NEW YORK — With the proliferation of party pictures appearing in nearly every publication on the newsstand (including this one), it was only a matter a time before the fitness industry cashed in on the red-carpet craze.
Enter Alex Reznik, a former member of an elite Russian army attack squad who moved to New York two decades ago to start a career as a personal trainer. His Socialite Workout, a dynamic routine specially designed to, in his own words, “get flashbulb arms and red-carpet shoulders,” is just the fix for any PYT hoping to get the most out of a night of posing.
This story first appeared in the July 23, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“My ultimate goal is to make my girls look the best they can in pictures,” Reznik says with his stern yet endearing Russian accent. “And we do that by improving posture to help disguise arm fat, doing yoga to open the chest up and focusing a lot of work on the upper back and arms for strapless dresses.” The Socialite Workout also includes kickboxing, to help tone the gams, and Pilates to help stretch the spine and appear even taller in those 6-inch stilettos. “I’ll even teach some self-defense classes for the paparazzi,” Reznik teases. “Or if someone tries to steal their Manolos.”
A major attraction to his fitness regime is Reznik’s diverse background in physical training, physical education and motivational techniques. Born in the former Soviet Union, Reznik joined the military at 18, rising in the ranks to become a trainer of the elite Speznez command team. When he left the army, he studied nutrition at St. Petersburg University and in 1992 emigrated to New York to found his Complete Body Development program, a nutritional and spiritual program devoted to complete health.
“It can be an unusual mix,” Reznik says of his ability to know when to push his clients to the edge and when to coddle them. “I pride myself on being part Russian boot camp drill sergeant and part nurturing Jewish grandmother.” When he developed a whole series of exercises to be performed from a reclining position (“Many of my clients complain they are hung over and can’t stand up. So now they don’t have to,” Reznik explains), he was only more endearing to his clientele. “I get paid if they cancel anyway,” he says. “But I want them to do it. I want them to look good.”
Because there are days when his clients aren’t suffering from the Champagne flu, Reznik has designed the Complete Body Wall Street facilities for girls on the go: laundry and dry-cleaning services are available, as are facials, massages and physical therapy. “My girls are looking better for sure,” he says. “But I think they’re feeling better, too.”
And while the gym’s stable of trainers (including an acrobat, a boxer, a gymnast and even an Ultimate Cage Fighter) are willing to do house calls, Reznik finds that his Lower Manhattan location appeals to the sort of social who claims to come by her figure naturally but never misses her morning workout.
In fact, Reznik has found a rather unsuspecting fan is health guru Deepak Chopra. “Alex is one of the most amazing trainers I’ve ever encountered,” Chopra says. “His training methods are unique.”
Reznik is now developing a routine devoted to members of the fashion industry. “My next project is a Fashion Week Prep workout,” he says with a smile. “Get front-row ready in six weeks or less.”