Fitness isn’t just about cute workout clothes or working up a daily sweat – it’s about community. When our January Guest Editor Kate Hudson decided to start up the subscription-based activewear line Fabletics, she knew that in order to make an impact, it had to mean something special. The Fabletics team has recruited what they call “Masters:” a group of inspirational wellness pros who bring the kind of passion and values that Fabletics embodies to their respective communities. Leaders like celeb trainer, kickboxing instructor, and group fitness badass Natalie Yco.
Finding your fitness groove can be rough – even moreso if you have a health issue standing in the way. Looking at Natalie now, you’d never guess that she once suffered from asthma so severe that working out and playing sports were nearly impossible for her. Then she found martial arts – and a community and passion that filled her with confidence and allowed her to ditch the inhaler. Talk about a success story!
Fast forward to 2015, and Natalie’s one of the most sought-after fitness teachers in Los Angeles (seriously, we had to hustle to snag a spot in her sold-out class!). She’s even penned a cookbook to help you eat smart post-sweat, Running in Heels: Quick and Smart Snacks and Entrees. From kickboxing and metabolic conditioning, to her “Beautiful Booty” class that give you just the ass-ets you’d expect from the name, a sweat sesh with this Hollywood favorite always delivers serious results – in a supportive environment that feels like a room full of BFFs.
Class In Session with Kickboxing Pro Natalie Yco
Equinox (various locations) and my private studio.
After doing my class for a while, my students often get the compliment, “You have the nicest butt I’ve ever seen.”
Favorite class to teach:
They’re all my favorite. I’m all about variety.
Favorite class to take:
I lead all of my own classes, however, I also love my mixed martial arts sessions with my coach, John Twine, and I try to make time for yoga… at least once per week.
Moment I fell in love with fitness:
I’ve been into fitness my whole life, but the point I realized that being a trainer/instructor was what I was meant to do was when I had a woman come up to me after class to tell me she was having a really tough time in her life and was having trouble coping; she was crying and I could tell it was serious. She told me that something I had said in class that day resonated with her and made her feel like she could handle what she was going through. It also means so much to me when I’ve been able to motivate others to lose weight and feel good about themselves. I know it sounds sappy, but I really love helping people find inner strength through physical strength.
When you leave my class you feel...
My secret weapon:
The truth. There are no short cuts. If you want to see results, you’re going to have to do the work.
Go-to workout gear:
I always love finding new brands. Fabletics makes great leggings that are super flattering and affordable, Lorna Jane’s sports bras give support and just a bit of lift. I just discovered Vie Active through the online boutique Carbon38 – they have fun prints and they’re also a great fit. And, of course, Lululemon is a tried-and-true favorite. If you check out my tennis-shoe game, you’ll find tons of Nikes.
In my gym bag:
Everything! I seriously need to stop taking my whole house with me… If I could only leave with three things though, I’d have to have my tube of organic tinted moisturizer with SPF from DNA, a therapy ball to work out any knots myself or any clients feel and a heavy mini exercise band I use for glute activation.
Favorite workout move:
My favorite workout move is a burpee: It’s an excellent full body move that is, without a doubt, guaranteed to get your heart up. My favorite workout is kickboxing. I love kicking and punching… heavy bags, not people.
First, my mother. She was recently diagnosed with cancer. I’ve always known my mom to be a tough woman, but she has proven to be a warrior. She gives me such strength. Next is John Twine. He’s not only my kickboxing coach, but a mentor. He proves that there is nothing I can’t do as long as I believe. He empowers everyone around him. And my students. Their energy motivates me every day.
When I'm not in the studio, I'm:
Watching horror movies, walking my German shepherd, Thor, or reading.
Favorite post-workout fuel:
Sometimes all I want is a slice of pizza or chocolate chip cookies, but I just think of how much better I feel when I eat something nourishing instead. I keep hard-boiled eggs in my fridge so that I always have something easy and ready. If I’m on the go, I’ll grab a lettuce wrap I prepared with chicken or tuna, avocado slices and raw slivered almonds. I also enjoy slices of a baked yam with cinnamon sprinkles on top.
Favorite way to hydrate:
Water. There’s no magic potion.
Fave quick workout outside the studio:
20 minutes working punching and kicking combinations is enough to make me feel like I worked out for an hour. Anything to get your heart rate up helps; even if it’s not your full workout, just staying in the habit keeps you in line. It’s all about inertia.
Latest healthy obsession:
A hot bath with organic epsom salts and lavender oil.
Aspire to inspire.