Today’s Fit Chick is Katie Yip, a 24-year-old Pilates instructor and Master’s candidate at Columbia University studying Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology.
I know Katie, because once upon a lifetime ago, were both DG’s at UCSD.
Exciting things have been happening for her ever since she moved from San Diego to NYC to pursue her training in Pilates as well as further her education. After Katie moved to New York, she held her second apprenticeship at re:AB under Brooke Siler, a celebrity trainer associated with names like Kirsten Dunst, Zooey Deschanel, Liv Tyler and Madonna, just to name a few.
If that’s not cool enough, Katie’s also in the running for Women’s Health Next Fitness Star (<— go vote for her!) You might have also seen her if you’ve ever looked through the Women’s Health Big Book of Pilates.
Although I have yet to try Pilates, I learned a lot through this interview with Katie, and will hopefully go into it a lot less intimidated!
Introduce yourself: My background is in Pilates – to me Pilates is a solid foundation of movement. Teaches you how to find your core, or “powerhouse,” and use it in different kinds of movement. Pilates provides a fundamental base in any exercise you do and helps to keep you injury free.
Tell me about all of the different types of equipment in Pilates: There is not just one piece of equipment…there is a whole system! Different pieces of apparatus have different exercises you perform on them. Your teacher should watch how you move, see where you have problems, and take you to another piece of apparatus to work on that specific area.
There’s the reformer, the carriage with springs. The Cadillac, the bed, that was created when Joe Pilates (founder of Pilates) would attach springs to military bedposts. The Wunda Chair actually flips over into an actual chair. It is considered the “most advanced piece of apparatus.” Joe wanted people to exercise no matter where they were so he made this piece of equipment that could function as a chair and also for exercise. The foot corrector teaches you how to connect your foot to your bottom (e.g. for runners, really teaches you to connect your foot to your glutes).
And a lot of them sound like torture devices: electric chair, guillitone, pedi pole.
How did you first get into Pilates? My first teacher was in San Diego (Chris Robinson). I decided to try it out, since all the models were doing Pilates and getting amazing bodies in just a couple weeks.
What was your workout history prior to Pilates? I have always been pretty athletic, I used to do soccer and track. I’ve always exercised, and it was never really hard for me.
However, I was incredibly humble after my first Pilates lesson. My first thought was, “god I can’t do anything.” Because it was such a challenge, and I wasn’t used to being challenged in exercise, it got me hooked.
Weekly workout schedule? I really believe in doing everything and not limiting yourself to one exercise. However, with my background in Pilates, I try to do some kind of it everyday. It gets my body back into alignment. It’s also a good warm up. Before I do weight lifting or before I go running, it helps me find my core and apply it to different kinds of movement.
A typical week looks like:
Monday – Pilates and Vinyasa Yoga
Tuesday – Strength Training and Pilates
Wednesday – Pilates and Vinyasa Yoga
Thursday – Strength Training and Pilates
Friday – Pilates and Vinyasa Yoga
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Restorative Yoga or Rest
What’s your favorite go-to healthy meal? Right now it’s roasted Brussels sprouts, grilled salmon, avocado and butternut squash.
When I wake up I… turn my alarm off. Make a protein shake. Lately I’ve been using hemp protein (an acquired taste). I usually like to workout in the mornings but I don’t like having something really heavy before. A protein shake is perfect for this.
What are your goals for this year? Finish my masters and thesis. And every day I try to be better than I was the day before, in terms of goal. Also, read more books by the end of the year (hopefully 3 more!).
Biggest struggle in living a healthy lifestyle? For other people – it’s being consistent. A lot of people have a tendency to make a lot of changes at once. If you make too many changes at once, it sets you up for failure. If you’re going to try and change, you’ll have a better success rate of making 1 change instead of 10.
For me – It’s not really a struggle because it’s something I enjoy and it really makes me feel good. I feel good when I eat well and get in exercise. I feel like I have control over my life.
Best tip for leading a healthy lifestyle? It’s hard to actually do it. Everyone knows to eat your fruits and your vegetables. My advice, similar to above, is make one small change at a time. And make it a positive change rather than negative (instead of don’t eat donuts, make it eat 5 servings of vegetables a day).
Something you want everyone to know about Pilates? Pilates isn’t intimidating, it’s a great system of exercise. More often, we try to jump into technical activities – for example, cross fit, intense weight training, running marathons -without a solid foundation of fitness. People neglect the fundamentals, such as basic core strength, moving without pain and having a full range of motion. And I think Pilates will give you that.
I hope Katie’s interview was informative to you as it was for me! For more of Katie, you can check out her blog and instagram, and don’t forget to vote for her for Women’s Health Next Fitness Star here!