‘Barefoot in Argentina’

Q. & A. with Frank Hughes

Frank Hughes in Argentina.

Frank Hughes in Argentina.

As the February blues descend on New York in the form of icy streets and grey, trash-strewn sludge, Frank Hughes takes a uniquely holistic approach to helping his clients get through it, in one piece. He integrates a wealth of experience in stretching, infrared heat, massage, yoga, deep muscle stimulation, and resistance and core training.

We heard you walked barefoot in Argentina…

Yes, on a dirt path in the rainforest! One of my passions is to be closer to nature, and we were going to a little-known waterfall. It was one the most energizing experiences I have had in a long time.

What’s your core philosophy?

As a trainer, I help realign the muscles and bones of my client while they perform controlled movements with resistance. As a massage therapist, my aim is to bring about a deep feeling of peace and relaxation.

What sort of clients do you work with?

Many of my clients are busy professionals in their 40s and 50s. They want to get to the root of their pain, weakness and overall tension.

You also work with people who have incurred ‘life injuries’. Can you tell us a little about that?

I feel the more we can learn how to be relaxed and in tune with our natural breathing pattern, the better we will be able to manage our energy and understand our functional anatomy. This in turn helps address existing injuries and imbalances, decreases the risk of future injuries, and increases power and energy.

You are Transform’s ‘Bio Mat’ expert. What are its benefits?

The BioMat is an infrared heating pad and the most relaxing and comforting product I have heard of. In fact, it’s been proven to reduce cortisol levels by 25%. My clients report great results and feel more relaxed and rejuvenated afterwards.

Stress and the February blues getting you down? Email us: info@transformfitness.com to schedule a Free Consultation with Frank and learn more about what we do. Call or text: 917 804 1866

Important Note: February’s weather has foiled our party plans for the 25th. We’ll let you have the new date soon! 

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Big or Boutique?

3 Way to Elevate Your Experience in the Gym

Image_edited for BlogPop quiz! Pounding music, bright lights, acres of flesh, banks of mirrors. Quick, where are you? a. Party, b. Nightclub. c. Gym.

If you guessed c., you’ve likely had the mega-gym experience. It can be fun, but if you’re serious about your workout it can also be kind of distracting. This week, with our studio refresh in mind, we found ourselves discussing what we love about the space we’re in. With St. Valentine’s Day almost here, let us count the ways…..

Had a Bad Day?

New York City can be stressful, so we make a point of leaving the noise outside. You’ll never find your ears assaulted by blaring music, or someone bemoaning their bad day into their phone. Just walking in the door provides an instant boost and lets us feel focused, energized, and ready to work out. And like our clients, we usually leave in a better mood.

Inner Beauty

It’s what‘s on the inside that counts, and during a tough workout we’ll often ask you to focus on how your body physically feels – and less on how it looks. That’s why we don’t keep too many mirrors around. However, do check out the results in the mirror at home!


As busy New Yorkers none of us wants to wait around for equipment or have to figure out how it works. At Transform we work privately and one-to-one with our clients, by appointment only, and we actively limit the number of people in the space at any one time.

In other words, if you’re looking for a mega-gym experience, we’re probably not for you. But if you want to build a meaningful relationship with fitness (with no membership fees!), we’d love to get to know you. Call or text us anytime: 917 804 1866 Or shoot us an email: info@transformfitness.com.

Visit our site to sign up for Classes.

Elevate Your Experience! On Wednesday, February 25th, join us for demonstrations, music, a glass of wine, and a chance to pester us with all your fitness questions! 155 East 58th Street (btw Lex & Park), Suite 902.  6pm – 8pm.
All welcome!

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Can you combine yoga with strength training?

We’re frequently asked by clients whether they can combine yoga with strength training. This week we get the scoop from Transform’s Christopher Arcudi, a yoga teacher and strength trainer who does just that.


How did you arrive at teaching yoga with strength training?

I had already been teaching yoga for several years in Los Angeles when I went through an apprenticeship in a methodology known as SuperSlow. It’s a high intensity and slow-movement weight training system which uses MedX machines of the kind used at Transform Fitness. Through that experience, and subsequent studies, I discovered that teaching yoga and strength-work in tandem yielded huge benefits for my clients.

What’s your personal philosophy on wellness?

I believe that people can continually increase their wellness, strength, and vitality, regardless of their age or condition.

What can clients expect when they work out with you?

I want my clients to feel that they’re in an atmosphere that is challenging, and also compassionate and encouraging. I work with yoga, strength training, Functional Movement, Somatic Movement, Kettlebells, and Indian Clubs. I also have extensive experience and training in Thai Yoga Massage. It’s essentially a practitioner-assisted yoga, and an excellent method by which to help the body recover and heal.

