Whether you are a seasoned gym bunny, a novice walker or you prefer the comfort of your yoga mat in the ease of your own apartment, there are a few essentials you should have with you to make your personal workout session all the more inviting. Once you have established what is needed in your gym bag, your journey to a healthier lifestyle isn’t just better, its more exciting. This is what we recommend for both young and seasoned women to carry with them for the workout of a lifetime.
You may not realize it, but if you are a novice at the gym or a regular, keeping yourself preoccupied is essential in terms of distraction. Find something to distract you when you are on the treadmill, walking around a few blocks or cycling at home on your exercise bike. Need an example? Register and place at bet at novibet.co.uk for the perfect distraction, otherwise, try responding to all those work emails. Really anything to get your mind off of how many steps you are on.
As mentioned above, earphones would be a handy piece of equipment. Music has the ability to amplify your workout. Endurance is stretched out and your energy levels are boosted when you are listening to feel good music, whatever that may be for you. So just before you pack your earphones in, make sure you have music compatible application to sync with your wireless earphones.
This is an essential, an absolute MUST for at home, at the gym or when you are out and about. If you are out and about, leave a spare sweat towel in your car otherwise, leave it in your gym bag. Why? At gym, you’ll need it to wipe down equipment while when you return to your car, your workout will leave you drenched and the last thing you want is to block your pores, break out in heat pimples or wreak of sweat. Use your sweat towel to avoid all of the above.
This is something you’ll only need if you are lifting weights. Avoid blisters and even germs by investing in a pair of gloves which also aids in gripping metal bars.
Need we say more? You need to ensure that you stay hydrated and avoid any health complications by remaining hydrated and keeping an extra water bottle in your gym bag. On the same topic, always carry some small cash on you should you need to purchase a water bottle and or top it up at your local gym, on a walk or pay your partner to grab you a glass of h20 at home.
The more active you become the more in tune you become with your body and the sooner you get to work on what you find lacking in your gym bag. But in our experience, if you aren’t prepared, your training episode could be unpleasant, so be sure to avoid this and make life and being healthier a whole lot easier.
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Going to the gym can make a difference, but by itself it won’t be much in the end. There are other
factors that need to be mixed if your workout is to achieve your goals. Depending on whether you
recently joined the gym, you may or may not know some of these things, but even if this is true, you will
still have the freshness of the memory. So with that said, dive right in and see if you want your gym
workout to be meaningful and effective, what you need to know and what you need to do. Meditating
on these things before your next dose of greens or before your next trade mill session will help you get
the most out.
It does not matter if you are going to celebrate with a juicy burger after that, it does not matter how fast
or how long you run on the treadmill if you are your personal bench press record this week. Break out
the weekend with a box of donuts. This means that you need to find a balance between your workout
and your diet. They are directly linked and affect each other greatly. If you are not sure how you should
collect food, consider meeting a nutritionist. They study how the human body reacts to food, and they
can suggest you a diet that will not only interfere with your workout but actually increase it.
Warm up is the most important part of every workout, no matter how interesting. You are preparing
your body for the workout that will be demanded. It’s best to keep your content ready for the kind of
effort it will have to maintain in just a brief moment, otherwise it might surprise you with the pressure it
is suddenly facing. Another element of heat is the stretching that you should not just overlook. When
you do activities that you don’t normally do, which are often surprising in the gym, you risk injuring
yourself because your body is more rigid in relation to those movements. So by lengthening you, you are
making your body more flexible and ready for the challenge ahead. Otherwise you are not the first to
pull their backs before the age of fifty.
Don’t Overdo It
The gym is a place where hormones are high. It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in this moment and
forget your limits. Knowing your limits is critical to your overall health because there are so many
injuries in the gym because people want to prove to everyone how strong they are. Don’t be shy about
using the weight you can lift. If you use the right weight for your level and perform the tricks correctly,
you will be able to reach any level and gradually work your way up to the level you have not been lifted
before. For more detail about the fitness and best health secrets Read this.
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.
Our July cover story took us to Ocean City, NJ for a fun and inspiring day at the beach as well as insight to the fundamentals of life. Marty Smith, ESPN's Broadcaster/Journalist is someone who breaks down the game, brings his enthusiasm for the love of sport and is always exchanging energy with those on set as well as those that are off. As someone who began his time at the network covering NASCAR, he has grown into a number of areas which include: SportsCenter, College GameDay, this fall's SEC Nation as a host, and the successful Marty & McGee. This interview not only includes Marty's journey to the successes that he currently enjoys, but also lets you reflect about what happens when you believe in your self, honor those that came before, acknowledge where you came from, and allow yourself to engage in powerful progression that you may not have planned for yourself!
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was the moment that you knew that you fell in love with sports?
MARTY SMITH: I would have to say I was a young boy and my father, he was infatuated with the Pittsburgh Steelers, back in the Steel Curtain days of Joe Green, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris and those immortal – immortal Steelers teams, Lynn Swann and John Stallworth and all those guys. So, I was a little boy and I would sit with my daddy and watch the Steelers and my momma used to say that even as a four year old, I would be like, “that was a hold,” or “that was a clip,” and I’d call out penalties before the flags were thrown and what not. That’s when I kind of knew – the way that it felt just being in my father’s aura that way. I grew up in a small farming community in the Southwestern part of Virginia and all we had was ball. We played everything and there was no sitting inside. My parents were like, “get your ass outside and do something and don't come back until dark," and so football, basketball, baseball-and I loved to compete. To this very second, I love to compete. That feeling of competition and that feeling of grinding your way to noticeable improvement against competition is something that’s intoxicated me forever. So I knew real young that I was going to be a sports guy.
AM: So can you share with us your sports background – what you played and how far you went?
MS: From four years old through my Freshman year of college, I was an athlete and I started with baseball as a little Pee Wee League guy and then when I was in 4th grade, I started playing Pop Warner Football. The same year, I started playing Little League Basketball so from 4th grade all the way through my Senior year of high school, I played all 3 of those sports and I played all year around. I played football from August until the winter time – December. From December until March or April, I played basketball and then I played baseball for my school teams until school was over or the season was over, and then I played either Rec League Baseball or American Legion Baseball all the way through the summer. And then we did football again. So, I never stopped playing ball and again, I grew up in a small community so my buddies that were my teammates and I went to school with them, they’re still my boys today. My best childhood friend since I was 4 years old basically, is the Tampa Bay Rays Athletic Trainer – how weird is that? We grew up in this tiny little town of very few people. Everybody were farmers or blue collar community and he and I both made our way out to pro sports – pretty crazy.
AM: What was that moment when you realized that you might be interested in pursuing professional sports?
MS: I wasn’t good enough. So when I got to college, I went to a small college in East Tennessee first. It was a Division II school athletically, called Carson Newman and they had a really good baseball program so I went there to play baseball. I stayed there 1 year and then I transferred over to Radford University from which I graduated and thought that I would easily make the baseball team – no question in my mind. I had no doubts. I went and they had a walk on tryout and they asked me to participate in that and I did that. I hit and threw it ok – I was a middle infielder and didn’t have a good try out. So the coach who knew about me in high school - I grew up around the corner, he was like, “man, I don’t think that you’re good enough.” They didn’t allow me to play. So I will tell you this. God is funny. I was so devastated in that moment because I don’t care. If you’re passionate about sports – I don’t care if your ceiling is high school, I don’t care if your ceiling is college and certainly for guys like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Drew Brees or these guys – the elite of the elite at whatever their passion is athletically. When it’s time to be done, you lose your whole identity because my whole identity, my whole life was athlete.
That was my identity and because truth told, I was a pretty good one in high school in the area in which I grew up, I had a decently celebrated career, we won state championships as teams – we had that kind of talent where I came from. So when I lost baseball, I’m not kidding y’all, there was a level of depression that I did not anticipate and I have never been a guy who’s down – I’m unstoppable, it’s how I’m wired and I was stopped. I knew a girl that dated a buddy of mine and she came in one day she said, “you know you need to get up off your ass and you need to come with me to the Sports and Information Office and you need to work because you have such a wealth of knowledge.” I’m like, “what, I’m not going in there and taking stats – I play ‘em – no.” After a substantial pity party, I got up one day and I said, “alright man, let’s see what happens.” Went in there, I fell in love with being around it again. Some of my best college friends were guys who played baseball, they played basketball – because the Sports Information Department gave me substantial responsibility immediately. As a Sophomore, I ran around with the baseball team - took their stats, etc. As a junior, they handed me Women’s Basketball and I traveled with the Women’s Basketball team on top of my class load. Then, I got the greatest break you could ever ask for. I was offered a stringer position by the Roanoke Times which is the major regional newspaper in the area in which I grew up covering high school sports, the local NASCAR short track, etc. That’s when I realized that I was going to write for a living and that was what I’m gonna to do. As a Senior, I got to cover Virgina Tech Football as a stringer for the Washington Post.
AM: That’s insane!
MS: On top of my class load. So all of these people believed in me. I will tell you this, had I not gotten cut, I don’t even know if gotten cut is fair. Had I made the Radford Baseball Team, I wouldn’t be sitting with you now, guarantee you. Because I wouldn’t have had to make that shift in focus that I had to make because I wasn’t playing anymore. How about that?
AM: Wow. You’ve had so much in your career prior to ESPN, so what was that journey like as I know you were with NASCAR.com for awhile.
MS: So much of my career goes back to people who believed in me. And in that book, they wanted me to do the dedication page. Who do you dedicate this to? All I wrote was, For the believers. Most notably, Lainie, Cameron, Mia and Vivian my nuclear family – wife and children. But so many people have believed in me from coaches to mentors to all the way down to people that work at ESPN, who don’t have to take the time to offer you guys this opportunity, to pitch you this opportunity, but they believe enough in me that they’re doing that.
When that believer, a guy named Ray Cox, who writes for the Roanoke Times, even still, he covered me in high school. So when I wasn’t playing anymore, he was like, “what?” I saw him at a Radford Basketball game. He said, “I think that you need to be writing for me. You have this factor that you’re so relatable to people and you connect with people in a way that you need to be writing.”
So I started covering high school sports like I said and that led to the local short track called New River Valley Speedway (now Motor Mile Speedway) at the time and I was a NASCAR guy as a kid because my daddy liked it. But my favorite driver was Davey Allison. Davey died in a helicopter crash July 13th 1993, I stopped loving the sport in that moment. My passion – I mean it was like lighting a bottle rocket when I went back to that short track. I went and I told her (Lainie), I know what I’m gonna do - I know what my path is – NASCAR is my way. It’s the fastest way to get through pro sports. I covered it for the Lynchburg News – I had a job that may not even exist anymore. I made $12.80 in my first job out of Radford. I bought her engagement ring with it – you talk about broke as Joe! I started chasing race cars. I’ll never forget sitting in the Richmond International Raceway garage – sitting on the pit walls watching these cars go by. Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace, Jeff Gordon – “holy smokes that’s really them, I’m on this side of the track.” I’m inside the track and I can walk out there and talk to them if they’ll give me the time of day. I couldn’t believe it. I worked there for one year.
