I'm not fat - not by any means. But I was still nervous as the cab pulled up out Drive495. I have an ab or two, but Hugh Jackman, who comes here to make sure that Wolverine dough keeps coming, has over a dozen. The reason for his mutant physique was waiting for me. Don Saladino is a celebrity trainer in multiple senses so it's hard not to care what he thinks. And it's hard to ignore his opinion; it's hard to ignore anyone with arms like that.
The introduction went as introductions tend to go. We shook hands - or he shook my arm anyway. Then he gave me a little tour of his empire that ended in the locker room. I felt like I was getting changed in slow motion, probably because I was trying to buy an extra minute or two before my workout. He'd promised me the full Jackman and I knew it was going to hurt.
But before the sweating and tears, we had to have the consultation. Don told me he does this with every single person he trains, whether famous or average. He said this without implying that I was average, which was nice of him, especially considering that Don has trained the best of the best. The photos on the wall offer proof: Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, Sebastian Stan, Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively.
The session with Don lasted for about an hour. A “jump, throw, carry” set-up forced me to use my entire body to really wake myself up and hit every part of my core. What followed was a series of “supersets between opposing muscle groups by using compound movements.” This, basically:
Assessment (10-15 minutes)
Corrective work (5-7 minutes)
Jump, throw, carry [with strength, speed, power, and movement] (10 minutes)
Strength (20-25 minutes)
Metabolic (Remaining time)
When Don told me I had completed the workout, I felt something close to a feeling of accomplishment and closer to nausea. To give credit where credit is due, Don Saladino is a man who is good at what he does. As someone who rarely finds time away from my office desk, he knew exactly how to motivate me and push me into completing each rep and each squat. I left Drive495, endorphins pumping and a huge grin on my face with no regard to the pain I would (and did) feel in the morning. I'm not wolverine, but I was for a day.
Photos by Joanna Garcia