Client Spotlight: Novelist Alan A. Winter








Congratulations to Alan Winter, long-time client at Transform Fitness Group, whose most recent novel Savior’s Day was just published and is now available at Amazon. I had the privilege of reading an early draft and it is a phenomenal read.

For more information about Savior’s Day and Alan’s other novels, check out his website. One of the great things about working at Transform is the quality of people we get to work with everyday, and we are proud to have Alan among them.  Congratulations again!

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Rest and Repose

A recent blog post on the New York Times points to a deeper truth for all of us who are pursuing excellence in our fitness.  From the article:

“For years researchers have known that adults who sleep less than five or six hours a night are at higher risk of being overweight. Among children, sleeping less than 10 hours a night is associated with weight gain.

Now a fascinating new study suggests that the link may be even more insidious than previously thought. Losing just a few hours of sleep a few nights in a row can lead to almost immediate weight gain.”

Our health and fitness is embedded in the lives we lead, the choices we make.  So often, we think of everything we “need” to do in order to achieve, and yet if there isn’t a counterbalance to this, we ultimately will be spinning our wheels, or even going backwards.  Check out the full article here , and get some sleep.


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New York City Weather — Wishing our clients and NYC trainers a safe couple of days

New York City, Monday, 29th of Oct.

We just wanted to post a quick note to say we hope all our clients and trainers are safe. Please be careful and follow instructions on safety.

The city has some locations where we can read what to do in emergencies:

From Google
From The Weather Channel
From The New York Times
From Accu Weather
and from the NYC Gov. site

From the Team at Transform Fitness — Be Safe!

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New New York City Trainer at Transform Fitness NYC – Ara Gibson

We wanted to let everyone know that we have hired a new trainer for our Midtown East Gym, Transform Fitness NYC.

Her name is Ara Gibson and we are thrilled to have her on board. She has been teaching yoga and whole-body physical fitness for over 4 years. She is an NASM-Certified Personal Trainer and a Registered Yoga Teacher. Using functional, whole-body exercises, Ara’s philosophy revolves around the development of a stable foundation while using the breath and the conscious mind as a guide. She finds creative and efficient ways to build strength, open up tight areas, and restore the body to its optimal state of health and vitality. She works with all her clients to help them accomplish their personal goals in a healthy and balanced manner.

Welcome to Transform Fitness Ara.


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Our latest PR Tool: Twitter

New York, NY [Midtown East] — We have recently added Twitter to our list of PR tools. In an effort to keep our clients up-to-date on the latest in healt care, fitness, yoga, diet and nutrition, as well as posting about apps for training, personal trainer education and news about our facility, we have been using Facebook for almost one year. We are also trying to update our blog more regularly.

Our latest addition to our news outlet tools is Twitter. We can be found there @Transform_NYC. Follow us!

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A.M. Trainer WANTED for Our Gym

We are looking for a trainer for our studio in midtown Manhattan. We are seeking an early a.m. personal trainer for clients during peak morning hours, some evening hours, and availability during the week (5:30 a.m. – 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.). Must be highly responsible with strong interpersonal skills and ability to serve executive clientele. Experience in use of Med-X machinery, TRX, gymnastic rings and yoga a plus. Pre- and post-rehabilitative exercise experience preferred. Our training environment is designed to focus on the essential elements that provide a bridge to whole-body transformation for our clients. Must be a right-fit for the space and must look physically fit in appearance. Please send resume and a brief summary of how your experience fits with our needs to

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Thoughts on the Body by Paul Watson, Transform Fitness NYC Founder & Master Trainer, Part VI: Yoga (and a Lot of Hot Air)

Thoughts on the Body

Part VI: Yoga (and a Lot of Hot Air)

by Paul Watson, Transform Fitness NYC Founder & Master Trainer

The muscles of the torso are liable to lose strength and elasticity through disuse atrophy, especially as we grow older. Pilates is not the only method for reviving and energizing these important muscle groups. And some of those methods do this and give you more than might have bargained for. Sometimes physical training and spiritual questing go hand in hand, whether you want them to or not. Enter Yoga.

