“It’s like the Olympics,” trainer Justin Gelband says of the annual Victoria’s Secret runway show, which took place at New York’s Pier 94 last week. The megawatt event is (controversially) known to demand total-body perfection from its catwalkers, which is why many of this year’s Angels—Candice Swanepoel, Romee Strijd, Jasmine Tookes, and Lais Ribeiro chief among them—turned to Gelband and his highly targeted technique: “What [most] people don’t realize is that they all have separate bodies,” he says of the supermodels, “so you really have to train each and every one differently.”
Such an individualized approach is not exclusive to his A-list clientele, however. Starting today, Gelband—who took a hiatus from the New York fitness scene after parting ways with ModelFIT, the celebrity-centric studio he cofounded in 2014—is back with his own eponymous space in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. There, he offers his signature hands-on approach in both one-on-one and group sessions. What’s more, dance-cardio and Pilates classes, taught by Gelband-approved instructors, are also on offer. “I really like to look at how people feel when they’re here, so I always start with a warm-up and watch people move in [differing] planes of motion—anterior, posterior, and laterally and rotationally,” Gelband explains of his beloved step-and-stretch series. After gauging his students’ flexibility, strength, and skill level, he then devises a 60-minute plan of action, which is often tweaked throughout class to best suit individuals’ needs. “I literally have no idea what we’re doing until the class warms up,” he adds with a laugh.
While every sweat session varies, one can expect controlled micro movements paired with a host of aids—rubber resistance arm bands, say, or a leg-toning trampoline and slant board, perfect for those who need to run around in heels all day. If it sounds tame compared to many of today’s more high-intensity workouts, rest assured it delivers results: “I know people who say, ‘I want [my workout] to be so hard that I can’t walk afterwards,’ but there’s no reason to be going a hundred miles an hour,” he explains of his slow-burn technique, which has been sought out by everyone from Taylor Swift to Crystal Reed. “Everyone wants to know how they can get in shape really fast, but it’s not about the quick fix; it’s a lifestyle. Getting in shape takes patience. Being the best you takes patience.”
Justin Gelband, 86 Walker Street, justingelband.com