Member blogger Kathleen Bush recently observed Midtown’s hottest new class, MXT Heat, and shares her experience with you.
“Welcome to Heat,” Vinny tells the members who are furiously pulling back on the rowing machines as the sweat hits the floor.“We’re breaking barriers here!”
MXT (Midtown Xtreme Training), the brainchild of personal trainer Vinny Mogavero, is one of the most popular classes at the club, so much so that the Saturday class had to be moved from the Group Ex Studio to the gym to accommodate it’s impressive number of participants (60 people regularly attend this MXT session). In the warmer months, the class is held on the Great Lawn on Saturdays. Watch the class in action here.
Its popularity has its roots in Vinny’s motivational style. As one who regularly takes the class, offered three times a week on Mondays at 7pm, Wednesdays at 12:15pm, and Saturday’s at 12:30, I can tell you that he makes each member feel like he or she is receiving an individual personal training session with his ability to be seemingly everywhere at once, dispensing motivation by the gallon.
The Evolution of Heat
Vinny recognized the need for a smaller, more intimate MXT experience, and so in February, he teamed up with trainer Dina Smock to create MXT Heat. Trainer Justin Bradt is often on hand to help too. Based on the MXT principles of high-intensity intervals, MXT Heat is limited to a maximum of 15 people, and utilizes different areas of the club, including the weight room floor, Kinesis studio, and cardio machines (similar to the areas used during a private personal training session).
The class I observe is broken up into three small groups of five members each. Each trainer is running his or her own “station.” Justin has a circuit set up on the weight room floor, Vinny mans the cardio machines, and Dina is in charge of the Kinesis studio (Kinesis is a training tool that engages muscles and movement at the same time via resistance cables). Each group moves in rotation several times among all the stations, under the watchful eye of a trainer, therefore making the class a very personal experience. I observe Justin stepping in to correct form, Vinny monitoring the numbers on each member’s cardio machine, and Dina jumping into an exercise right alongside a participant.
Despite tackling fatiguing repetitions, members are able to walk to each new station with a renewed sense of vigor. It’s obvious that MXT Heat combines the best of both worlds: You have the benefit of individual attention and focus, yet the momentum of a small group to push you forward and keep you competitive.
“Hate Me Now, Love Me Later.”
Make no mistake, though. This class is tough. I overhear the group members’ conversation (between heavy breaths) as they rotate from the treadmills to the Kinesis studio, congratulating each other on a job well done. One member says with a laugh, “Man, I hate Vinny!”
This is a sentiment shared by both his clients and his MXT family, and Vinny embraces it. He believes if you aren’t hating him, he’s not doing his job. “Hate me now, love me later!” is something he always tells his classes. And as the class ends with 15 exhausted members, trust me. The Vinny-love is not running over.
But later on, I overhear class members singing his praises. They are reaching new heights of fitness they never would have achieved on their own.
Motivation on Tap
Vinny’s gift is in dispensing motivation, and in MXT Heat he has the ability to direct it to class members individually. As each participant is outfitted with a heart rate monitor, he is able to monitor their effort level and encourage them to step it up a notch, while confidently assuring them that they can do it.
Dina is equally motivational. She reassures the group entering the Kinesis studio rotation that “I’m not as mean as Vinny!” Maybe so, but I notice her energy level is certainly as high. She sprints through the rotation, demonstrating each unique exercise, which is performed during a one-minute interval, and immediately gets the class moving. Then she is everywhere – bouncing from person to person on each Kinesis “module,” hopping in with them, and encouraging them. “You’re out of here in 30 seconds!” she yells out, and participants kick up their effort a notch higher.
Justin Bradt, whose strength is inspiring, has a full-body weight circuit set up at his station. He keeps a careful eye on form as they perform different exercises with the kettlebells, medicine balls, and battle ropes. “This is your halfway point!” he yells to the tired group, before correcting a member’s kettlebell swing.
Between Vinny’s cardio, Justin’s weights, and Dina’s Kinesis and core work, class members are getting an amazing, calorie- blasting workout.
The Science Behind MXT
Science backs up the principles on which MXT is based. High-intensity interval training quickly produces noticeable results, and is proven to be one of the most beneficial forms of training and exercise. Heat participants are pushing beyond their comfort zones, exceeding personal limits, and transforming their bodies. This kind of change does not come easily, and it is very hard to achieve by yourself.
As the participants are sprinting on an incline on their treadmills, Vinny begins his infamous”countdown,” meaning he has you working at your maximum, but then demands you push it even further past that point for the final ten seconds. Thinking you were at your absolute limit and then “discovering” that secret reserve deep inside of you for a final push does wonders for your confidence and strength.
At the end of the hour session, the class gathers in the Kinesis studio for a quick cool down and stretch. The air is charged with positive energy and satisfaction. The Heat participants were an even mix of men and women, ages 20 to 50, and all told me they are already hooked on the class. In just a few short weeks, they have seen results and they are hungry for more. They are able to emerge with a badge of honor by having pushed their limits and come out on the other side.
MXT Heat takes place on Fridays, from 12-1pm. The cost is $26/class, and you can register by calling Vinny at 461-2301, ext. 272 or Dina at ext. 125.
And starting next week, the club is adding two more days of MXT Heat: Wednesdays from 7-8pm and Saturdays from 8:30-9:30am.
Have you tried MXT Heat? Please leave a comment and share your experience with us.