During that time, I wrote a story on a guy named Paul Brooks who was from that town. His mother called me and said I needed to do the story. I thought it was Jim Bob Jordan the street stock driver down the street. Paul had been elevated to the VP of NASCAR. Called Paul, we hit it off, he liked the story and he sent me some desk furniture of the 50th Anniversary of NASCAR like a business card holder that you put the pens in. At the very bottom of the box was his stationary with his email on it. I emailed him, “get me the hell out of here. I’ll clean toilets in Daytona Beach, Florida if you get me out of here. I got big aspirations, got big dreams – you can help me get me there.” They didn’t have any jobs, a few months later, a guy quit at NASCAR.com – he called me come to the interview, if I was good enough I would get the job – I got the job. I made it to $20K. Now I’m traveling around the country man. I went to San Francisco man, Napa, California and I got to cover race cars! Worked there until ’05 and ESPN called. They were coming back into the business of NASCAR. In ’07 they put together their whole broadcast team and I was going to be in the insularly part in a show for SportsCenter we had a show called NASCAR Now.
AM: Great show.
MS: It was a great show! Jack Obringer – this is all in my book. Jack Obringer, the guy who called me who is still at ESPN now and is one of my greatest believers. He said that everybody who talks to me says your name – you know what’s going on in the sport and you know the drivers. I laughed and said, “hey man, I’m so flattered, but you called the wrong guy. There’s a guy named Marty Snider who’s a great broadcaster and I’m sure that that’s who you meant to call.” He laughed out loud and said I was the guy. He told me to go home and think about working with him. I went home to Lainie and I said, “you’re never going to believe this, I think that ESPN wants me to come work there." I'm a guy who would rather crash and burn and fail knowing that I can’t, then wonder 20 years from now sitting on that porch wondering if I could have. So I took the job. The first time that I was really on television was SportsCenter. Can you believe that? There are local reporters who are so talented, they work their asses off, they set up their own camera shots and dream of that chance and I was afforded that chance immediately. That’s never been lost on me and I’m so appreciative. From there, the company let me grow. They let me make mistakes, they let me look like – I needed a lot of work. My story is just unorthodox because I was sportcentric for 7 years – really 8 from ‘07-‘14 those 8 NASCAR seasons. I got to grow and learn my voice and ESPN afforded me that voice and no one has ever once asked me to change it. They’ve never asked me to try to lose this accent because I have always maintained that you can be Southern and articulate at the same time. It worked because I was covering NASCAR. Then we lost NASCAR and I thought, ok what do I do now? Do I pursue another network maybe, do I bet on myself again? I went home and told Lainie that I needed to bet on myself again and I was ready to see what was out there and I signed my 3rd ESPN contract which was ’15-’18 and bet on myself. My career has been beyond every fantastic dream that I could have ever imagined.
AM: You have covered so many different sports for the network. How do you prepare yourself when you’re reporting on College Football versus the NFL – is it the same for you?
MS: No. I’m voracious about study. I’m voracious about preparation and reading and listening and things that intrigue me, I put it in a document. Then I take that document and pair it down and then I study that document. Like, Tiger Woods. When I got the opportunity to interview him, I studied so hard and watched so much and I probably had a 40 question list and I paired that down to 15 and I studied those 15 until minutes before I was sitting in front of him and I crumpled the paper up and threw it away. Because I want to have a conversation with you. The best interviewers listen. Because the best question is more often than not, why, how, when, how did that come to be, what was your passion. That was most certainly the case with him. Can I tell you how I got there?
MS: 2012 I think it was, I interviewed Jeff Gordon for a NASCAR Countdown Pre Race Program and I had this specific thing that I wanted out of Jeff and I kept interrupting him during the interview to try to keep him on task. It worked for what I was sort of after. But after the race before which it ran which was New Hampshire, after that race – I was so proud of myself that I got this interview with Jeff Gordon man – 4X Champion – 80+ wins! After the race, I went out to interview Dale Jr. who is like my brother – we’re brothers – we’ve been through it together. The highest of highs and the most crushing of lows we’ve walked it together. I get out to his car because he wrecked and they’re looking all around the cars when they’re looking at the dings in it. He turns around and says, “come here, I’m pissed at you.” There’s other reporters around so he takes me to the entrance to the truck that carries the race cars and says, “you need to stop interrupting people.” I was like, "what?” He said he watched the interview with Jeff and he wanted to hear some of the things that he said, but I kept interrupting him and that I looked like an asshole, “stop interrupting people.” I was so mortified. He cut me and do you want to know that it was the single greatest advice that I have ever gotten in this job? I completely changed my interview approach. I let people expound upon their thoughts and thereby, be ing able to tell me their story rather than trying to conjure something that you desire. I tell that story sometimes when he’s around and he’s like, “damn, let it go.” I’m like, “no. You changed me and only a real dude does this.” You’re on this high and most dudes would be like, “hey man that’s cool.” I am forever grateful to him for that.
That’s what I do. I study, study, study and then throw it away. Because I want to hear you and want to be immersed with you. It has proven to be very successful for me.
AM: So what are all the shows that you’re on at ESPN?
MS: Wow. A lot of them! So SportsCenter, College Game Day, SEC Nation, Get Up, Marty & McGee – which is such a fascinating study. Marty & McGee is a Southern culture program almost more than a sports program. There was a lady named Cherita Johnson and for a time she kind of ran the podcast/digital arm at that time. I called her one day and said I had a proposal as I had a buddy Ryan McGee (she knew him because they were PA’s together) and him and I had covered NASCAR together and felt that ESPN could produce a really cool piece of content with a podcast, we would be willing to go to a studio so we wouldn’t have to hire a bunch of people. We just wanted to do a podcast about NASCAR if she would let us. She wasn’t sure if there was a market for it and she asked me to tell her a story. So, 45 minutes later, I’m telling her all these stories about Dale Earnhardt, Dale Jr. and Jimmie Johnson. She said that I was so passionate about that she would go ask. She did and they greenlit it. The magic of Marty & McGee is the chemistry, we’re buddies and have been so for 20 years! It went from a live radio show on Sat afternoons, then a few years ago they moved us to 7am on Sat! That’s when I said, “son, our lives just changed!” That’s when everybody is going to get the donuts and taking junior to baseball. It changed everything! Then, last year, they decide that the coaches in the South Eastern Conference they wanted to be engaged in a different way and they wanted the two if to make it happen. They asked what the set should like and I said, “a card table, an American flag and an eagle soaring by – I don’t know.” They built us that set. The coaches come in. They’re immediately disarmed. We’re laughing out loud with them. Nick Saban is talking about his dad, Nick Sr. had tears in our eyes. So they give us a weekly show on SEC Network which this fall moves to Weds. so that it ensures that it’s not pre-empted by soccer or a live program. We don’t even know what to make of it – we’re floored!
AM: What’s it like juggling all of these shows with your current schedule?
MS: It’s a lot and I’m afforded the ultimate blessing which is a patient, immersed, patient and loyal partner who appreciates all of this. She understands all of this and allows me to chase the dream. I can’t wait for people to read about Lainie in the book because they are going to see what a phenomenal soul she is. In this life, we meet people that are more successful, that may not have as much, we meet people who are more beautiful, we meet people who are the most blue collar down-home, people who grew up in the city all of that – all walks of life. Very rarely do you meat innate grace. Lainie has it. There is no way in hell that I could have this career, this life, have met these people that I am so fortunate to meet if she didn’t have that personality. I thank her everyday!
AM: Specifically during the college football season, what is your week like for that?
MS: We work every day. From now until mid January, we are gas on the throttle doing college football. Even on days off, we’re prepping. On days off, you’re reading, calling around, texting around, talking to coaches. Sports information people, in some rare cases – players. To make sure that you are at least ahead of the game but at least in the game. You go hard as hell man and I love every second of it.
AM: Who are you looking forward to interviewing this season from the college football side – what are 3 things that you’re pumped about?
MS: I’m blessed beyond what I deserve. We have a host and reporter who is among the most talented television professionals I have ever seen. Her name is Laura Rutledge. Laura makes all of it look easy – it’s not and she makes it look so simple. She is going to have her first child this fall. As a result of that, she will go on maternity leave and will miss a portion of the season. While she is away, she is the host of a show called SEC Nation and it’s a phenomenal show. I mean Tim Tebow, Marcus Spears and Paul Finebaum are the panelists. They are all great friends of mine already - Tim is like a brother to me. In the book, I share his influence on me which is dramatic. So when Laura is on maternity leave, I am going to get to host that show. When ESPN called me and told me this, my initial reaction was Euphoria and it was also, “you know I have never done that before and you know it’s something that I am going to have to learn.” They understood all that and said that my passion was what they needed. I can’t wait, a live atmosphere with a live audience in the South Eastern Conference, with those 3 guys and a producer – Baron Miller, who's a brother to me anyway. He has an artistic vision and unbelievable passion to help guide us through. I can’t wait for the energy change. My best friend, Eric Church, always says that there is going to be an energy exchange tonight. There is going to be my energy and your energy. I'm going to give it every last damn ounce of everything I got and if you give it back to me, there is going to be a moment and it’s going to live forever. Well I get to drive that moment and I can’t wait! Tebow man, Spears – I’m not Laura – I’m not as talented and polished as her or Joe Tessitore the first gentleman who hosted that show, or Maria Taylor who also hosted that show. They’re better broadcasters than me, but I’ll never be out passioned. I can control 3 things everyday: I can control kindness, effort and passion. If I max those out, I’m going to be alright and I’m maxing. In every single facet of my life: fatherhood, husbandry, professionally, friendships – there ain’t nobody going to ever say that I didn’t leave it all out there when the Lord calls me home.
AM: One of the things that draws me to your reporting is your passionate storytelling and being someone who grew up in Indiana, watched Hoosier basketball growing up, graduated Indiana University and was glad to have been there during Bobby Knight’s last year as coach, we believe in the concept of “Life is Sports and Sports is Life”. When college basketball happens, there is such a feeling that comes through which permeates all aspects of my life. Why does college football have that feeling for you that makes you so passionate about it?
MS: I was discussing this this morning. There is a country artist named Justin Moore. I have known Justin his entire career now. This is his 5th album he is putting out this week and he’s only 35 and having a tremendous career. He grew up in a little town called Poyne, Arkansas. The Arkansas Razorbacks are their pro team. I grew up 20 miles west of Virginia Tech’s campus on a cattle farm. The Virginia Tech Hokies are our pro team. They are also our identity, they also brought a national brand to a farming community. Because of Frank Beamers’ Hokies Virginia Tech Hoakies, Blacksburg is known in Seattle, in California, Clearwater, Fl and it’s known in Banger, Maine. Everybody knows Blacksburg because of those football teams. When I was a kid, we didn’t have a whole lot when I was real young. My daddy worked all the time and I didn’t get to be around him and he was a bit of mysterious and mythical figure to me. But there were some Saturday mornings when he’s wake me up and say, “boy get dressed, we’re going over the mountain.” I knew that meant we were going to watch Virginia Tech football. It was bad football. It was 0-8, 0-10, 1-9, 2-8 because Coach Beamer was still laying those foundation bricks to the amazing legacy that he built. But I got to go there with my daddy and I got to have a fountain coke and I got to have his attention and I got to feel his love and hope he felt mine and we got to watch Virginia Tech play football. To this second, I feel closer to him in Laine Stadium then I feel anywhere else. I lost daddy in ’08. When I go back there, I feel closer to him than anywhere else. My passion for it, is so much deeper than simply the game. It’s this father/son connection, it’s this family connection because so many little college towns take their identity from those athletic programs just like Bloomington does. I get to go in on Fridays and Saturdays in the fall and I get to be there with those people. Whether it’s Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Columbus, Ohio, Blacksburg, Virginia, Ann Arbor, Michigan – those towns are those schools. I get to live it. Hell, they pay me for it! Wow – it’s unbelievable to me!
