When you think about it, as many people as there are on the planet, the world is very small and here in NYC with so many different people, there aren't that many degrees of separation between you and someone else - even if they are on a completely different coast or continent.
We respected Celebrity Fitness Trainer Lacey Stone's craft, hustle and approach to fitness and seeing her on E! Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian. Since have her in our feature, NEW YEAR, N3W YOU, our worlds collided again right before the holiday season to talk about her partnership with Core Power Protein Shakes by Fairlife, her approach to training her clients, the miracle that is the human body, owning our super hero and her new partnership with The Wall, which avid readers of Athleisure Mag will remember from our Athleisure List feature from a few years ago. For our Athleisure Studio podcast listeners, there are portions of this interview that were included in Lacey Stone's episode of #TRIBEGOALS, which was released earlier this month and there are conversations in this issue that were not part of the podcast as well.
As the Jan issue is focused on New You, we knew that we wanted to bring the necessary tools and resources to kick your year off right. As we analyze how we will be adding new things into our workout and areas we want to target for our physical goals, we also need to be aware that we have to replenish our bodies, which is where Core Power Protein Shakes by Fairlife comes into play. Recovery is an important tool to bring back nutrients and nourishments into your body so that you can optimize all of your efforts, the brand's release of this new product is available now with flavors that include Banana, Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla. It is lactose free and has 26 grams of protein! With the first ingredient being filtered milk - there are no powders, artificial flavors or additives in it so you can enjoy a silky, smooth, and creamy taste while enjoying dairy protein with natural casein and whey, which is an essential to recover after a workout.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We have interviewed a number of Olympians, celeb fitness trainers, athletes etc and we just launched one of our new podcasts, The Road to Tokyo 2020 where we talk to athletes that are working on their Olympic run from their training as well as recovery and other events taking place in their lives. We also have #TRIBEGOALS, which is all about changemakers sharing about their tribes and those that they are involved in, how they started and lead a variety of fields.
We find that in speaking to athletes and those who enjoy working out, our conversations tend to go into not only the work- out, but the pillars of recovery from those that are physical like foam rollers and pain management tools, to those that are consumables, so this is definitely a great topic to cover for our readers of Athleisure Mag, as well as those listeners who listen to our shows on our multimedia podcast network, Athleisure Studio! As we get older, you need to start implementing to replenish your system as your body will continue to do what you want it to do, but you also need to make sure you are giving it the proper nutrients as well. You feel the difference when you’re not properly nourished. When did you know that you wanted to be in the fitness industry?
LACEY STONE: I was an athlete my whole life and it was so organic to me. There is a basketball court near my hotel and I can’t even... I’ve been in NYC for three days on this tour and when I have downtime, I love going to some shoots. I can’t believe that all my shots were going in and I still had it! So I always played sports and then I moved to New York when I was a kid and I tried to work at MTV and I just kind of saw what it was like to not be able to wear sneakers anymore. As a production assistant, I saw how unhealthy people were so I got a side job to work as a trainer at Equinox and I saw what you could be in the fitness industry before it was anything. It was right at the beginning when they were starting to sponsor us as Nike athletes and I thought, this is it. I knew I could make an impact in this industry because it was so organic. A lot of what I saw at the time – there were no HIIT interval classes. I was one of the first HIIT interval classes. I couldn’t really go to the beat and everything was dance.
Coming out of dance, they were taught to look the part and I was never trained to look the part. I was taught to be the athlete so my body had to be a weapon, not pretty. I was like, the women in this industry need to understand that it’s not about how you look, but it’s about how you feel and how strong you are. That’s what I have stood by the whole time and that’s why this is so organic because women don’t realize how strong they are. So when I kick their butt and compliment them, they’re like, “am I?” And I’m like, girl, you’re waking up at 5am, putting on your superhero leggings, coming to me to let me kick your butt in a way that you didn’t even know that I would, and then you’re kicking butt in the office – especially here in New York or in Chicago, and then you’re going home and cooking dinner and making sure the family is taken care of, the husband – whatever and there’s kids as well. So you guys have to take care of yourself, you have to eat – women forget to take care of themselves. Not only with the food, but their heart.
AM: We loved seeing you on E! for Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian – you have a whole psychology element to how you train your clients. Do you find that draining as a trainer because you're fixing the body and then you're getting into the mind with that inter- play?
