Downtown Boot Camp Turns Moms Into 'MILFs'
By Julie Shapiro
BATTERY PARK CITY — A boot camp in Battery Park City aims to turn new moms into MILFs.
But it's not what you think. The workout group name for Mind Over Matter's MILF/Stroller Boot Camp stands for "Mothers Interested in Living Fit." It puts young mothers through an intense hour of cardio and resistance training, with the goal of bringing back their pre-baby bodies.
"Forget about the gym — the stroller is your best piece of equipment," said Joshua Margolis, founder of Mind Over Matter, who leads the weekly workouts that started last year.
On a recent sweltering morning, Margolis started a group of four women off with a jog along Battery Park City's esplanade, a task made harder by the fact that they were pushing their babies in strollers.
The women then used the strollers for balance as they did leg lifts and lunges, followed by more jogging, jumping jacks and racing up and down stairs. The last 15 minutes are always devoted to core-strengthening exercises like crunches.
"It really tones the areas new moms need the most — where you gain weight when you're pregnant," said Stephanie Pino, 32, a Financial District resident who has been attending the boot camp for a month and a half.
Pino said she likes that she can bring her 5-month-old daughter, Serena, with her to the workout, and she said it's been a good way to meet other first-time moms.
"If I wasn't working out, I'd be lying on the couch all day," said Pino, adding that exercising gives her energy after staying up all night with Serena.
Margolis said he has had mothers bring babies as young as 4 weeks old, and they can continue coming until their child turns 1.
Margolis often incorporates the babies into the workout, having the mothers use them as weights in strength-building exercises. If the babies are sleeping, however, as they were on a recent morning, Margolis has the mothers use their pocketbooks instead.
Margolis, 38, an Upper West Side resident, founded Mind Over Matter in 2004 and did other boot camps around the city before starting the $30-per-session MILF/Stroller Boot Camp a year and a half ago in lower Manhattan.
"We started it here because it's a big mommy area," Margolis said. "All the buildings have young families."
The downtown moms who attend the workouts don't seem to mind the group name's double meaning.
"I think it's funny," Pino said. "If I'm going to be a mom, I definitely want to be a MILF."