AM: With such a busy schedule, you have a book coming out August 6th, Never Settle: Sports, Family and the American Soul. Why did you want to write this book and what do you hope that your fans and those who read this book take away from it?
MS: I have wanted to write a book for a really long time. It’s funny, I wasn’t ready until I got the deal. I didn’t have enough life experiences until last year. Back to Tiger, I interviewed him and of course I put a picture up with us on the ‘gram. You’ve gotta do it for the ‘gram and I came home that evening and my son has a YouTube channel and we were skateboarding. So I said, “you know what man, let’s go down this hill. I’ll be on my board and you’ll be on your board and I’ll kinda get crouched down and get a cool shot with my phone for you.” I put it on my Instagram Stories and this publisher saw it. I was blown away by that.
Long story short, the next thing you know, I’m meeting with this gentleman, a guy named Sean Desmond at Twelve Books, my publisher in NYC. Avenue of the Americas man, wow country boy comes to town. He talked about how his little boy who is 12 is fascinated by all the stuff that I get to do. Then he saw that and he was intrigued. How is this guy that was interviewing Tiger Woods in the morning and hanging with his son in the evening – he wanted that. He wanted my family in the book, he wanted Lainie, he wanted the husband Marty in the book, he wanted father Marty in the book. He wanted me to be so vulnerable and he wanted Tiger, he wanted Nick Saban and he wanted Cristiano Ronaldo in Shanghai, in Beijing. He wanted all of these experiences. He wanted me throwing a post pattern on the White House lawn. Thank God the Secret Service has a sense of humor! It’s all in the book. I actually did that! We were stupid, man. He wanted all of that and he pushed me throughout the writing process. Show me, don’t tell me. You’re telling me a good story, show me a good story. I loved that advice because it demanded of me to take another layer of veneer off.
Again, I have so many friends that are musical artists. They told me throughout time that anything worth its salt is vulnerable. But with that vulnerability comes a very unique emotion because you are putting this layer of yourself out into and this energy in the world. You have to be ok with whatever comes back good or bad. You’ve given this and holy crap it’s giving me anxiety and Lainie is like why? That was always my response to my friends too because they were putting out something good – but you’re putting this part of yourself out there and above all, I know it’s relatable and vulnerable. I think it will sing and I think that a lot of people will see themselves in that. I discuss things like the primal sorrow of losing my mom when I was barely an adult. She had breast cancer and died when she was 47 years old. My sister turns 47 in Feb so, Stacy and I go back and forth about what that’s like. Because when you’re 21 you don’t realize how young 47 is. When you’re 43, you think that she hadn’t even gotten started yet. I’d give anything – anything to be able to show her. She would be tickled and the coolest grandmother to these little people that we have running around.
My son has Tourette and so there is a lot that comes with Tourette. His tics, how people react to that. He’s used to people staring at him. Middle School is hard, he’s only recently gotten to a place where other kids sometimes aren’t nice. My mother, back to that innate grace, I never met anybody that was more Godly than my mom. She raised a lot of kids and I only have one sibling. She raised a lot of kids. I had a lot of buddies and she was there momma too. I wish she was here to see all of this and to be that for my kids. I go all the way into that primal sorrow. I write it in that way that’s really really raw. It’s a hell of a thing and I hope that people feel themselves in it. There’s a football coach that I have become very close with, Barry Odom – head coach of Missouri – Missouri Tigers. He wrote me the nicest text the other day. The 4th chapter of the book is about one of the most impactful people in my life. There is a Special Olympics athlete that I chronicled in '15, her name was Olivia Quigley. It’s all in there – why she was so important to me and Barry read the chapter. I sent him an advanced copy. He was like, “dude – I knew you were pretty cool on TV, but this is what you need to be doing. It’s changing lives.” That was very cool for him to say.
AM: How long did it take for your to put the book together?
MS: I started almost immediately when I met with Twelve last May. My deadline was Jan. 15th and I was very naïve about the time – really naïve. I wrote a lot of it in Ocean City Coffee. I would get up before dawn every morning when we were here last summer. I rode my bike down there and wrote until about 9:30am morning and then came back. Then, I thought I didn’t have to worry about being a present father or husband on airplanes and hotel rooms. But when you have covered a college football weekend, the last thing that you want to do is go to your hotel room and write! You just want a cold one and to laugh with your buddies a little bit, eat a meal and get on the pillow. I somehow managed to do it. That last week, I still had quite a bit to write. I came home from the National Championship in Santa Clara, California – immediately packed a bag, flew to NYC and spent 5 days holed up in the publisher’s office pounding on those keys. I’m not kidding ya, 5:30 on Jan 15th was when I needed to have that thing in and it was 5:30 on Jan 15th when I said, I don’t know if it’s done, hope it is - but here it’s yours.
AM: How did it make you feel when Eric Church wrote your forward as he’s your best friend.
MS: He’s my best friend. I was here – he called me about something else and he needed my opinion and perspective. We probably talked about it for 90 minutes. You get Eric Church on 90 seconds it's a miracle - we were on the phone for 90 mins! So I said, “before you go, I have something else to tell you about. I hate to bother you with it and I know you’re busy. I’m writing my first book.” He said, “it’s about fuckin’ time.” Truth be told, he thinks I’m wasting my time doing anything but writing and he has always been a fan of how I write and the way I paint pictures. He’s a writer, that’s what he does. So we have that mutual energy exchange and kinship. I said, “I would be really honored and I don’t think it would be complete the way that I need it to be complete if you don’t write my forward.” He said that it would be the pleasure and joy of his life that I would pick him to do that. I will tell you that it showed up near my deadline because it’s Eric. I was kind of badgering him saying, “hey bro – I have to have this thing in.” He asked me when it had to be in. I’m sitting in Charlotte and he texted me that he had sent it via email. Two other people had read it before he sent it, his most trusted confidentes in his life – his wife Katherine and his manager John Peets. I get my computer and Lainie is sitting next to me and I’m reading it and I can feel myself and she’s capturing it on video. I will tell you that it’s the most single kindest thing that I have ever read in terms of your impact on somebody. It made me belly laugh and ugly cry. He’s a real hard ass. He plays one for a living, he doesn’t suffer fools, he takes no crap. He taught me that my passion is ok and that my way is ok. Even when the bosses tell you something, if you believe it do it. For him to write what he wrote about me, I can’t wait for y’all to see it. I want to talk about it so much but I want y’all to have to read it. It’s awesome. It means the world to me that he would take the time to do it.
Like Greg Sankey is the commissioner of the SEC and I gave him the very first copy that I had ever held in my hands. McGee and I were interviewing him and he said he wanted one, but that I would have to sign it. So I sat down right there and signed it and said it was like handing him my first child. He wrote on the Internet how good it was and that Eric Church had written the greatest forward that he had ever read in years – he was right. I could talk for days about him – my hero!
AM: One of the things that we were struck by is the amount of people on Twitter who were talking about how those who pre-ordered received FaceTime messages thanking them for doing so.
MS: I have 52 people left to call! I was trying to think of a way – I felt bad that the people that pre-ordered the book that they invested in me and I wanted to make it personal. I saw that Kurt Busch, one of the NASCAR drivers, had FaceTimed some of his fans. So I thought that we should try that. I thought it would be 10 people. Marty will call you or FaceTime you if you pre-order his book. It was a lot more than 10 people. To see the reactions from the people! One young lady called me and said, “you’re always talking about people who give you that passion and this life direction to help you have that perspective and to stay focused – you’re that person for me.” She was in tears. She can’t wait to have the book. It was very fulfilling for me as well. They’re so appreciative.
AM: I mean just from the comments, people running out of the meetings in their offices and getting so excited.
MS: One guy worked in the Library of Congress and he was so excited that my book was going to be there. Another guy worked as a Missouri State Trooper or a Detective. He pulled over and took a picture of us talking. I still have a few people to contact and I will get to them. One of them was my high school football teammate, we were Defensive Backs a long time ago. We won the state championship together.
AM: Do you foresee writing another book?
MS: That’s up to the publisher, but if they afford me the opportunity – hell yes! There are 25 chapters in this book and there are at least 15 stories that I didn’t even get to. I talked to Paul George about what it was like when he broke his leg in half. The way he felt and the way he saw his team react. The vulnerability and how stripped he was. I talked to Anthony Davis – I was surprised it went down this road. It was in the middle of Black Lives Matter was such a movement in this country. We kind of brought up race and here I am having this great conversation of depth with this gentleman who grew up in Chicago, African American a face for those other young man growing up in that neighborhood. He got out, you can do this. Being interviewed by a 40 year old white man from a rural Appalachian town and how we were connecting and what an example we can be together. It was a wonderful conversation. Stuff like that that’s not even in the book. I hope this book is received well enough that I get that chance – I would be honored.
AM: As someone who travels as much as you do, what are 3 items in your carry-on that makes you feel comfortable or have a sense of home?
MS: Everything is a carry-on I don’t check bags. Bose Q35 Noise Cancelling headphones are my life blood because I am such a music guy. Costa Del Mar are my sunglass guys – I always have them with me because of the injured eye. I like having it covered. Either Jordan 1s, 3s, 4s or 11s. I don’t ever travel without at least 1 pair of Jordans - ever.
AM: The Sneaker Duffle is going to do well.
MS: Yes thank you! ESPN watchers know me for my sneakers. When I was growing up, once again, my dad never in a million years would have been like I would pay $140 for those shoes. Hell no! When I was in 8th grade maybe 9th. I saved enough money from throwing hay bales in the summer to buy my first pair of Js. They were 5s. The original pair of 5s, I don’t have any 5s in Ocean City or I would show you what I was talking about. The original 5s have clear bottoms – soles. The clear bottoms had the Jump Man in the ball of the foot. If you wore them outside, they would soil to this amber color. I was not about to let that happen. I would carry my Js to school and then put them on when I got there. I never lost that. If you guys had any idea of how neurotic I am about my shoes. All of my shoes are like that. I’m a Js guy and I love Air Max 90s the original Air Max and I am crazy about these. I would say those 3 things.
AM: How do you take time for yourself to decompress with all of the things that you do?
MS: Water. I grew up on a farm, I still own hundreds of acres in Southwest Virginia that is still farmed. When I was a little boy, I was always captivated by the beach. So we bought here 5 years ago I believe our families bought this home and last July, Lainie and I bought a home on Lake Norman in Charlotte and that’s where we live full time. It allows me to really reflect, be vulnerable and to consider who I want to be. It also allows my children to get away from their phones and for me to get away from it and get away from everything. It allows me to be a dad that is creating memories. That’s so important to me to be a present father and husband when I’m not on the road – to be here. I try very hard. It’s hard for any driven professional. I do my dead level best to demand that of myself. Last night, we sat on the beach. I didn’t have my phone other than to play music on a Bluetooth speaker from 3 o'clock in the afternoon to 10:30pm. I bet I had 50 or 60 text messages. Don't judge me – you promise – I have 193 unread text messages! When I’m here, I purposely don’t get on my phone. Tomorrow I will be in Charlotte for our college football seminar for the next 2 days, the day after that I have to shoot something for Marty & McGee all day for the SEC network, the day after that I’m in Clemson, SC all day covering the first practice for the Tigers and we’re kicking off August 24th. And I have a book coming out!
