My first introduction to Mark Fisher Fitness was this photo. A friend and colleague had just completed a several month stretch of fitness training with the muscle toning guru and posted this shot on Facebook. It is the photo I at least have always wanted; my regular, normal-looking self transformed into a perfectly healthy, perfectly sculpted version of model proportions, only this wasn't Photoshopped.
Then a strange thing happened. Over the next couple of weeks it seemed that I couldn't make it through 24 hours without someone mentioning Mark Fisher. I'd be talking about dinner and all of a sudden "Oh I'm starting training with Mark Fisher." At a friend's house drinking wine: "Do you know Mark Fisher? I went to college with him." Overhearing someone else's conversation while doing my laundry: "I want a Mark Fisher body."
Then I learned: Mark was Broadway's secret weapon to health and hotness. Ever wonder how the likes of Jerry Mitchell, Andrew Rannells (The Book of Mormon), Will Chase (Smash), Rachel Potter (The Addams Family), Max von Essen (Evita) and more maintain their killer bodies that allow them to deliver eight grinding shows a week? Mark Fisher is how.
I had to meet this guy.
So, I signed up for his classes and a few personal training sessions.
It is nearly impossible to put into words the experience that followed because for a time I thought I had left planet Earth. I learned a whole new vocabulary where words like "porn star" and "sad dog," "unicorns," "Jedi," "ass-less chaps," and "140 grams of protein a day (what??)" would become my greatest tools to shrinking my bum, tightening my thighs and flattening my stomach. I swung things, pulled ropes, and attached myself to straps that toned my hamstrings to a degree I had thought was biologically impossible. And all the while, I was traditional cardio-free. No treadmill!
If you would believe, in four weeks I dropped a size. And I was never sore once. Not once. It's probably because I was having so much fun.
Yes, fun. Hilarious, I'd-almost-rather-be-no-where-else kind of fun, because when you sign up to train with Mark, you laugh as much as you wince and get a free ticket to the Mark Fisher inner monologue show. He is a ridiculous human being in the best way - the "Peter Pan" to his Neverland of a Ninja Clubhouse on 39th Street. He will talk about unicorns. He will do jazz hands (a lot). He will bust out in song and skip about and tell you embarrassing stories that get your abs working in a whole other way (take that, endless crunches!). And yet, he is an encyclopedia of fitness knowledge that he imparts on his pupils whether they want it or not. His passion for informing is rivaled only by his near-obsession with his clients' rate of personal success. I can honestly say that Mark cared more about my physical and nutritional transformation than I did myself - which is a hell of a lot - and it was awfully nice to share that load.
So now I understand his cult following of aspiring Ninjas (as he affectionately calls them). And, I understand the exponential rate at which his "Neverland" club is growing.
Though new occupants in their home at 411 West 39th Street, the Ninja Clubhouse is nearly busting at the seams already. There's the Snatched in 6 Weeks program, the Clubhouse's most popular, embodying a 6-week educational intensive in which participants get 3 kettlebell and body-weight training group classes a week, nutritional coaching, a pre-class fitness consultation and movement screen, with an optional before and after picture contest (the winner also gets their money back!). There is also a la carte group fitness classes that utilize a combination of body weight exercises, resistance bands, and kettlebells; semi-private training where Mark customizes individual programs within sessions of three; general clubhouse access memberships and more.
Being immature has never been so educational, or slimming. A yo-yo dieter since puberty myself, I admitedly flock to and from the latest craze. But this time, I am back for more, prepared to get "Snatched" this winter, and a convert to this fitness utopia for life. After all, performer or not (and I am not), who wouldn't want a Broadway body?