Bravo’s reality TV trainers strike out on their own with creative new workouts

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(Photo: PACT Park)
Two new workouts hitting New York City’s group fitness scene this spring have one thing in common: You may have spotted their founders on Bravo’s Work Out New York.

Layla Luciano and Courtney Paul, both formerly superstar instructors at Barry’s Bootcamp, recently struck out on their own to launch proprietary workout concepts.

We lifted and punched (and then chatted) with each of them to get the details on their new fitness methods, so you’ll know what to expect if you show up to sweat with one of the small-screen reality stars this season.

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Layla Luciano
(Photo: PACT Park)


Layla Luciano (whose martial arts experience goes all the way back to her childhood) developed PACT Park with her partner, Jay Centeno, who was also formerly an instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp and SLT, and also on the Bravo show. The method draws from each of their backgrounds to deliver a tough, original workout that uses forward-thinking equipment you’ve likely never seen before.

After a warm-up, class participants alternate between two segments. The first is boxing and MMA combos on a machine called a Nexersys, which is like a tower fitted with padded targets. The pads include Xs where your punches, kicks, or knees should hit (which helps you nail proper form), and unlike a heavy bag, they retract slightly when you connect.

“It’s smart training,” says Luciano. “You have this high intensity, but it’s lower impact on your joints.” The machine also tracks stats like speed, accuracy, and number of strikes to help you progress. (For example, I was moving at a manic pace but not using enough power, something I’d be able to keep in mind in a subsequent class.)

The second part of class consists of body-weight strength training with a focus on mobility, balance, and coordination, using a Lynx board with sliders.

Right now, PACT Park is offering 30-minute sessions at Lululemon’s Hub Seventeen in the Flatiron District, and even in that short period of time, the class felt both exhilarating and exhausting (in a good way). Classes with the Nexersys machines run there through March, and Luciano and Centeno are close to finalizing a permanent space, which they hope will debut later this year.

Courtney Paul
(Photo: Isauro Cairo for CPXperience)


Courtney Paul has been offering his CPXperience boot camp through YG Studios for just a month, and already the classes have waitlists.

No surprise, considering that his larger-than-life personality (and way of motivating you via dirty jokes, which I personally really appreciate when I need to be distracted from my shaky triceps) have endeared him to many fitness enthusiasts over the years, who’d now follow him anywhere—even to rented studios with nary an amenity to be found.

The class consists of truly tough strength and conditioning intervals using (really) heavy dumbbells, benches, body weight, cardio drills like running the stairs (sometimes holding one of those dumbbells) or jumping rope, and resistance bands, which we used for partner-based exercises.

Paul says he’s tapping his past as a personal trainer in a huge way, in that he wants to keep the classes intimate, with a strong emphasis on form. “To me form is really important. I want to watch everyone,” he says. “I’m going back to my roots.”

You probably won’t appreciate that attention as much as you should, though, since you’ll be too busy laughing and just generally having a blast with him as you lunge and lift.

Since you’re primed for sweat, why not see how many of these 7 hardest workouts in New York City you’ve tried?

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