- This is a guest post by Erica Chapman -
FINALLY, we’ve gotten to that point in the year where you’d actually rather exercise outside than in a gym. The weather practically begs you to come sweat outdoors! But personally, I’m tired of my jog-around-the-neighborhood routine. That’s why I was psyched to try out Nicola Yvette’s new “Pilates Bootcamp” on the Hudson river. If you tend to think of pilates as the easy-breezy cousin of yoga, let Nicola prove you wrong while you enjoy the waterfront breeze!
I asked Nicola, a former dancer-turned-yoga/aerobics/spin/weight training/pilates instructor (whew!) for the nitty gritty on her class, and her thoughts on the best fitness fashion out there. Read the interview below.
Hey Nicola! So, you have quite a varied fitness background. Given your multi-discipline knowledge, what particularly makes you love pilates?
Nicola Yvette: I began ballet at the age of four. My love of dance and movement led me to a career in Pilates, movement and strength training. Pilates is the best for overall toning. It also gives the class a wonderful structure and flow. Students feel the difference in their bodies after just a few sessions; it’s a tried and true method.
Explain the concept of a pilates "bootcamp." What makes your class different than a class I can take at my gym?
Nicola Yvette: The gym can't give you the luxury of being outdoors nor the creativity it inspires. I find myself using the railings for a ballet bar, the benches for running hurdles and doing dynamic lunges! I have taught in gyms and there is just nothing like this class--it’s about being in New York City and loving every minute of it.
What was the inspiration for starting your bootcamp?
Nicola Yvette: Pilates Bootcamp started when I kept hearing people say "Pilates is boring" or "I never sweat when I do it." I had to prove that with the right teacher and perhaps a more exciting routine it could be the best workout of your life. My bootcamp has a Pilates focus with a twist, so you'll sweat from cardio and strength training challenges. Plus I want people to focus on form. Bad form causes injuries, but with proper form you can do almost anything and I want people to succeed in all areas of fitness.
How does your class shape my body, specifically? What changes will I see?
Nicola Yvette: You will first notice a change around the abdominals nearest the ribcage--you develop your first 6-pack muscles there. It’s your little 2-pack, then it extends down to a 4 pack, then a lovely line develops down the center of your stomach, and the rest happens gradually. It starts in the core and then extends to the extremities, lifting even the booty up.
Would you say your bootcamp is particularly good for busy women who don't have a ton of time to work out? Why?
Nicola Yvette: Absolutely--I am giving them a full body routine. We are burning fat and creating long, lean muscles. It also gives people endurance and corrects posture. If you only have an hour to change your life this will be the best hour.
How would you say that fitness and fashion intersect in your life?
Nicola Yvette: Fashion and fitness can empower us to be who we are or who we want to be. We need both to help us physically and mentally be our best selves.
Do you ever find fashion affecting your workout in a positive or negative way?
Nicola Yvette: Absolutely, fitness fashion can be hard thing to love. The fabric can sometimes not breathe, trap sweat, or even squeeze you in too tight. You have to experiment with clothes and find the right combo. Many of my clients are in fashion, and when we train they compliment me on not wearing one brand head to toe. They like my style of downtown meets fitness.
Do you have any fitness fashion inspirations/role models?
Nicola Yvette: My mother was an aerobics instructor so I grew up watching the great divas of fitness: Kathy Smith, Denise Austin and Jane Fonda. All those women, especially my mother, are my role models. All of these women are aging with incredible grace and still look strong.
Check out Nicola's role model in Ageless With Kathy Smith: Staying Strong
What are some of your favorite fitness fashion brands?
Nicola Yvette: Stella McCartney for Adidas! I love the loose tops because sweat should be allowed to evaporate. Plus, it’s downtown chic so I get to represent. Gap Body also has made some great summer shorts - think 70's track short shorts - with pockets. American Apparel has cute yoga gear, and I also love the leotards for ballet. On my website, I am in their black bodysuit which really moves and breathes.
Nicola models American Apparel's Shiny Stripe Tank Bodysuit below.
What's one piece of advice you have for women trying to get fit and be fashionable in New York City?
Nicola Yvette: Living in the best city in the world you feel pressure to be the best. Women are remarkable, and we literally work to have it all, but we can't neglect ourselves in that process. We have to be strong and look strong to keep up in a city we work so hard to live in.
While Nicola is right—New York women can be a busy, stressed out bunch—there’s no reason for even the most crazed among us not to set aside an hour for a killer class outdoors that promises to deliver results. Check out www.nicolayvette.com for all the details, including which pier to find her on at Hudson River Park.
Use coupon code MIZZFIT50 for 50% off all bootcamp classes and packages. Happy sculpting!