At Sunset Harbour's revolutionary Anatomy at 1220, science and technology meet personal health, fitness, and glamour.
Chris Paciello and Marc Megna at Anatomy at 1220.
If you’ve ever wondered what high-altitude-esque running on a treadmill with an oxygen mask and electrodes is like, let me tell you—it’s really, really hard. Gatorade commercials make it look so easy. Nevertheless, measuring one’s VO2 max (your endurance) is a crucial piece of the body puzzle, according to South Beach’s newest fitness center, Anatomy at 1220.
Here, fitness has officially gone from the treadmill to the lab. The 13,000-square-foot, multilevel, chandelier-bedecked gym was envisioned by nightlife expert Chris Paciello, who launched the gym with—fittingly—a red-carpet grand opening. And after a few workouts and procedures at Anatomy, you might look just as “Hollywood” as you feel. “There was a void in Miami of a higher-end gym with the whole medical, anti-aging component,” says Paciello, who tapped into some of the city’s best talent, including co-owner and former NFL star Marc Megna (whom Chris lovingly calls an “Adonis”), as well as the Miami Institute for Age Management and Intervention to create the in-house FITTLab. “You see different facilities that have a beautiful gym or a beautiful spa, but you don’t really see them together,” says Megna.
Besides this being quite possibly the sexiest gym in America, get ready for the workout of your life. Head-to-toe personalization is also a big differentiator at Anatomy. What works for one person might fail for another, and it’s that philosophy that has the tailored fitness segments kicking Miami into shape. After my James Bond-like testing, I sat with trainer (and Junior Olympian) Jacqueline Kasen to discuss my results: My VO2 test ranked superior, but my Seca scan body fat ratio could be... better. Which means all the exercise I currently do needs to be replaced with a lot more strength training, because I’m consistently burning muscle instead of fat.
The new gym’s state-of-the-art weight room.
Next, Kasen and I did an FMS (functional movement screening), where I learned I point my toes too much. My session also revealed I needed tweaks on almost every move, only to be re-tweaked on rep 8 or 9. Apparently, form really does matter.
Nearby, other beautiful Miamians were perfecting their form as well—Instagram star Joey Swoll (835,000 followers) was lifting weights the size of a Honda, while musician Cedric Gervais was keeping up his endurance for 3 am deejaying gigs. Will Smith had stopped by the week before, and athletes like Mike Piazza pop in and out. Even among the u?ber-sexy, athletic gymgoers (including dozens of Wilhelmina models taking selfies while shredding their abs), the vibe was somehow more intimate than intimidating, and not by accident. “We want people to feel like they’re a welcome guest in our home,” says Paciello. Meanwhile, Megna emphasizes a “consistent, positive energy.”
Unfortunately, we had to pause before the full workout, as the time had come for my blowout (#Tuesday). Anatomy also offers massages, blood tests, and chiropractic work courtesy of Dr. Matthew Cooper; guests can buy jewelry or fresh juices, or unwind on the sun deck overlooking Sunset Harbour. And you can keep your car in the parking lot while running over to JugoFresh.
Arguably the best part of the Anatomy at 1220 experience is the “recover” phase, which encompasses everything from a vitamin-infused Vita Squad IV bag (yes, the one everyone uses for hangovers) to the hyperbaric oxygen chamber (sooooo Michael Jackson). For most, it means heading to the lounge-y Sanctuary with its neon jellyfish mural and crystal ball ceiling lamps, and taking a plunge in the hot and cold pools. Just try not to stare at the women who look like they came with the place. Or do. Hey, after my perfectly executed workout, I almost felt like one of them. 1220 20th St., Miami Beach, 786-213-1220