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New York’s Physique 57 comes west

June 1, 2010 | 10:00 am


Front Sign From the “steps” in Santa Monica to private training sessions with the most sought after exercise gurus in the world, Los Angeles is never short on workout options. But just when the physical fitness faction seemed totally weighed down and you’ve purchased a package of classes for every single program du jour, Physique 57 comes along from New York to open its first West Coast studio in Beverly Hills.

Physique 57 is the exercise regimen New York women such as Parker Posey, Christy Turlington (when she’s not in yoga class) and crazy-buffed, but totally tiny Kelly Ripa (no, she didn’t get those upper arms just from punching Reej) swear by. It’s an hour of intense toning using what creator Jennifer Vaughan Maanavi called “interval overload” training. Sound painful? It probably is, but with summer officially starting, a lot of people will be looking for a regimen to get their bodies bikini (or board short) ready.

Physique 57 is based on the Lotte Berk method and is meant to give you a long, lean ballerina-style body. And in what sounds sort of Bar Method-esque, the toning involves holding onto a ballet barre to work certain muscle groups to the point of exhaustion and then stretch them out.

“You’ll know exactly what you’re working when you’re working it,” says Vaughan Maanavi, who, before opening Physique 57, worked on Wall Street. She was a die-hard fan of the Lotte Berk method, and when the only New York studio that taught it closed, she quit her job at Morgan Stanley and put her MBA to use by modernizing her daily form of exercise to create a business based around the exercises now taught at the Physique 57 studios in Manhattan and Bridgehampton, N.Y. [Updated 6:03 p.m. June 1]

Something to think about if the “steps” get too crowded or your regimen just needs a little kick in the (toned and lifted) behind.

Physique 57 opens Saturday (June 5)  [Updated 6:03 p.m. June 1] at 320 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills.

--Melissa Magsaysay

(A previous version of this post said incorrectly that Physique 57's Bridgehampton studio was in South Hampton, and that the Beverly Hills studio was scheduled to open June 3.)


Photos: Physique 57 in Beverly Hills/Physique 57

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