Tribe Training

It’s day one of my Tribe Training at Hamptons Gym Corp. and I have no idea what to expect. As I walk into the studio, a former Crossfit space, I’m partially intimidated. Kettle bells, TRX bands, weights, medicine balls, rogue racks, resistance bands, jump ropes, jump boxes . . . holy bleep, what did I just sign up for? Then I read the board for a rundown of the workout ahead. Half of the terms I didn’t even recognize, and the fear is replaced with adrenaline. Call me a masochist, but I actually got excited for the challenge ahead.

Tribe Team Training is broken down into three categories: TribeLIFE is low-impact and focused on reducing body fat and increasing strength; TribeCORE, the next level, brings toning, strengthening, stability, and power to the overall core but also uses the shoulders, back, booty, and legs; and TribeFIT, the high intensity class, which is focused on making individuals fitter, faster, stronger, and challenging overall endurance and strength.

I tried all three to properly assess their difficulty levels, and they’re accurate in description. Envision interval training in a group environment with multiple sets and rounds. Aside from the clock, the only one you’re competing with is yourself. It’s especially great for those who prefer constant movement over routine, as it really is an animal of its own.

Team Training members, across all levels, are part of a unit with a common goal of being better than they were yesterday. It’s a supportive, reassuring, motivating, tribe environment. While a white board lists the workout, it’s up to the individual to accomplish each goal to the best of their ability, with their fellow tribe members there to serve as inspiration. It’s a welcoming feeling to hone in on personal capabilities while drowning out the competitive edge to keep up. Although, part of that competition is fuel for the fitness fire.

“Our aim is to be the best, work hard, and exceed expectations. No one in our tribe gets left behind. We unite together, we work together and as a result, we grow together. We are one body, one unit, one team,” Rebeca Olender, Tribe master coach, said.

I met Olender during day one of training, except she wasn’t the coach but my tribe member who stationed herself alongside me. As she lapped me, several times, she paused during her workout to properly aid in my movements (which, of course, only made them harder to do). Olender is inspiring, helpful, extremely outgoing, and most of all, you can relate to her. I only took one of her classes, after our initial meeting, and, despite her overawing physically capabilities, I felt like I truly had someone on my side pushing me to do better. That’s what we all want in a coach/instructor, isn’t it?

Other coaches are Ivette, who radiates kindness and feels like the girl everyone wants to work out with; Oscar, who always has a smile on his face but equates that friendliness with strength; Amber, who has a deep understanding of all the movements; and Rob, a perfectionist for the right technique and attention to detail. Each personality and style are unique, so certain members will gravitate towards certain coaches but they all have the same goal, to help their tribe members achieve their goals.

Tribe Team Training programs are released every six weeks with new exercises, new music, and new workout formulas. No two workouts are the same, which pushes the body further, equating to noticeable results.

Learn more about these options at


This article first appeared in The Independent Newspaper. Read more about #EverythingEastEnd here

Daily Fitness: Spar Boxing

(This article first appeared in the August 9, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)


Juan Carlos Mancilla is an East Hampton native who has been competing in the boxing ring for 11 years. In 2016, the 27-year-old won by TKO at the Paramount in Huntington, officially turning pro and inspiring his latest business venture. As the co-founder of Spar Boxing, which opened its doors this summer, he decided to open his Springs location, found at 514 Three Mile Harbor Hog Creek Road, with a “start small, aim big” mentality.

“As not just an instructor but a professional boxer I am able to bring something unique to the table that you can’t really get out here in The Hamptons,” Mancilla admitted.

“I introduce the public to the hard workouts we boxers have to endure to mold our bodies to be fight-ready as well as fun but effective workouts. So we decided to start out small then in a year or so get a bigger place after we’ve established our clientele.”

Upon arrival to this new location I was given a set of Spar hand wraps to keep (for future use, and to make me look totally badass) and a set of gloves to borrow. My morning class only had four early birds but the studio’s capacity is 14 to a class — sign up early to get a good spot.

After a quick stretch there were 10 boxing rounds on the aqua bags, followed by 10 rounds on a terra core, back and forth. The aqua bags (those teardrop-shaped bags hanging from above) are an innovative new technology for boxers that absorb impact much better than a traditional heavy bag, plus it’s better for the joints (for those with joint pain).