You know one thing that you will never hear me do – complain. I won’t do it. Do you know how many people would sever fingers – I’m aware. I’m very protective of my time in a demanding industry. But, I’m a grinder man.
AM: When you’re in Ocean City, where can we find you grabbing a meal, go shopping or working out?
MS: Kessel's Korner 28th & Asbury. We eat there that’s our spot. Express Pizza is right around the corner here too. They both have grilled buffalo wraps – grilled chicken buffalo. I’m a buffalo sauce freak show – I love it. I don’t only get the grilled buffalo wrap, I get extra buffalo on the side because I dunk it in there – buffalo sauce is my deal man. I go to the local gym and I’m also an endurance athlete. I was supposed to run the New York City Triathalon but they canceled it because of the Heat Index hitting 115 degrees. I was supposed to do the running portion and to be apart of a trio it’s called Challenged Athletes Foundation. Bob Babbitt one of the godfathers of triathlons in this country asked me to participate. There was going to be a double amputee as our swimmer, a world class cyclist as our cyclist and I was going to do the run in Central Park. I run the boardwalk all the time it’s 5 miles. 2.5 each way and I do it all the time.
Lainie gets on the Internet. She got all of our school supplies from Target. 7th Street Surf Shop is another one that we enjoy. Heritage Surf Shop is another one because I love surf T-shirts, big brim hats because I am super pale.
AM: We’re all about #TRIBEGOALS – people who inspire us to be our best selves. Who are those 3 people for you?
MS: Not to say that I want to be overwhelming about the book, but it’s one of the reasons why I wanted to write it. I wanted to champion those people. My parents would be one answer. I am so fortunate and I’m that guy who's an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. My momma was an angel and my daddy battled my demons. I got both of them inside me. I am so fortunate that I had them. They were very present for every game I ever played, they were very demanding, I was one of those guys that if I wasn’t on the honor roll then I didn’t get to play. I’m so thankful for that. I got spanked if I did something wrong and I got wooped – there were no time outs. I’m thankful for that. Everything I said about Eric applies here. It’s because he showed me through our friendship and through his approach to be absolutely unmitigated to be who you are. Be passionate, reach through that camera lens! I knew that when I was covering NASCAR working for ESPN on a Sat morning SportsCenter in the fall when people were ready to watch college football – you may not be interested in NASCAR but you will listen to me during that 2 months because of how much I love it. He helped me realize that that would be ok! Then my wife, Lainie is such a special person. She’s selfless, graceful, she don’t take no crap, she is my single greatest sounding board and will tell me the truth the whole time. That’s why she is reading the book for the first time. She is so astute and I am so appreciative of that. She also made me more selfless.
Our shoot took place in Ocean City, NJ which meant that we enjoyed showcasing menswear looks that are perfect for the beach.
LOOK 1 PG 16-25 | LE TIGRE Polo Shirt | KENNETH COLE Shorts | SPERRY Gold Cup Collection | TIMEX Watch | NAGICIA Bracelet | COSTA DEL MAR Sunglasses |
LOOK 2 COVER + PG 26 - 35 | KENNETH COLE Shirt | MAVI Shorts | SPERRY Gold Cup Collection | TiMEX Watch | CLEAR VISION OPTICAL/REVO Sunglasses | HEX BRAND Sneaker Duffle | JORDANS Sneakers |
LOOK 3 BACK COVER PG 37 - 49 | MAVI Denim Shirt + Shorts | TIMEX Watch | KENNETH COLE Sneakers | CLEAR VISION OPTICALS/REVO Sunglasses | EARTHCRUISER Bike |
You can hear the full interview with ESPN's Marty Smith in August on our show, #TRIBEGOALS which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multi-media podcast network! Make sure to subscribe to find out when the episode drops. You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast.
We've always been a big believer that when it comes to selecting products that you bring into your home, office or additional space, it's a good idea to know about where it sits in the marketplace, the related founders and of course, why you should care about the products function. This month we sat down with Matthias Metternich, one of the Co-Founders and CEO of personal care brand, Art of Sport who also has Kobe Bryant and Brian Lee (as Co-Founder of Honest Co., LegalZoom and ShoeDazzle.com) as Co-Founders, to talk about the brand's approach, the need to service across a diverse socioeconomic demographic, the the conflict that can exist when there are brands looking to be natural versus chemical, and the rise of the third lane which adopts aspects of natural while looking to safe chemicals to ensure integrity of performance.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your background prior to the Art of Sport.
MATTHIAS METTERNICH: I began my journey as a coder and a designer as a kid. I started very young when I was 9. My parents bought me a computer and I moved around a lot so I was in some very far flung places. As a result, I didn’t always have a big crowd of friends and lot of fun things to go and do at night – but then I was also 9 so I wasn’t going out clubbing either.
AM: We were just going to ask what you would be doing at 9 ha.
MM: Right. I’m sure I had an interest in going out and couldn’t go out, but I ended up spending my time in front of computers. Through that, I fell in love with video games as one does as a kid. I started building my own video games. That’s what led me down the path of making things. I was terrible at coding, but it wasn’t like it was so sophisticated that it needed to be so complex. I realized that the games were terrible because I didn’t spend my time in the storytelling part of it. Creating something that captivated people or myself for that matter as I was the only one playing it. Design was the canvas on which to create the art, story, passion, love and whatever it was. Design became the more important factor in my life. I continued growing up and playing with computers. I started building companies at 14. Out of necessity there wasn’t a computer lab at my high school. I found away to get a bundle of computers and then sold it in bulk to my school. I did that with other schools too. That was better than pocket money for my parents. I continued to build things so I started a digital agency in college. I then worked for a couple of really big ones and serviced some pretty cool clients. We worked on cool projects like creating a F1 Racing Team for Richard Branson. A lot of neat things and a great place to design at scale. You couldn’t afford to make a lot of mistakes. If your client is Nike, they expect projects to work globally and to be perfect at launch. You also have to think 360 when you’re designing. What does the website look like, social, apps and retail environments. That fluidity in thinking became innate to the way that I approach problems. I’m really not limited to a particular kind of channel or particular type of business. From there, I have gone onto build a number of companies in apparel, in software and now in skincare.
AM: What perfect storm came together that brought yourself, Brian Lee and Kobe Brant together to create Art of Sport?
MM: I had just finished up a business. Brian was stepping down from Honest Company and he has had an amazing career as he started Legal Zoom and went onto build Honest Company. We both found ourselves in LA at an opportune time where we were open to new ideas. I have a background as an athlete as I played sports growing up and I was a rower in college. I experienced first hand the problems with my skin (sunburns, dandruff, pain in my joints, dry skin from showering a lot) and it never dawned on me as much as I felt the brands that I chose – the technical clothes that I chose to wear that was a pain point to me and I needed the best. I also needed the best when it came to nutrition and what I put into my body.
There wasn’t a lot of innovation, questionable chemicals were used and there weren’t any exciting inclusions that you typically see in food and in beverage. We thought, hang on a second, how had no one touched application in the way that Nike has done for Apparel or that Gatorade has done for food. So he and I fell in love with that concept and it really spoke to both of us and he and I saw an interesting path to building awareness and community among athletes and really build an authentic player in the space. It started with the science piece and we wanted to educate ourselves on what is possible in the skincare space and what can we do that’s different out there.
We brought on board the Chief Science and Innovation Director from P&G. He had a ton of experience over the years. We also brought the Science Officer from Honest Co who is very focused on taking things out of things. So the combination of him and her looking at it from both lenses on how we can innovate and also how we can be clean and better for you, drove our early innovation. We then decided as a sports brand, that we should be bringing athletes into the business – deeply into the business and embedding them from day 1. That’s where we got to before door knocking and Kobe Bryant opened the door.
AM: Not a bad person to start with.
MM: We were just going from door to door and he was like the last door we knocked on ha! No, he was the first door that we knocked on and he has as an athlete, the ability to understand what it means to push your body to the limit and he is someone who had to will his body to become the best. He wasn’t necessarily born perfectly and that journey and arc in his career gives him a huge amount pf perspective. We really enjoyed the early days of sitting down with Kobe and really going through every phase of the business. Then we assembled an amazing athlete team around us including people like James Harden, Javier Baez and Juju Smith-Schuster and some phenomenal athletes.
AM: It’s great that your across various types of sports which is amazing.
MM: Yeah. That was something that dawned on us pretty early on that the variety and diversity of people. Never mind athletes – but a modern take on how to build a business as opposed to doing that retroactively down the trail. So different body types, different ethnicities, different genders, different ages – all of that came into play for us. It was exciting to have a conversation with Sage Erickson who is a Surf Champion who is in the water and in the sun and has specific needs on how to protect herself in those environments. But then also Ken Roczon who is a Motor Cross World Champion – he almost tore his arm off during a motor cross accident. So for him, the pain cream became really interesting discussion for him because it just wasn’t about feeling good, smelling good and your skin feeling good. It was about the process. It was about an ongoing process to stay on top. That was really meaningful contribution to the business I think.
AM: You guys came to market last fall of 2018. What are the product assortments that you currently have in the brand and what are possible innovations that you guys are thinking about such as having CBD as apart of your assortment etc?
MM: We initially had an interesting discussion early on. The mission for us was to own application and to develop products that athletes would trust to put on their skin every day. So when that’s the starting point, how many or few products does that fall under? A lot though right? It could be a few or a lot. We really wanted to narrow in so we looked at the daily essentials that athletes are applying to their skin, multiple times a day. If we’re going to be true to the lifecycle of the athletes from morning until night, what are the skin products that take us out of the bathroom and into the field. That’s why we developed a pain cream and a sunscreen. So when we launched, we had a deodorant, a soap, a body wash, a sunscreen and a pain cream. But we thought, if we are going to tackle this problem, we’re not going to short change the idea and play a close game. We’re going to go heavy and hard at the space.
Over time, what we found was that even though we have only been in the market for under a year (that’s the beauty of online businesses because you get feedback so fast) – we had a lot of requests for body lotion which we launched recently. People didn’t want to exactly use the body wash for their hair as it was a 3-in-1. So we developed a new 2-in-1 conditioner which has been really great and has some nice botanicals in there. We also, which was a lot of fun, partnered with Amazon for Prime Day and we launched 2 products that were exclusive to Prime Day Customers on those days with Kobe Bryant.
It went totally bananas and it took a lot of work to get prepared, but what was so awesome was that Amazon recognized how hard we were leaning in and they included us in their press release to the world about Prime Day. So in the course of the month leading into this, pretty much any news outlet that covered Prime Day was also covering The Art of Sport. It was nuts and a cool way to launch a product. I had never launched a product on pretty much the biggest sales day in the US.
AM: Are there categories that you are interested in adding in like lip care?
MM: We try to keep a very open mind where it comes to where we could go. I think that one lesson I have always known as an entrepreneur is focus. To try and make sure that whatever you put out is the best that is out there as you can go too wide too fast. In fact, that was probably one of the greatest lessons that Brian took away from Honest Co. They did a lot of products and they were incredible, but they had a lot out there and it put too much strain on them as a start-up.
AM: Especially coming from a background of production/wholesale we have worked with a number of brands that have had a lot in their assortment; however, they are large companies that have been around for a number of years that can support that flow to implement that initiative.
MM: People just think it’s a product that you’re getting out there. But you have to get the packaging dialed in and then you have to get the secondary packaging. Sometimes there is an outer case as well and before you know it, there are hundreds of things that you’re pushing forward.
AM: Absolutely, plus the continuity of everything making sense in the packaging that it’s in.
