The Club

Trainer Spotlight – Drew Mauro


Trainer: Drew Mauro

Favorite Workout: Core Intense/Free Weights Circuit Training

Certifications: ACE, ASFA, EFTI, Homestead Air Force Base Military/Civilian

Did You Know?: Drew’s older brother was an original American Gladiator on TV in the 90s and inspired Drew to get into Fitness. Drew’s celebrity clients include Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones’ Jamie Lannister), Superstar Actor Christian Slater, and Boston Red Sox’s Kevin Heller.

Favorite Cheat Food: Sicilian Pizza and PB&J Sandwiches

Motto: “Life, Love, Laugh.”

About Drew: Born and currently living in Brooklyn NY with his Akita Puppy Ruger, Drew is a former accomplished fitness model with BA in Exercise Science. A self-proclaimed “undercover rockstar: and guitar hero, Drew has been playing since he was at a young age of only 12. Drew’s idol, aspiration, and main squeeze is his mom, Jean.  With 15+ years in the fitness industry, Drew has successfully worked 500 + clients of all fitness levels ranging from beginner to professional athletes. Drew’s fitness education and experience has spanned from college, throughout Europe, and the privilege to work as a CPT at the Homestead Air Force Base in Miami, Florida.



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Summer Outdoor Workout

DrewThis month’s featured work out is centered around fresh air, sunlight, and getting a nice sweat and muscle conditioning outside the gym. The best place to do this, in my opinion, is the nearest park that has seated benches, a running track, and flat grass.

Make sure you bring a full size towel, a big jug of water to stay hydrated, and a yoga mat– if available.

In this full body outdoor circuit we will incorporate the following:

  • - cardio HIIT exercise to raise heart rate and burn fat
  • - lower body exercise to stimulate muscle conditioning in the quads hamstrings glutes and calves
  • - upper body movement to condition and target the pectorals, back, shoulders, biceps and triceps
  • - core exercise to develop and condition your abs, strengthen your lower back, and get your six pack looking great for summer and the beach

There are 3 master sets of exercises total, consisting of 4 different exercises to perform in succession with minimal or no rest. We will perform each master set twice.

We will start with 30 seconds of each exercise and then rest for 90 seconds at the end of the last exercise in the set to rehydrate, let the heart rate come down, and regroup for the next master set of exercises. You will increase the duration of exercises to 45 seconds in master set 2, and finishing with 60 seconds of each exercise in master set 3.

Master set 1–    30 seconds each

  • - HIIT: Jumping Jacks
  • - LOWER: Deep Body Squats
  • - UPPER: Push-Ups
  • - CORE: V- Ups (see description below)

Master set 2–    45 seconds each

  • - HIIT: Mountain Climbers (see description below)
  • - LOWER: Forward Backward Lunges
  • - UPPER: Push-Up Drills (see description below)
  • - CORE: Plank Pikes

Master set 3–    1 min each

  • - HIIT: Burpees (see description below)
  • - LOWER: Walking-Forward Lunges
  • - CORE: V-Ups for 30 seconds into a 30 second superset of bicycle crunches for maximum core burn

Exercise Descriptions:


  • - Lie on the floor on your back with arms extended behind your head and your feet together and extended flat on the ground.
  • - In one single motion slowly ascend your shoulder blades off the ground 3 inches while raising your arms over your head and perform a crunch.
  • - At the same time you are also lifting your feet and legs off the ground approximately 6 inches to hit the lower abs.
  • - Squeeze abs tight for a second then slowly descend back to starting position.

Forward Backward Lunge:

  • - Standing in an upright position slowly take a step forward with your right leg and descend until you’re right quad is Parallel to the ground. Your left knee should be approximately 2 inches above the ground, make sure your back maintains straight posture always through this entire movement and then push back on your right quad so you are standing back into starting position. This is 1 full rep
  • - Then with the same right leg take a wide step back until your left quad is parallel to the ground and your right knee is 2 inches above the ground and you are in a lunge position.  Basically you are pivoting back and forth on your left leg. Then push your body back into standing upright position. This is 2 full reps.

