with situations that would have once overwhelmed me and removed the statement 'I can't' right out of my vocabulary. It has made me a Warrior.

    • December 1969 - Joshua Quinones

    • Our Warrior of the month for July is Joshua Quinones.



      Warrior Fitness Boot Camp really changed my life, I thought it was crazy to get up earlier than the six o'clock that's what my mom has always imposed on us, but now my body is up by 445 am. Ironically a week before starting WFBC, I complained to my mother that all my friends roll out of bed around 3 when school wasn't in session. Her motto has always been if I'm up after working 15+ hours you can get up. As for the weekends we get to sleep in sometimes until 7. Yeah I love it! I'm lying I have always hated getting up so early. So when my mom approached me about going to some boot camp I said sure. To my surprise the next day she was poking me to get up at 430 am. Of course she didn't make that clear when approaching me about WFBC. That's correct 430 AM ! My dogs didn't even want to get up. They were as confused as I was when we got up!



      My first class I remember being half asleep until the class began and then I met the dreaded stairs. All I could think was this is crazy! To my surprise I was addicted from the start. I love the atmosphere in the class and everyone there. Everyone is cool and I enjoy seeing my 530 am buddies. (Jonathan, Debbie,Lori.....) My weight loss journey has been a struggle but WFBC gave me the push I needed to lose 20+ pounds. All the instructors motivate me to keep me pushing myself.



      One more thing don't be late. Thank you WFBC!

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