For Life Time’s Casey Cohen, Group Fitness Is a Chance for Social Exploration

Cohen, a popular trainer at who teaches at Life Time’s NYC locations, has inspired class members find a new job or make other significant life shifts

Across four New York City Life Time facilities, an energetic NASM-certified personal trainer, Casey Cohen, is leading a cathartic fitness movement. Her motto, “You never need external validation to validate yourself,” reverberates through her AMP Cycle, Xtreme HIIT and Maxout Core classes, providing members more than calorie-burning and strength-training opportunities, but a sense of community and camaraderie.

An ambitious native New Yorker, the fitness expert has always held a service role, having launched a career in nightlife at top clubs while she attended NYU before pivoting to fitness.

Recruited by Efonda L. Sproles, vice president of scouting for Life Time, Cohen is in her element. She’s now the face of Xtreme, a bootcamp-style HIIT class, and leads her fitness classes with authenticity. The approach has resonated with Life Time members, allowing Cohen to build impactful, long-lasting connections with fitness enthusiasts looking to let out steam, connect — and change their lives. 

Cohen, who teaches at Life Time’s NoHo, 23rd St, Wall Street and Sky locations, is enthusiastic about the luxury lifestyle operator and impressed with its growth. 

“Life Time is expanding rapidly,” Cohen said, noting the new addition of Life Time Penn 1. The new health club is adjacent to Madison Square Garden, a hub for NYC workers, commuters and residents. The two-phase project is now in its final lap, boasting the most indoor pickleball courts in Manhattan and dedicated spaces for its training programs. 

“Life Time keeps growing here,” she said of Life Time’s continued growth. “They’re opening two more locations in Brooklyn. It’s a lot.”

Consistently focused on offering its members top-tier experiences, Life Time recently launched Class Collection, a curation of over 40 classes for a true boutique fitness experience spanning Barre, boxing/kickboxing, cardio, cycle, dance, strength and yoga, along with its Life Time signature classes Alpha, GTX, Ultra Fit, and MB360 and Arora classes for mature fitness members. The Class Collection also includes new formats such as Remixx Step, Danze Jam, Maxout Core and Xtreme Kettlebell.

Like Cohen, Life Time is service-oriented, listening to fitness consumers to discover what makes them tick and what they need. The leading high-end athletic club operator has given Cohen creative freedom, which, in turn, has benefited the experience of her class members, who range in age from approximately 20 to 80 years old. 

“The best part is that I’m encouraged to be myself,” she said of the luxury fitness brand. “What I find the most amazing is that the stuff that I’m talking about in the classes or the stuff that I’m teaching, I can really target every single person in the room. Every single person relates in some sort of way.”

credit: Life Time/Casey Cohen

Finding Her Own Teaching Style

Cohen is the first to admit that she has a rather interesting teaching style, which has developed organically, stemming from her education and experiences within the fitness ecosystem. As with any creative modality, she’s infused her own signature flair.

“There’s been people that I have gravitated to in fitness that I learned from and that I saw as successful — they were just themselves,” she explained.

Rumble co-founder Noah Neiman is one of the most influential mentors and a pivotal part of Cohen’s professional fitness journey. She would take his classes every day, inspired by his teaching skills. 

“Sometimes when you have a student in your room that wants to be a fitness trainer, there’s like this competition,” she said. “But he was so encouraging. He knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Kendall Toole, a Peloton instructor, also reminded Cohen of her talent and capabilities, encouraging her along the way. 

“Every time I see her I’ll say, ‘You know, people like you are the reason why I am teaching,’ because sometimes you don’t see that in your own self — what you’re capable of,” Cohen said.

She also credits Life Time’s VP of scouting, for reminding her of her self-worth and reigniting her passion for teaching. 

“I tell people all the time that he saved my life,” Cohen said of Sproles’ influence. “I was in environments that weren’t healthy for me, and he would say, ‘You’re one of one.’ To have somebody really instill that in you is super powerful. That’s why I love being at Life Time. Even my managers will ask, ‘How can I help you?’ It’s allowed me to shine.”

Cohen also treasures her direct manager, Johnny de Triquet, for providing ongoing feedback.

“He’s so supportive,” she said, adding that de Triquet is a major part of her day-to-day at Life Time.

The Power of Open Conversation

Having fine-tuned her community-based teaching style, Cohen uses conversation to connect – and take the focus off of how physically challenging a workout might be. It’s a symbiotic relationship, with Cohen showcasing her own vulnerability and widening her relationship with those in her class.

“Especially in my cycling classes, there’s what we call ‘a moment,’” Cohen said. In one of these moments, she began sharing that she traveled to Miami to see her father for the first time in years. 

credit: Life Time/Casey Cohen

“I brought that experience back into the room, and there are so many people that you’d be surprised to learn haven’t seen their parents,” she reflected. “I was reminding them to call them. Parents in the room were also touched by the story.” 

Cohen is mindful that her class demographic is all in various stages of life, united together in wondering what their next step should be, whether in their careers or relationships. Cohen has navigated the same at various stages of her life. 

“My journey has been (anything but) A to Z,” she said. “So anything that I can offer — just from even my own mistakes, challenges or positive things – I’ll bring through. I’m like an open book, hoping that people take from it, and my feedback has been extremely positive.”

Cohen’s raw authenticity is clearly engaging Life Time members, as she is waitlisted a week out across all of her teaching locations with some members even taking two to three of her classes a day.

“They became friends with each other,” she said of the bonds that have developed. “It’s something that I encourage because New York City can be a lonely spot.(The class members) aren’t closed off. They’re very encouraging to other people. The more you come to my classes, the more you’re becoming part of the community.”

Class attendees have told Cohen that she inspired them to find a new job or make other significant life shifts after connecting with her in-class conversations.

“I love watching people become stronger and being themselves and like growing into themselves,” Cohen said. “And you see the shift, not only in the physical but in the mental. Everyone is so strong in my room. It’s outrageous.”

credit: Life Time/Casey Cohen

Giving members a space to “be okay with not being okay” has also served Cohen’s own well-being. In the middle of juggling a major move while still teaching 20 classes, she showed up at her most vulnerable. 

“Those classes were probably the most powerful,” she said. “I was in this state of, ‘I have to be happy and grateful for all the things that I have and not focus on all the things that could possibly be going wrong.‘” 

In between teaching classes at Life Time, side projects and enjoying hot yoga, Cohen is eyeing a return to television space, having once starred in Bravo’s TV reality show, “Princesses: Long Island.”

“The testimonials that I get from the people that take my classes — it’s not even about weight loss,” she said. “It’s just the mindset and feeling so good about themselves and really stepping into their own power…and I’d love to do that on a larger scale.”

The post For Life Time’s Casey Cohen, Group Fitness Is a Chance for Social Exploration appeared first on Athletech News.


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