Push-Up Drills:

  • - Lying on the ground, dtart in a level plank position on your forearms.
  • - From this position, using your right arm, push your body up to a full upright push-up position.
  • - Once you are in a upright push-up position with both arms locked out, slowly descend back into a plank forearm position using your right arm to descend.
  • - Now start over with your left arm pushing your body to upright push-up position.
  • - Once you are in a full upright push-up position with both arms locked out, with your left arm slowly descend back into forearm plank level position


There are many variations of the Burpee from beginner to advance levels. A great HIIT exercise that is great for increasing the heart rate and burning fat while conditioning the entire body. Google the “Burpee demonstration” and choose the appropriate variation that suits your specific exercise level.


By Drew Mauro, Mercedes Club Personal Trainer

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Workout like an Animal!

GerryHere you are, smack dab in the middle of summer. You’ve been working your butt off, and it shows. As a resident of the northern hemisphere, you have a pretty short window to go outside in a bathing suit, or sit at a sidewalk cafe, sipping a mojito and having some laughs with your friends.

You don’t want to drop the ball now, after you’ve put in all the work during the cold weather months, but the idea of being cooped up inside when the weather is so nice, and everyone seems to be getting their groove on in the fresh air is not a particularly appealing one. What do you do?

You keep reading is what you do!

 It’s time to work out like an animal.

The following is a routine that I have personally put to excellent use. Among the many things I love about it is that it’s nicely balanced, in that it works your body out pretty evenly; no parts are left neglected. It’s also a great way to develop strength, fat-burning muscular stamina, athleticism and coordination, all under the umbrella of a single workout. And, last but not least, it’s an instinctive routine, meaning that while you do want to work your different areas with equal intensity, you can gauge the routine in an instinctive manner; no rep counting, very little in the way of preset reps, times or distances. You can gauge it as you go, which can be a very liberating way to work out, and you can be as easy or grueling as time, conditioning and energy level at the time of the workout allow. It’s a great way to learn your own body in a way that you, not someone else, dictates, and required little or no extra equipment, even though work gloves are a good idea, since you’ll be putting your hands on the ground.


So here’s what it looks like. It’s going to be based on 5 movements.

1) Sideways Ape Crawl- Squat down, placing your palms on the ground (if it’s more comfortable, you can use the part of your hand where the fingers and palm meet). Keep your chest high, butt low, and head up. Now, start moving like a chimpanzee traveling sideways, which means planting your hands, throwing your legs in the direction you’re traveling towards (really reach with the legs), take your hands momentarily off the ground, reach to the side, plant them once again, legs to the side again, and so on. Try not to lift your butt too much during the transition. When placing hands or feet on the ground, be sure to place the hands and feet gently on the ground. These movements are meant to be performed cleanly and with a high level of control. If you find that your fatigue makes perfect control difficult, it’s time to take a bit of a rest. If you’re worried about not working hard enough, you can always just do another set, but do not skimp on form.

When doing this exercise, simply pick a spot that’s some distance away (anywhere from 20-50 yards). It should be short enough to allow you to go back and forth without crashing in the middle. Do a lap. Too easy? Do another one. Too hard? Wrap it up, and make a mental note to shorten the distance on the next set. If you do these right, your thighs will be burning pretty good. Take a minute, sip some  water if you need it, and move on to:

2) Wind Sprints- Pick a spot that’s 40-50 yards away. Sprint over to it. Rest about 5 seconds, and sprint back to your starting point. Your speed should be fast, but controlled enough that you can keep good form. That means you don’t reach, or try to go as fast as you possibly can, but still keep it fast, intense, but relaxed. Do a second lap, after which you will gauge your level of fatigue. If you feel like it kind of kicked your butt, move on to the next thing. If you feel like your grandmother could have done this while holding her overweight cat, bang out a few more. Rest a minute or so, let your legs simmer down, and move on to the:

3) Beast Crawl- Get on all fours. Hands should be in line with your shoulders, head in a neutral position (don’t let it hang, don’t hold it up too high). Ditto for the spine. Knees should be bent at a 90 degree angle, and kneecaps should be pointing down (never to the sides) and held at about two inches from the ground at all times. Now it’s time to get moving.

