"Mark Fisher Fitness isn't for everyone." That's what musical theater-trained fitness guru Mark Fisher himself brazenly declared during a recent interview with TheaterMania. Nevertheless, the newest addition to Fisher's rapidly growing health and lifestyle empire — mybroadwaybody.com — is aimed at making Mark Fisher Fitness, his midtown gym populated by many Broadway professionals from performers to casting agents, accessible to anyone. Whether you're a performer on a tour, a theater fan in the Midwest, or just someone who wants a different kind of workout, Fisher aims to provide a challenging and fun environment that's nothing like your average gym experience.
MyBroadwaybody.com, which is scheduled to launch in early August, will be "basically Mark Fisher Fitness online." Geared toward audiences who can't physically make it to what Mark Fisher's "Ninjas" call their "Clubhouse," the membership site will feature a nutrition coaching program (unsurprisingly labeled "Unicorn Diets") and a community forum where users can ask questions of the My Broadway Body team about nutrition and training. The site's crowning jewel will be its collection of high-def streaming workout videos featuring Broadway stars like Susan Blackwell, Matilda's Christopher Sieber, and Amazing Grace star Josh Young.
To start out, all the video workouts will be focused on equipment-free, bodyweight-training that users will be able to do anywhere, and the first few installments are geared toward breaking down technique for beginners. According to Fisher, "If [a beginner] does that technique workout, that's likely to be sufficient." They can do that for two or three weeks, he says, and then slowly work up to the more strenuous workouts as their body adapts. For a little inspiration, check out a gallery of photos from Josh Young's workout routine to see how MFF helped him get in shape for the new Broadway musical Amazing Grace.
Who can use mybroadwaybody.com?
I really think it will appeal to anybody, particularly people [who] love Broadway…All this information is going to be useful to anybody [who] wants help with their fitness and doesn't feel comfortable in a traditional gym. And even if you're not in the industry, I imagine [people are] going to get a real kick out of the inside jokes and the people we have.
We really try to make it informal because I really want it to feel like you're at the clubhouse having shenanigans, like I'm teaching a class and we're being idiots and doing silly stuff and making jokes. I mean it's definitely legit hard training as well, so I think as we get progressively more out of breath, there's probably [fewer] funny comments but we just don't take ourselves seriously.
How would you describe the MFF vibe?
We take a very irreverent approach to fitness and we pride ourselves on really making very progressive fitness and nutrition and training accessible to people who want a delivery system that's a little more colorful, a little more whimsical. There's clearly some blue humor we use. And you know we're just like weird. [laughs] But on the other hand, [we're] accessible because there's always sort of a warmth and a kindness that we think is very important to our culture.
What has Josh Young's training been like for Amazing Grace?
Amazing Grace is a particular situation in that he has to be semi-disrobed in the show, which is something that we have a lot of experience with. The thing that's interesting when you're working with theater actors as opposed to film and TV actors is you really have to start thinking about the long haul from Day One. Because when you're a film actor you know you can go nuts for a few months and get the shot right and then you're good to go. But if you're preparing for a Broadway show, you really have to figure out what can you sustain through the run. And when you're working with a real person anyway, the strategies you use to create a sustainable fitness lifestyle are different than the ones looking to do a dramatic physique transformation for a role.
What exercises are most worthwhile for people at home?
I think that if people are looking into working out, generally speaking, I recommend [they] start with mastering bodyweight stuff. One thing that is really so important to note, that you kind of can't get the word out enough, is that for most people that's the best bang for their buck. Whether it be for building muscle or even more for fat loss…really using the full body in movements…. If you're really looking to burn the maximum amount of calories, and certainly do it in the fastest time possible, then you want to focus on things like pull-ups and presses and dead lifts and squats. These bigger full-body movements are just going to be a way better use of time.
Why do you think it's important for performers, in particular, to have a routine like this?
All performers are athletes, by definition. Even if you're an older character actor, the limits of your artistic choices are defined by the limits of what you can physically do. So the more mobility and stability you have, the more stamina you have, the better work you'll be able to create, and the more options, at the very least, you'll have available to you. It's so cliché, that, like, your body is your instrument, but that's actually the way it works.
There's a level of confidence that I think all of us can relate to about our body. There's a confidence we have when we feel good about our body and we feel strong and we feel fit. There's a really powerful psychological component. And you can make the case, as I really would, that in many ways, your physiology is gonna actually affect your psychology. If you're not getting good sleep, if you're not eating properly, by definition, you're just not going to be able to be your best self. Your brain won't work as well. You won't be as creative and you won't be as happy. You'll tend to have less emotional stability. So hopefully it's also training for life.
For more information, visit mybroadwaybody.com.
- Susan Blackwell
- Christopher Sieber
- Josh Young
- Amazing Grace
- Mark Fisher
- Mark Fisher Fitness
- Unicorn Diets
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