Throughout the rounds Mancilla demonstrated to the class how to properly punch, place their feet, and target their overall core and upper body as one. Having grown up with an affinity for kickboxing, I fell in love with the aqua bag. Not only did it have a trendier look (because that’s apparently a factor in my fitness routine) but it allowed for swifter movement around the bag and cleaner upper cuts.

The terra core was a full body exercise including jumps, lunges, squats, crunches, and push-ups. Aside from using individual body weight, the class incorporated two-pound light weights (this is for all, despite strength), medicine balls, elastic bands, and even lifting the terra core itself (also for all, despite strength). For additional cardio at the end of the class, we practiced high intensity interval training with a quick, powerful punches.

What made this class particularly enjoyable, besides the bag, the terra core, and the instructor, was the playlist. I didn’t want to stop moving. Men and women alike will mutually agree that the beats fuel the body. This is suiting, since the space at Spar has the look and vibe of an actual nightclub. Replace the stilettos with sneakers!

Mancilla noted, “As our building gives off a nightclub vibe with the dark room and different color lights, and top-of-the-line PA sound system, we will be having a few local DJs come in and spin some tracks as the class jams out to the music while burning a high calorie count. We hope to do it a few times this month.”

In addition to the boxing BPMs, every Tuesday Spar donates to Project Most by having kids from the camp come take a boxing class free of charge; a perfect combination of fitness and philanthropy.

By the end of the class I was revived and ready to take on my day. Fist in the air, sipping iced coffee from the other, I felt like a Total Knock Out!

Roll with the punches by signing up yourself at or email at Follow them on Instagram @sparboxing.

Daily Fitness: Who is Christie Hoyt?

(This article first appeared in the July 5, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)


Babylon native and East Hampton resident Christie Hoyt is a woman of many capabilities. Not only does this 32-year-old inspire others on a daily basis through her VIA Barre + Wellness classes but she is a certified sommelier.

We sense a fittingly delicious combination in the future! Thirsty to know more, I caught up with the fit chick.

How long have you been teaching fitness and what do you teach?

After high school I studied holistic medicine and practiced the art of yoga on a daily basis. My first personal training certification was through Hofstra at 19 years old. Over the last 10-plus years, I have ventured into many different types of fitness training. Barre found a very special way into my heart reminding me of all my dance and gymnastic conditioning days.

I have developed a very unique approach to the barre technique, including not just barre exercises, but Pilates moves and gliders (core strengthen and stability training with towels on hard surfaces). VIA Barre + Wellness was something I created to provide clients with a unique yet challenging workout experience.

I try to keep my rates affordable knowing that the industry in The Hamptons has gradually increased tremendously. Class rates average around $30 per class whereas private sessions are between $150 and $180.

What inspired you to become an instructor?

I have been an athlete my entire life. I quickly became interested in human body mechanics when recovering from injury and from progress in endurance and strength during training with my own body. I decided that I wanted to help other people be the best version of themselves. Too many people become caught up in the monotonous routine of life that they forget what is really important, themselves. If I could help change the lives of just a few people for the better, I would feel grateful and fulfilled.

Explain how you personally connect the two titles of “fitness instructor” and “sommelier.”

Wine was a complete accident! A childhood friend and winemaker in California asked me to visit and attend an event. I quickly fell in love with the culture and the Northern California area and stayed for four weeks! I realized I knew nothing about wine — I felt an urge to move forward with the learning process. Obtaining a position as a director of a local Long Island vineyard, I continued my sommelier studies in Manhattan twice a week for many years. I am now a level III sommelier hoping to continue to the diploma level of studies.

Having my Wellness + Fitness business, I work part-time as a wine consultant, organizing and maintaining personal wine cellars to clients in The Hamptons. It keeps me involved in the industry and allows me to meet so many incredible people with even greater knowledge. It is very fulfilling.

Get creative! Pair a wine with the following workouts: Weights, Barre class, yoga, boxing, and surfing/SUP.

Weights and Spanish wine – A big bold Spanish red wine. Specifically Rioja and Priorat, or a bold Tempranillo from Ribera Del Duero.

Barre and Italian wine – Barre movements are delicate and elegant just like a good Frappato or Nero d’Avola.

Yoga and Sancerre – Acidic and dry on the palette, perfect after yoga refresher.

Boxing and Northern Rhone varietal either Syrah, Grenache, or Mourvedre, or a blend of all three! Clean, bold, and delicious. A knock-out.

Anything salt water and a nice New Zealand-style Sauvignon Blanc – light, fresh, and grapefruity. Perfect on a hot summer day.

