Pret-a-Reporter

Where Hollywood Executives Pay to Get in Top Fighting Shape

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Equinox weight room

At Equinox, genetic testing and blood analysis play a role in the creation of a program targeted for each individual.

Not only a gym but also a hangout for the high-powered industry enclave of Century City, where three major talent agencies are based, Equinox recently expanded its most exclusive T4 program — named for its top tier of level 4 trainers — to its second L.A. location at 1835 S. Sepulveda Blvd., servicing Santa Monica and Silicon Beach. (In 2017, the Century City location will relocate to nearby Avenue of the Stars during the $2.5 billion renovation of its neighbor, the Century Plaza Hotel.) With T4, Hollywood’s power players get the professional-athlete treatment, including a “head coach” and a team of as many as eight fitness specialists who hold advanced degrees in sports medicine, physiology and chemistry. “We’re not trainers; we don’t say, ‘Go drink more water.’ We’re coaches,” says New York-based national T4 director Alex Zimmerman. (Bicoastal moguls can check out the T4 program at Equinox’s Columbus Circle location in Manhattan, which debuted in 2015.)


A whirlpool at Equinox's West L.A. location.

Genetics testing and blood analysis contribute to the design of a microtargeted program, down to DNA findings like possession of the “sprinter” gene affecting the number of sets and reps. “It takes any guesswork out of it,” says Jackie Casado, who works with CAA agent Roeg Sutherland as well as several prominent film execs, entertainment lawyers and producers.

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With training sessions running more than $150 an hour on top of executive membership, annual costs can rack up to $25,000. Commensurate perks apply: valet parking, retina-scanned entry to elite locker rooms-within-locker rooms; laundering of gym togs that are folded and placed in lockers; and, perhaps the greatest luxury, complete adaptability to clients’ lightning-fast schedules — changes with no penalties. “It’s next-level for me because I can access the program when I want and never have to think about it,” says Sutherland.


The Westside location’s lounge.

A two-hour initial assessment incorporates physical tests measuring oxygen and hydration, metabolism, muscle symmetry, body mass index, body fat composition, photo and video analysis of posture and a battery of movements that generate data. Constant therapeutic adjustments round out the laser-focus attention. “Jackie is the only trainer I have never gotten injured with,” says Sutherland, adding that after a recent knee surgery, “the T4 program and Jackie’s knowledge of rehab allowed me to recover a lot quicker than my doctor ever thought I could.” For executives, says Zimmerman, the program is “a tool that preserves cognitive prowess and maintains energy for a fast-paced, demanding lifestyle. The average sedentary person can’t handle that lifestyle. When was the last time you saw an obese executive jet-setting across the country?”


The executive locker room.

This story first appeared in the Jan. 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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