GoRecess Playground Pro: Leanne Shear, M.A. of Uplift



Studio: Uplift, NYC

Classes She Teaches: Fit & Flow and Raise the Bar/Workout & Wine classes

Background: Leanne is an ACE-certified personal trainer and the Co-Founder and President of Uplift. Though she “officially” began training about three years ago, Leanne is a lifelong athlete and coach. From a very young age,  she was always captain of the sports teams she played on and truly enjoys helping people achieve their athletic goals.


What inspired you to become an instructor? I started off training and coaching friends or friends-of-friends and discovered something early on: people, especially women, do love to work out, but working out and being athletic is a way to connect and bond on other levels as well.  I thrive on encouraging and assisting people in meeting physical goals, but I got inspired by the fact that I could make a bigger and more holistic impact on my clients as well—as a personal trainer and coach, I can enable them to achieve in other areas of their lives, not just physical fitness.

What’s your favorite thing about teaching? I certainly don’t call myself a therapist, but I am very much there for my clients in terms of more than just the physical. I seem to have the ability to engage people in emotional and intellectual ways, both of which absolutely fuel the physical. No matter how “fit” you are, you have to feel good first from the inside, and I love drawing out the inner strength and beauty in my clients!

How would you describe your teaching style? My style is definitely athletic—I love working out from a cardio and strength perspective with lots of movement and fun. I dig things like plyometrics (short bursts of movement to get the heart rate up fast and the calorie burn cookin’) and always change up routines—too much of the same thing makes for very boring workouts, and thus, fast burnout. I always encourage clients to use heavy weights and go a little further each time than they thought they were capable of. I am always positive—never negative or a drill sergeant. That works for some people, but not for me!

If you weren’t a fitness instructor, what would you do? I was a writer for many years before this and still do lots of writing projects. My family and friends make fun of me because I always have a notebook in hand—they call them my “nerdals” instead of my journals!

How do you like spending your time when you're not teaching? I of course love to work out myself—I run a lot, swim, and box. I am hankering to start doing triathlons. I am also a huge reader and love everything across the written spectrum: fiction and non-fiction. Finally, I am also very social, so put a glass of wine in my hand and surround me with friends and family and I am a very happy girl.

What’s your “go-to” workout song? Pink never fails to get me going because she is such an ass-kicker, so anything by her.

Favorite workout brand: I am way into Under Armour right now! They have a new brand of women’s workout gear that I like a lot.

What do you eat/not eat? Is this a trick question?? I eat everything! Generally, I really happen to love healthy food, which is a good thing—though I eat a lot of it! I am not really a dessert person, preferring instead a delicious loaf of bread with cheese or some of my sister Molly’s amazing home-made dips.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Probably wine and cheese, though I don’t feel too guilty about it! Otherwise, I am not too much of a TV watcher and as far as I can see, I don’t have a single other vice J


The exercise move everyone should master: A perfect pushup—it is an amazing full-body move when done properly.

What's your biggest pet peeve when teaching? I can’t really say I have too many pet peeves, though I suppose I encourage my clients and students to avoid negativity and saying they can’t do something. If there is one thing I have seen in my personal training and fitness ventures, it is how much people—especially women—are capable of when they put their minds to it.

If you could give GoRecess users one piece of fitness advice what would it be? Physical fitness is vital. Notice that I am not saying physical perfect—that is absolutely not possible. However, every second of every day is a chance to start over. Life always throws monkey wrenches into things—that’s how we grow—but they can’t be an excuse for giving up on working out or setting goals. I advise everyone to find something(s) physical they love to do and get after it most days of the week!


What makes Uplift unique? Uplift is incredibly unique for two reasons: first of all, we are a women-only establishment. I don't mean to devolve into "Girl Power" cliches, but we started this business to bring women together and to empower them through both fitness and social interaction/networking, and we find that is most successful with no men around--women just tend to be more comfortable, and thus, perform better in every way, in that type of environment. And speaking of social, that's the other thing that makes us so unique: we are the only place that combines--and encourages!--both fitness and fun. It's simply not realistic, and very stressful, to expect women to completely deprive themselves of a glass of wine or a night out with friends. We bring both of those elements together under one roof, proving that women can have it all...and sacrifice none of it!


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