AM: So what should we keep our eye out for in terms of the brand as we continue through the summer, go into the fall and with the holidays season?
MM: Art of Sport, the way that we thought about it, it’s a big brand platform that allows us to speak to different ages and demographics across the nation in all different socio-economic classes as well. There’s an aspect of this where we can get out there in front of the community at a grassroots level which is very exciting. We attend a lot of sporting events across the country. Sometimes it’s a 10K event for the kids combine in the south and sometimes it’s a 4K girls volleyball tournament in Washington State. That’s been a phenomenal exercise for the business. To that point, we have always believed that the brand could be everywhere and it should be everywhere. We want to get our product in the hands of every gym bag, locker room and bathroom in the country. We started on the Art of Sport.com where people can subscribe to the product on the site. We also launched on Amazon which again, is pretty unconventional and opening up to new platforms as opposed to being constrained to the platforms that you choose. We saw amazing traction on Amazon. The next logical step for us is to think about how our product and brand comes to life offline. The grassroots piece is one exercise for that.
There is a lot of talk about retail dying but there are a lot of retailers that are absolutely thriving and that’s not going to go away. That’s what is on our horizon in terms of what we are thinking about right now. In terms of where products are concerned, we live in an interesting lane where there are brands that are all natural and then you have brands that are sort of all chemical. The problem with all natural is that they can be great, but they can also be expensive and they also fail you sometimes because they don’t work. There are a lot of deodorant brands that are out there that just don’t last. If you're in a dress shirt at work and you're about to give a presentation, you can't have a big sweat stains. That’s because those products by default are unable to look at safe chemicals that could perform when you need them. That happens in sunscreen as well. If it’s all mineral. On the other end of the spectrum, the all chemical guys are pretty much an expression of an industry that doesn’t have to innovate and is focused on the most cheapest cost effective product that they can make. So by default, switching out chemicals from a low quality one to a high quality one isn’t that important. Thinking about botanicals and those great inclusions is not relevant for them. We live in the middle lane. We can look at an antiperspirant deodorant with aluminum and we can make it better. We can think about clinical products for your scalp, face, toes and feet that a lot of Americans need that without chemicals won’t work. On the other side of the spectrum there’s looking at pain creams and you mentioned CBD earlier where the natural worlds can play it’s part in a bigger way then what it has had. That’s a long way to answer your questions as our Product Development Road Map has a couple of great products that live in that lane that will do their job to transform some of those product categories.
AM: So what is your title and your day to day like?
MM: My title is that I’m the Co-Founder and the CEO. So, I run and build the business. My day to day because my background is in making things and building things, I’m pretty fluent and obsessive on getting into the weeds and bringing those things to a good place. Sometimes in the lifecycle of a business when you are trending in the right direction, CEOs can be sort of primarily focused on raising capital, hiring and sort of evangelizing the brands. Those things to me are important factors and will be more important to me, but my role from day one has been about designing, the packaging, the language that we use on website to literally art directing James Harden and telling him how to hold the product.
There is nothing that’s beneath me so I’m the Chief Receptionist and the Chief Toilet Cleaner. There’s nothing that’s too good for me to do.
AM: So what are 3 things that are always in your carry-on?
MM: Interesting. Probably the usual things that everyone mentions, a credit card, a laptop and a phone.
AM: Most people do not mention that ha!
MM: Wait, that’s bizarre – how do they do anything and get things done?
AM: They’re taking their headphones or maybe a blanket ha!
MM: Maybe I should leave the laptop behind and grab that. I wish it was more interesting, but the reality is that most of my travel is for work and what matters is that I get work done. I have also turned into that guy who is perfectly happy going to the airport with a toothbrush and my laptop and figuring it out once I get there.
AM: What does it have to have?
MM: I have never understood how anyone sleeps with synthetic materials so all of that imitation cotton like substance is beyond me and I can't figure it out. Bedding is important, but I can’t travel with my bed. My Achilles heel is actually sound. I pick up on a lot of sound so I have to drown it out so when you said headphones, I thought “damnit, I should have said that.”
AM: In terms of #TRIBEGOALS, who are 3 people that you either know or follow socially that inspire you?
MM: Wow that’s an interesting one. Well, it might sound like a cop out. It’s my brother, my mom and my dad. I grew up and we moved around a lot and I grew up in 9 different countries.
We probably moved 40 times total across places. My nuclear family was always there or within a reasonable distance. My dad’s story is quite interesting – he’s a post WWII refugee and part refugee in Europe and my mother ran off from home when she was 16 and met my dad in Somalia and she is a fascinating women. Very strong mother in addition to juggling a pretty difficult household. My brother is mentally handicapped so what has been interesting there is I tend to live in the future and overthink things. He can only really live in the present. When I spend time with him, my world is forced to slow down. He appreciates the simple things in life. I like to walk and take in the world around me, but for him going to a movie and having a nice burger is the highlight of his year. I think that that teaches me a lot.
Read the July Issue of Athleisure Mag and see Something You Should Know with Matthias Metternich in mag.
You can hear Matthias Metternich's interview next month on our show, #TRIBEGOALS which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multi-media podcast network! Make sure to subscribe to find out when the episode drops. You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast.
Astute readers know that this time last year, Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival had one of its stops here in NYC along with LA and Chicago. We had a great time working out beside Gunnar Peterson, Harley Pasternak, Akin's Army and more. We talked with them about a number of fitness tips, focuses and more. This month, the event took place in LA with the same energy with a number of new and old friends. We're sharing a few conversations with Gunnar Peterson, Harley Pasternak, Casey Ho, Simone de la Rue and Angela Manuel-Davis.
We kicked off with Gunnar Peterson.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What tips do you have for those just beginning their fitness journey?
GUNNAR PETERSON: Enjoy the process. Obviously short- and long-term goals are great, but if you can find a way to enjoy what you’re doing in the moment, you’re going to be so much better off throughout the whole thing – not to mention, your goals will be there sooner than you know.
AM: What advice would you have for those struggling to find motivation?
GP: The motivation comes from inside. I’m not a big believer that the trainer motivates – I don’t know what I can say to you if you’ve decided you’re not doing something. And I also don’t think that’s incumbent upon the trainer. People decide for themselves. They have their own reasons and get after it because they’ve decided to make that change. It can be family, job, tired of feeling low energy – whatever it is, just draw on that from the inside and don’t deny it.
AM: What is the Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival all about?
GP: To me, the Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival is all about bringing a relatively disjointed fitness community together and on even ground. Even when you’re here, you’ll notice people who are yoga people, weight people, and people who are way more cardio-intensive – and there’s such a great comradery and feeling here. This is what fitness should be. Propel makes this what fitness should be about – community. Here, people are sharing information and also being receptive to other fitness professionals, which is why it’s such a great event.
AM: Tell us about the class you’ll be leading with Luke Milton?
GP: I can’t tell you – it’s totally top secret. Actually, Luke and I have a similar philosophy in terms of peripheral action and planes of motion. The environment created in the workout is all because of how the movements are sequenced. So, when we developed this, it was so fun and totally logical. For us, the goal is up-down-up-down, switching it up the whole time, upper-body, lower-body, core. And moving people in that way, very specifically and thought out, helps them get the most out of the workout.
AM: Why are electrolytes important?
GP: We lose electrolytes when we sweat, and with Propel, you replenish them. You can workout harder and longer. Propel is helping everyone here do more – their bodies are ready to go sooner and to keep pushing – and that’s really what it’s all about.
One of the exciting things about attending a festival of this nature is that you're able to try out a number of methods that allow you to enhance what you already do. You also have the opportunity to hear about the methods and the reason why these celebrity fitness trainers do them. Last year, we enjoyed connecting with Harley Pasternak and once again, he didn't disappoint.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about the class you’ll be leading at the Propel Co:Labs fitness festival.
HARLEY PASTERNAK: We are doing a really exciting class today that will require no equipment whatsoever – just absolutely tons of energy and a high pain threshold. We will be focusing on the lower body, and the class is called ‘Butt my legs hurt’ – get it? All kinds of iso-lateral (one side at a time) lower body movements. Variations of lunges from regular lunges, skater lunges, reverse lunges, lateral lunges and jump lunges. Then during the rest in between, we’ll be doing hip thrusts and pike planks. So a little bit abs, a little bit of glutes as your rest period, which is kind of insane. Let’s just say, I will be everyone’s pain in the butt today.
AM: Are lunges enough for a lower body workout?
HP: If you were to have one lower body workout, lunges would be one of my favorites. But, it does not train your upper body. It will elevate your heart rate, so I like variations, and with the addition of the hip thrust we’re getting the posterior chain.
AM: What would you add to balance out the upper body?
HP: I really focus on the posterior chain, so a back row of some kind with a TRX or dumbbell – something for your rhomboids. I’d put in a triceps movement, maybe a laying dumbbell triceps extension with a hip thrust together – I call those a Harley. It’s butt and back with your arms at the same time. Those moves, combined with the lunge variations, as well as a stiff leg deadlift for your hamstrings and lower back.
AM: With your busy schedule, how do you manage to fit workouts into your schedule?
GP: It's the other way around. I build my schedule around my workouts - they're a priority to me. It’s that old analogy of – if you fill a fish tank full of rocks, and it looks full, there’s still room for small rocks, gravel, sand, and water. But if you do it in any other order, it won't work. So you have to decide in your life, what are those big rocks? What are the small rocks, the gravel, the sand, and what’s the water? And for me, staying in shape and exercising is definitely one of the larger of this, and not something to try and jam in at the end of the day.
AM: What’s the best fitness advice you’ve ever received?
HP: Make the process the goal. It’s not about the number on the scale or having a certain aesthetic. You have indirect control over those, but not direct. So focus on the things you have control over. How many steps did you take today? Did you workout today? How did you eat today? Those things you can control. So focusing on the process, not the end goal.
Also, understand that we only have one set of joints. As I get older, focus on what do you need to do, not what you can do. What’s the least you need to do to get the most results.
AM: What’s your favorite workout song at the moment?
HP: There’s something about the cadence of ‘Love Lock Down’ from Kanye’s 808 Heartbeats. Cause that’s how I teach people to do resistance training – that cadence is timeless.
AM: Why is being strong important beyond appearance?
HP: There’s a confidence that spills into every other aspect of your life when you feel strong. That confidence just oozes everywhere. You’re staying functional in everyday tasks and less likely to get hurt.
AM: Tell us what its like training your celebrity clientele?
HP: I’m very lucky, cause having clients who make a living off how they look instills a motivation that is unrivaled by any other population. They’re as motivated as can be. They’re a minute early and putting in everything they can, cause they know their identity and their profession is very much tied to looking great.
AM: What is the biggest health and or wellness myth you’d like to bust?
HP: Celery juice! Go away! It’s not harmful and it won’t hurt you, but it’s totally pointless and does nothing positive for you. Juicing in itself is pretty pointless, but juicing one of the least nutritionally dense vegetables that exists in nature today, and throwing out the fiber to drink it with water and the dye that comes in the vegetable, and people thinking it’s going to fix their autoimmune diseases and cancer and weight management – it’s just really pointless.
As is the case of our previous celebrity fitness trainers, Simone de la Rue is someone that we have enjoyed doing her method. She has also been in Revenge Body with Khloe Kardashian on E! As a new mom, we looked forward to finding out how she prioritizes what's important as well as her fitness.
ATHLEISURE MAG: What are you doing here at Propel Co:Labs today?
