By Kira Stokes, BFX Studio
Do you ever just sit and think about how lucky you are, if you have the ability to move? (Maybe you shouldn't be sitting at all while thinking about this — I know I'm not!)
So many of us take our freedom to move for granted. It’s true. Whether it’s injury, disability, or advanced aging, just think about it. There’s a significant amount of the population that no longer has, or might not have ever had, the luxury of movement. It’s an important reminder I love to give my students and clients in the middle of a workout, whether it looks like they are teetering on giving up — or thriving.
If you’ve participated in any of my Stoked Series workouts or Fusion classes at BFX Studio, I’m sure you’ve heard a few of my favorite catch-phrases: “Shock It to Rock It”… “Leave This Room Feeling Fully Stoked”… "Always Tap In. Never Tap Out." Those are really important prompts. But the idea behind them is my key training philosophy – The need to find the joy in everyday movement, and the ability to follow a program that can help you achieve goals beyond your expectations.
I designed my training programs so that you never hit plateaus and that there is a progression to everything, where you are constantly shocking your system to see results in terms of achieving a leaner figure, strength, and endurance. Athletes following my programming are guaranteed to boost stamina to get through some of the most grueling physical challenges, whether it is the functional movement of everyday life, training for a marathon, or serving up front row inspiration in the toughest workouts and encouraging everyone around you.
I’ll be the first to admit these workouts aren’t a cake walk. But they also won’t kill your body. They’re designed to get you where you need to be. There is a flow and progression of movement that is safe and effective for all ages. And each move or set can be modified. That’s where mixing it up and “Shocking It To Rock It” comes in (it being your body).
My approach is also why I partnered with BFX Studio — their boutique gym built for cross-training was created with the same philosophy. The studio’s trademark Fusion workout, a mix of cardio work on the bike and HIIT work on the training room floor, which I helped create, is a strong example of all the functional components you need to get through life, coming together. And what I love most is that these workouts draw male and female athletes from the ages of 16 to 60. Seriously! It’s incredible. You can’t get much more inspiring than that.
What makes the total formula a success comes back to that joy of movement, which we should always celebrate. No matter your age, if you build the foundation you’ll have the endurance to keep you strong, and yes, likely smoking your younger counterparts when it comes to a burst of my signature “Crouching Tiger” push-ups.
The next time you find yourself in a Stoked workout while doing jumping jacks or jumping rope in between demos of upcoming moves, just think to yourself and appreciate how great it is to move — and in that moment you’ll totally understand everything that I’m about.
Kira's 5 Pro Training Tips:
1. If your muscles are trembling in a workout, it doesn’t mean you are weak.
It actually means you are getting stronger! It means your body is changing and building a strong foundation for improved strength, endurance, and a leaner physique.
2. Don’t waste time.
During workouts people often try to take “advantage” of standing around between sets. It’s okay to grab the occasional water break. But don’t just stand around, that’s counter-productive for your workout. You want to see results, and not revert on what you are accomplishing when you are taking the time to exercise. That’s why I have students keep moving with jumping jacks or by jumping rope in-between sets. That movement also helps boost endurance and supercharges your metabolism.
3. Fuel your body. Never go hungry.
Always plan for small meals throughout the day. You need to feed the machine with good calories. I love hard-boiled eggs. Try scooping out some of the yolk, and replacing it with hummus instead for a healthier fix.
4. Find your fashion/fitness sweet spot.
If you feel good while you're working out, chances are you will perform better – or dressing the part will get you in the mood. Good example, even I struggle with focusing on a workout if I don’t have a favorite headband in place (one of my Stoked signatures). Find what you love, to supplement doing what you love! Color also brings energy to a workout. That's why you'll rarely see me in all black.
5. Form a fitness community.
It’s really awesome as an instructor to see students and clients forming friendships and encouraging one another. When you step into the #fitfam, it gets you even closer to hitting goals. That’s a big thing I love about working with BFX Studio. There’s never a workout that doesn’t end in high-fives.
Kira Stokes, a graduate of Boston College with a BS in psychology and a minor in health science, has excelled in the personal training and fitness industry for over 18 years.
Kira's personal training clients include professional athletes, celebrities, television journalists and dignitaries. She has trained co-hosts of the television show “The View,” including Sherri Shepherd. She currently works with former "The View" co-host and TV personality Jenny McCarthy. She also trains co-anchors of “CBS This Morning” and the “Today Show.”
Kira's focus is on innovative training, concentrating on transforming the body and mind. She has developed a signature training technique, The Stoked Method, which combines functional and traditional methods of working the body. Her personal training methods have evolved to include a unique combination of strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, sports specific drills, yoga, and Pilates.
In June 2013, Kira was selected by Reebok International to serve as a Master Trainer and sponsored athlete. The partnership includes appearances for the Reebok brand, featured athlete and presenter at trade shows and conventions, as well as speaking engagements on behalf of Reebok International.