By Sari Beth Rosenberg
When I stepped my hot pink Nikes into celebrity trainer Kira Stokes’ Stoked 360 class (an intense total body workout) at Reebok Sports Club in New York City a little over a year ago, she rocked my fitness universe. Aside from providing me with a new fit role model (check out her abs!) and fitness fashion icon (her sneakers always match her outfit), her classes changed my perspective on how to stay in shape. In between her busy schedule (owner of Kira Stokes Fitness, outdoor group fitness and personal training sessions with celebrities like Sherri Shepherd, classes at Reebok Sports Club and Equinox, Reebok Ambassador and Master Spin Instructor at Revolve NYC), I sat down with Kira and talked to her about what inspires her and even scored some Stoked workout tips for all you BELLA readers.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue a career in the fitness profession?
A: I wanted to have a job where I could make a difference in people’s lives, create a community and where I could merge my passion for movement (that started as a high school gymnast) and desire to help people (using my psychology major from Boston College). I wake up every morning at 4 a.m. with a smile on my face … and at that early hour that says a lot!
Q: What are the three biggest trouble areas for women?
A: Well, everyone’s body is different but I find that most women’s trouble spots are the “3 Ts” – tush, tummy and triceps.
Q: Any Stoked suggestions for how to battle this triple threat?
A: My overall suggestion that I fit into my Stoked Series (a variety of classes including core, barre, total body workouts and primal animal moves) is to build a base by challenging a different body part every day by switching up your moves and cardio. It’s key to keep your body in a constant state of confusion. Also, always follow a weights set with a full body movement. For example, if you do triceps extensions with weights, follow that move with triceps push-ups.
Q: I’m sure all the BELLA readers want to know: Have you always had those killer abs?
A: Yes, I always had a strong core as a gymnast but I think it was in college when my abs started getting defined like this. The key is nutrition and building a strong base; with hard work you will see results. Let’s just say I’m in my 30s and I look my best now … better than when I was 25.
As the summer winds down, let Kira’s passion for fitness and her workout tips at KiraStokes.com inspire you to stay fit and happy all year round. If you are ready to try a Stoked workout, check out her website and find some moves or a class near you (KiraStokes.com/Kira-Stokes-Personal-Training-Classes.aspx). Also, a Stoked Series app is coming soon!
Sari Beth Rosenberg is a music editor and fitness reporter for Musique on MizzFIT.com. She lives and works out in NYC.