Wellness on the Waterfront: A Q&A with Burnin’ By Ray founder Ray Peleckas
With the Seaport’s catalog of boutique fitness studios and healthy restaurants, it’s easier than ever to set and reach your wellness goals – from starting and maintaining a workout routine to improving nutrition and living a balanced life.
We sat down with Ray Peleckas, the founder of Burnin’ By Ray, a unique exercise concept that helps members set, meet, and maintain goals that make wellness a lifestyle. Continue reading to learn about how Burnin’s innovative data-driven approach to health and fitness can help you set practical and sustainable goals and keep your New Year’s resolution alive all year long.
Burnin’ By Ray is one of the newest additions to the Seaport’s fitness world – tell us about the program.
On the surface, Burnin’ By Ray is a high energy, low impact workout that uses motorless machines to accommodate all fitness levels. We pair cardio sprints with active strength sections led by our trained team of instructors that motivate, correct form, and help you get the most out of your workout. What really sets us apart is our data-driven program based on our clients’ individual goals and fitness capabilities.
We start with a physical analysis in our Bod Pod, an egg-shaped chamber that calculates various aspects of physical fitness, including muscle mass and average number of calories burned per day. We pair that information with a VO2 Max test that shows us how your body handles and converts oxygen, in addition to other flexibility and mobility tests to give accurate and specific recommendations on ways to make the most out of your workout. All of this, in addition to our nutrition counseling, creates our specialized and comprehensive wellness plans.
Where did the phrase “UnGym” come from?
We aren’t just a gym, we’re a transformational wellness studio, which why we coined the phrase “UnGym” – so much of what we know as “wellness” happens outside of the gym, and our programing has long-term results that are based on each of our clients’ individual lifestyles. The results we see are impressive and really unheard of in the fitness industry. Our average member loses 3.5% body fat over their first 12 weeks of the program. Their sleep improves, they have more energy, they focus better and they look and feel better, making them happier and more productive. It’s really inspiring to see, and it’s why we’re so passionate about our program.
What made you decide to bring The UnGym to the Seaport?
When we had just our Belmont location, we had our eye on the Seaport because we knew that this neighborhood has so much to offer: always energetic with families, businesspeople, and visitors exploring Boston’s coolest new destination along the waterfront. As the most innovative gym concept in the game, we knew we needed to be in an area with the same excitement, uniqueness, and diversity. We could tell that people in the area were ready for something new, which is why we were so excited to bring Burnin’ By Ray to the Seaport.
Goal-setting is a major component of Burnin’s program. What are your recommendations for setting goals and sticking with them?
Setting goals and helping our clients reach them is at the core of our mission. After the strategy sessions, we set 3-month goals for each of our clients and reassess them once a quarter. Showing them progress and reminding them that their dedication is paying off is crucial for visualizing how far they are on their wellness journey.
My biggest recommendation is to get together with friends or other people with similar goals and pursue a fitness path together. As helpful as our goal-setting process is, it’s always tough to embark on a journey like this alone. At Burnin’ By Ray, we form a unique community that pushes our clients as far as they can go and holds them accountable for achieving and maintaining their goals. Having a support system is crucial, and we pride ourselves on having built an engaging community that makes everyone – especially newer members – feel as though they’ve been a part of the Burnin’ crew forever. If you’re hesitant to get into a new workout, nutrition or other wellness regimens, forming your own group of morale-boosters is sure to keep you on track.
What are your thoughts on “mindfulness,” and how is it incorporated into the workouts at The UnGym?
The concept of “mindfulness” has become very popular and it means something different to everyone. Personally, I define mindfulness as “present moment focus:” people are so busy, always being pulled in different directions at work and at home with their minds moving a mile a minute. To find your present moment focus, I recommend setting aside time every day to shut the brain down and live in the moment. At The UnGym, we incorporate this into the last few minutes of each class with an uninterrupted cool down: we show active recovery techniques on our screens while soft music plays, giving our clients the chance to reflect on their performance and re-connect with their bodies so they can tackle anything that comes up outside of the studio.
What is a motto that you live by?
My personal motto is “There is no education like adversity.” Everyone has challenges and struggles, but the way in which you handle yourself in these situations can have amazing results. Shift your frame of mind to see bumps in the road as opportunities to grow and learn about yourself. When setting goals and implementing lifestyle changes, the road is going to be rough at times – having support systems and tracking your progress are two ways to help push past barriers, learn about yourself and reach your vision. Enjoy the journey.
Whether you join a fitness class, begin a new nutrition plan or start a running club, the Seaport has everything you need to stick with your resolutions and implement long-lasting lifestyle changes.
Burnin’ By Ray is located at 157 Seaport Blvd. For a pre-work sweat, sign up for their 5:30am, 6:30am or 7:30am classes; for an after-work burn, sign up for a 4:30pm, 5:30pm or 6:30pm class. The UnGym also offers a 9:30am class on weekends.
From February 1st to 14th, enjoy unlimited classes for just $14.