Like most people, I started yoga in order to feel more flexible. I embarked on the practice of hatha yoga, that is, the strictly physical yoga practice that manifests spiritual and mental aspects as well. Indeed, the yoga philosophy stresses the interrelation between the different kinds of yoga practice. But a spiritual and mental connection was not what I was looking for in yoga. I wanted a physical workout, and my early attempts at finding it through yoga were not resonating. I tried a few different types of hatha yoga—vinyasa, asthanga and kundalini. I made an earnest effort, but somehow I was not quite getting it. Fortunately, a friend suggested I try bikram, the yoga practiced in a heated room. And I’m not talking about “heated” in the sense of steam heat in an apartment that barely keeps the room warm in the wintertime. I’m talking about temperatures as high as 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more—in other words, the heat of a typical summer’s day in New York City. (I do exaggerate a bit, but not much. This year we had the hottest July on record, with more than one day with temperatures getting close to 100. We might someday not have to bother going into a super-heated room to practice bikram—we’ll be able to do it outside.)

I saw bikram as a type of endurance challenge: me against the heat. I was committed and ready to go to battle. But within the first 10 minutes of poses (or asanas), which are designed to stimulate your breath, I was feeling light-headed. We worked in both standing and lying prone positions. Each pose seemed to be more difficult than the one before. I made it through the session by sheer will power, and toward the end I was getting panicky because it felt like air itself—very, very hot air, mind you—was in short supply. I was practically delirious. I began to wonder if I was in hell, and tried to remember what I could have done in my life to deserve it. Still, as challenging as this first bikram class was, I was fascinated by the way the extreme heat facilitated stretching muscles. Once again, “stretching” my physical limits in terms of training methods helped immeasurably in my understanding of the body. When I’m really interested in a subject—such as, of course, the human body—I feel driven to learn everything I can about it. Even when the training itself is hard going, the learning is a real adventure.

Stayed tuned for further on fitness or Contact us for more info: 212-759-5006

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Thoughts on the Body by Paul Watson, Transform Fitness NYC Founder & Master Trainer, Part V: Pilates and Proper Breathing

Thoughts on the Body

Part V: Pilates and Proper Breathing

by Paul Watson, Transform Fitness NYC Founder & Master Trainer

I didn’t think Pilates would be all that much of a challenge. But when I actually tried it, I admit I was caught with my pants down. Halfway through the session I felt as if I might not even be able to finish. I never thought that would happen. I knew then that there was a hole in how I was supporting my strength that I had completely missed.

Most of the positions used in Pilates are horizontal and tend to stimulate the torso muscles against resistance. Learning how to bend and flex this muscle group under constant tension gave me a better understanding of its role in everyday movements. Breathing dynamics are very important in Pilates, and it uses your abdominals as muscles for proper breathing as much as for movement. Having to utilize a muscle for movement and breathing at the same time places considerable demands on the muscle.

It amazed me to learn how much I needed my abdominal muscles to support the rest of my body. If muscles are placed under stress, they tend to pull on other muscles for support. Thus placing the abdominals under constant tension in this way while executing a consistent, fluid breath creates a demand on other parts of the body, notably the mid- to lower back, the serratus, the inner leg muscles, and the pelvic floor. As a result, all these postural muscles become stronger and more reliable

Stayed tuned for Part VI or Contact us for more info: 212-759-5006

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Thoughts on the Body by Paul Watson, Transform Fitness NYC Founder & Master Trainer, Part IV: Balance

Thoughts on the Body
Part IV: Balance
by Paul Watson, Transform Fitness NYC Founder & Master Trainer

I have always admired athletes who can command the full complement of their musculature to bend reality (literally) to whatever they wanted to achieve. To me gymnastics exemplifies this. Gymnastics is a complete expression of the entire body. An action as simple as a handstand activates every muscle in the body, from the tips of the fingers right down to our toes. Basically everything is in play. And the key to everything gymnasts do is balance.

