Interview with Thomas Olesen (NFC Amenity)

January 2017

If you’re feeling intimidated about starting out the new year with a serious workout routine, it’s only because you haven’t met Thomas Olesen. The energetic Copenhagen native in charge of 555TEN’s fitness offerings understands what keeps people away from the gym, and he’s made it his mission to remove those barriers. We had the chance to sit down with Thomas during a rare quiet moment to find out how 555TEN residents can benefit from their new fitness center and programmed wellness classes.

Q & A:

What types of fitness amenities can 555TEN residents expect?
555TEN has multiple fitness offerings, including a main gym with state-of-the-art equipment and spectacular views, a separate functional training space, a class studio, and a saltwater lap pool.

What is your role in the fitness program at 555TEN, and what is your primary goal for residents?
In addition to overseeing a fitness facility that’s efficient, easy to navigate, and fun to be in, the key is including everyone. My goal is to make beginners feel every bit as comfortable in the gym as seasoned athletes.

What first brought you to the field of fitness, and what special insights do you have?
When I was a child in Denmark, my grandmother insisted that I take ballroom dancing lessons, and though I was reluctant, the experience gave me the insight that exercise is social. For most people, being part of a group or having a workout buddy is the most important factor in determining whether they stick to a regimen.

What makes the fitness program at 555TEN special? What sets it apart?
The fitness offerings at 555TEN are designed to meet the needs of busy professionals and to keep them motivated, with personal training services, one-on-one nutrition coaching, and classes that range from yoga to CrossFit, strength training, and cardio.

What advice do you have for beginning exercisers?
I have very practical advice for beginners: start at a steady pace and don’t rush it. The thrill of lifting heavy weights can sometimes get new exercisers in trouble, so I stress the importance of mastering good form, using appropriate weights, and heeding the advice of trainers, who will be available to help residents get acclimated to new workouts safely—and ensure they both enjoy themselves and see results.

What do you look for when hiring staff for fitness centers in luxury buildings like 555TEN?
When hiring fitness professionals, I look specifically for a solid customer service background and a warm, engaging personality, on top of the requisite certification and expertise in exercise and nutrition. The result is a team of enthusiastic trainers who can create a welcoming and encouraging atmosphere and double as workout buddies while keeping residents on track with their fitness goals.

What are your recommendations for 555TEN residents who enjoy exercising outdoors?
As a relatively new New Yorker who moved to the city in January 2016, I don’t take the city’s amazing resources for granted. My favorite workouts include long runs along the Hudson, playing tennis, and simply walking around New York and people-watching.

What is the most important thing for 555TEN residents to remember about fitness?
I believe in the power of motivation, and my general enthusiasm for fitness extends to everyday life and people’s personal workouts. When I happen to see someone running along the river, I’ll shout “good job!” because I know they’re working hard, and every runner can use an unsolicited high-five once in a while. It’s important to keep a positive attitude. The more you work out and the more you participate, the better your life will be.