NEW YORK — Assuming all is right with the world, Upper East Side grandes dames and boxers and bookies behave much like Rudyard Kipling’s East and West: never the twain shall meet. The unthinkable, however, has occurred at the new gym Edge on East 91st Street. Trainers Sean Kelleher, 46, and Denis Barry 3rd, 39, work out professional athletes and professional party goers alike at the two-story space located a few doors down from Eli’s Bread. “It’s rough on people because you can smell the bakery all day,” jokes Kelleher, who has trained Calvin Klein, Twyla Tharp, Ellen Saltzman, Jann Wenner and Martha Stewart. In between clients, the two no-nonsense men sat down to discuss what the best strategy is for a true socialite in training.
WWD: How often should you weight train?
Sean Kelleher: I never train someone more than twice a week. If you train someone hard enough, they need time to recover. In the long run it keeps people from burning out, and they don’t get injuries. They also realize, “Oh, I’m only training twice a week. I really have to bring it.”
WWD: How is it different training a socialite versus a boxer?
S.K.: Women like [clients] Jamee Gregory and Allison Stern are judged very harshly. When I train a fighter I’m peaking them for a fight June 10. On June 10, they’ve got to be great, but June 12 they don’t got to be anything. Allison and Jamee, they’ve got to be good June 10, 12, 15…
WWD: So to look their best, should women train the day of an event or a few days before?
S.K.: Two days before, because you might get sore and you don’t want to walk around stiff. If I know you’re going to a dinner dance, chances are we’re not going to squat real heavy that day so that you’re graceful on the dance floor. There is a cause and effect.
This story first appeared in the July 7, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WWD: What are the best exercises to combat the effects of wearing high heels all day and night?
WWD: Do you have personal experience?
Denis Barry 3rd: Why are you pointing at me? Anyway, a high heel takes your foot into an unnatural position. Your calves are working while your hamstrings are working more than your quadriceps. So what we would do is squat to emphasize the hamstring, stretching it out and getting it strong so that it can handle being up on 6-inch heels for however many hours. We’d have to limit calf work because, quite honestly, when you’re on your feet all day that’s a lot of calf work.
WWD: Is it better to work out in the morning or the evening?
D.B.: It depends on the goal and the person. The best time to lose weight? Exercise before you eat in the morning.
S.K.: The reality is also the ladies aren’t going to come in past a certain time because they already had their hair done. So they’re going to want to get sweaty, but after 11 a.m. they ain’t doing it.
WWD: What if you wake up the morning of an event and your dress is too tight? Any fixes?
S.K.: You have to remember there’s no such thing as a quick fix. I would probably work them for a good 30 to 40 minutes with compound movements like a squat and then have them on a treadmill. Walk backward on a treadmill because you’re forced to push off and you’re using more your glute and your hamstring. Of course, it’s dangerous. That’s why those treadmills have handles.
WWD: Can you tell which phase of the social season it is depending on how often women come in to train?
S.K.: I’ll tell you now that it’s Hamptons time, you kind of shift a little more into your tennis training. It’s also, “Gee whiz, it’s time to wear shorts.” We might do a few more lunges than we usually do in the regular season.