The A Team

The A Team

Energy. Excellence. The power of the collective. This is what NYC-based fitness studio AARMY runs on. Everyone is an athlete at AARMY cycle or bootcamp sessions, which revolve around motivation — as Seaport regulars may know if they signed up for AARMY’s special Seaport Fit Plus-Up event at The Rooftop at Pier 17 on June 28.

About the Coaches

Here, two of AARMY’s founding coaches, partners Sophia and Yavuz, share the secrets to their top-of-their-fitness-game success. After playing basketball, cheering, and running track as a kid, Sophia originally came to New York City to act. However, she soon fell back in love with fitness. Yavuz trained from a young age as a pro-golfer at the IMG Academy in Florida before moving into personal training and arriving in NYC to pursue his career as a coach.

What are your personal fitness philosophies?

Sophia: As long as you are showing up to do the work, you are winning. It doesn’t have to be perfect, or revolutionary, or beyond what you know everyday. The win is continuously showing up for yourself.

Yavuz: Teaching people how to train on their own. I don’t want people to always rely on me being there to keep them motivated and consistent. It has to come from within and it has to be for yourself.

What’s so special about AARMY that made you want to be a part of the team?

Yavuz: I have been training AARMY-style since I was born. My older brother (Akin) is the founder of AARMY so it was never a question where I would be coaching. The team aspect makes AARMY different. It’s academy-style training. Everyone there is there to improve and ready to help each other and push to the next level.

Sophia: AARMY and I go way back! I coached my first bootcamp in 2017 and never looked back. Akin asked me to join the team and it was truly a no-brainer. What makes it so special is the people. The community embodies what it means to be exceptional. You can’t NOT be inspired when you walk into practice.

What would you say to someone who is AARMY-curious, but may not consider themselves an athlete?

Sophia: I would say welcome to the team! And then I would remind them that every single person feels that way at some point. Everyone steps into AARMY with a different history, sports background, and level of experience. The point is that when we are there, we are working to be stronger and better together. The energy at AARMY is truly electric. You might come for the workout, but you’ll stay for everything else.

Yavuz: You just have to show up and give me effort and the rest will build. It’s all about consistency. The person beside will be high-fiving you, cheering you on. The workout is very intense but people never walk out defeated. They walk out accomplished. It’s a very positive environment. 

AARMY workout on the Rooftop at Pier 17

Please tell us you enjoy some lazy days as well! How do you like to relax?

Sophia: Of course! I am a foodie at heart. Take me to a good restaurant and I am happy. If I can bring my dog, even better. I also love sightseeing. I will shamelessly admit my love for classic New York things — window shopping on Fifth Avenue, a stroll through Central Park, a visit to The Met. Want to see a Broadway show? Name the time and place, I’m there.

Yavuz: I like to go to the Met, eat some Joe’s pizza, and just walk around. I also love to do absolutely nothing. And I like to go to the Russian and Turkish baths for recovery.

You both spend time motivating others. Who inspires you? 

Sophia: Truthfully, my team. My athletes, my co-workers, my boss, and my family. Luckily for me, a lot of those people fill multiple roles. I work with my husband (Yavuz), who inspires me to be stronger everyday, and my boss is my brother-in-law, who pushes me to believe in my wildest dreams.

Yavuz: My brother, my sister, and my wife. They are the hardest working, most motivated and focused people I know — and the reason I work and train as hard as I do.

Learn more about AARMY, at