Do you have a top tip for clients?

Don’t forget to breathe! It sounds obvious, I know, but in the middle of a tough workout or a difficult moment it can easily be forgotten. Breath greatly helps transform mind and body.

Do you have fitness questions? Email us: info@transformfitness.com Want to know more? Meet Chris and the Transform team at our upcoming Meet & Greet – We Want to Elevate Your Experience. We’ll have demonstrations, light refreshments, beverages and more! Wednesday 25th February, 6pm – 8pm. 155 East 58th Street (btw Lex & Park), Suite 902. Call or text for details: 917 804 1866

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‘I Was Overweight as a Child…’

Danny.MatosWe sat down for a Q & A with Transform trainer Danny Matos, a graduate of St. John’s University who has been professionally training clients for more than seven years. Certified through NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), Danny also holds certification in corrective exercise, fitness nutrition, and weight loss management. He has, in his own words, built a ‘bullet-proof approach’ to weight loss that encompasses smart movement, sensible nutrition, and proper mindset.

You were overweight as a child. How did you get into training?

‘When I became a sophomore in high school. There’s so much pressure at that time of life, and I felt desperate for something to change, so I changed my diet and began running. I liked running, though now I think back (laughs) I had no idea what I was doing. I guess I learned through trial and error.’

What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing people who’d like to lose weight and get fit?

‘I struggled for so many years with my relationship to food, so I find it counterproductive when you see pictures of people with six-pack abs to try and get people into fitness. Most people don’t see themselves in those images. It’s like someone with a limitless amount of money giving restaurant dining advice. Someone who’s never struggled with a fitness lifestyle or who has genes on their side doesn’t understand how detrimental this is. The person struggling ends up beating themselves up more for not getting it or understanding how “simple” something perceivably is. ‘

Can you give us an example?

“I remember going into McDonald’s one day and eating ice cream — I thought it was the end of the world! So I think it’s easy to fall into this all-or-nothing attitude where you’re either ‘on a diet’ or bingeing out. There’s also this weird social compartment around food when you’re eating out with other people. It’s a subject I’m really interested in – the psychology of how we approach fitness and nutrition. It’s not spoken about enough, but it informs my present philosophy and my work with my clients.

Do you have an ideal client?

I love training anyone, especially avid runners and any of your readers who are looking to lose weight and keep it off permanently. I train using TRX, kettle-bells, battle-rope, and sled work.

Where can we find you when you’re not in the gym?

‘I write and perform as a poet, emcee and hip-hop artist in and around New York. I also teach writing workshops, and I just released my first hip-hop project, “Nothing Without You.”’

Have more questions for Danny? Until January 31st get a free consult + free fitness assessment with Danny, plus 20% off any training package. Call or text: 917 804 1866. Or email: info@transformfitness.com








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Lost Something?

1.15 Blog Post_edit3 Steps to Getting it Back :

It happens. How we lose our strength, mobility or flat stomach isn’t complicated. It happens day by day, almost without our noticing. The good news is, the process of (re)discovery is not unlike good detective work, and it offers your first clues to finding them again.

1. Identify the Problem

We’ve all spent enough time in our bodies to know when something doesn’t  look or feel quite right. If you’ve found yourself saying, ‘I know squats would be good for me, but my lower back or knee can’t take the stress,’ or wondering if all your clothes have all shrunk in the wash, you know exactly what we’re talking about. So take some time to notice where you feel the most restricted, weak or dissatisfied – because that’s exactly where you’ll need to start!

2. Make a Plan

You’ve located your weakest link (perhaps more than one!) – now what? If you’ve done any research on the internet or elsewhere, you’ll have seen how much conflicting information there is floating about. You need a plan, but where to start? What sort of workout is best? How much weight? How many times a week? What’s safe? Should I be stretching? What about yoga or running? What about my diet? And most important: When will I see results…??

3. Enlist Support

A qualified fitness professional can cut through the hype, ask the right questions, make an assessment, and come up with a plan tailored to you – and you only. Think of your trainer as a personal detective, aiding you in your quest to get back the particular thing that you’ve lost  - whether it’s  mobility, strength, muscle tone, or all of the above. As well as offering Lost and Found services (!), a fitness professional acts as an ongoing source of support, as well as advice on changing tactics and help in setting goals and deadlines. Best of all for many of us, they also provide that all-important accountability factor…

Need a plan? Until January 31st get your free consult and fitness assessment with one of our experts + an unbeatable 20% off on any session package, for savings of up to $1,150! Last two weeks!