We are accustomed to balancing our weight on our feet. But when we do a handstand we literally turn ourselves upside down, and our hands have to learn how to do what is so familiar and easy for our feet. We also need a whole new kind of flexibility in the shoulders. The tight and restricted range in the muscles around your shoulders will now be amplified by the much greater demand suddenly placed on them. Trying to balance the weight of your body through that area forces the body to use certain muscles in new ways. You need to utilize the core muscles of your torso and the deeper muscles of the pelvic floor to help stabilize your legs and feet. Some of my clients, after some initial difficulty, are thrilled to find they can do a handstand at all. Untapped reserves of the sense of balance come into play, often involving muscles deeper inside than the body uses when it is right-side up. It’s a remarkable discovery for many of my clients that their bodies can do so much more than they expected to be able to do, if only they push themselves to try.

Doing gymnastics was something of a revelation for me. A gymnast must learn how to change shape while moving. From back handsprings to front tucks to many other shapes, they all involve learning how to move in space by changing the body’s shape. By doing gymnastics myself and learning what supports these movements and positions, I began to understand extreme ranges of motion—how the rotator cuff supports the shoulder as it passes through its arch, for example, or how the core muscles of the torso (the axial muscles) interact with the connective tissues. None of this work came easily for me, especially since I started it when I was a good deal older than those youngsters you saw doing such remarkable things in London recently. But I managed to overcome my initial fears and learned a lot in the process. I would not ask my clients to try most of the movements I had tried myself, but putting my own body through the rigors of gymnastics taught me a great deal about the workings of the musculature. I can apply that knowledge to help clients of any age, without asking them to jump 10 feet above a balance beam while looking straight up and then coming back down safely and gracefully. We can all benefit from the knowledge of the gymnast’s art. We don’t have to take the audience’s breath away, as she does.

Stayed tuned for Part V or Contact us for more info: 212-759-5006

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Thoughts on the Body by Paul Watson, Transform Fitness NYC Founder & Master Trainer : Part III: Becoming More Aware of Our Bodies

Thoughts on the Body

Part III: Becoming More Aware of Our Bodies

by Paul Watson, Transform Fitness NYC Founder & Master Trainer

Every creature on Earth is continually pulled down by our planet’s gravity. We human beings have an edge here. Unlike other animals, we are active for many hours of the day. We work, play, and sleep with minimal effort, partly because our bodies conserve energy by stacking our joints on top of each other. We spend less time fighting gravity and more time aligning with it. Most of the other land-based animals are essentially quadrupedal and spend much less time moving about because their bodies have to work so hard fighting the downward pull of the Earth’s gravitation. Evolution’s gift to us, our erect posture, provides us with tremendous potential for different kinds of motion and activity.

Yet even with this advantage, all of my clients must go through a process of becoming aware of the relative strengths and weaknesses of their 600 muscles, of the range of motion of their joints and rotator cuffs, and so on. We create tension patterns within our muscles through innumerable little acts that go unnoticed over days, weeks and years. We are creatures of habit, so we tend to have pet motions and positions of rest, and our muscles learn to accommodate these positions. Some muscles get stronger as a result and other muscles that don’t have the responsibility to do very much get weaker. This is learned behavior.

Muscle cells do not divide like other cells in the body. Thus when those cells shrink from disuse, our bodies do not make more to rebuild what has been lost. You can only strengthen what’s left. When we are young, our bodies grow and fill out our musculature. But our muscles cooperate less and less the older we get. Muscle tissue is more than 70 percent water, so it generally has great elasticity. But as we grow older we must learn how to deal with muscles that become rigid and stiff (or fibrotic, as physical therapists sometimes refer to it). Sometimes muscle can act and feel almost as rigid as bone. It takes time to become aware of the varying strength and flexibility of our muscles. But this process of increasing awareness yields great benefits in terms of specifics such as localized pain management and in general areas like overall health.

Stayed tuned for Part IV or Contact us for more info: 212-759-5006

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