This personal trainer to Hollywood royalty and supermodels lost 130 pounds after being diagnosed with heart failure at 21 - here's the key to his workouts
- Kirk Myers, founder of New York's exclusive Dogpound gym, is arguably the most adored personal trainer in the city, at least among the rich and famous.
- Hollywood royalty, Victoria's Secret Angels, and top Wall Street bankers all train at his Instagram-worthy studio.
- A single personal training session with Myers costs $500.
- He told Business Insider that balance is at the core of many his workouts.
- He talked us through the equipment he uses with clients like Jasmine Tookes, Romee Strijd, and Josephine Skriver.
If you're looking for some fitness inspiration with summer around the corner, you might want to check out Kirk Myers' Instagram page.
Myers is the founder of Dogpound, the coolest, most Instagrammed gym in New York where Hollywood royalty - think Hugh Jackman and Alexander McQueen - train alongside lithe-limbed supermodels - Adriana Lima, Lais Ribeiro, and Karlie Kloss, to name a few.
Myers' story is a powerful one. In high school he weighed well over 300 pounds and at the age of 21 was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Having resorted to fitness to literally save his own life, his journey led him to discover that his passion was helping others to achieve their weight goals also.
Here's a before and after Myers posted to Instagram:Now, Myers is arguably the most adored personal trainer in the city - at least among the elite - and he charges clients $500 for a single personal training session. He documents a lot of his training sessions with famous faces on the photo sharing app.
Despite the dark interiors, hardcore equipment, and blaring rap music at Dogpound, Myers and his team don't come across as intimidating. In all of his post captions there's talk of his clients "crushing" and "smashing" it, there's lots of smiling, and even the odd bit of twerking.
And it's not only the apparent good vibes that set his gym apart from other boutique fitness studios - it's the way people are working out.
Business Insider spoke to Myers to get a feel of what is so unique about his training programme that makes A-listers and top Wall Street bankers keep coming back for more.
Balance is at the core
Myers told us there are no treadmills at his gym, just a few rowing machines, bikes, and ski machines.
"In a lot of [our] workouts we use Supersets," he said, referring to the practice where one set of an exercise is performed directly after a set of a different exercise without rest between them."This keeps your heart rate elevated throughout most of workout to make it more efficient and effective."
Myers is clear that all of the workouts at Dogpound focus on the individual. Training programmes are highly tailored to each of his clients' needs, whether it's losing weight or building muscle. However, he said there is a common emphasis in a lot of the workouts: balance.
"Any time you are forced to balance you activate your core, so in terms of equipment we use the bosu ball a lot, as well as other devices that challenge your balance, which in turn will strengthen your core."
You can see Karlie Kloss doing it here...
...And it's made to look easy by Juliet Doherty here.
Below you can see Kathryn Boren, a dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, working her inner thighs and core.
Another piece of equipment that you'll often see used in one of Myers' workouts is the bandbell bar.
Below, Victoria's Secret Angel Romee Strijd practises reverse lunges with a bandbell.Many of the supermodels who train at Dogpound, like Jasmine Tookes, Josephine Skriver, and Strijd, are comfortable lifting heavier weights in strength training.
"Weight lifting will help you build lean muscle and help you burn fat," he said. "There's a slight misconception that lifting weights will make you big, this is not necessarily true.
"In some of our programmes, clients want to focus less on developing quads," he went on. "So we tend to add exercises that will engage and activate your hamstrings and glutes without using a lot of quadriceps. Examples of these movements are deadlifts, donkey kicks, hamstring curls, and hip thrusts."
Here's a video of Tookes doing stiff leg deadlifts with Myers.
In the caption he wrote: "This movement is great for your hips, hamstrings and glutes. Make sure your knees are slightly bent, back is flat and you drive through your heels."
The resistance band is also often used by the trainers at Dogpound.
"Resistance bands can increase flexibility, stamina, and range of motion," Myers said. "They add variety in your workouts and are also very easy to use at home or when you travel."
The Angels appear to be particularly big fans of this piece of equipment, and in the leadup to November's 2017 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show many were pictured working out using the bands.
Below, Sara Sampaio uses resistance bands to intensify glute bridges.If that's not enough to make you want to book a class, possibly the most impressive post on Myers' Instagram right now is "Baby Driver" actor Ansel Elgort's box jump from sitting.
An exclusive community
Even if you're working out alone, it doesn't look like you're be left alone for too long - the people that work and train there call it a community, albeit an exclusive one.
Dogpound clients can also make the most of the gym's onsite nutritionist.
"Since nutrition is 70% of results we have an in-house nutritionist, Molly, who can create entire meal plans," Myers said.
And the good news is Myers will be opening up more Dogpound outposts - the company is already looking at Los Angeles, and London is also on their radar.
However, Myers wants to keep it small.
"We really want to be like a global lifestyle brand in select cities," he said. "We won't have 50 gyms."