SIMONE DE LA RUE: I am here to share my love of fitness and encourage people to hydrate with Propel! Hydration and your water intake is a huge assistance in weight loss, so drink, drink, drink!
I am here at Propel Co:Labs to share my brand which is Body By Simone, which is all about dance-based fitness. I taught class this morning in the festival hanger with my team to an amazing crowd of people that came out to sweat. [Propel Co: Labs] is really building a community in an inclusive ego free environment where we all come together to sweat.
AM: As a new mom how do you find time to keep fitness a priority in your life?
SDLR: It’s all about juggling. The most important thing is that you have to have a schedule, which is difficult with a child. Meal prep is a massive thing. If you prepare all your food and then put it in the freezer, that’s setting you up for the week where you’ll make great decisions and won’t order takeout. Secondly, as a new mum, finding time exercise. You don’t have to do an hour straight—you can choose to do 10 minutes in the morning or half an hour in the morning and possible another 30 minutes at night, but it's just finding that time for you that is so important.
AM: What’s the best fitness advice you’ve ever received?
SDLR: Set realistic goals. When you say to yourself I’m going to work out for two hours today and completely change your diet you set yourself up for failure because that's unrealistic. Set achievable goals and on day one just try and stay in the room, or gym, or class. And then the next day improve on that—add another 10 or 20 minutes to your workout or eliminate one item from your diet, whether that be sugar, caffeine alcohol. If you go cold turkey on day one, it’s likely you’re going to binge or give up.
AM: What is the biggest health and or wellness myth you’d like to bust?
SDLR: Just get up and do something. Just get your butt off the couch. There’s not one workout that’s going to give you your dream body so the most important thing is to find something that you connect with and will motivate you. So, the myth is that there is one workout that is the best for you.
AM: What keeps you motivated?
SDLR: My business has always kept me motivated because I have so many staff that I have to take care of. My clients also motivate me! They usually come in with a different goal whether that’s a Grammy appearance or Oscar red-carpet or film—which is exciting. Now, my biggest motivation is my son! I want to get up and be the best version of myself for him, I want to be a great role model for him so that he can see me in the best light.
We have interviewed Casey Ho previously as we love her 30 day challenges, fun fitness YouTube videos and her perky attitude as the founder of Popilates. With her first time joining this fitness festival, we wanted to find out about what her session involved, her favorite movements during her workout and how she stays motivated.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about the class you’ll be leading at the Propel Co:Labs fitness festival.
CASEY HO: It’s called Abs of Envy by PIIT 28. So obviously it’s going to be an abs focused class because I’m a Pilates instructor—it’s going to be core crazy! PIIT stands for Pilates intense interval training, it’s a 30-minute class which has cardio intervals with the toning aspects of Pilates with abs—so basically prepare to die!
AM: Why did you decide to partner with Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival?
CH: I love that Propel is putting on a live fitness event to bring people together and also bringing together the best fitness studios in LA because I’m a big class pass user so I’ve been to a lot of these studios, so it’s really cool see all these amazing trainers get together in this environment. I love that Propel is doing this because yes [teaching classes] online is a big deal, but [teaching] in person is an even bigger deal because real in-person relationships are being built.
AM: With your busy schedule, how do you manage to fit workouts into your schedule?
CH: I always workout in the morning. 7:15 is my time and I don’t miss is unless I’m feeling tired or traveling. I set aside time in my schedule like a set anything, I make it a date in my calendar so I don’t miss it.
AM: What keeps you motivated?
CH: What keeps me motivated is keeping this happiness level inside me—just feeling whole and healthy. There have been points where I have not been happy with myself and it’s taken a lot to get to this stage so that keeps me motivated staying balanced and harmonious. Also, my husband and my dog!
AM: Favorite workout/movement at the moment?
CH: Of the moment, I’m super into deep stretching and I’m not talking about yoga! I mean I’m in a split and someone is pushing on me to the point that you’re almost crying—but after your splits are even lower! I’m taking this new class as SM Stretching in Beverly Hills and its run by a rhyme gymnast and she’s kind of hard on you and I love it!
AM: What’s the best fitness advice you’ve ever received?
CH: Find the joy in working out. Don’t keep doing the thing that feels like a chore. For a while I felt like I had to do the hardest thing and feel like I was dying every time I finished a class or I wasn’t pushing myself enough, but that wasn’t true. It’s the [workout] you can stick to that will make you happy.
AM: Why is being strong important beyond appearance?
CH: It’s important to be strong so you don’t break later, so you can live longer, so you’re able to carry 17 grocery bags from your car to the house in one trip! Obviously, strength is what matters, vanity is just a side effect
AM: What is the biggest health and or wellness myth you’d like to bust?
CH: No one diet or workout program is going to work for everyone. Everyone needs to realize that your fitness journey is entirely individual in your self-discovery.
AM: What is your mantra you like to live by?
CH: Give yourself the 100% chance to succeed because you’ll never know if you don’t. Whether you give your 100 and you fail or you give yourself 100 and you don’t fail—you’ve got to go 100 every time or you’ll live a life of regret.
A fitness festival of this nature is all about taking in the positivity, workouts that are offered and sampling what makes the most sense for you. We took a few moments to chat with Angela Manuel-Davis to find out how she was energized by the participation, her approach to working out and more.
ATHLEISURE MAG: So what are you doing a Propel Co:Labs today?
ANGELA MANUEL-DAVIS: So today at Propel Co:Labs I am leading a class on AMDIO method, which is Angela Manuel-Davis changed from the inside out. So, I’m going to be pushing and challenging everyone that shows up to close the gap between where they are and where they dream to be in their life!
AM: What was it like on the Co:labs festival stage?
AMD: It was incredible being on the Co:Labs festival stage! People really came open and ready to receive—the energy was high and I really feel like every single person that walked in walked out different.
AM: How do you fit time in your busy schedule?
AMD: You have to make it a priority. Life can take over and there’s always going to be a number of things that seem more important but if you do not make it a priority to take care of yourself you won't be able to take care of anything else or anyone else. So, it's about making yourself a priority and understanding that the stronger you are, the stronger you are for others.
AM: What keeps you motivated?
AMD: Living a purpose driven life keeps me motivated. Every single day I wake up and I’m really interested in operating in my gifts and talents that’ve been given to me personally and encouraging others to do the same—that’s my purpose in life. So, living a purpose driven life for sure.
AM: What’s the best fitness advice you’ve ever received?
AMD: Best fitness advice I’ve ever received is that the recovery time is just as valuable as the time I put in the workout. Sometimes we get so caught up in the workout and we go super hard and we don’t remember that the recovery is when the benefits of the workout find their rightful places.
AM: What is the biggest health and or wellness myth you’d like to bust?
AMD: Spinning doesn’t give you big legs.
PHOTOS COURTESY | Jessica Nash for Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival
On today's episode of #TRIBEGOALS I sit down with Fitness Icon Denise Austin! We talk about how she came into the fitness industry, her success with her VHS, DVD and daily TV Show on ESPN - Get Fit with Denise Austin. We talk about her impact in the fitness industry and serving 2 terms of the President's Council of Phyiscal Fitness and Sports and working alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. We also talk about her fitness focuses as well as her work with her daughter, Katie Austin!
#TRIBEGOALS is hosted by Kimmie Smith and is Executive Produced by Paul Farkas and Kimmie Smith. Our theme music Rough and Deep is performed by JGRLNG.
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.
We’re excited to drop our latest issue of Athleisure Mag which is covered by ESPN’s Broadcaster/Journalist and author, Marty Smith. You’ve seen him on SportsCenter, College GameDay, SEC Nation and more. Check out his cover shoot which took place in Ocean City, NJ. Also check out the rest of our issue with interviews by Art of Sports’ Matthias Metternich as he talks about launching this body brand, his Co-Founders Brian Lee and Kobe Bryant and more. In addition we have a number of our monthly features as well.
Growing up, many of us may remember our moms, aunts, babysitters etc having VHS and eventually DVD's of Denise Austin! You may have even started your day working out with her. When it comes to a fitness icon, she is one of them and we loved sitting down with her last week to talk about how she came into the fitness industry, her success with her VHS, DVD and daily TV Show on ESPN - Get Fit with Denise Austin. We talk about her impact in the fitness industry and serving 2 terms of the President's Council of Physical Fitness and Sports and working alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger. We also talk about her fitness focuses as well as her work with her daughter, Katie Austin!
ATHLEISURE MAG: What was the moment that you realized that you wanted to be in the fitness industry?
DENISE AUSTIN: Well, I was a gymnast since I was a little girl and got a full athletic scholarship to college and I went to the University of Arizona and and then I got my degree in exercise physiology and aerobics was just beginning. It was the early 80’s and I moved back to California where I’m from and I met Jack LaLanne, the godfather of fitness and he gave me my first start on television. I loved it so much! I was teaching aerobic classes all over LA at the time and of course at that time, we only had little rooms to teach. There weren’t any big gyms. I taught in racquet ball courts and things like that. We really enjoyed the TV part and I got my own show on KABC LA. I got married and then I moved to Washington DC and started on the Today Show. I then had my own show on ESPN and Lifetime – everything just kept going.
When I was in college, I knew that I could teach some type of fitness with music because that’s gymnastics anyhow. So I just parlayed it into a career!
AM: Wow! Thinking back to a number of us who were growing up when you were starting, we did it with our moms – you had TV shows, VHS and DVDs, you were literally everywhere! Did you consciously think to yourself that you were going to have this brand and it’s going to be something where people are going to say, “oh Denise Austin – that’s a thing?”
DA: Well, not really! I didn’t know the name brand back in the day, 35 years ago! But I loved what I was doing because I was getting letters from people telling me that I was making a difference in what I was doing in their lives. It’s such a fulfilling job and to this day, I do it because I love hearing that it changes them and it changes the way that they feel. They have said that I have saved them, their marriage and I have had people cry and thank me. To know that you are out there helping people just made me want to keep being out there and doing more! I figured out how to keep going and it was kind of a “learn as I go” and I helped create some of this stuff!
I was learning as I was going along and I’d say, “oh yes, I can do a monthly segment on the Today Show – yes I can on fitness!” Then it was like, “yes, I can do VHS.” So it just kept going and I work very hard and persistence did pay off. I’d work on weekends and make appearances. I constantly love what I do so I’m a hard worker so that helped!
AM: Well, that’s an understatement! What was the first time like when you created your first video? You knew you were on a set and its production time. What was that like?
DA: Oh it was a dream come true! I was 27 and it was my first VHS. I was able to film it at the first MTV Studios and they were just kind of starting and I used their sets and I was right here in NYC. I had top makeup people for the very first time and I was like ok – I just did it. I had my routine, but I went for it and I was who I was. It was Rock Hard Abs and Rock Aerobics, I had two VHSs out of it and they were hits at the same time that my friend, Jane Fonda was coming out with her VHS tapes. It was a vary exciting time for the industry because aerobics was just starting in the early 80s.
AM: Did you come up with the outfits yourself? As a young girl doing the workouts, the fun part was seeing the style involved. To this day, there are photoshoots that have appeared in the magazine that have taken concepts off of looks that you wore then and then bringing them into present day shoots!
DA: What I did for Rock Aerobics is that I had a unitard and I said to myself, “this is all about the abs – I’m going to do a cutout.” So I cut out my material around the belly button and I used my pair of scissors to cut out the whole around my stomach so that they could see my abs while I was doing my workout. That’s one of the biggest pictures that I had and I saved all of those items. Now my daughter has fallen into the fitness footsteps now. Thank God I saved so many leggings, high cut up the butt leotards and hot pinks and hot lime green! It’s fun because it’s now all coming back – “let’s get physical.”
