If you want to glow, take Ben B.'s class at Soulcycle. His wild energy is magnetic and his music invigorating. We love his passion for healthy food and his newfound obsession with microflora...
It goes without saying that SoulCycle has been sweeping the fitness industry, boasting 45 minutes of indoor cycling and weights that will leave you feeling like the best version of yourself, inside and out. With seven locations throughout California already, this original NYC workout shows no signs of slowing down. The popularity and addictive quality of this workout is due to instructors like Ben Bruker, better known as Ben B. (Check out his instructor profile page here). Originally from Kentucky, Ben moved to New York, then to Los Angeles where his classes have been selling out within minutes. Ben's upbeat and crazy energy is infectious. A combination of inspiring (and hilarious) motivation that he delivers (or screams!) and his amazing playlists provides a one-stop-shop for good vibes. Leaving his class feels like you've just partied at the club for 45 minutes straight, only instead of a hangover to show for it, you're left with a tight booty, high self-esteem and a positive outlook on life. It's no wonder this guy's got a loyal cult following.
We met with Ben B. between his classes, where we were surprised by his super chill, mellow demeanor. Ben told us that he needs to bottle up his energy so he can teach all of his 12 weekly classes. Dubbed "the most introverted extrovert," Ben admits that teaching at SoulCycle brings out a super exhilarating side of himself. You might be wondering how he keeps his energy levels so high? Ben's secret is that he loads up on a bunch of healthy grains throughout the day. He kindly shared his favorite breakfast with us, a special porridge blend that's totally scrumptious. Ben cares a lot about where his food comes from. He is especially inspired by Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, as well as learning about microflora in the gut. Formerly a musician, Ben has been making his own music in his peaceful West Hollywood home, creating his own beats that sometimes even make it into his classes. We got a live performance in his living room, as he started crafting a special tune during our interview on his new synth pad.
HOW THEY GLOW QUESTIONNAIRE
NAME: Ben Bruker
NICKNAME: None that I know of
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP: Louisville, Kentucky
WHEN YOU ARE EATING HEALTHY, WHAT IS A TYPICAL…
BREAKFAST: I usually default to granola and yogurt with fresh fruit. Lately I’ve been doing porridge with rosemary.
LUNCH: I always have a number of veggies in my fridge from the farmer’s market. Combine in a pan with rice and eggs and you have a delicious lunch. I have recently learned to cook this with coconut oil and the results are delicious.
DINNER: Dinner seems to vary more than any other meal. I usually have a little longer to prep so I like to look up new recipes and try them out. I just bought a slow cooker to make comfort food for the winter.
SNACK: Apple slices with peanut butter
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS/RESTAURANTS TO EAT HEALTHY? I really love Cafe Gratitude for their excellent hippie cuisine. Inaka on La Brea is a great macrobiotic place (I moved here hooked on Souen in NYC and a friend showed me this LA equivalent). Also Yuko Kitchen kills. It’s by the LACMA, and I stop by every time I’m in the neighborhood. Not only do they have great healthy entrees, their baked goods are outstanding and they are all of the ‘healthy’ variety.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INDULGENCE? Ice Cream. LA Creamery makes my current favorite.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE SPOTS/RESTAURANTS TO INDULGE? I can’t get enough pizza. I love Olio and Stella Barra. Burgers too - just had the one at Honor Bar and I won’t ever forget it. Also, Free Range does the best fried chicken sandwich in the city. I catch them on Sundays at the Melrose Farmer’s Market.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR LAST MEAL ON EARTH? Baby back ribs. I will always have a soft spot for barbeque, tastes like home.
WHAT IS THE BEST DISH YOU COOK/ YOUR FAVORITE RECIPE? I don’t really have a staple dish. I’m honestly happy whenever I make something that’s good enough to eat!
WHERE DO YOU GROCERY SHOP IN LA? I like to hit up the Farmer’s Markets. Santa Monica on Wednesday, There is a small one called the Produce Project at Paper or Plastik on Pico on Thursdays, & Melrose on Sunday. However, I’ll default to Whole Foods if I can’t make it or whenever I’m out of peanut butter (gotta get it from the peanut grinding machine).
WHAT IS YOUR FITNESS REGIME? (HOW OFTEN & WHAT DO YOU GO) I teach class at SoulCycle 12 times a week, and I always ride the bike at least 10 of those times. I do yoga at least once a week too. Sometimes dance class at the Sweat Spot on Sundays for a little inspiration and fun.
WHAT IS YOUR SKINCARE ROUTINE? (PRODUCTS, FACIALS, ETC.) I have eczema so I have to careful with skin care. I currently use a line of products from Origins called Mega Mushroom. It’s supposed to stop inﬂammation.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE NATURAL MAKEUP/ BEAUTY PRODUCTS? I make my own body scrub and use it one a week. Brown sugar with lavender oil and aloe and vitamin E and honey. Great stuff.
IF YOU WERE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT 3 PRODUCTS WOULD YOU TAKE WITH YOU?
3 FAVORITE SONGS? Dang. Too hard. Here are just three very different sounding songs that I like:
1. “Where You Go I Go Too" by Lindstrom
2. “Train in Vain" by The Clash
3. “We Found Love" by Rihanna
MOST LIFE-CHANGING BOOK? I like to read but I don’t think that I can say that there is a book that changed my life. I have Where the Wild Things Are tattooed on me because of my Mom, so maybe that. I think the movie Fantasia changed my life.
WHAT IS THE BEST GIFT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? I have had so many thoughtful gifts throughout my life. My girlfriend got me Fantastic Mr. Fox themed Russian dolls for our anniversary. I think I made a gleeful noise when I opened the package, they will be on my desk until I die.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY. Wow. I would ﬂy to Kentucky with my girl and take a hike under the fall trees and have a beer with old friends, then ﬂy back to LA and dance my ass off for a bit. When I got home Kanye West would be there and we would hang out. Maybe Obama would come too.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE BEAUTY TIP/SECRET? Don’t take life too seriously. I think the times that I lose touch are those times that I am too hard on myself and become over critical and over analytical. Stay cool and have fun.
WHAT MAKES YOU GLOW? Everyday getting closer and closer to the person that I want to be, and was born to be!
Photography by: Emily Knecht