As with the previous exercises, pick a spot that is a reasonable distance away (I would say 20-30 yards, but you can always go longer, or if you don’t have enough space, go shorter and do more laps). Get in the aforementioned position. Now, pay close attention and be sure to work on the ALTERNATING LIMB PRINCIPLE. This means that, whether you’re moving forward, backward or laterally, if you move your RIGHT hand, you will then move your LEFT leg, SIMULTANEOUSLY. Make an effort to coordinate the cadence of your limbs since, as I already mentioned, coordination and body control factor heavily into this type of workout. Now smoothly advance toward your designated spot, placing the hands and feet gently on the ground rather than stomping them. Hips should be stable throughout the movement (imagine you’re balancing a glass of water on your lower back. Do not allow water to spill.) When you reach the marker, go back to your original spot by moving BACKWARDS. Don’t turn around and go forward. As with the other exercises, do more if it feels too easy, stop the set and readjust the distance on subsequent ones if things get a little too hairy. Moving on…

4) Pull-up- if you’re strong enough, find a tree limb, or playground monkey bars, or a construction site where there are horizontal bars, or the bars on pedestrian crosswalk stoplights (they will allow a v-shaped grip), or whatever else you can find and bang out some pull-ups. You can also drape a towel over the bar/tree limb and use that as a grip. Just make sure you wet your hands for traction, and that the towel is sturdy.

If, like many men and most women, you are not yet conditioned enough to do standard pull-ups, do leg-assisted versions of this exercise. The idea is to either jump into position from the ground or a sturdy platform, or use your legs to climb into position by putting your feet on a tree/pole/wall in front of you and hoisting yourself up. The object is to bend your elbows and raise your head as close to your hands as possible. Now take your feet off whatever foothold you used, and hang for as long as you can. Use the ‘one-one thousand two-one thousand’ method to keep count. Hold from 1-10 seconds. Control the speed of the descent as much as possible. I would suggest about 5 reps, but use your own judgment. It is after all, your body.

5) Plank- Put your elbows and the balls of your feet on the ground. Lift your hips. Tuck your pelvis in, aggressively. Flex your glutes. Your spine should be in neutral position. Kind of like, well, a plank. Ditto for the head. Again, use the one-one-thousand method to keep count. Depending on your level of conditioning, this could be anywhere from 30-90 seconds. Moving away from your elbows makes it more challenging. If you feel anything on your lower back, stop, as it means there is something off with the form. Make sure that pelvis stays tucked. Maintain the position until you feel your control is nearing the end. Keep track of the count to give you a gauge of how long you should maintain the position in subsequent sets.


Repeat this sequence 2-3 times, and you will go to sleep knowing that you  paid your dues while enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

Until next time.


By Gerry Pinzon, Mercedes Club Personal Trainer and Boxing Instructor.

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Member Testimonial Winners

These were our two favorites!

