Kick Your Fitness Into High Gear
How’s that New Year’s Resolution coming? You know, the one about going to the gym more, and eating better, and…yeah. Doing a complete fitness overhaul all at once can be tough, and when the winter doldrums set in, we all know how those January 1st goals can fall by the wayside. That’s why it’s so important to reinvigorate ourselves with bursts of inspiration — and what better way to do that than by chatting with a seriously inspirational health goddess? Enter Ashley Wilking: fitness instructor and wellness expert extraordinaire. When she’s not showing people how to kick some serious you-know-what in class at Rumble Boxing, Ashley, a Nike ambassador, is creating workouts and regimens that help her private students find their strongest selves. We asked the second-degree black belt (and winner of the 2017 NYC Triathalon!) how to stay on track with our own fitness goals, her favorite classes to take and teach, and her go-to cheat meal. Read on below for her tips, tricks, and tricked-out workout wardrobe, all available at Simon.
You’re the embodiment of physical fitness — triathlon winner, second-degree black belt, and boxing instructor. Not that you need it, but what are your fitness goals for 2018?
I love my active lifestyle. I honestly would be lost without being on the go, which is why my big focus for 2018 is allowing myself to stay active by staying healthy. Recovery is such a major part of being an athlete, but it happens to be the first thing we neglect in our workout regimens. We sprint out right after our workout to make that 9am conference call, or avoid our foam roller like it’s the plague. My goal this year is to give a little more love to the down time, so I can #kickASH even more.
There’s a widespread idea that sets in at the beginning of every year that you can overhaul your entire lifestyle and fitness regimen at the drop of a hat. What can actually help people make the changes they want to see?
Make. A. Plan. I’m not talking about just buying the gym membership, but actually mapping out how you’ll use it. My top advice for crushing your fitness goal is to get a friend to join you! Having someone to workout, meal prep, or motivate with is the best. You hold each other accountable!
Plan 2-3 classes or training sessions, mixed in with “active” activities on days off: pop in a podcast and go for a 45 minute walk, get a sports massage, or plan a hot sauna session.
Treat yourself! What’s your jam? New workout clothes? A mani/pedi? Massages? That new high tech blender for your smoothies? (Or is that just me…) Whatever is it, show yourself a little love.
What are a few go-to, beginner moves that our readers can begin incorporating into their workouts?
I think the best moves you can add into your workouts are “openers.” Most of us know how to squat, knock out some push ups, or hold a plank. Allowing your body to perform those basics at their best is the most important! Think about everyday bad habits that can lead to achy bodies: sitting at a desk, looking down at a computer or phone or maybe carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder? Adding in openers for hips, shoulders, and the spine will help you get the most out of your workouts and prevent injury!
Tell us about Rumble — why do you love it and why should our readers give it a go?
The environment Rumble has created is unlike any I’ve seen. Taking a niche skill such as boxing and making it accessible to everyone — there’s something so empowering (and stress relieving) about throwing punches! With the nightclub-style lighting and sound system, the ambience is anything but your typical workout scene. The HIIT-style strength training and projector lead punching allows you to go at your own pace and choose how intensely you want to work without feeling judged. Add the beautiful, hip hop inspired decor and top-tier amenities to an already killer workout, and it’s your go-to for a sweaty social scene!
You’re from Louisiana — home of gumbo, beignets, and crawfish — so there’s no doubt in our minds that you know good food. What’s your favorite (but still healthy!) cheat meal?
There is a running joke that growing up, our food was either fried or slathered in cream. Needless to say, learning to eat healthy was a challenge. My rule of thumb is you don’t need to give it all up, you have to put a healthy spin on the things you love. When you make it a lifestyle, your cheat days aren’t cheat days— they’re just you living! I’m not a fan of restriction, so If I’m feeling pizza then I’ll have it. But after I don’t feel well eating it, I use it as a reminder for why I eat well and enjoy it.
Spill, what are your favorite workouts and what do you rock while getting your sweat on?
First up: Rumble, of course! The Nike Zoom Strongs are perfect for boxing — the high ankle provides great support for pivoting and they’re flexible for agile movements. I love the detail on these leggings — they’re chic while offering breathability — perfect for those super sweaty boxing sessions. I’m obsessed with a good crop top — it doesn’t get in my way during punching or explosive moments. And no look is complete without the perfect jacket! This turtleneck is perfect to keep warm post-workout in the dead of winter!
I also love yoga (particularly at Sky Ting here in New York City) — it’s the perfect place to wear a cute and comfy outfit. The high neck of this sports bra makes me feel supported, but not restricted during my vinyasa flow. Since no shoes are needed for the workout, it’s my chance to show off my favorite street sneaks. These Air Force is Female kicks are my JAM!
For a high intensity interval training session (HIIT for short!), I’m all about layering — you’re going to get hot! Nike’s Metcon 4s are perfect for weight training — I like to throw them on with a high sock and Nike Pro Shorts. I keep easy on-and-off (not to mention super cool) track pants for my commute.