Where: Equinox, 203 E 85th St at 3rd Ave, New York, NY
Mark Hendricks: The Six-Million-Dollar-Smile Man
Mark runs into the studio 5 minutes late. "Sorry I'm late, but I just want you to know that I'm coming from teaching another class elsewhere. So if I'm ever late again, I don’t want you to think it’s because I’m sleeping. OK?” He smiles. You know those cartoon smiles, with that little twinkle in the corner? Meet Mark Hendricks, the 6-million-dollar-smile man.
[Click here to review Mark's class yourself, or check out his RateYourBurn profile here.]
Mark is a really handsome guy. By that I mean he's drop dead gorgeous. He’s tall and slender with dark hair and blue eyes ... and he drips with charm and sweat, equally. PureStrength! is his signature class.
He starts the class by asking if there are new people, explaining it's a rythmic conditioning class with a constant flow between one exercise to the next - but you don't have to have rythm to take it.
He does the warm up with us, but during the class he walks and talks plenty, demonstrating correct form as well as his knowledge of Latin muscle terminology.
He calls regulars out.
He has a sense of humor, and isn't afraid to use it - it's pretty obvious he's one of those instructors who really enjoys that "all eyes on me" sensation, but not at all in an obnoxious way. No mirror staring whatsoever. Very cheerful. Very friendly.
- Quite a long warm up involving stretches and push-up drills.
- True to his word, we transition from one exercise to the next quite seamlessly.
- There are no breaks but there are "active recoveries" in which you'd do, for example, shoulder presses with one leg in the air.
- A lot of butt/thigh work with forward bends, side lunges etc, most of them accompanied by upper body work with weights. I noticed this more the following day than I did in class.
- Mark does the class barefoot and you're welcome to do the same, but it's not a necessity. I think most people kept their shoes on.
I’d say the average age in class at the 85th St. location was 45 to 50 and I could see a lot of people were modifying their work. I have taken this class before at other locations where the commitment and energy levels were way higher, and Mark made the drills more intense accordingly. My personal preference is the harder the better, and if you're like me you might want to try and travel downtown.
What I’d like to call standard schmaltz.
The bottom line:
Are you still here? GO!!!
From the Equinox website: Mark Hendricks was born and raised in Sussex County NJ. He moved to NYC in 04, and has been teaching exclusively for Equinox ever since. Mark's fitness career started 7 years ago, as a group fitness instructor for small independent clubs in NJ. He has presented at City of Hope, and is star of 2 Cia videos. He has developed the class PureStrength, and teaches it throughout various Equinox locations.
Find out more about Equinox at www.equinox.com
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