Sylvia Nasser, 29, of Hicksville, started her in-home personal training and online fitness company, The Fit Fem, with one goal in mind: to give women a fun yet effective way to get fit and feel better about themselves.
Nasser runs her business at thefitfem.com, trains women throughout Long Island and teaches weekly kickboxing classes in Jericho.
"The Fit Fem Studio focuses on getting women healthy, but having them appreciate and embrace their bodies during the process," Nasser says.
And part of feeling good while shedding those pounds, she says, is having the right workout wardobe.
With less than two weeks until spring, we talked to her about the workout essentials you need to get on the right track, fast.
What does your workout wardrobe include?
A bright colored T-shirt or tank that is dry fit, a durable sports bra, colorful sneakers and tight cropped workout pants usually from Nike and Lululemon. Two things I can't live without are a good sports bra (every woman needs a good sports bra while exercising for support and to absord sweat) and colorful sneakers that are supportive of your feet.
For those new to the gym scene, what should they buy first?
The first thing you should buy is a good pair of sneakers. This is important; you should go to a sneaker store and get fitted because if you don't have the right support and your feet always hurt, you will stop working out.
What's your tip for a quick workout fashion pick-me-up?
Adding color to your wardrobe will boost your mood and make you want to add more energy to your workout.
What are some of your favorite fitness brands?
I love Lululemon. It is a bit pricey, but their material lasts for a long time, they feel great on the body, they have the dry fit component and they are very fashionable. They can be worn outside of the gym and during any workout, not just yoga and running. I am fond of Nike; I love the colors and the fit material. They are more athletic in style and the quality is great. They can be washed numerous times and they have very high-energy colors.
Is it worth it to spend more on high-end fitness clothing?
For the avid fitness enthusiast who has a little extra to spend, Lululemon is definitely the way to go. If someone is new to fitness and is used to wearing ripped-up, 10-year-old T-shirts and sweatpants at the gym, Old Navy would be an excellent option because it has cute gear at a really affordable price.
Why is what you wear while working out important?
There is a psychological factor. As a trainer I see it in my clients. When my clients wear something that is old and worn and torn they lack confidence and don't give their all during their workouts. You have to dress to impress even if it means impressing yourself. When you look better you do better.
Any tips for plus-sized women at the gym?
A lot of times, plus-sized women feel that they have to cover their curves and wear big T-shirts and sweatpants to the gym. They think they are hiding, but they appear larger than they are. There is nothing wrong with a plus-sized woman wearing form-fitting pants and tops, because when you wear flattering clothing it boosts self-confidence and it will make you want to work out harder.
What is the most common workout style mistake you see?
Wearing a size too small or too big and not wearing a sports bra are big workout style mistakes. Lack of support is very unflattering.
There are some pretty cute swimsuits coming out this summer. How do you recommend we get our bodies beach-ready by June?
I normally suggest an average of four to five days worth of cardio and two to three days worth of strength, as well as at least one day of stretching and flexibility workouts like yoga to really see results by June. I currently have a jumpstart weight-loss program called Going to Miami. It was specifically designed for women who want to lose those extra pounds for the summer or for a beach vacation. I offer nutritional guidelines along with a five-day meal plan, 16 unique workouts and customized newsletters for each day of the program.
Can you give us a sample workout?
Here is a sample workout routine that can be done anywhere and any time that is part of the Going To Miami Jumpstart Weight Loss Program. This one is a Tabata routine; there are four exercises. Each exercise consists of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest, repeated seven times. Allow for two minutes rest in between each exercise.
1. Power Jacks
2. Mountain Climbers
3. Bicycle Crunches
4. Plank Jacks
This workout is done once a week, but if you want to do this on your own you can take any exercise (also includes running on a treadmill or elliptical) and do seven or eight rounds of it (20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest). It's my favorite way to work out because it requires no real equipment. It's short and it's intense, and it's been proven to show more results than steady state cardio!