NICOLE WINHOFFER, KATRIN THORMANN & NADINE WOLFBEISSER

NICOLE WINHOFFER, KATRIN THORMANN & NADINE WOLFBEISSER

FADE IN:

INT. 440 STUDIOS, ASTOR PLACE, NEW YORK CITY — LATE MORNING

Black plastic boxes are stacked along a sidewall of Studio 3D, at 440 Studios on the East side of lower Manhattan. An oversized mirror hangs on the front wall, reflecting the empty room.

CUT TO:

NICOLE WINHOFFER, in a purple pullover windbreaker, enters with KATRIN THORMANN, in a gray hoodie, and NADINE WOLFBEISSER, in a black sweatshirt, fresh from working out in an adjacent studio. The three walk to a corner and sit on the floor, resting against the boxes beside them.

NICOLE
One thing I love about my class, NW Method, is that everybody is equal. We all go through it as a group, sweating together.

NADINE
It’s a way of connecting, even for people who don’t know each other. Everyone has met someone in class. We spend an hour doing something amazing for our bodies, and then go grab a coffee —

NICOLE
At La Colombe —

NADINE
Yes! There’s a routine.

KATRIN
You have a really German crew.

NICOLE
Well, my dad is German. And my favorite soccer player, Matt Hummels, is number 15 on the German national team.

NADINE
How good is German food?

NICOLE
So good. My grandmother always served liverwurst and wiener schnitzel, but I just stuck to sauerkraut — it’s a good probiotic and raises your metabolism [laughs]!

NADINE
That’s why we have to work out, because of all that food! I don’t know about you both, but I’m a fat kid on the inside. I’ve tried a lot of different exercise classes, and the first one I took with you, Nicole, was so different.

NICOLE
Fitness has always been a part of my life; growing up, I loved dancing, playing soccer, and swimming. When Madonna offered me a position as her personal trainer [in 2009], I was reading The Power of Now — which says to accept opportunities the universe presents and figure out the details later — so I said yes. But I never said I was a trainer at first to avoid certain stereotypes; instead I’d say I was a dancer and choreographer, because I found my happiest self through movement to music. Fashion has always been a part of me, too, so from the very beginning I’ve created mood boards to inspire my workouts. There always has to be a story.

KATRIN
I love that your class is a mixture of things. Like dancing, for instance — though you don’t call it dancing.

NICOLE
No, I like to say ‘rhythmic pattern movements’ because sometimes people put too much emphasis on labels. And I create a new workout every week because I never want clients to plateau. One time, I was feeling particularly uninspired — I had a new playlist and didn’t want to use techniques I’d taught in the past. So I thought, ‘What else can I do? Well, most everyone has a bag, so let’s be absolutely crazy and try something with that.’

KATRIN
I was there — I didn’t really think about what you were telling us to do until after the fact, when I was like: Huh?!

NICOLE
When I started to notice sweat dripping onto people’s Chanels and Celines, I was like: Fuck! Sorry [ALL laugh]!

KATRIN
Afterward, I actually thought about how practical it was to use a bag in a workout.

NICOLE
New York City is over-inundated with boutique studios. People who want something new, that’s not generic and still inspirational, generally vibrate on my level. That’s another reason why my method connects with a lot of people in the arts, entertainment, and fashion, like you ladies, or Stella McCartney — who was a client of mine before I became the global brand ambassador of Adidas by Stella McCartney last summer.

NADINE
I find it very interesting that sportswear is so common nowadays. People wear gym clothes when they’re not even going to the gym.

NICOLE
I do that all the time. I live in my gym clothes, which is why I’m so lucky to have the relationship with Stella — her clothes for Adidas make a woman feel sexy and beautiful before, during, and after a workout. My personal dream is to make a dance-inspired clothing line specifically geared toward the NW Method.

KATRIN
I would buy it [ALL laugh]!

NADINE
In class, Nicole triggers sparks inside of everyone. There’s literally a release of currents, and you overcome something. You feel like you’re able to move mountains. You leave with an enthusiasm that lasts for days, and changes your whole state of mind.

NICOLE
I remember the first time you came to class, Nadine. You were going through a challenging time, and I connected that to what we were doing — a plank or some other crazy move. I pushed you to keep working so you would realize your own power.

NADINE
By pushing through it, I learned I’m able to do anything. Class is always super intense, and then afterward, as we stretch and cool down, you walk around and touch everyone’s back. You have this energy; I remember one time I felt so relieved, I cried. Not in a bad way, it was just —

NICOLE
A release.

NADINE
Exactly. You go beyond what a normal trainer does.

NICOLE
I’ve always felt I have hands that can feel someone’s past, or what they’ve been through — quite literally, I can feel it when I touch someone’s back. It’s a skill I’ve developed and perfected by working with people who’ve experienced tough times in their lives.

KATRIN
I’ve done so many classes after which the instructors will say, ‘Now take a moment to focus on yourself and what you want in life.’ I never used to do that — you are the first person whose class has allowed me to consciously think about what I want!

NICOLE
Have you noticed anything that’s come to fruition because of it?

KATRIN
I’m not sure, but it feels really good to pick one thing and be able to focus on it for ten seconds, or however long it is. I’ve never done that before.

NADINE
Your mind is everything.

NICOLE [to NADINE]
Now you’re starting to sound like me [NADINE laughs]!

KATRIN
Brainwashed!

NICOLE
A big part of my method is that, yes, you can do a routine and get results, but if you aren’t doing it with emotion — with intention — you aren’t going to fully experience the benefits. I’ve instructed around the world and practicing intent of movement is something that’s not commonly taught. Emotions are just as important as muscles, because both contain energy which affects your entire body.

NADINE
It’s like the fictional society in The Giver, where everything is gray until the characters escape and discover the real world has colors and feelings, and that they’re able to show emotions. Another thing I love about class is the music. It’s everything. And what would life be without music?

KATRIN
I feel the same! When a song is playing and everybody’s moving, I don’t even think about what I’m doing. I’m just —

NICOLE
In the zone.

KATRIN
It’s a body high.

NICOLE
I love the term ‘body high,’ because I strove to develop a method that would leave people feeling high without being on drugs.

NADINE
That’s exactly the feeling you have in class. You’re high on life.

CREDITS

Photography byBramble Trionfo
Molly Hodson

Conversation moderated byAnthony Rotunno

Nicole Winhoffer is the global brand ambassador of Adidas by Stella McCartney and the founder of the NW Method, a fitness class she teaches in New York City and abroad.
Nadine Wolfbeisser and Katrin Thormann are models based in New York City.

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THE END