LS: Sometimes it can get really emotional and people have different issues. But it is really rewarding to watch someone’s eyes go from “I can’t” to “I can”. Not only in the gym, but outside of the gym, because I am trying to create superheroes. I am – in the sense of knowing how powerful you are. A lot of times when people are blocked in how hard they can run on the treadmill or how much they can lift weights because they don’t think that they are strong enough, I go back to what happened to you – who told you this? It doesn’t happen as much with men as they are like, “I used to be like this and I am going to go back to this” and when my clients cry – everyone cries who works out with me – everyone does. I have been through a lot and I can look at someone’s eyes and see that there is something there. So I will ask them what is going on to find that motivation that will help them through the rest of their life and finding that thing that is making you not believe in yourself.
It’s the moment that I feel like I have changed them when I can get to that point. Yes there is a lot of stuff that goes on with someone when you get there and there is a lot that happens after that point as well. Right now, I am dealing with someone that she is so scared of the release that she is having that it’s making her want to hide again with the pain that she has had. The more that you repeat a negative pattern, the more that it becomes a reality and you get addicted to the chaos and you don’t even know how to live without it. I majored in psychology in college and I believe that fitness starts in the mind before the gym. So the answer is, it is draining at times but there is draining in any job and I feel that my skill set is different than other trainers that I have been able to help people change their body and I have been fortunate to help people get through divorces, deaths, quitting jobs and making companies. We're finding that now in launching my virtual training platform that it is a competitive market. Everyone is launching one and if you want to write what’s the future of fitness? Virtual – beyond – beyond. People are coming up to me saying, "can we use your body and the way you speak and put it in AI and make you show up and walk around?”
AM: Absolutely, if you have a trainer that you like, being able to have that access and their voice in your head while you workout without them being there is huge. It motivates you and encourages you to continue your process.
LS: Yes and there are sensitive suits with sensors so that when you wear it while working out, you can feel my hands on you. It’s all about algorithms which is why you’re able to open your phone with your face. There is an algorithm that senses your face for your nose, mouth and eyes. So these suits sense the algorithm of shoulder, it’ll be a process, but it will happen sooner than people think. My point of differen- tiation than other trainers is for me to get into this for this side of fitness. I believe that emotional health is the most not talked about thing in the world. You’re supposed to be tough, you’re supposed to handle your life, you’re not supposed to have feelings of insecurity or doubt and if people do – especially in New York if they sense it, they say, “I see the blood. You’re done.” I want to help people make themselves healthy. They can tell me and if I am out of my depth, we will go to a therapist, but tell me where your weakness is and let’s work on that and not have it get in the way of your fitness, your relationships and in the way of you.
AM: Wow. So for you, what are 3 routines that you do for yourself that you enjoy doing whether it's for your fitness or the entire mind/body balance that are your cornerstone for getting you from day to day?
LS: I have the 3 pillars of your life which is personal, professional and physical. Those are the 3 things that make a human being. What is personally happening? Who do you surround yourself with – the truth? Do you surround yourself with trends and all of that or people that don’t believe in your magic? Life is a superhero movie there are evils out there and they can take you to the darkness or you can be the superhero that continues to show up and be the light that doesn’t allow it to takeover you, which the more people that get taken over, the harder it will be for us to succeed. So personally, what’s going on with my relationships and my family? I am always working on bringing goodness to them so that I feel good with what’s going on.
When I wake up, I play, Sia’s The Greatest – that’s my alarm. “You’ve gotta have stamina – uh oh – I’ve got stamina,” you know that’s one of the lines in the song! Professionally, what are you doing? Is it lighting you up and a lot of people didn’t figure that out at a young age and that’s something that you have to be good at. You’ll have to find something else that lights you up in your life. Physically are you injured – do you take care of yourself? What are you putting inside of your body to make you succeed?
Everyday, I try to get an A to create balance in those categories. Somedays maybe I don’t do as well in one category, but at least I know that I am doing my best everyday. I train people to do that. When you do that for a week, you feel amazing and imagine if you did that every single day. Every time I fall down in my career, I remember the people that I have trained and how I have told them that they have to get up and it makes me do it or otherwise it would make me a phony – and I’m not a phony!
AM: Wait are you writing a book? The force that you are with the honesty –
LS: Let’s write a book!
AM: It’s just amazing because what you are saying is applicable to just life.
