Michael Olajide Jr. is the owner of Aerospace NYC – one of New York’s coolest gyms with a boxing bent. A far cry from fight club, Aerospace attracts some of the best bodies in the city including half the girls in Victoria’s Secret’s most recent fashion show. With a mix of boxing, jumping, isometric and plyometric workouts, Michael – a former middle weight boxing champion himself – sculpts some of the most famous bodies into shape inside this gorgeous New York gym complete with relaxation suites that include video-projector meditation rooms. Naturally, we were interested in tracking down Michael to see just how he works his magic, including how, late last year, he helped model Adriana Lima go from post-baby bod to Victoria’s Secret runway-ready.
The Chalkboard: Michael, you’ve worked with some of the most gorgeous bodies on the planet. In your experience what would you say women universally want to improve?
Michael Olajide, Jr: Most women, from my experience, even though they don’t outwardly say it, express they want the best body they can have. They know fact from fiction. No exercise is going to make your legs longer, but there are exercises that can make your body sleeker and blow away excess fat. That’s what I specialize in.
TC: Aerospace offers so many different styles of workouts. Do most clients end of sticking to just one? How important is variety?
MO: Variety is important, but so is repetition. Too much variety and nothing gets accomplished. In fitness as in sport, the faster and harder you can work a specific muscle group the faster you receive the benefits because you muscle adapts to execute the exercise. In my opinion, ‘muscle confusion’ is just a term to mask the benefits of hard work.
TC: What are your tips for getting the most out of this style of workout?
MO: Here are 4 keys:
1 Keep your core engaged throughout each and every exercise.
2 Be aware of what muscle group you are working and engage/flex the specific muscle while working.
3 The benefit is in the effort, but try and execute each maneuver at 99% range of motion.
4 INTENT is extremely important. Try to visualize training for a title fight and this is the last day of training before the big fight. We all have our own version of a title fight, whether it be a red carpet event, wedding or big trip.
TC: Can you share a few moves readers can do at home?
MO: This set of 3 shoulder toning moves are taken from the new Aerospace System of Sleek DVDs.
1 Punch Ups
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a 1 pound weight in each hand (or no weight). Make a first with each hand and hold the weight tight. Raise your left first high as your right fist stays beside your cheek, then raise your right first as you drop your left. Start at a slow speed, as your body gets warm (25X) Increase your pace to moderate speed as your body becomes a little more comfortable at this pace (50X), increase your speed to max (100X) punching straight up to the ceiling and pulling the hand back down.
Remember: Keep your hands away from your face as the weights come back down and do not lock your elbows at any point.
2 Punch Outs
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a 1 pound weight in each hand (or no weight). Make a fist with each hand and hold the weight tight. Both your right and left fist on either side of your face. Punch outward face height with the right fist, and as the fist comes back to the side of your face, punch forward with the left fist.
Start at a slow speed, as your body gets warm (25X) increase your pace to moderate speed as your body becomes a little more comfortable at this pace (50X), increase your speed to max (100X) punching straight out chin level while pulling the hand back in.
Remember: Do not lock out the elbows when you punch forward and as fast as the hands punch out you must also pull them back. Keep your elbows down to your ribs when your hands are back.
3 Jump Rope:
Jumping rope Aerostyle is one of the greatest cardiovascular workouts you can have. You will incinerate the calories and fat in a fun and efficient way. Patience and repetition is the key.
The basic jump: 1st measure the rope and make sure it is the correct length. If you step on the middle of the rope, the top of the handles should reach your underarms. If too long, adjust, if too short buy another rope. The wrist is the motor, so turn the wrist when you jump.
You have to turn the wrist with purpose because the hands set the pace of your jump. The jump should come from the ball of the feet. Do not pick up the heels behind you. Stay on the ball of your feet, both feet together, knees slightly bend on impact.
Try to jump the rope 8 times in a row and then build up to 16, then 32 and eventually 1 minute. Build up this ability over 3 weeks. Eventually you will build up the ability to jump for 3 minutes non stop. Try to jump rope for 10 minutes every day.
Want to follow the same workout that models Adriana Lima and Doutzen Kroes rely on? Michael has just released a DVD set version of the Aerospace workout called System of Sleek available for the first time this month through Aerospacenyc.com.