And Rose for any and all of the above! Wolffer Summer in a Bottle or something from Provence, France.

What is your personal message to your students?

Fitness doesn’t have to feel like a chore, working out can be fun and enjoyable! When you find something that works for you, stick with it. I end all my sessions with a reminder to love yourself and carry positive energy with you throughout the day. It is good practice to stay positive and remind yourself that life is a gift and being good to you is important. I care about my clients and put them first whole heartedly.

Is there a workout that you dread doing and avoid at all costs?

No. I love moving and I’ll try anything. If I had to choose, I would have to say running long distances only because the trauma when my feet hit the pavement. Too many years of gymnastics!

Guilty pleasure food/drink of summer?

I grew up in a big Italian family and splurge whenever my honey makes his homemade marinara sauce and anything he makes with it. When I’m not drinking a glass of wine, I really enjoy a glass of whiskey, specifically Japanese whiskey such as Yamasaki and Habiki on the rocks. Yum.

Favorite new fitness trend and a trend you’re glad disappeared.

Is barre allowed to be my answer? I love it! It is fairly new, at least the modern adaptation of it is. I have always seen quick results and felt challenged with each workout. I also love boxing, the new water-filled heavy bags make for a killer workout. Cardio and muscle sculpting, check!

One thing I think has begun to disappear over the most recent years that I am very happy about is dieting. I have come to understand the importance of balance in everything you do. I think most people have caught on to care less about specific diets and more about conscious and healthy choices. Makes me happy.

What is your personal-body mantra? Something you say to yourself when you look in the mirror to remind yourself that you are beautiful?

“Be True To You.” Being who you are is the most important thing no matter what. It helps me focus on me and to not be afraid of that.

If you could be photographed in a single pose to represent your signature workout move, what would it be?

Planks! I have been caught reading books and sending emails while planking.

Connect with Christie Hoyt on Instagram at @Chrislynn22 or @Via_Barre_Wellness

Daily Fitness: East End Row

(This article first appeared in the May 17, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)


Stationary bikes are yesterday’s news as a new wave of rowing machines are occupying the East End. Making its debut in May 2016 with a location at 33 Hill Street in Southampton, East End Row conducts low impact training on The GX WaterRower. The machine is a water-filled flywheel that adds natural resistance and a tranquil “swoosh” sound that emulates the sound of rowing in nature. It’s a workout that can burn up to 1000 calories in a single class, so sign up fast!

Arriving on a rainy Saturday morning for my debut 50-minute class with instructor Albee Rogers, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Rowing seemed to be a straightforward workout only for back and shoulder muscles, with a preppy connotation to it. I imagine scenes out of Dead Poets Society or The Skulls.

After receiving my complimentary water and fresh towel, as instructed, I prepared a mat, medium weights, and resistance band next to my row machine for weight-based strengthening in between our “waves.”

Similar to sprints in a cycling class, “waves” are high intensity row intervals to heart pumping music at your own pace. After several minutes of adjusting to the motion, which Rogers so kindly helped me with, the first wave hit.

“Legs, abs, chest. Chest, abs, legs.” Repetition became second nature as I envisioned myself in one of those movies rowing with my team towards the finish line. The waves began. 300 meters. 200 meters. 100 meters. How far can you get in 45 seconds? Now 20 seconds. Go! By the last wave I had won my imaginary race against the Winklevoss twins.

Teaching with East End Row since its opening, Rogers has been a professional health and wellness coach for almost ten years. As a dietician, the transition from observing her clients progress, to taking an active role in their lifestyle, seemed natural.

“Rowing is definitely a new trend,” Rogers explained. “I had already been rowing at Crossfit . . . when East End Row opened . . . I thought what better way to lean out your body . . . but still work on the cardio portion that everyone sort of hates.

It’s a fun setting that’s choreographed to music so the beat keeps you going throughout the entire class and you never want to stop because once that beat goes you want to go even faster for it.”

Rogers made training off the WaterRower as interestingly self-competitive as on it. While playing “Roxanne” by The Police the class was told to do a single burpee (you know, those wonderful full body jump, pushups) every time the name Roxanne was said. To be clear, it’s said roughly 26 times. At another point, the song “Flower” by Moby was used for squats. Fittingly so, as the lyrics say “lift and squat.”

Each time Moby brought “Sally down” the class squatted in unison, nearly 30 times. Finally, we used the weights for additional arm and shoulder toning in pulsating movements.