P.S. In next week’s blog we’ll be turning the spotlight on a member of the Transform Fitness NYC team by getting up-close and personal with one trainer who took his own weakest link – and transformed it into a huge strength – for himself and his clients.

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How to Crush Your Goals




At the start of each New Year, we ask our clients the same question: ‘How would you like to direct your goals in your training?’

Part of this is to do with measurement and the setting up of milestones. For instance, when we look at professional athletes it’s easy to forget that we’re seeing the results of years of training and conditioning. Whether you call this deliberate practice or the ten-thousand hour rule of mastery, you can be sure their progress has been rigorously quantified and measured by a whole team of experts! Most of us will never aspire to that degree of dedication; however our own path is still trackable, and we can ask the right questions – and keep asking them as time goes on:

  • What will it take to reach your goal?
  • Where are you right now?
  • What are the obstacles in your path?
  • What have you tried in the past?
  • How will you know when you reach your goal?
  • What will it look and feel like?
  • How will you continue to make progress?

Why is all this important? Working with a client is a collaborative experience, and as fitness professionals we rely on the information our clients give us as much as any that we glean from assessing their movements. As a child of science my business is to actualize clients’ goals, and since the way each of us defines fitness can vary, strategic questioning helps us make sure everyone’s on the same page.

As many are apt to discover after the first flush of New Year’s resolution enthusiasm, simply wandering into a gym once or twice a week to lift a few weights and use the Stairmaster doesn’t cut it. When goals and strategies are ill-defined and vague, so too will be your results. Which brings me to my last point: accountability. When you clearly articulate your goals and intentions to someone else (your trainer being a good example) and you allow that person to partner with you to make those goals a reality, you’ve built accountability into the system and you’re far more likely to succeed.

The New Year offers us all a chance to recalibrate, and to articulate our path with clarity. This month, whether you’re already a Transform NYC client, or seizing the day with a free consult, we’ll be asking you – and ourselves – the same question: ‘How would you like to direct your goals in your training?’

As an incentive this month Transform are offering 20% off any training package. Let us help you set your goals, chart a course – and most of all (as our existing clients can attest) enjoy crushing them!

Until January 31st new clients get a free consult + an unbeatable 20% off on any session package, for savings of up to $1,150!

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Here’s to a Healthy New Year


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The Year in Transformation

It’s that time again. For some it’s been a challenging twelve months; for others a time of growth or personal achievement. For most, I expect, it’s been a bit of each. This week, as the more fortunate among us begin a well-earned break from the normal chaos of our lives, the end of the year offers an opportunity to reflect and take stock.

2014 has been a year of transition for me, with many fork-in-the-road moments. These have given me no choice but to pay more attention to what’s going on around me and to take actions that may offer greater risks – while also (it is hoped) offering greater rewards.

I have been lucky to see clients make significant breakthroughs in their acute or chronic problems, and recognize that the bigger frame of their issue often stems from a smaller one that has gone unchecked and undiagnosed. This has been the key to their relief from pain, and the doorway into strength they never realized was possible.

These past few years Transform Fitness has adopted and applied a strength system called Gymnastic Strength Training, made popular by it’s founder Christopher Sommer. As we move into 2015, our plans are for a gym re-tool and re-design that allows us to pursue this system more completely in all its applications. This will mean, for instance, more dedicated group-based training such as the amazingly successful seminar we hosted a couple of months ago with Kit and Olivia from Stretch Therapy.

We’ve also been busy bringing our staff up to speed, helping familiarize them with Transform’s newest strength and mobility training systems. After much diligence and hard work on their part, they’re now ready to provide the same incredible level of service that our members have grown used to. I’m so proud of them – and I’m excited to see all the great things they’ll achieve with us in 2015!

All these successes will also free me up to take care of a few management priorities. Though this means I won’t be taking on more clients myself, the good news is that it will allow me to spend time pursuing further training and education so that we can continue to explore new ways to build health, wellness, and fitness. As we grow, and continue act on our broader vision, this looks to be a year of great promise. A Happy New Year, everyone  – we’ll look forward to seeing you in 2015!

Before December 31st we’re offering five sessions for only $500 at Transform Fitness NYC. Or come in for a free consultation, and let us help you reach your fitness goals in 2015. info@transformfitnessnyc.com Call or text: 917 804 1866

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Messages from the Inside (Ankle Strain)

Messages from the Inside

How’s your day going today? If you’ve been sitting down for longer than an hour, get up and move around. If you’re a guy, try a Downward Dog into ten to-the-floor push-ups, or a Downward Dog into three push-ups if you’re a woman. How did you feel? If you noticed foot or wrist pain, chances are the problem has been there for a lot longer than you realized.

