Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Welcome to Racked LA's search for Los Angeles' hottest trainer. Over the coming weeks, we'll profile sixteen smoking candidates who work at local gyms and studios. (Not only do they look hot in spandex, but if you take their classes, you might someday look nearly as good.) Then, once you've gotten to know everyone, we'll host a March Madness-style showdown in which you get to vote for your favorite. Let the games begin!
Photos by Elizabeth Daniels
Mike Donavanik has been training since he was 18-years-old. In addition to shaping private clients at The Gym on Nemo, he also teaches Diesel at Crunch West Hollywood (Mondays at 12pm) and Power Sculpt at Equinox Westwood (Tuesdays at 6:30pm). "They're essentially the same format class (high intensity, strength and cardio intervals), just different names," Donavanik says with a laugh. "But each workout is always different and challenging, which keeps things fun and interesting for my students. I developed the structure when I first started teaching group fitness classes three years ago and have improved on and refined it since then—there's definitely a method to my madness!"
Also the star of a series of fitness DVDs (check out the trailer for Extreme Burn: Ripped here), Donavanik considers it a compliment when clients say his class is the hardest. "I'm definitely not a hardcore drill sergeant, but if a class or a client is slacking, I'll definitely give them a swift kick in the ass!" he adds. "I'm a hard-ass when I need to be and I teach one hell of a hard class, but I'm still a huge dork at heart. I really love Sci-Fi and collect action figures, so I can't really see myself as being a true 'tough' guy."
Believe it or not, collecting action figures isn't Donavanik's biggest quirk. "I'm kind of obsessed with shoes," he reveals. Like, I love shoes. I had to move some into my storage unit because I couldn't fit anymore into my apartment. Last count in my apartment was over fifty pairs, and I'm not sure how many are in storage. My pièce de résistance are a pair of Christian Louboutins."