AM: How do you keep your energy?
DA: You know what? I’m like this. I wake up like this! Everyone asks my kids, “does your mom wake up like this?” I’m like, “yeah if you spend the night with me, you’ll see! Good morning!”
AM: Your a morning person clearly – what’s your flow like during the day?
DA: Yes! It changes if I’m traveling but mostly I get up, I do like my cup of coffee in the morning. I squeeze in my workout on most days for 30 mintues in the morning. I try to get in my workout. I do lots of online, post, my social media, I answer all my messages, do my email and then I make appearances, give speeches. I eat lunch, I eat dinner – I never skip a meal. I just love food and I eat well. 80% of the time, I eat well and have my treats 20% of the time. Evening time, I'm ready to have my glass of red wine - that is my treat and I enjoy that. I have lots of girlfriends, a great husband, 2 daughters and a huge family. Family means a lot to me and so do my girlfriends. So I do many things with friends!
AM: It’s so important to be balanced!
DA: Yes, I eat most everything just all in small bites as it’s all about moderation.
AM: You served 2 terms on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, can you tell us about the council, how you came to joining it and what were your roles and responsibilities by being apart of it?
DA: It was years ago when President Bush appointed me and Arnold Schwarzenegger was the chairman of it. The appointment was made by President Bush 41, God rest his soul as he was the sweetest man in the world and very fit. I was under Arnold as our chairman and we went to schools all over the nation. It was a volunteer job and we were trying to get kids into physical education at the schools which was really hard and we did appearances and Arnold paid out of his own money in every state we went to. I would lead aerobics to young kids and it was the beginnings of this grass roots for the President’s Council. It was a really fun time because we were trying to get fitness out there during the 90’s so it was a very important time you know. We were trying to change people’s eating habits. We were trying to get rid of some of the sugars in people’s cereals. So we lobbied on The Hill in front of Congress and pleaded with them to make changes for the school to get kids moving more and to get physical education back into the schools. We worked hard!
AM: That council was so huge. I graduated in 1997 from High School and starting in my Sophomore year, in addition to the traditional gym classes, you could have aerobics as an entire class. We also had potato and salad bars at our school. Our school system was seen as progressive and a lot of times, we talked about the fact that because of the council, it allowed our school system to understand that this was so important. I appreciate the efforts that you guys did to make this happen!
DA: Your school system was progressive and it was a lot of work, but I’m glad you had that opportunity available to you! We also made recommendations and guidelines with top doctors which was years of work and I learned so much to be around the brilliant minds of medical, health and wellness. I learned a lot which helped me to grow to teach other people especially women and to this day, I still get on the phone and talk to these top doctors all over the country! I use them as great resources to this day. It was a wonderful time and good networking.
AM: Amazing and you also helped launched the Food Pyramid System as well! How was that and what was it like as this is huge!
DA: I sure did! Well, they worked with nutritionists all over the country to come up with this pyramid guide making sure that the sugars were low and that the whole grains and fruits and vegetables that were at the bottom, took up a lot of our plate. They asked me to be the one to kick it off at The Department of Agriculture in Washington DC in this whole glorious building and it was a huge honor!
AM: It’s amazing to hear so many things that you have done and been apart of that you didn’t even think about, but that is the cornerstone of what we know today. How are you so humble about that?
DA: I almost forget that I did it! I’m moving ahead so much that I don’t really think about it!
AM: When you think about how you, Jack LaLanne and Jane Fonda laid the ground work for what fitness videos are, various programs etc. They were the precursor to today’s studio and boutique fitness locations.
DA: Oh I just love what I do! I keep going and I just feel that I do look ahead and my focus now is looking at women that are over 40. I have a Stop the Clock Guide – which is a nutrition and fitness guide for women because this age group has women that aren’t really seen anymore. I truly believe that those in this group - we want to be healthy, we want to be attractive, we want to look good and we want to do everything. That’s why I’m here and I want to tell them, yes we can. I have the best exercises to do away with belly fat after menopause. I know how to firm up your arms so that we look good when we wave goodbye. Muscles work wonders on your metabolism and I know through research that it does work. I believe in it so much because fitness is the best preventative medicine that there is. I preach it and I want my women over 40 to hear me, to learn and to not give up! They need to have a positive attitude about it as many women get clogged down with stress in this age in our life but there is so much to look forward to because we live longer now and we want to feel better.
AM: When you look at ages from 40-50 etc the way you work out when you are in those ages is different then when you’re in your 20’s and 30’s – what are the focuses in these age groups?
DA: Well in your 40’s, I still think that women need a lot of cardio to burn the fat. In the 50’s I focus mainly on target toning exercises because that’s when you start to have your metabolism drop during this age. One of the reasons is because you lack good muscle tone. The more muscle cells in your body, they’re active at rest. So the second you start losing muscle tone, that’s when you gain weight and that’s why the correlation between this in your 50’s is so important. I want to save women right away before it gets away from them. That’s why they need to focus on muscle condition which is what the guide is all about. Then in your 60’s, I hit this age group which is why I do more toning of course, but then I also turned it into stability exercises more core, strength training, stretching and balance.
AM: How important is recover to you in terms of working out?
DA: Very important! I take very good care of myself. I do Epson Salt baths now, I do foam rollers in my workouts, I believe in smoothing out my muscles for less stress. I try to once a month get a full body massage and those are just some of the little things that I do for wellness and recovery. I’m a big believer in eating healthy too! I’ve added in my nutrition guide, new recipes that have a lot to do with Omega-3’s as we need those as we age. Also some great healthy fats to make our skin still look supple and our hair looking fresh. So beauty plays a key role in what you are eating. I add a lot of different elements into the recipes that I make. Everything that I make is quick and easy, because if it isn’t easy in the kitchen, I won’t do it!
AM: What are 3 workouts that you think that everyone should be doing regardless of their age or wherever they are in life that are great for their abs, butts and legs?
DA: Absolutely. Always the simple rule of thumb is something for your upper body – a push up. If you don’t want to do it on the ground, you can do it against your kitchen counter or the office desk. It gets the arms and it gets your chest – so that takes care of your upper body. Mid Section, the old fashioned plank or sit-up it takes care of your belly and that whole core. I like to hold it up to a minute or change it up and do different things like bicycles or anything for your abs. For the lower body, squats and lunges for your hips, thighs and butt. If your knees hurt you, just go half way and do many squats. You can hold onto a chair or a countertop to use it for extra support. So you get something for your upper body, your mid section and your lower body.
AM: How many books have you written?
DA: Oh 12 books and I'm writing a book as we speak!
AM: What is that process like for you?
DA: Oh I’m terrible. It’s the worst job of my life because I talk so much that I would rather talk it, then write it. I feel like I am giving a speech to help women and then, that’s how I write my book – exactly like how I would talk it. Then I have to have an editor for English and then it’s a process.
AM: So what projects are you working on?
DA: Well on my DeniseAustin.com site, I bought back all of my TV shows that everyone used to watch and that they have missed. They now have Denise on Demand for their workouts just like they used to! You can time it so that even at 7am you can go to my website and bam it’s there so that you can stream it. Now I’m working on focusing all of my energies on Stop the Clock because it is so popular. We’re doing challenges on that. Recently, we had a 4 day arm challenge so that you could get sexy arms for the summer. So we’ll be doing some new challenges for the month of July so come back to DeniseAustin.com to see that. All of the challenges are free and I do have an online membership that is under $100 for the entire year. Everything that you want from me from my old workouts, new workouts, old shows, new shows, new challenges and an eating plan. If you need a focus on your meal plans I have this for you and if you need to focus on the way that I eat, vegetarian, gluten-free, heart healthy etc. – we have something for everybody!
AM: Do you and Katie workout together?
DA: Yes! That’s another focus I have! Katie Austin is my little daughter – well she is 25 but we do mother-daughter workouts together. She is doing a tour and I am joining her in some of the cities. I’m very excited about that. This is really fun being able to work with my daughter. She teaches me things about Social Media. She’s the one that got me on Instagram – I had Facebook, but now I have this. And then I try to help her on what I have learned in my industry, focusing on good form and little details. You know, I have 2 daughters. My oldest Kelly, is in the music industry, when I would film my TV Show when they were younger, Katie would stand there by the camera and do it with me. Kelly would be out there looking for shells or who knows what! Katie was always watching and I had no idea after college that that was what she wanted to do. So it was so fun that she loved it, is a natural and she learned from years of being there. Everyday – she was even in a workout video that I did years ago when she was 7 for Fit Kids. She had already filmed videos and been on shows for years.
AM: There is something about when you have parents that are in a business that you can see or be around and how it ends up being a part of your career!
DA: Yes so true! My oldest daughter is a Music Supervisor. She picks songs for movies. My husband is a sports lawyer, but he is a music nut! When she was little, they used to put playlists together so it’s like one focused on what his passion was and one focused on what mine was. It’s kind of fun!
AM: In LA, where can we find you grabbing a bite, shopping and working out?
DA: Yes we had been based in Washington DC for 32 years and now we’re in LA – back home! In LA I like Earth Café for food and coffee, it’s one of my favorite stops in Santa Monica. For dinner, I love Scopa, I just went there in Venice it was delicious and it’s Italian! I do eat pasta, but only from good places – why not? Oh gosh, you’ll see me walking on the beach a lot. You’ll see me doing the Strand Walk which is a 5 mile walk on the strand which is like a boardwalk. You’ll see my husband and I play tennis a lot and we go on bike rides a lot too! We bike ride to Happy Hour as I only have one glass!
I love walking in NY and Chicago. The second that I land, I throw my bags in the hotel and I get out and walk. I don't care what time it is, I get out and walk for 30 minutes. It's a great thing to get out and stretch.
AM: We’re all about #TRIBEGOALS. Who are 3 people that inspire you?
DA: I would say my daughters. They inspire me to work harder to be a good person. They’re watching and as a mom that means the world to me – as my family means everything! I would also say my husband – his loyalty and his integrity to people. I look up to him. In business there are so many, I can’t even just pick one in my industry. There was Jack LaLanne and now I also look up to writers that are really cool like Tim Farris and Dave Asprey.
PHOTO CREDIT | PG 143, 147 + 148 Denise Austin | PG 144 Jaguarps | PG 151 Featureflash |
You can hear Denise Austin's interview later this month on our show, #TRIBEGOALS which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multi-media podcast network! Make sure to subscribe to find out when the episode drops. You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast.
Camp Wonderful is a summer camp for adults that launched in August of 2017. Co-Founded by Jonah and Paige, both enjoyed their experiences attending camps and enjoying the transformative experiences that take place when one is within this environment. Both also worked at Cirque du Soleil.
Campers enjoy an array of activities that allow them to rest, recharge and to engage with fellow attendees. With professional trained on-staff counselors, activities include arts & crafts, writing, playing music, self-defense, sensory walks, night hikes, greeting card making, speaking Shakespeare, book readings, acroyoga and more.
Guests have access to luxury cabins, outdoor areas, 2 lakes, heated pool, athletic fields, theater and performance space, yoga an dance spaces, gyms, and full art studios.
This camping experience is recreational drug and alcohol free as well as tech free (no access to your smartphones) which allows people to connect with one another and to truly be present.
