In 2013, through a twist of fate, fitness guru Steven Pasterino found himself in a CPR class with celebrity trainer Justin Gelband, the man best known for sculpting the bodies of countless Victoria’s Secret models. The two hit it off, and Gelband recruited Pasterino to teach at ModelFit, a venture that became one of New York’s hottest workout studios. Over the next three years as Pasterino worked closely with Gelband, his entire understanding of shaping and toning the human body was transformed and his core beliefs about fitness were turned upside down.
Growing up in New Jersey, Pasterino played football from the age of fourteen through college, and was dedicated to a regimen of strengthening and bulking up through strenuous exercises. “When I came to new York, I saw all these women doing the same workouts I was doing when I was playing football and I couldn’t understand why they would want to do that,” Pasterino said of programs like CrossFit and TRX. “Women want to be long, lean, and toned. So why are trainers bulking their clients up?”
Pasterino was determined to develop a more effective fitness technique, and pursued a degree in physical therapy to understand which bodily movements target and tone particular muscles. Last January, he left ModelFit to start Bodies by P, a one-man show located in a sun-filled loft on the Bowery where Pasterino teaches all private and group classes himself.
“I haven’t figured out how to teach this to anybody–you can’t teach experience,” he said of his method of small movements and light resistance, which slim the thighs, tone the butt, clear the hips, and activate the hard to reach muscles. “My focus is on the things that other trainers and methods have failed to do.”
Pasterino said that nearly 95 percent of the girls who visit the studio are already workout fiends, bewildered as to why they don’t get the results they want after clocking in countless hours at the gym. “These girls work out five days a week, eat healthy, and they wonder why they look the way they do, and why their jeans don’t fit,” he said.
Bodies by P aims to be a sustainable workout, and he makes a point to train his clients according to their daily lifestyles. “If a girl walks in heels all day at work, I train her in a position where her heels are lifted, so she activates her butt and strengthens her ankles, and calves,” he said.
Pasterino loves the intimate, hush hush vibe of his studio, and while he’s done his best to keep it a secret, downtown New York notables such as Hannah Bronfman and Made by Milk co-founder Jenne Lombardo have sought him out. And while the movements are so subtle that you might not break a sweat, rest assured you’ll feel it the next morning.
An unmarked door on the Bowery. Buzzer number 3.
$20 for your first class, $40 per class after that, or $360 for a ten-class pack.
Fitness aficionados like Hannah Bronfman, Jenne Lombardo, and a host of IMG models.
Even if you're in no mood to work out, you will be once you hear his Spotify playlist, which ranges from alt electro to deep house. Keep your phone nearby to Shazam.
The Basics 112 Bowery (between Grand St and Hester St), Floor 3, New York, NY 10013. BodiesbyP.co. Hours fluctuate daily.