Writer: Sean Alexander
Photographer: Frank Louis
Grooming: Frank Louis
Stylist: Jessie Minor
Model Trainers is a team of New York City-based personal trainers who lead by example. They don’t just talk the talk; they walk the walk (and sometimes, for cardio, we run the run).
The team of Model Trainers prides themselves on fully encompassing not just one, but two definitions of the word “model”. Being that our team is composed of signed fitness models at some of the world’s top modeling agencies, we are all actively living a healthy, fit, aesthetic lifestyle.
“How on earth could a client reasonably expect to see results from working with trainers who don’t train, diet, and perform at peak capacity themselves?”
The staff has hands-on experience changing their own body composition. Through years of trial and error, they have figured out the correct methods to train and diet in order to see true, sustainable results in all aspects of fitness, and general health and wellness.
- Barbell Squat:
- Featured above, Model Trainer Ryan Harden gets ready for a set of barbell squats. The objective of a squat is to activate the entire chain of lower body leg muscles, including but not limited to, quads, hamstrings, gluteus (BOOTY), calves, and core.
The three most important form cues to keep in mind while performing a squat are first, to maintain proper posture by keeping your torso and shoulders upright and in line with your hips. Second, remember to focus on having your body weight directly over your heels rather than your toes. This will greatly reduce risk for injury, as well as alleviate unnecessary joint pain from improper form. Lastly, and this applies for all exercises and not just squats, make sure to complete a full range of motion! Slowly lower your booty down until your knees create a 90-degree angle before standing back up.
- BATTLE ROPES!
- Michael Dean coaches Sean Alexander through a set on the battle ropes. Cardio can very easily, and often does, become monotonous and boring. Battle ropes are a great way to elevate your heart rate, warm your muscles up with a lightweight movement, and burn a ton of calories all at once! Squat down so that your knees are in a 90-degree angle (you’ll know you’re doing it right when your legs start getting tired!), make sure your back is flat and your shoulder blades are retracted, and then in 15-second intervals, alternate between moving the ropes up and down reciprocally (left arm goes up while right arm goes down), followed by 15 seconds of bilateral movement (moving both ropes up and down together). Repeat for 4-6 sets, or for 5-10 minutes in total for maximal effectiveness.
- What are they and why are they relevant? Supersets are when you stack two exercises together that work for similar muscle groups, back to back, with little to no time to rest in-between. The reason for doing this is to activate the target muscle group in the first exercise and then hop right into the second exercise (which is typically done with lighter weight for higher repetition) to completely exhaust the muscles, and effectively “burn out”. In the example depicted above, Michael Dean and Ryan Harden are shown sprinting up a set of stairs immediately following a set of squats. The squats pump blood into their legs and fatigue the muscles, and the sprints work to elevate their heart rate while at the same time completely exhausting their legs for maximum efficiency.
- Walking Dumbbell Lunges:
- Lunges are an incredibly effective leg exercise that really focuses on bridging the gap between lifting weights at the gym, and real-world functionality for daily tasks. Walking dumbbell lunges target the hamstrings and gluteus, while also training stability, grip strength, unilateral leg function, and total leg strength. To correctly perform a walking lunge start standing with feet together, and then step forward with one foot. With your single foot forward, lightly lower and tap the back knee down to the floor. While in this forward lunge position, your front knee should not be protruding further than the front of your foot, meaning your front shin should be totally vertical. Add one dumbbell in each hand and perform them for 5 sets of 5-8 reps on each leg. Michael Dean is shown performing the walking lunge, while Ryan Harden is depicted in the back, recovering from his last set, casually looking as cool as a cucumber.
- Triceps Rope Pushdown:
- Nick Sandell walks us through the proper steps to perfecting your triceps rope pushdown. “Start standing upright with your shoulders pulled back, elbows hinged at the side, and rope in hand. Without moving your elbows, press the rope handles down to the floor while making sure your knuckles are facing each other. At the bottom of the movement, separate the rope in your hands away from each other in order to ensure the best possible muscular contraction.”