How the Hadids’ Low-Key Boxing Coach Keeps the Elite Fit and Focused

Rob Piela trains and tones the most fit of celebs and Victoria’s Secret models at his NYC gym, Gotham Gym. Even with his busy schedule and A-list clients, Rob stays well-balanced, inspired, and in a good routine day to day.


Rob Piela is probably not what you would expect when hearing his extensive list of celebrity clientele (think Hadid, Sampaio, Fowler, Depp), and is next to impossible to nail down an interview with, but not because he is too busy getting Insta-famous from his A-list clientele, but because he is one of the hardest working and most down-to-earth people in the industry. 

Rob Piela

Instagram @gothamgym

He’s is not the type of hard worker who brags about his success or where he’s come from, but with his head down, sweating, training, and having a damn good time. Rob says, “I get energy from my clients. I believe you should practice what you preach and I am to set a consistent example for the people that show up for me daily.”  His no-nonsense approach to training is how he runs one of the most successful boxing gyms in the country as well as maintains his elite list of members.


When asked what Rob would tell his younger self, he responded, “I would remind myself that it will all work out in the end and to try not to worry so much.” 

With this in mind, Rob keeps things simple, even with his consistent morning routine, which consists of of waking up at 4:40 and heading straight out the door for his half hour drive to work. He then brushes his teeth and showers once at the gym, and only after raining his first few clients, will he head out for breakfast before continuing a full day of training. When it comes to training himself, “It’s not that it’s hard to tie in, but after a long day of training [as it’s so active], I don’t have the energy to do more, so I try to listen.”


Between running his own gym, training, working on non-profits, and expanding to a new Bridgehampton location, it’s important that Rob makes clear intentions for each day. “The most important thing I do each day is spend time with my kids, so everything that happens outside of that is to help make that possible”.

Growing up training in boxing, Rob works like a fighter and puts everything he has into what he does.  Throughout his twenty-year-career in fitness, this “all or nothing” mentality can burn anyone out quickly, so it’s imperative that he carves out some time away from it all. Rob enjoys traveling to the Caribbean, since it’s an easy flight from New York and the beaches are great!  “I always exercise while I am away! I will go for a run in the morning, before having a big breakfast and then relaxing. I never bring my phone with me on vacation and make sure to make this a time that is free from work.” 


Since many of Robs clients need to maintain their bikini-clad physique year round, he recommends people set a goal of consistency rather than focusing on a physical accomplishment.  Boxing is not an easy sport to pick up and to get good it takes a lot of dedication. Consistency keeps people honest. When working towards goals, Rob encourages people to ask, “Am I on my way or have I lost focus?”

Rob says the one thing he cannot live without is his family.  So it comes as no surprise that he treats everyone from the ground up with the same level of affection. “This, for me, is the key to what keeps me showing up each day in fighting form.”

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