Recently I had some ankle strain brought on by overzealousness while pushing myself through a ballistic acrobatic move. Needless to say I was in pain – the kind of pain where you berate yourself for ignoring your body’s warning signs. I watched helplessly as the pain transferred to other parts of my body, and I realized that I had allowed my adrenaline to take over my decision-making. As a fitness professional, I was guilty of not taking my own advice!

Pain in our muscles and joints has profound physical effects on our ability to move. Suddenly, everything becomes a negotiated calculation: how to get up out of a chair, how to stand up from the ground or go up or down stairs. Every action takes on a new and unfamiliar dimension. And then there are the mental and emotional repercussions – irritability, frustration, weakness. For those of us who have taken our bodies for granted, it’s a watershed moment, and we might wonder if it will ever get better.

I have decided to think of this as an opportunity, akin to a huge STOP sign – although I should add here that the solution is not about taking a break from the gym. We can consider ourselves at a crossroads where we can choose to ‘push through it’ and accrue more injury – or – opt to change-up our approach. In other words, we can choose to address the problem directly, and in the right way. This is a very important point because studies have proved injured athletes heal better by strengthening the original spot that contributed to the injury.

In our last blog post we talked about how practices like meditation help us to notice our thoughts. As I have always told my clients, bringing awareness to our bodies has benefits as well. One of these is to bring physical problems to our attention and prevent needless injury. Although injuries, as I learned last week, give us plenty to think about. — Paul Watson

What do you think? Do you have an injured athlete in your life? Until December 31st give the gift of health and strength with our Transform Fitness NYC ‘Five for 5’ holiday gift card. You’ll get a fitness assessment and five sessions with an expert trainer for only $500! Call or text: 917 804 1866. Or email: info@transformfitness.com And talk to us on Twitter and Facebook. Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Quiroz.

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Mind, Wine, and Enlightenment

Wine Graphic

A copy of ‘Scientific American’ appeared in the gym recently. The cover story? ‘The Neuroscience of Meditation’. If only I had the time to read it, I thought, as I sped past.

The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year seem to fly by very fast. We barely have time to catch our breath, let alone delve into arcane explications about how to achieve enlightenment. There’s shopping to be tackled and office parties we can’t avoid, so it’s no wonder that some of us feel as if we’re losing our minds.

Over the years I must have had hundreds of discussions with friends about meditation and mindfulness. (If I’d used this time to actually meditate instead I’d have achieved nirvana approximately ten years ago.) We all nod, and agree how beneficial it is – how it clarifies the mind and aids focus, and so on – and that we should do more of it. Afterwards, full of resolve, I’ll go home and crash out in front of the TV.

Meditation seems to require special effort, not to mention all manner of accoutrements – a quiet room, a cushion, a candle, and some soothing New Age music. When I’ve managed some facsimile of this, I’ve also managed to get hung up on how well I did and what I ‘achieved’. When I’m feeling stressed out, a big glass of wine or a stiff drink can seem way more practical.

The problem is that we tend to equate meditation with ‘achieving enlightenment’ or reaching some particular ‘destination’. We’ve made it too precious. Yet if we look at the concept of mindfulness in general, it means nothing more than being fully ‘present’ in whatever we’re doing – whether that’s wrapping presents or taking out the trash. (I suspect this is why a workout or certain types of sport can leave our minds feeling so amazingly calm afterwards.)

Opportunities present themselves during the day in the most unexpected of places, and in situations where it’s impossible to multi-task. I might find myself standing on the 6 train or brushing my teeth – and with nothing else to be done in that moment, I can choose to simply notice my thoughts. This is easier said than done, I know, and inevitably I’ll get dragged down into labyrinthine trains of thought. But once I realize this, I can also choose to gently and firmly bring myself back to the task at hand.

I don’t always remember any of this, of course. Half the time I’m much too busy being annoyed with others or by my surroundings! Yet mindfulness and meditation offer us an opportunity not to feel aggravated or to be a high-achiever, or to tick things off the list, but to simply observe our busy minds and, most of the time, to feel a little less worse afterwards.

Incidentally, once I made time to read the magazine, I discovered that someone else got there first and torn all the pages out. What to make of this? On the bright side, I’d say it’s good to know I’m not the only one seeking enlightenment. But if you’re the culprit, maybe you can enlighten me while you’re at it.

How do you keep mind and body together during the holidays? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook, or leave us a comment below.

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