If you meet smiling, serene Frank Vomero today, you'd be hard-pressed to believe he was ever anything but sculpted and svelte. But, the Miami-born, Boynton Beach, FL-bred instructor and musical theater performer was extremely overweight for most of his teen years. While he says genetics played a role in it, he also notes his low self-esteem and struggle with his own sexuality also loomed large. While he nabbed more classic leadership roles in high school, anything physical made him shy away.
But, in middle and high school, being captain of the step team started to reveal his desire to dance. Plus, getting involved in drama at school helped young Vomero find more comfort moving, even finding joy in being, gasp, silly. Finally, at age 20, he began technical dance classes, but with an adult’s appreciation and respect for the craft, an inadvertent gift.
Vomero then attended University of Central Florida, aiming toward hospitality management. When that didn't feel right, he came home to study nursing, finding an intrinsic understanding and interest in the human body. But once he was accepted to--and attended--the Broadway Theater Project summer program in 2012, movement fortunately took over his life.
Just a few months later he moved to NYC, dancing and taking class constantly, working out and working in restaurants. Soon, a friend introduced him to PiYo, and that quickly snowballed into gaining that certification, along with one for cycling, helping him land jobs teaching at NYSC, New York Health and Racquet Club, Swerve, Mercedes Club, Revolve Fitness, Torque Strength and Simply Cycle.
Now, while also performing at theaters throughout South Florida, he's taking his impressive base of knowledge to his clients there, teaching a variety of classes with a consistently upbeat, mindful, positive vibe. Read on to hear how he helps clients improve their overall well-being, not only with killer classes, but also with a joyful, present approach.
SBS: You spent a chunk of time in NYC working at a slew of big fitness homes. What brought you back to Florida?
Frank Vomero: I moved back to Florida in 2016, and the universe pointed me toward it; I had a really clean way out. There were people who took over the lease in NYC and bought all our furniture.
And, the week before I left NYC, I was at Flywheel taking a community class. John Wellmann was in class. After the ride, he approached me based on my form and asked me where I taught. I told him I was moving to Florida, so he put me in contact with the South Florida region. It was a smooth, clear transition.
SBS: Where are you currently?
FV: Right now I'm at Cyclebar in Palm Beach Gardens, the Xtend Barre headquarters in Boca Raton, and I'm also at a brand new studio called Rise 31, the first and only yoga, cycling and coffee shop. We also have the In-Trinity class, a 60-minute class on a board that’s lifted to 45-degrees.
SBS: What's at the heart of your approach?
FV: The crux of my approach is the same across all platforms and classes. Each platform has a different way of putting the message out there, but it’s the same intention: to walk into class completely unlimited, willing and trusting yourself to try absolutely anything. When you feel something different, that’s when you decide to modify.
I teach my class vividly on the law of attraction and gratitude. We’re here for 45 or 60 minutes, so I ask each person to set an intention or desire. So they then understand that while they're working, they're working toward something they want, versus something they don’t want or are running away from. That allows them an opportunity to replace their thoughts. That’s the only way anything shifts. Instead of thinking about what you're pissed about, I say, you know what's happening with all that stuff out there. You know it’s happening, and we don’t need to constantly remind ourselves of problems. Instead let's run toward the solution.
The only time something looks like it's running backward is when it's stationary. So move forward. Move through to get yourself to exactly what you want.
Movement is joy, not a burden.
SBS: How can someone with an injury use your joyful approach without disregarding the physical issue?
FV: The fact that you're there and you're willing to move is wonderful. So let's go through all the things that work first. I deal with a lot of clients who just walk in and aren't present or mindful. I'm not disregarding physical ailments. But what I'm not feeding into is mindless behavior. If you're mindfully working and can’t use your shoulder, you're going to use a squat hold. There are all these other things you can do!
I don’t allow fear to lead anyone forward. I want you to feel empowered and challenged, and what you're doing isn’t easy. Appreciate yourself even more! So, here's a burpee, here's a modified option of walking feet back and forth, and you can pick one. Either way, that's not an excuse to stop moving!
SBS: What’s the best way to approach cross-training?
FV: Think about what feels good, and what you enjoy doing. That’s the basic thing to think about: If you hate lifting weights, there are so many other things you can do to bring in that type of health without sacrificing who you are. If sitting on a bike listening to music with your head down feels good, then that’s a great option.
Stop caring about what you look like. Go out and try it all. Give yourself a moment to be aware of what feels right, and then invest your time in that.
SBS: What should a client look for in a trainer or instructor?
FV: Find an instructor who is prepared, first and foremost. You’ll know if someone isn’t the moment you’re in class.
As an instructor, have your music and curriculum planned. It becomes a community, and it’s the same handful of people coming back. So build the relationship with the clients. That’s what’s going to make all the difference.
Frank's South Florida Faves:
Healthy Restaurant: Meraki Juice Kitchen
Splurge Restaurant: Pistache French Bistro
Fun Activity: Anything outside with my dog, Cody
Calming Activity: Meditation and yoga
Fitness Studio: Institute of Human Performance
Yoga Studio: Anuttara Yoga
Athletic Shoes: Nike
Books: The Vortex by Esther Hicks and The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
Frank's SBS Mantra: Be mindful: You can’t truly acquire a healthy lifestyle without mindfulness. If you’re not mindfully moving through life, you’re more than likely leading a life based in fear because you haven’t take the time to do the work within, where you discover love. I coach mindfulness, not aesthetics. I have little interest in how you look, but I care a great deal about how you feel.
The best, zaniest part of being Frank: Musical theater makes me pretty zany!