I can say it was love at first sight when I first saw the club. Indoor/outdoor space that radiated crisp, clean, modern yet felt intimate at the same time. I didn’t think I would join after my one week membership, but I was convinced pretty much right away. Firstly, having a background in dance many moons ago and having been a long time gym aficionado, having worked out at many top clubs in NYC, but Mercedes Club was different. It felt fancy yet down to earth at the same time. People said “hi” in classes and the teachers were all exceptional. My body felt re-aligned and reconnected through Yoga and Pilates.
On warm days we would do yoga on the terrace- love that. There is pool and ping pong my favorite. It is super fun here. On cooler days, you could hang on a couch by the fire.The parties indoors and by the pool- rock and are super well organized. Best part for me of course is the pristine pool. Perfect temperature makes for a lovely swim and the whirlpool soothes my sore muscles. The wet area is amazing! I have had a tough year this year having lost my father and Mercedes Club has been a refuge for me. I can pop in for a class or a swim or hang out by the pool outside and feel rejuvenated and able to face the day feeling stronger, clearer and more at ease.
Mercedes Club Member, Francine Albert
If you hear the word “Mercedes” you think of a high powered, classy, well-built car. So just eliminate the word “car” and add “club”. Mercedes Club: a unique place that’s got the top ingredients to motivate and change a person’s lifestyle; it did mine! I fell in love with this place because it’s not your typical Club; its got a wonderful atmosphere to relax and all the top notch facilities to help you get in shape.
It inspired me to train harder because the equipment is the best out there. If you want to relax afterwards, the lounges are so relaxing. It is important to chill out and alleviate your stress of the day! I could go on and on, but to sum it up,  the icing on the cake is the staff: this is why I can’t wait to come back almost everyday because I leave so happy!
Mercedes Club Member, Valerie Tyler
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Our Five Favorite Recipes of Summer!

With summer, comes some of the freshest and best ingredients Earth has to offer. From fresh, crispy cucumbers, to sweet corn on the cob, we have listed here our favorite five recipes for Summer you have to try!

Thai Roasted Chick Pea and Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers, red onion, and spicy roasted chickpeas come together for this refreshing and healthy thai-inspired salad. This six-step recipe only takes a half an hour to put together and the flavors marry together perfectly! Drooling yet? We are.

Feta and Lemon Dip

Lemon and Feta mix elegantly in a blender for this amazingly robust and fresh dip fit for Summer. With the tartness of lemon, the saltiness of feta, and a kick of garlic spice, this dip is good on anything from carrots and celery to bruschetta and lentil chips! Kick it up a notch with a drizzle of a spice-infused olive oil.

Farro with Tomato and Onions

Farro is an Italian savory grain packed with vitamin B3 and zinc. All made in one pan (we knew this one was a winner), this delicious meal can be served as a hearty main dish or a side to grilled vegetables or chicken breast.

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Chipotle Black Bean Corn Salad

Get a mouthful of this interesting mix of the warm, soft sweet potato and the cool, crisp bean/corn salad within. The sweet potato, acting as a warm bun, contrasts well to the vinegrette-soaked, smokey black bean corn salad. It isn’t any surprise to us that this landed on the list. It’s delicious from the first bite, to the very last.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus

Cradled within the salty, warm goodness of Italian’s best Prosciutto, the tender asparagus is a lovely counterpart. This healthy finger food fit for a King or Queen, pairs well with a sparkling wine spritzer. Who said Summer needed to be all about the barbecue?

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Member Transformation

PhotoGrid_1433536171571My name is Nadine Burgos and I became a Mercedes Club member in 2012. I truly enjoy the gym. To be addressed by name when I arrive, speaks volumes and demonstrates how welcoming and friendly the staff is. Have I mentioned the fitness classes? Awesome!  Great trainers which leads me to why I am writing.

Back in 2012, I was struggling with my weight–lose weight, gain it back then lose it again. I was on a rollercoaster, going nowhere. Then, one day, I realized I was struggling–out of breathe, sweating all the time and generally not feeling like myself. I wouldn’t even take a full-length picture because, in the back of my mind, I was not true to myself and not pleased with the way I looked. It wasn’t until I realized I had inched my body up to a size 12, that I started thinking about exercising.

I struggled for quite some time, vowing every Sunday, tomorrow I will start my diet. It never came until one day in the shower I felt horrible and asked God to please help me. When I got in the car that morning, the first thing I heard as I turned the car on, was a disc jockey elated about how much weight he’d lost. He felt great after losing 40 lbs. I want to feel like that I said to myself, I want to lose 40lbs. And that is exactly what I did. What did he do? He changed his diet and incorporated exercise, simple.

