Manhattan’s luxury health scene has a new player: NYLO Fitness. The concept, debuting in October in Tribeca, is the brainchild of personal trainers and husband-and-wife team Elena Sokina and Sean Cronin. NYLO functions like a private facility, where you can either take your own guru or avail of holistic fitness-meets-lifestyle design sessions with the dynamic duo themselves. Here’s what you need to know. See you on the training floor!
Why was the time right to open NYLO Fitness?
Sean Cronin: COVID really allowed it to happen as the pandemic shut down all the big box gyms. The change in the gym industry has opened up a lot of real estate, and there’s never been a better time to jump on that opportunity. Long-term, we see a trend in personal training. The bottom half of the market has been cannibalized by digital fitness, and people have moved to apps and Pelotons. But at the higher end, people are starting to ask for more quality from their experience. And big box gyms, because of the structure that they hold their trainers to, won’t be able to provide that. We envision higher-end trainers coming to us to experience a luxury training situation, while managing their own business.
How will NYLO operate?
Cronin: Elena and I will be the only in-house trainers. On the second floor, there’s a 1,700-square-foot private gym for us to train clients one-on-one. Our clients can also use this gym themselves. On the third floor, there’s another private gym for independent trainers and their clients, where there’ll be no more than 10 people at a time.
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What do prospective clients need to know about training with you?
Elena Sokina: The native NYLO experience is a unique method of training that only Sean and I deliver. Clients don’t encounter anyone else. This is the privacy that allows for vulnerability and allows us to get deeper with clients. The unique atmosphere helps us solve issues in their head and body and allows our clients to get in touch with what’s going on. We help clients find the thing that doesn’t allow them to take control of nutrition and exercise.
How do you do that?
Sokina: We help to structure their social lives differently; that’s where our bio-psychosocial approach comes in. We don’t want all the hard work to be undone on the weekend.
How else does NYLO differ?
Sokina: It’s secluded. It’s not an average walk-in gym. It’s a more intimate and luxurious experience for independent trainers, a place to take their more discerning clients and for those who want to train away from the average gym goer. Cronin: Everything is rooted in natural systems and reconnecting to the Earth. There’ll also be no street shoes! That’s something that comes from when I was living and coaching in South Korea. It’s required in every gym there. There is a separate shoe locker, and you’re expected to move into your training shoes or be barefoot.
What other training styles have you picked up from different cultures?
Sokina: I’m Russian, so I’m more of a goal-oriented type of trainer, and I love helping people with time-limited projects, like wedding prep. My brides and grooms are my favorite people! These men and women are preparing for their once-in-a-lifetime event, and it’s rewarding to help them. Sometimes I have to push them really hard. That’s a Russian style of training—everything for the goal!
Cronin: On the flip side, the Japanese concept of forest bathing is important to us. It’s proven that time spent surrounded by nature decreases levels of stress and improves overall health. So at NYLO, we have a number of plants throughout, and there are moss walls and bonsai trees on each floor. We’ve created a Zen environment that’s a serene, tranquil escape.
Definitely what we need in this metropolis!
Cronin: There’s a phrase I like to use: “diseases of modernity.” The society we’ve set up is not conducive to human health. One of the things we do in terms of lifestyle design is advise on the best way to eat and the best way to incorporate natural movement. We focus on designing a client’s environment to reinforce those goals and habits.
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What else are you teaching clients?
Sokina: We’re biological creatures, but the lives that we’re living are not good for our bodies. If you treated an animal the way that you treat yourself, someone would report you! [Laughs]
Cronin: That’s what we’re trying to point out: People need to treat their bodies better, and their bodies will gladly respond by being stronger, functional, and more aesthetically pleasing…whatever that means to you.
Where does the name come from?
Cronin: In Latin, nylo means “out of nothing.” It’s our take on fitness—longevity-based fitness training for New Yorkers!