Award-winning Pilates & Fitness teacher, Usui Reiki Master, Marketing Maven. Also a Usui Reiki Master and hold certifications in Pilates for Golf, TRX, and Kettlebells.
There's a reason why former Financial Times travel writer Rahul Jacob says that I am the best Pilates teacher he has ever worked with--anywhere in the world. My teaching style, honed over the past 27 years, is described as "nurturing yet demanding." My clients, from journalist Natalie Livingstone to designer and philanthropist Donna Karan, learn to overcome barriers of the body, mind and spirit while exploring, discovering and ultimately embracing new reserves of strength, flexibility, coordination and energy.
I am currently a Master Fitness & Pilates Specialist at Real Pilates in Tribeca and also maintain a small, exclusive, private client practice. I also worked overseas for several years as the Fitness and Pilates Teacher at the A-list COMO Shambhala Retreat at Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos, helping the spa win the 2011 SpaFinder Magazine Reader's Choice Award for Best Pilates.
"Men and women have different metabolisms and different hormonal profiles"
"If you are in pain, have soreness that never goes away, and are tired all the time, you are probably over-training"
"While you don’t want to eat a big meal before a workout, you should eat something to give your body some energy"
Download our FREE Ebooks "5 Amazing Fitness interviews" + "Loose weight without hunger")
100% Free Instant Download. Click here
1 - How can I get motivated to start a healthy/active lifestyle?
Just start, even something small. If you don’t really move a lot at work, set a timer to remind you to walk around for five minutes every hour. Need to talk to a co-worker? Walk over instead of calling.
Take the stairs, even one flight, instead of the elevator or escalator. Instead of simply sitting, sit and stand ten times before settling into your chair (that is ten squats, you know). Park in the far back of the parking lot, so you are forced to walk. Walk to the next subway stop instead of getting on the closest one.
As you feel better, add on. Order a salad one day instead of a burger. Drink water instead of soda. Slow, small changes are easier for our brains to absorb and accept.
2 - What are your best tips to get a flat stomach?
I actually hate questions like this, because to me fitness should be about function, not aesthetics. If your back hurts and you are hungry all the time, does the flat stomach even matter?
That said, a flat stomach is most easily achieved through a combination of good nutrition and full body, muscle-building exercise. One will not work without the other.
Pilates is the first exercise plan I would recommend here, as it is full body but with a focus on the core.
3 - Do I need to take supplements? Why?
This depends a lot on your diet and your training. I think it is prudent at minimum to take a multi-vitamin with some extra D3, since our food supply is simply not as nutritious as it once was.
Protein shakes can also be used as meal replacements and snacks if you are in a muscle-building program and trying to lose weight, so you can get the protein your muscles need.
Before you take any “fat-burning” or “weight loss” supplements, do your research. Many have been shown to not work at all, and some can kill you. I always remind people that if a magic weight loss pill that was safe and effective existed, everyone would know about it!
4 - Do you think it's easier for guys to lose weight than it is for women? Why?
This is a documented fact, not an opinion. Men and women have different metabolisms and different hormonal profiles. Women tend to hold on to more fat in order to keep us healthy for possible pregnancy. This can be tricky when it comes to weight loss.
5 - What is the most underrated concept in fitness?
Safety. I see people really hurting themselves in the name of fitness. Folks can easily end up with back injuries, joint injuries, and even kidney failure from too much exercise and poor form.
It is up to fitness professionals to keep people safe and functional for as long as possible. That is what people pay us for, no matter what else they claim to want or need.
6 - How do you make exercise a more enjoyable activity?
Find things you like to do, and people you like to do them with. If you hate something, I can guarantee that you will stop doing it, even if you prepay for 20 sessions. So experiment and stick with what makes you feel good.
7 - How much is too training?
If you are in pain, have soreness that never goes away, and are tired all the time, you are probably over-training. I recommend that my clients do some activity at least 4-6 times per week, but that includes walking, gym, yoga, pilates, or whatever else they love doing.
8 - Please, give us your best pre-workout tips
Please don’t stretch when you are cold! That is a prime time to tear something. Instead, warm up with some dynamic, full body movements (in Pilates we often use jumping jacks or standing footwork/squats, and then the infamous Hundred).
And while you don’t want to eat a big meal before a workout, you should eat something to give your body some energy. Don’t forget to stay hydrated!
9 - What's a good exercise & diet routine?
Again, the one that works for you and that you can follow. If you cannot sustain even the “best” routine, then it is not a good one for you.
10 - What newbie mistakes did you make when you first started training?
Some of the same things that I flag new trainers about now.
First, overtraining myself and my clients. Safety is first when it comes to a training relationship. Second, showing up to client sessions late and not always at my best. Third, becoming too comfortable with my clients and blurring the business line. Now I know the importance of sensitivity, listening, and being professional all of the time.