Category Archives: Health

Epoc Studios

Personal and small group training studio in Boston’s South End

Yesterday, I wrote about the Elite Training Group, the personal traing studio I work out at 2x a week. I also wanted to give ETGs “sister studio” a shout out. Epoc Studios which opened this past summer is owned and operated by Kris Kranzky’s brother Kyle and his girlfriend Tatiana. The two relocated from Southern California to open this space, located just a couple doors down from ETG on Washington Street, across from Peter’s Park.

Epoc Studios specializes in small-group training, delivering customizable, challenging, and effective fitness experience for people of all ages and fitness levels. The sleek interior is definitely deceptive from its exterior. Their custom-designed workouts can include heart-rate monitors with a visual display shown in real-time on screens throughout the gym during class to see how hard you’re working out. Both trainers are very friendly, easy to talk to and a very welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Photos courtesy of Epoc Studios Instagram Account @epoc.studios

With the days getting shorter and the holiday season approaching, it gets harder to carve out time to workout. One of the lessons I’ve taken from the pandemic is personal health can’t be taken for granted, but it also takes work. That work is easier thanks to expert advise from people like Kyle and Tatiana there every step of the way – all it takes is for you to meet them halfway. If you’re looking for a new gym or need to mix things up check out Epoc.

Epoc Studios
1250 Washington Street – South End

Alternatively, you can also check out their sister gym, Elite Training Group, a few doors down.

Elite Training Group (ETG)

Personal training studio in Boston’s South End

A little more than a year ago, personal trainers Kris Kranzky and Stephen “Stew” Stewart, opened Elite Training Group (ETG), a personal training studio, on Washington Street across from Peter’s Park in the South End of Boston.

Both worked for many years at the Boston Sport Club South End, cultivating a large and loyal number of clients (including yours truly). So when the gym opened early last fall, I signed up for sessions. I had gained what I referred to as the “Covid 19” and with the end of the pandemic nowhere in sight I knew I needed that extra attention you get from a good personal trainer.

Some of these photos were taken prior to the mask mandate in Boston

Over the past year, I’ve gained more muscle and lost body fat. I’m down about 15 pounds. With the days getting shorter and the holiday season approaching, it gets harder to carve out time to workout. One of the lessons I’ve taken from the pandemic is personal health can’t be taken for granted, but it also takes work. That work is easier thanks to expert advise from people like Kris and Stew helping you. If you’re looking for a new gym or need to mix things up check out ETG.

Elite Training Group
1242 Washington Street – South End

Alternatively, you can also check out their sister gym, Epoc Studios, a few doors down.

Fenway Health 50th Anniversary celebration

For fifty years Fenway Health has been serving the LGBTQ community in Boston. Starting in a basement in a building owned by the Christian Science Church, Fenway Health has grown to meet and serve our community through many health crisis including AIDS / HIV, Crystal Meth and Opiods, and more recently COVID-19.

To celebrate this milestone anniversary, Fenway Health is planning to host a virtual celebration next week, Wednesday, April 28th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. The event is free an open to everyone but to attend you need a good Internet connection and to register on or before 12:00 pm on April 28th.

While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic prevents everyone from coming together in person this year, Fenway Health invites you to join them from the comfort of your home for an evening of celebration.

World AIDS Day

December 1 has been designated “World AIDS Day” every year since 1988. It is an international day dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection to more than 75 million people and mourning the 42 million who have died of the disease.

Later today in Boston: The Boston Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and Fenway Health will host a vigil celebrating life and honoring those affected by HIV/AIDS on at 12:00 PM at the AIDS Memorial Tree on the Commonwealth Avenue Mall near Kenmore Square. If you have any questions, please contact the sisters at

Stretching with Lucas Rockwood

I’ve been trying to get back into shape and recently I’ve turned to Lucas Rockwood, a well respected yoga trainer who offers several online training classes, including his his 21-Day Hip Opener Challenge. Each class only takes about 15 minutes but is harder than it sounds. I’m often covered in a sheen of sweat after holding these stretches for up to 5 minutes at a time.

The program is not intended to be a workout. Lucas describes it as a supplement to whatever you’re doing so I will often do this after going for a walk or run or after working out with my trainer. However, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t used the 15 minute stretching class as my “workout” for the day. I’ve noticed the class has helped my posture and my lower back feels stronger.

Because of the winter, I’ll be looking for creative ways to workout indoors. I’m open to suggestions / ideas to do my best to stay fit and somewhat active from my home so I don’t need to go to public gyms while the coronavirus is on the rise.

