Since the Cashins, Ed and his Irish-born wife, Caroline, seem to be on the move most of the time, you better be prepared for a mini cardiovascular workout of your own should you want to interview them.
The Exceed Fitness studio that they have overseen since Memorial Day on Plank Road off Route 114 in East Hampton is a hive of activity every day of the week. Simply to observe is to get your blood flowing and your heart pumping more efficiently.
“We’ve just got done biking and running,” Ed said on his arrival at the studio Sunday morning with a half-dozen others just prior to an hourlong class for 15 or so students that mixed boxing in with TRX suspension strap and Bosu ball training.
Ed Cashin has been a personal trainer for the past 25 years, his first client being the president of his alma mater, Lock Haven (Pa.) University, where he played rugby and was a frat mate of Mike Bahel, a fellow trainer who owns the Body Tech studios in Amagansett and Montauk.
Peter Rana, Body Tech’s former owner, who now “owns the two biggest gyms in New Zealand,” helped foster Cashin’s personal training career, placing him with an art dealer (the late Thomas Ammann) who lived in Switzerland. When, six months later, Cashin returned to the U.S., Bahel replaced him for a spell in Switzerland.
“Since the early ’90s, I’ve been on my own, though this is my first studio,” he said, looking about the 1,800-square-foot space, with its 50 feet of monkey bars, ranks of TRX training straps, clusters of Bosu balls, kettlebells, and Dynamax medicine balls. “My partners and I also have an Exceed Fitness studio in New York, at 83rd and Third. I’m there Mondays and Thursdays.”
Classes in boxing, biking, running, paddleboarding, TRX, kettlebells, and sledding are among the offerings. As for his clientele, “Many are local people who I’m taking to another level. It’s highly functional training, very movement based.”
“There are no machines,” he added, “except for the fans. . . . We use our own body weight. We do a lot of calorie burning at a high heart rate. Mobility and flexibility come first, then we build up strength, primarily with kettlebells, those iron things over there. We do full range of motion work with lighter weights and then progress from there, adding plyometrics [explosive exercises designed to increase muscle power and speed].”
When this writer, who attended two classes last week, wondered whether the workouts might be too strenuous for the average Joe, he was told by one of the students, Andy Cairns, that “it’s up to you how many reps you do.”
“The classes are scaled to all abilities,” Cashin said.
When Cairns’s wife, Meredith, was asked during last Thursday afternoon’s similarly well-attended TRX and Bosu ball class what she did sports-wise, she replied, with a laugh, “I don’t run marathons — I’m the mother of a 2-year-old.”
“Ed’s fantastic,” she continued. “Everyone’s equally challenged, but at a different level. He’s wonderful at creating a sense of camaraderie.”
“Meredith is an athlete now,” Cashin said, when questioned before Sunday’s boxing and TRX class began — an assessment with which Andy Cairns readily agreed.
“I take every class he gives,” said Cairns, pointing out another in-shape convert, Tom O’Donoghue.
“I was a smoker until I was 40,” said O’Donoghue, who directed the inaugural Katy’s Courage 5K race in Sag Harbor last year. Katy’s example, he said of Jim and Brigid Stewart’s late daughter, who died of a rare form of liver cancer, had inspired him. “I’ve been doing this since Thanksgiving — at least five days a week,” he said. “It’s brought about a big change in me, but a good change.”
O’Donoghue said he recently brought over some of Pierson High School’s county championship baseball players, “but they couldn’t keep up with us old guys. . . . No matter what sport you play this will make you better.”