LS: That is my point of differentiation and that is what I am trying to communicate to people more. As you know, the landscape is changing very quickly and trying to figure out how to make it happen. No one reads anymore – maybe we do, but things are based on an image and a copy and it has to be short and powerful when it’s on Insta- gram. You have to hit people at their heart, which I am good at. Yes I want to make people feel like they can do it – I’m working on it! With the virtual platform I am working on it in terms of writing a book.
AM: In terms of recovery, what are all the things that people should be doing – especially women?
LS: It’s really important for them to think about taking care of themselves, and women don’t. If you’re kicking butt and many women are thinking of wanting to lose weight, you want to fuel your body so that it can be successful. If it’s operating at a deficit it’s going to break down mentally or physically. You know it! I see it over and over again. That’s why I suggest people use this and it sounds like a commercial and it’s not, but I wasn’t really sure. You know you get a product and you’re not really sure, but for me, I try it out for a while before I agree to work with it.
I started with the milk by Fairlife and I said, “I don’t know Alex” – who is my manager. I just threw it in my bag and I’m a busy human. So I’d drink it and I was worried because of every- thing that they say – milk will it bloat me? What will happen and it didn't - it gave me a surge of energy and you start believing the media as well, al- though I know know what’s right and what’s wrong and I would drink it and feel a goodness about my body and it brought me home to the truth of – I’m from Wisconsin and I was like, this is what it tastes like, it’s pure and not watered down. It’s good, silky, creamy and you need to fuel your muscles after working out and you just need to fuel yourself. So I suggest - which is scary for women to eat. What I deal with, is people that are so confused by everything out there, which is why I try to be truthful so that people believe me. Sleep – what are you doing guys? Sleep and water – the toxic environment of what your body is around means that you have to put the good things in balancing it out – the evil and the good.
AM: What does this partnership with you and Core Power Protein Shakes by Fairlife look like?
LS: Basically, it’s just me being a part of their team and doing events that we are working with them on. We want to get the product in people’s hands and introduce them to why it is important. We can’t go into details now as we’re still in the beginning stages, but if you think about it – we want to get to people’s Core Power which is what we have been talking about. It’s not just the physical, but the wholeness of the human being.
AM: What is the best approach for those that are going into the holiday season as you want to enjoy the parties and events taking place, but you also want to be in a good place to get back to hitting the gym after the season is over. How can we enjoy the season and place ourselves in the best place for meeting our goals without feeling like we have to miss the season?
LS: I think that women work so hard and don’t take care of themselves and during the holiday season, it’s a time to get connected and to reconnect with yourself, your spirit and the loved ones that you have. You need to think about going home and having sweet conversations and saying, “I’m sorry that I wasn’t here this year, but I’m here now and let’s make the most as well as to remind you how much I love you.” That’s the time to do that and you know you’re going to have to go back to war, but right now, we're at peace and let’s do that and remember how far we came. Whenever I go home, I like to drive to my highschool in Wisconsin where I was the star basketball player and just sit on the court and say that I took all of this and did something with it. If you didn’t do things with it then why – why did you stop the thing that made you feel special? Take the time to bring it back so that you have this fullness. People underestimate the human being which is made of neutrons, electrons and protons. We’re energy – we’re a miracle – how do we breathe? We’re all this special thing – our parents came together and created us and people need to take a moment and come back to that and fill up your energy and take the time to slow down and think. Don’t focus on what you need to lose weight – just focus on staying steady, go on those walks with your family, cook together healthfully…
AM: In terms of the methodology, you have some trainers that feel that if you are a certain body type, then there is a prescribed workout that you have to do or only do this over here. What’s your focus when you are working with people – is it set or individualized?
LS: It’s individualized, but for everyone, it’s back to basics. The more you do something the more you repeat something the better you will get at it – negative or positive. So, I try to see what’s the thing that I can tell that they dig. I’m good at all the different kinds of modalities so I have yoga, dance, HIIT, cardio because I want cardio and to find the fit for each of my clients. Let’s say you’re sedentary, we’re going to walk before we run. I think the best workout for losing weight is that there is an intermediate, beginner, advanced level to all programs that I do in person or online. HIIT gets your endorphins up and energy – it raises your spirit which when you feel it you want to do it again and again and it becomes addictive.
AM: Who are 3 people that impacted you - maybe there were 3 moments in your life that were hard, but they really impacted you as a source of inspiration whether you knew them or didn’t know them?
