These days, slinging a yoga mat to and from work is about as tired as sporting the equestrian look. So, what's next for gym addicts? Basic, sweaty fitness routines -- albeit custom-tailored for different body types.
Edward Jackowski, the burly, 40-year-old founder of Exude Fitness, on 52nd Street, is the movement's master -- and a rather no-nonsense one at that. On a recent afternoon, the author of Hold It! You're Exercising Wrong surveys a crowded gym and finds no shortage of bad ideas: Here's a sweaty woman in tight spandex running fast on a treadmill. "Look at that," he said, pointing at her lumpy, jiggling backside. Here's a Tae Bo class full of gasping people furiously punching away at the air in time to Daft Punk. Jackowski rolls his eyes at the rows of flapping triceps. After all, this is the man Donald Trump took Miss Universe to see after she "bulked" (Exude-speak) from too much Tae Bo.
"No one exercises for their type," Jackowski explains wearily. By type he means spoon, cone, ruler, or hourglass (everyone's one of the four). Exude trainers prescribe each type a different set of exercises -- gym-class things like jumping rope or jumping jacks -- either to work on at Exude or take with them on the road. (No trampolines, giant balls, or pretzel poses required.)
In a Greenwich Village gym, a 29-year-old designer watches a sweat-free woman flirt with her trainer. "Now that I've been to Exude," the designer says, furiously skipping rope, "I can't even believe that. My friend is going to some trainer, and her legs are getting bigger! I'm like, You're an hourglass -- what are you doing?"
The techniques are catching on among a wide range of New Yorkers, from Malachy McCourt (!) to R&B singer Lillian Garcia Brown (who fired her old trainer when she realized "my butt was getting bigger by the day") to Hootie and the Blowfish. (No word on whether the band brought its "Escape Your Shape" body bars on tour, but lead singer Darius Rucker did shave some inches off.) "It's not based on complicated moves. It's all stuff you learned to do in the second grade," says Andie Brokaw (hourglass), a music-industry exec who, after four weeks, is happy to report that her clothes are looser. Which, it seems, is the only spiritual reward anyone wants from a trip to the gym right now.