When purchasing your all inclusive camp experience, breakfast, lunch and dinner are created by expert foodies that meets the dietary needs (food allergies, restrictions and preferences) of the guests that are attending. Previous campers have enjoyed the late night snacks offered at Ma's Basement (their camp canteen) like s'mores.
Guests can stay in a shared luxe cabin or they can bring their own tent and camp on the grounds. Cabins come with attached private bathrooms, air conditioning, shaded porches, beds with premier bedding and pillows and you can select inclusive/mixed gender or an all male/female housing.
Campers can drive to the camp or can take Camp Wonderful's private buses that are $75 round trip. In addition, you can purchase single or group tickets.
You can still reserve your 4-day/3-night camp experience by selecting Sept Sept 5th - Sept 8th or Sept 12th - Sept 15th. Each all inclusive experience is available at $799. To get an idea of what's in store for you, make sure to check out an itinerary.
PHOTOS COURTESY | Camp Wonderful
Last month, Standard Dose launched its three-story space as a CBD based wellness experience in NYC's NoMad neighborhood. Their aim is to create an environment as a destination for elevated wellness that aims to facilitate an understanding of natural restorative practices. Guests can enjoy high quality CBD and plant-based products, daily yoga, meditation, education workshops and spa services. Educators are on site to inform shoppers on the benefits and uses of 100 curated CBD and plant-based topical and ingestible products.
Upon continuing in the space, a tea bar offers custom blends for detox, immunity and healing. Beyond this area is a meditation studio where guided sessions can be booked.
On the top floor, an outdoor rooftop hosts a number of additional meditation and yoga classes. In addition, there will be community events that focus on CBD and plant-based wellness.
This month, keep an eye out for a spa treatment room where select clean beauty services and body treatments can be reserved.
NY, NY 10001
This month, our cover is graced by Michelin starred Chef and Restaurateur, George Mendes. We talk about his restaurant Aldea as well as his pop up concept currently at Chefs Club Counter in NYC. In addition, we interview 4 x NBA Champion, John Salley to talk about how he came to basketball, his forray into the wellness and health industry as an investor and gifting for Father's Day. We also interviewed Celebrity Fashion Stylist, Brad Goreski to talk about his style inspirations, summer's perfect accessory, being a Co-Host on E! Live from the Red Carpet and his thoughts on the Met Gala! We also interviewed, fitness icon, Denise Austin about being an innovative in the industry, her success with her shows and what she is currently focused on. In addition, as our third year of being media sponsors for PRIDE, we included imagery from PRIDE ISLAND with performances by Madonna, Amara La Negra, Teyana Taylor, Grace Jones and more. In addition, we have a number of our monthly features showcasing athleisure culture.
Read the June Issue of Athleisure Mag.
Have you shopped your bicycle a long time ago? Then it is possible that you do not have a clear idea about the various types of bikes available today. The market of a bicycle is not limited in only 5-10 speed bikes for men and women. You can find hundreds of options including the traditional or cruiser bike, hybrid bike, touring, mountain, racing and many other kinds of bikes. This article unveils the major options of bikes that you can find in the marketplace.
The Versatile Traditional or Cruiser Bikes
The traditional bikes come with various types and styles. You can find designs and styles as much as the luxury vehicles available. These types of bikes are built by ensuring the maximum level of comfort. Most of the styles come under this category are heavy, usually ranging from 30 to 50 pounds.
These bikes are designed with high handlebars. This kind of geometry contributes to reducing strain on your back and neck. These bikes are ideal for leisure riding to commute around the town. The stability of this kind of bike makes it easier to ride for beginners.
The Innovative Hybrid Bikes
The hybrid bike was invented by making a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike. Although the first appearance dates back to the late 1980s, it has gained popularity in the past 5 to 10 years. Perhaps, this type of bike is the best all-around, as it was designed by amalgamating the best features of the mountain and the road bikes. These are fast, sturdy and easy to handle on the tarmac and on light trails. You can use these bikes to commute long distances or to travel leisurely around the town.
Racing Bikes for the Professionals
The racing bike is not for beginners. The key material of such a bike is ultra-light composite fibers and is designed for speed. These bikes are equipped with thin tires, narrow saddle, drop handlebars and many gears. And it excludes frills, reflectors, fenders, and kickstand. They are built as lightweight and aerodynamic.
Touring Bikes for Long Distance
Touring bikes are ideal for long-distance commuting. These are designed with an extreme level of strength, reliability, and comfort. These are lighter than the hybrid or mountain bikes and heavier than the racing bikes.
Mountain Bikes for Extreme Condition
Whatever be the weather conditions like rain, snow or hard rocks, it cannot stop you from riding if you put your feet on the paddles of a mountain bike. The frames are designed with composite materials in order to maintain a high degree of durability and less weight.
Folding Bikes for Leisure Riding
Folding bikes are popular since World War II, as the soldiers used them for transportation then. These bikes are great for commuting around the town. Riding this kind of bike is easier, as it moves better than the larger bikes.
Convenient Adult Trikes
Balance is an important thing to maintain during cycling. Tricycle or trike is the best solution to balance issues. These three-wheelers are useful and stylish. You can move with style and convenience while having an adult trike.
Bike riding is a good activity for people of all ages. The innovation of different types of bikes has made it easier to ride for everyone. In addition, most of the types are available at an affordable price.
Read the latest issue of Athleisure Mag.
We sat down with Laila Ali, who continued Muhammad Ali, her father’s legacy in the sport, as well as trailblazing outside of it. As a professional boxer who went undefeated in her career, she held the WBC, WIBA, IWBF and IBA female super middleweight titles and the IWBF light heavyweight title. She is a TV personality and host of OWN’s Home Made Simple, participating in Dancing with the Stars, Food Network’s Chopped as well as Celebrity Apprentice. In our interview, we took time to talk with her about the importance of fitness, nutrition and how we can focus on spring cleaning this time of year.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Can you tell us the moment when you realized that you wanted to be a boxer and eventually parlaying that into TV hosting, nutrition and wellness?
LAILA ALI: So I first saw women’s boxing on television when I was about 17 years old and that was when I first had the idea and desire to become a professional boxer myself. So it wasn’t right away that I took the leap because I was at school full time and I had a business at the time and it took me about a year to start training and once I did, that was it – end of story. Of course I ended with 24-0, 21 KOs and 4 world titles.
So boxing was my first love and I focused so much time and energy on it for about 9 years and then I decided I wanted to retire and to start a family, then I started to think about what I wanted to do next. Right around that time, Dancing With the Stars called and I decided to do the show as it was a great platform for me to show other sides of myself. From there, I just went onto TV hosting and different opportunities. During that 5 year period I began to think about what I was passionate about, what I wanted to do next, and that was really when I came to the conclusion that I really wanted to be able to help other people live their best life. I wanted to help them make healthy lifestyle choices and then I started doing shows such as Home Made Simple which I host, now which comes on OWN every Saturday. I’m able to work with families, make their living spaces amazing, also cook healthy recipes with them out of my cookbook Food For Life and now we’re launching our own product line which is simple plantbased cleaning products. They are available at select Walmart stores and Walmart.com.
So, things have really come full circle, but it was all about really encouraging people to make healthy lifestyle choices and live their best life.
AM: Can you tell us a little more about Home Made Simple’s product extension of cleaning products and why you enjoy using them?
LA: So we have hand soap, we have dish soap, we’ve got laundry detergent, fabric softener, multipurpose spray. It comes in lemon, lavender and rosemary. All of these products are not only safe and affordable, but they are effective and that is the most important thing. I’m all about using products that are good for my family, the environment and Home Made Simple’s products are amazing in that they actually work as well.
AM: We know that you have a number of tips about cleaning your home – especially in a way that keeps it simple, can you share 3 with us?
LA: Now is the time that everyone is thinking about spring cleaning right? We are in my household as well! Some of the things that I like to do is to get my kids involved and what I do is give them a series of chores on a chart. When they have done everything that they need to do, then I reward them. Whatever they are asking me for, I tell them that they can get it once they have gotten all of their stars on their chart. One of the other things that works out really well for me is not to wait for things to pile up. I like to take 10-15 minutes out of everyday to put things in their place. Another tip I have is that whenever you have things that you want to give away or get rid of, clothes that don’t fit anymore – put them in a big bin. I leave mine in the garage and remove them quarterly as it keeps clutter down. Every time you buy things – when you bring something into the household, you take something else out. We all have things in our kitchens and other rooms of the house that can be placed in a bin. I think that when you do that, you’re encouraged to donate items and I think that it’s really good to be able to help those in need or to be able to repurpose those items. That’s how it keeps everything nice and organized. Of course, it's all about using products that you love and that work and Home Made Simple really makes that easy to do with their new plant-based cleaning products.
AM: With it being the Spring and people needing ways to spruce up food options when it comes to supporting their workout, what smoothies and power foods should we think about incorporating into our day to day?
LA: I think it’s very important to be consistent first of all and make sure that you are getting enough rest so that you can do your best workout. Staying hydrated is key! A lot of people don’t realize how important it is to drink water as it enhances your performance, effects the way that you think and it’s really important to do. I like to have a protein shake after I workout. I don’t want to eat and put my body through having to digest food which is more work. I like to have a protein shake and just kind of get everything in and then eat a couple of hours after which is what my routine is.
AM: As someone who I’m sure travels a lot, what are 3 skincare products that you swear by that you enjoy using in your routine?
LA: I don’t think that it’s so much products or about a routine. I make sure that I clean my skin really well every night. I wash my face and I use a good moisturizer before I go to bed. In the morning I like to clean my face in the shower after my pores have opened up with the hot steam and then I will clean my face. I like to use my Clarisonic because it really gets into those pores really well. So those are tips that I have. Water and sweating are actually amazing for your skin. Sweating out toxins and that comes from working out and drinking water. Beauty comes from within.
AM: We’re all about #Tribegoals and the power of tribes which are the source of inspiration. Who are 3 people that you are inspired by?
LA: Well I definitely have a tribe of people that are around me. I think that every successful person does. It takes a team and nobody is doing it by themselves. My husband is part of my tribe and is my best friend, my confidant. One of my best girlfriends is like my person my go to who will keep it real with me and be honest. I don’t want to have yes people around me. Of course I would also include my business associates as well.
You can hear Laila Ali's interview now on our show, #TRIBEGOALS which is a part of Athleisure Studio, our multimedia podcast network! Make sure to subscribe to find out when the episode drops. You can hear it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and wherever you enjoy listening to your favorite podcast.
When it comes to getting a full body workout, STRONG by Zumba® takes its approach to high intensity workouts through music to another level - as this is not a dance class. They partnered with Grammy nominated music producer Sevn (he has collaborated with Travis Scott's "Astroworld" and Beyonce and Jay-Z's "Everything is Love") to create exclusive beats for this music led program that focuses on the innovative approach of syncing music to moves while pushing and motivating participants beyond their limits.
The Athleisure Mag team had the opportunity to try out the class as well as to hear the track created for the class recently. Their unique process of reverse engineering the beats around the routines so that the high intensity moves are seamlessly melded with the music allows integrative motivation. Previous collaborations have included Timbaland, Steve Aoki and Krewella.
This program is a non-dance, one hour group exercise class that combines body weight, muscle conditioning, cardio and plyometric training moves specifically designed and synced to original music. Driven by beats as the ultimate motivator to burn calories while toning abs, legs, arms, and glutes.
STRONG by Zumba®
Check their website for a class near you.