Hayden has been fascinated by science since he was a toddler playing in his backyard. His steadfast interest in wildlife and ecology as a child and teenager expanded to encompass chemistry and biomechanics when he enrolled in Vassar College. There, Hayden pursued research in organometallic synthesis and mathematical modeling of fish swimming, while majoring in biochemistry.
After college, he decided to pursue more advanced degrees in research instead of going to medical school. He enrolled in the Atlantic Veterinary College of UPEI where he conducted research on the cellular and mechanical properties of lamprey cartilages as part of his M.Sc. degree in Anatomy and Physiology. At the end of his masters studies, he decided he wanted to pursue research that was more directly relevant to human health and disease.
As such, Hayden enrolled in a Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program at Mount Sinai Hospital where he studied the influence of morphology and quality on bone mechanical properties. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship specializing in metabolic and hormonal regulation of bone development and bone loss in aging. He is currently an assistant scientist at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
Hayden’s interest in fitness gradually developed once he started college and it dovetailed nicely with his science background. He learned principles of strength training and conditioning on his own by scouring books and articles, while simultaneously referring back to the primary literature to verify, focus, and guide the techniques he would employ in his own training.
Hayden soon had requests from friends for personal training sessions and programming. In 2007, he discovered CrossFit and that was the impetus for him to pursue personal training certifications. He became a CrossFit L1 Trainer and then a USAW L1 Sports Performance Coach, with additional training and certifications always on the horizon. Currently, he is a coach at CrossFit Hell’s Kitchen in New York City.