LS: I’d say my college basketball career with my coach. She was incredibly charismatic and she had a great marketing mind. We were in Maine and a top 10 basketball team. How do you recruit people to go to a place where snow is up to your knees? She was so charismatic where she drew an audience. You wanted to play in front of a full crowd. She would say that she wanted to use this as a platform to help kids and to create basketball camps so she could be a millionaire and that people would come to participate. I was like, who are you and not that money is everything, but I thought it was amazing how you can think to be a businesswoman in sports. There weren’t that many successful female coaches at the time.
Equinox, when I started where fitness wasn’t where it is today. They were innovators and they created the boutique industry and the teachers there were inspiring. I have had so many different things there.
Then my ex-wife, being in LA and facing my fears. I had been in NY where I had created this amazing business that was dedicated to helping people, teamwork and creating a legacy – I was signed by Nike and leaving NY - I did it all for love – for what my core said to do. The she left me within a couple of months and my friend died, and not having Equinox anymore and losing everything and being like, “what do I want again?” and having the time to do that. Kind of starting to drink too much and starting to be depressed and I got a little suicidal. I lost everything and I thought that everything that defined me – I started my program of professional, personal and physical – don’t drink, workout hard, let’s see if I can save myself. I did – I created the 8 weeks to change program for others that were going through a similar need to have a comeback – it became successful. Khloe Kardashian noticed me – a new trainer coming from NY to LA – do you know how many trainers there are in LA? I stood out immediately and they picked me for the TV show and I said, “thank you ex-wife,” had it not been for you destroying my life that it catapulted me to a point in my life that I could create a virtual platform and got a manager that is amazing that has helped me to be able to speak and be here back in NY in my time – it’s full circle. Signing with brands that I can speak authentically about them and just being the light that if I can do it, you can do it!
AM: You were on the first 2 seasons of E!’s Revenge Body by Khloe Kardashian and we remember the moment when we saw you as we had been following you years prior to being on this show and as we had you in one of our NEW YEAR, N3W YOU segments a few years ago – we were so excited to see you there and sharing your brand on that network! Will you be on the 3rd sea- son as well?
LS: I’m not coming back for the 3rd season, but I will be back for the 4th season. It was an interesting series of seasons and I have a few things going on currently and I’m kind of happy the way it came about as I wouldn’t have had time. You get so caught up on being on a show and the time it takes to be on that show that you don’t have time to develop other things. Everything I do is what I tell you. It’s a stepping stone to where I want to be.
AM: We just saw that you have partnered with The Wall! Tell us about this studio, why you will be teaching classes there and what drew you to coming there?
LS: Jason Wimberly, the founder of THE WALL, and I have been friends from afar for years. I've watched his career blossom and I have so much respect for all he has done. THE WALL recently opened and he offered to partner with me and my Trans- formative Comeback Camps. These camps included heavy lifting, HIIT, and cardio/ dance drills 2x/ week. The other big part of camp is doing 3-4 spin classes/week. When Jason told me my camps could live at THE WALL and I could teach my own signature spin class called STONEcycle. It was a no brainer. I had been working at Flywheel and leading my camps at a gym called Lockbox. When this offer came about it was too good to be true. Now all my programs could live under one roof, his. I'm soooo excited to be a part of The Hive and Jason's vision. Keep an eye on us, there are big things on the horizon. AM: What are the classes offered that you will be teaching there? LS: I will be leading My Comeback Camps which include - 8 Weeks To Change, 1 Month Mission, Reboot (2 Week Training Camp), and STONEcycle.
AM: We could chat with you all day as you have so many words of empowerment and motivation!
LS: I love this stuff – if you got something out of it, then I love it. AM: It’s like, mental hydration listening to you. LS: Oooo ok or mental recovery …
AM: Haha yes. When you were talking about the fact that you could be a strong person, but even that person needs to be refueled. We have a respect for your career, the fact that what you say on your platforms and how you approach things is exactly like who and what you are now, it’s refreshing as there are a number of people who they are not the same as their brand and it’s a mess. It’s always great to see the authenticity and to see that from you.
LS: Same – same.
PHOTOS COURTESY | Lacey Stone
Make sure to follow our new multimedia podcast network, Athleisure Studio and specifically our show, #TRIBEGOALS. You can get the latest episodes when they drop by following and listening to us on your preferred listening platform (Spotify, Apple Podcast, Google Play, Stitcher, etc.). You can hear the full interview with Lacey Stone now on #TRIBEGOALS.