On March 25th of this year, I started my weight loss journey, for real, this time. Instead of making promises to myself, I took action. I changed my diet to now healthy eating (protein, vegetables and fruits, as well as logging my food). I weighed myself every day: a lifestyle change for me. I was already working out, but I realized I was going through the motions in the fitness classes I frequently attended. My favorite classes, Boxing with Jackie, Sports Conditioning with Flex (twice a week) was now another asset to my weight loss journey. And both trainers recognized a change in my workout and the push began. They pushed me, helped me, guided me, ensuring I was drinking enough water and eating the right foods. And since the gym has an array of classes I added the new Barre Boot Camp class, which became part of my workout routine.

I am stronger and more fit. Thank you Jackie and Flex, I could not have done it without you guys! I have lost a total of 40 lbs.,  171 to now 131, size 12 to size 6. I feel great, I sleep better, I have energy. Honestly, I can’t wait for Mondays. I may be tired, but knowing I get to go to my beautiful gym, Mercedes Club, in anticipation of what will be in the making from class each week, gets me up and going Monday mornings.

 ** Congratulations, Nadine! We are thrilled we could support you on your transformational journey. 

Do you have a success story? We’d love to hear it, please email all your success stories to


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Are You Making These 3 Workout Mistakes?

People exercise for many different reasons — to lose weight, to train for an event, to keep fit, or simply because it’s fun for them. Unfortunately, far too many people find themselves no better than before, worse off, or even injured when their exercise program goes wrong. Often there is just a simple mistake they’re doing that stalls their progress. Before you get started with your workout, here are a few mistakes that can halt your progress.

Avoiding Warm Up (and Cool Down)
There are so many people who dive right into their exercise session. This is a good way to get injured. Warm ups are often done just to get them out of the way, but just like a car engine needs to warm up to work properly, so does your body. A good warm up will prime your muscles for what’s to come.

Warm ups don’t have to be anything elaborate. In fact, it shouldn’t be, since the whole point is to get you ready for more strenuous exercise.  Some light walking or marching in place or a gentle run on a treadmill for about ten minutes is all the warm up you need. After that, you’ll be ready to for the more difficult stuff.

Cooling down is just as important as was warming up. It gives your body a way to slowly come down from the exercise state. Make the last 5 or 10 minutes of your workout somewhat less intensive, so your body relaxes at a steady rate, instead of all at once. Not only will you feel better immediately afterward, you won’t feel quite so sore in the morning.

Not Taking Care of the Inside of Your Body
What you put into your body certainly affects what you get out of it. The food you eat doesn’t just influence your weight. It has implications for everything your body does, including exercise. Your diet should be tailored toward your exercise goals, whatever they might be.

One of the more important things to remember is to always have a water bottle close at hand. You don’t have to feel thirsty to drink water. In fact, if you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Exercise is a sweaty business, which means the loss of a lot of water and salt. It’s best to replace that right away. You should not only drink while you’re exercising, but before, as part of your preparation.

Some general guidelines include: about 15 ounces an hour or so before working out, another 8 or 10 ounces 15 minutes prior to your workout, and about 8 ounces every quarter hour or so. You might need more if you sweat more. The important thing is to remain hydrated. If you still feel dehydrated even after drinking more water, add a pinch of salt. That will help your body retain the water.

Food is also an important consideration before and after an exercise session. Carb-based foods like bananas, oatmeal, and apples eaten about 15 to 30 minutes before a workout have just the right amount of energy you need to keep you going, especially if you are planning for a particularly long exercise session. For a quick fix, you might also consider eating a nutritious protein bar.  Just don’t eat too much — anyone who has done this can tell you how uncomfortable it is to exercise while feeling stuffed.

Exercise takes more out of you than just calories. You’ll burn fat and fatigue your muscles. Right after you finish exercising, it’s a good idea to have something small and quick to help your body recover and refuel, like a high-quality protein bar. The right protein bar can even feel (and taste) like a reward for a particularly good workout!

You’ve probably heard the saying “no pain, no gain”. Throw that out of your mind. If it hurts, that’s your body telling you to stop what you’re doing immediately. You’ll do well if you listen to your body and never do more than you’re ready to do. A little tingling and some soreness the next day is to be expected, but if you’re feeling pain it’s time to either move on to something else or to stop entirely until you recover. Never work yourself to the point where you just simply can’t go on.