What I enjoyed most about this workout was the surprising full body benefit. Every row motion targeted lower glutes, along with arms and abs. Using the row handles and foot straps, there were added oblique techniques and core training. Of course, the next day I mostly felt a soreness in my back and shoulder muscles, but I recommend this class to all levels and all fitness types.

“Trust your trainer,” Rogers explained a common misconception seen quite often. “Know that they’re correcting your form or modifying your workout for a reason to benefit you most. Sometimes the best workout is very slow, but proper movements.”

Kevin Berlin: An Unrealistic Visionary

(This article first appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of Luxury Living Magazine- a subdivision of Newsday Media Group)

“Be unrealistic,” world-renowned artist Kevin Berlin declared over the phone, as he finished his coffee. “Realize your dreams now. Don’t wait for a realistic moment. That’s something I aim for a lot these days.”

From the Renaissance influence of Florence in all its glory to the stability of Southampton, Berlin splits his time working from the two cities. He admits, “Southampton is one of the few places in the world where you can be in one spot and bump into some of your favorite, most loved people in the world, and they just happen to be there.”
The American artist, best known for his black and white paintings of cocktail party scenes, also excels in sculpture and performance art. Anyone who may have had the opportunity to attend opening night for Art Southampton Summer of 2016 will recall Berlin’s unmistakable presence, as he made his entrance with several women clad in black bikinis, the lot of them wearing top hats. In true Hamptons fashion, Berlin certainly knows how to grab the attention of a crowd to launch his newest endeavor.
Berlin’s captivation with top hats started at 18 years of age, upon being gifted a top hat by his parents at his first solo show at Bonwit Teller & Co. He chuckled, “I have no idea why; they just knew their kid, I guess.”
Since then, his fashion company, Kevin Berlin New York, has accidentally reinvented the classic piece for everyday use, “like jeans that already have holes in them…coming to a really nice shop near you, hopefully soon.”

“We all have a powerful, beautiful force…something inside of us that’s beautiful, that can be hard to control,” Berlin roared.

For the Yale University and Slade School of Fine Art alumnus, temptation and desire are the quintessential themes behind his work, as he “usually tells stories about things that motivate people.”


Berlin gushes, “I love Nutella, and I find that I’m not alone in this world. It’s one of the few images I’ve worked with that people really identify very quickly…if you want to create a moment of joy, an image of Nutella will do exactly that. There aren’t many things you can paint that will have such an immediate positive reaction.”

Delicious cravings aside, Berlin is fascinated by worlds often closed to society, such as that of ballerinas. Once upon a time, his curiosity led him to Russia, and he remained for almost a year backstage with the Kirov Ballet in Saint Petersburg. Observing more than 100 of the “beautiful Olympic-level athletes telling stories” in the same legendary theatre where Tchaikovsky first wrote and presented Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. In another chapter of his life, he moved to Ukraine to study the life of the national circus in Kiev. From this experience, his “Save the Tigers” series was produced, shown in galleries in Miami, London and Southampton. Developed to bring awareness to the extinction of the animal, Berlin enjoyed the primal instinct that resonates from within.
“The importance of the paintings, at least for me, is that I never tell you what to think or tell you how to feel.”
Berlin has become a master of narrative art, with an aim to constantly engage his audience over time. His work has been collected by the likes of Kim Basinger, Luciano Pavarotti, Quincy Jones, David Letterman, and Bill and Hillary Clinton, among others.
Pointing out, “You can look at it today, you can look at it a hundred years from now, and you’ll still have a chance to add your own interpretation to it…as you change, your interpretation of the painting will change.”
As an unstoppable creative force, Berlin retraced the past two years of his life back to Russia for “The End of the World” series, depicting the secret life of ballerinas. Upcoming will be his latest program, “Berlin in Berlin,” a fitting title, evoking the German city where the artist spent time exploring the unknown. The solo show, running May 28th – July 15th, is being featured at Livingstone Gallery in the Netherlands.
As for his dream project? To build his “new colossus,” a large-scale monument the size of the Statue of Liberty or Mount Rushmore.
While Berlin’s “unrealistic” artistic goals remain quite large this summer, he aims to make his circle smaller…that, along with getting in a good bonfire on the beach.
“When I’m ready to greet the world, I always go to 75 Main in Southampton, which I consider the center of the universe,” Berlin divulges. “The Lobster Grille Inn is also a good spot. Good food. Sometimes, it’s a real pleasure to be in a place where you don’t know anybody.”