ISO Nutrition app suggestions

realm health and fitness tips from kyle

After months of little to no physical activity through the spring and summer Sergio had enough of my life as a couch potato and gifted me a series of workout sessions with my former trainer who has opened a private gym. I’ll write more about that in the near future. Although I thought I was going to die after my first week back in the gym, I am happy to be working out again. I’ve not seen any change in my weight or physique, but over the past two weeks I have noticed that I’m sleeping better, I have more energy and my attitude has changed.

I am looking for an easy to use nutrition app

Although I’m not about to give up my lifelong love affair with wine and other treats like french fries and ice cream, I would like to find and use an app to help me track what I eat. I’m not interested in Weight Watchers or apps that are tied to weight loss / management programs. I’d prefer something that is independent and lets me track my own progress without any pressure to sign up or join programs. I plan to use this in conjunction with the workout app my trainer uses, Train Heroic, and MapMyRun, which I use to track my cardio.

WonderSpray: Your very own portable butt shower

This past weekend Sergio had me in stitches laughing so hard watching this promotional video for the WonderSpray, the world’s first portable butt shower.  The product isn’t what I find funny – rather it is the ‘cheeky’ way these inventors have opted to market their product. Their tagline is a good example of what I mean, “Revolutionizing the way people poop one clean bum at a time” – OMG.

I’m more than a little intrigued by the WonderSpray’s “Wonder” mode. If anyone happens to have this product, please explain the experience. The video describes the various settings saying, “Perfect for at home or on-the-go. Comes with multiple pressurized water jets with 4 different settings from light to wonder mode. AND trust us, you’ve got to experience the “Wonder” mode!!!

You have to check out the WonderSpray launch video (below).

If you want to try the product, check out their kickstarter page where they’ve already raised nearly $300,000 from more than 2,700 people.

WonderSpray – The World’s First Portable Butt Shower

Science doesn’t give a f*ck what you believe

Lately, public health and health policy has become politicized. There are several reasons this has happened in my opinion, but I’d rather not dwell on it and focus more on the fact that science – unlike political science – doesn’t give a [insert explative of your choosing here] what you believe.

I cannot believe that I feel compelled to write that no matter how strongly you believe in individual freedoms or conspiracy theories about wearing masks and social distancing, you are not impervious to the coronavirus. But it seems like there is a large segment of our society that has embraced the notion that if you say something often enough (no matter how wildly inaccurate) it must be true. A good example of this is President Trump’s insistance that the virus will go away if we stop testing for coronavirus.

“If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any” President Donald Trump (June 15, 2020)

Placing faith in political and religious leaders over the recommendations of scientists and medical professionals will not protect you, your loved ones or your communities. Following health guidelines as outlined by the medical community is both a personal and civic responsibility that supercedes personal preferences and inconveniences. To put it more simply, SCIENCE  >  YOUR BELIEFS.

Some states say it’s time to open

covidThe state of Georgia has earned widespread criticism, after Gov. Brian Kemp said businesses like gyms, hair salons, and barber shops could open this past Friday, April 24 with theaters and restaurants to open tomorrow on April 27.

I’d like to use this post to encourage a little social activism on your part. If you think Gov. Kemp’s actions are reckless then speak up, regardless of where you live. Call the Georgia State Govenor’s Mansion to arrange a tour like Professa Cross shares below.

Click  on the image to enlarge if it is difficult to read – it’s worth your time.

If you are unsure when a specific state will be lifting their “stay-at-home” orders this site has a listing of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, here.  I’ve included a  list of states that say they will lift ‘stay-at-home’ requests this week. For some states with low infection rates localized in a defined area that may make sense, but the data shows that isn’t the case for all the states listed below.

Alabama – Thursday, April 30
6,000+ cases / 164 deaths – considered widespread, details here.

Alaska – Opened April 21
300+ cases / 9 deaths – considered defined, details here.

Arizona – Thursday, April 30
6,000+ cases / 273 deaths – considered widespread, details here.

Colorado – Monday, April 27 (Denver stay-at-home remains)
6,000+ cases / 670+ deaths – considered widespread, details here.

Florida – Thursday, April 30
30,000+ cases / 1,000+ deaths – considered widespread, details here.

Idaho – Thursday, April 30
1,870+ cases / 50+ deaths – considered widespread, details here.

Indiana – Friday, May 1
14,000+ cases / 78+ deaths – undetermined, details here.

Louisiana – Friday, May 1
26,500+ cases / 1,600+ deaths – considered widespread, details here.

Mississippi – Monday, April 27
5,700+ cases / 220+ deaths – considered widespread, details here.

Montana – Monday, April 27
440+ cases / 14 deaths – considered defined, details here.