Training too much can also have a side-effect in lowered motivation. If you’re doing something day after day that is actively unpleasant, you’ll to want to do it less. It’s just human nature. Who wants to put themselves through suffering several days every week? Just take it easy, especially if you’re first starting out. You should feel it, but not regret it. As your capacity grows, you’ll be able to handle more without putting undue strain on your body.

Part of avoiding overtraining is letting your body recover afterward. If you’re feeling sore, it’s okay to put off exercise for a day or so. When part of your exercise program is heavy enough to make you sore alternate it with a light routine, like biking or walking.

If you do hurt yourself, don’t push it. Remember, pain is your body trying to tell you not to do whatever you’re doing. The pain may just be a twinge now, but if you push it and push it, you could end up with major joint or muscle damage. See your doctor if any pain you’ve sustained lasts more than a few days.

Exercising can be a lot of fun, and do you a lot of good, provided you avoid some fairly common mistakes even some professional athletes have been known to make. Just take it at the right pace and take good care of yourself and you’ll go farther than you ever believed you could.


Emily Hunter is a SEM Strategist and Outreach Supervisor at the Marketing Zen Group working with the folks at Promax Nutrition. She loves designing strategies with her team and is excited about spreading the Zen gospel. In her spare time, she cheers for Spirit of Atlanta, Carolina Crown and Phantom Regiment, crafts her own sodas, and crushes tower defense games. Follow her on Twitter at @Emily2Zen



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Pool Guidelines

The summer is in full swing and we are excited to see that the pool is bustling with good cheer. We have implemented some security and safety measures in order to ensure a comfortable and safe environment for our Members and Guests. Upon checking in, you will receive a daily wrist-band that must be worn and confirms your entry to the pool for the day. Additionally, please be aware of language and profanity used in and around the pool area and the Club. Be mindful of others when enjoying the pool; keep voices low and cellphone use to a minimum.

As a reminder, our pool guidelines:

  • Children are permitted in the pool on weekdays from 12:00PM – 4:00PM and weekends from 10:00AM – 2:00PM.
  • Children are required to wear swim diapers while in the pool.
  • Opposite gender child over the age of three years should not be permitted in the opposite gender’s locker room. There is a unisex bathroom located near the lounge for children over the age of three years old.
  • A maximum of 50 people are permitted within the pool deck and swimming pool.
  • A maximum of 30 patrons are permitted in swimming pool at any one time.
  • Pets are not permitted anywhere in the Club.
  • Club Members may bring a maximum of 2 guests per day.  Same guest may only enter Club once per 30 day period.
  • Guest Policy:  All  Non-Members must pay the Mercedes Club prevailing guest fee and must be accompanied by a Member.
  • No glassware, alcohol or smoking is permitted anywhere in or around the Club and terrace. Infractions will result in loss of pool privileges and possible expulsion from the Club. 
  • Children under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • Outdoor seating is on a first come first serve basis.  Saving or reserving outdoor seating is not permitted.
  • No person having any contagious disease or infectious condition such as sores or inflamed eyes, a cold, nasal or ear discharge, cuts, boils or other evident skin or other bodily infection shall enter the pool.
  • Urinating, expectorating or blowing the nose, or allowing human waste in any pool is prohibited.
  • Persons not dressed for bathing shall not enter upon walks immediately adjacent to pools, and bathers shall not enter places provided for spectators.
  • No person under the influence of alcohol or exhibiting erratic behavior shall enter the pool or the pool deck. If a person is suspected of being under the influence, they will be immediately removed from the premises and their rights to the pool will be revoked.
  • Prolonged or repetitive breath-holding can be deadly.  No intentional hyperventilation or underwater competitive breath-holding.
  • Shallow water, no diving or jumping into the pool is allowed.
  • No refreshments are allowed within the swimming pool.
  • Please shower before entering the pool.
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