Black male model, Ngo Okafor has just been featured in Elle Magazine for living out one of his life’s many passions…FITNESS!! READ MORE
For five days straight, ELLE editor Justine Harman puts herself at the mercy of professional fitness concierge service, SIN Workouts, to experience the lifestyle of the rich and flawless.
Day 3: TKO with Ngo
After yesterday’s double workout I wake up not exactly in pain but feeling an allover tightness, like I could already be one size smaller. (Is that even possible?)
One of the things I mentioned in my initial consultation with my fitness concierge, S.I.N.’s Vanessa Martin—the woman who is cheerfully leading me into new circles of hell this week—is that I like to box. Growing up watching fights on TV with my dad, a former welterweight fighter, I learned to love the rhythmic sounds of pad work and the squeak of high tops on canvas.
And, as I’ve found out through dozens of group classes at Gotham Gym in the West Village, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of connecting a solid jab. As it turns out, one of the benefits to having a Vanessa of my very own is that she has unrivaled access to the best facilities in the city—including some, like Peak Performance, that are usually only open to clients who buy pricey personal training packages. “There’s no other training facility that even scratches the surface of what Peak offers,” she says. “The staff is completely comprised of career trainers—no actors looking for part time gigs to make money.” Plus, Vanessa is friends with the manager. “I know she will personally take care of my clients when I’m not there.” I’m beginning to get the hang of this V.I.P thing: Basically, all I have to do is show up and sweat.
Peak, a 10,000 square foot loft space in Chelsea, looks exactly the way I imagine the Miami Heat’s training room would: spacious, full of high-tech machinery including vibrating Power Plate platforms and speed-enhancing Woodway Force treadmills. It’s also equipped with private bathrooms the size of my apartment. This time around, Vanessa will not be working out by my side, though she does meet me upon arrival to quickly introduce me to my trainer, Ngo, then vanishes behind mammoth steel elevator doors.
The hulking and handsome Ngo escorts me into a private studio, wraps my hands, and asks me what kind of music I like. For the next hour, to the sounds of Drake, Kanye, and Hova, we alternate between gym class calisthenics (squats, lunges, push-ups, and burpies) and increasingly difficult boxing combinations. At one point, when I think I’ve completely maxed out, Ngo makes me punch him backwards, across the room and into a corner. The blood is ferociously pumping in my ears and my shoulders are so tired I think they might collapse; but every time I connect with his pads, a hint of a smile betrays Ngo’s steely stare. As we stretch afterwards on parallel mats, I ask him about the Peak clientele. He explains that it’s a mix of professional athletes, stay-at-home hotties, and actors. As if on cue, Kyle MacLachlan strolls by in a baby-blue bandana.
After a hot shower and another round of Malin + Goetz goodies (those guys have the specialty fitness market on lock), I treat myself to lunch (a protein shake at Peak’s well-stocked juice bar) and check my email. Like clockwork, a note from Vanessa pops up: “How was Peak? Feeling good? See you tomorrow at Uplift Studios for the 9:30 a.m. class.” Here we go again.
Written by Justine Harman for Elle Magazine
Posted by Ngo Okafor
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