Nevada – Thursday, April 30
4,500+ cases / 200+ deaths – considered widespread, details here.

Ohio – Friday, May 1
15,500+ cases / 700+ deaths – considered defined, details here.

Tennessee – Thursday, April 30
9,000+ cases / 175+ deaths – considered defined, details here.

Texas – Thursday, April 30
23,700+ cases / 600+ deaths – considered widespread, details here.

SOURCE for case counts and deaths

FDA eases blood donation policy targeting gay men (sort of)

Thursday April 2nd the U.S. government (sort of) eased restrictions that previously forbid gay men and several other groups from making blood donations.  The FDA’s policy change is not absolute, meaning the guidance for male donors who would have been deferred for having sex with another man has changed the recommended deferral period from 12 months to 3 months. For sexually active gay men, which describes every gay man I know – this change although welcome still falls short. You can read the details about the new policy which aims to allow tens of thousands more Americans to give blood here.

The change in policy is due to canceled blood drives, that have decimated donations to the American Red Cross and other nonprofits that provide most of the blood supply in the country.

For those of you who are not sexually active gay men, consider contacting your local American Red Cross. To learn more and or to schedule a blood donation at Boston’s American Red Cross donation center call 1-800-RED CROSS or go online to schedule a time to donate, here.

What to do this week: March 16-22

coronavirus, covid-19, gay humorWhen phrases like “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” become a part of our vernacular and are trending on social media, you know that something is up.

Many meetings, events and programs last week made last minute decisions to cancel so I’m going to take a hiatus from publishing events this week and suggest a prolonged “Netflix-n-Chill” approach while we ride out COVID-19.

Below you’ll find an easy to follow guide on how to wash your hands since that seems to be among the best ways to prevent the spread. For more information about symptoms related to Coronavirus, visit this CDC site.

Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way
  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Coronavirus rant: Calm the f*ck down

Calm DownI’m veering from my usual topic and string of man candy posts for a momentary rant about our nation’s  response to COVID-19.  Guidance from the White House has been erratic at best, and I attribute the President’s failure to lead as the main reason for so much misinformation and general hysteria. After all Trump has gone from accusing Democrats and media of fear mongering and exaggerating, even suggesting this was a hoax and mortality rates shared by the World Health Organization as not that serious to implementing travel bans and declaring a national emergency. 

Due in large part to Trump’s failure to lead, there has been  a run on items like hand sanitizers and some are hoarding items like paper towels and toilet paper. Take 1-minute (well really 1:20) to listen to Judy Woodruff who closed the Friday night News Hour with a far more sane response than I’ve heard come from our President and a far more compassionate response that I hope will appeal to your better senses. Perhaps the White House can take cues from Judy and others in the media who have provided similar messages to help bring the nation together.

Fenway Health PrEP@Home study needs you

truvada, sexual healthFenway Health is recruiting people for a new medical study called PrEP@Home that involves testing a mobile app for men on PrEP to evaluate the effectiveness while minimizing the need for in-person follow up at clinics.


Eligible participants should be between the ages of 18 – 49, HIV negative, assigned male at birth and interested in taking PrEP. Eligible participants will be eligible to receive up to $240 for completing all study procedures.

Interested? Call 617.927.6448 or click here to learn more: PrEP@Home.

Boston free summer fitness series

Boston Moves, Summer fitness programsStarting earlier this month on June 4th, Boston Parks launched their annual summer fitness series. Due to past success and interest the city is expanding the program this year and will offer 30 classes per week through September 29th.

Free fitness classes take place in the morning and evenings and include a variety of options like yoga, zumba and bootcamp. All classes take place outdoors in Boston’s parks around the city. The full calendar of activities can be found here:

You can follow what is happening and get updates by following @HealthyBoston.

Medical group forms to help connect LGBTQ community with wellness providers

Handsome, hunk, hairy, furry, doctorFew things are more important than taking care of your health and for that reason I touch upon the topic occasionally. A few years back I wrote the post, Many LGBT patients feel alienated by their health providersA few years after my post I shared the US News & World Report article, How to Come Out to Your Doctor as an LGBT Patient, which explained why this is important: the type of preventative care you should receive – esp if you are sexually active; questions you may want to ask your doctor; and most importantly for those who are not out to their health care providers – how to start the conversation.

So when I was recently contacted by Lighthouse, a network of LGBTQ affirming health and wellness providers, I knew I’d want to share this. According to the release I received, Lighthouse is a group of NYC-based providers who have devoted our careers to caring for LGBTQ+ patients. They are currently up and running in New York City and are expanding rapidly to serve the LGBTQ+ community nationwide.

For more information you can check out their blog at or visit their website at