Natalie Uhling has a thing for sweat. The moment the New York-based trainer pumps up the music in her studio (she lugs her own amp to class), she’s the ringmaster of a cardio and strength-training sweatfest that doesn’t let up for a full hour. It’s called NuFit, and it’s Uhling’s growingly popular core-blasting workout program that fuses the most effective elements of kickboxing, dance, and toning into a fast-paced, high-energy workout. “My class combines an array of disciplines that no other class has,” she explains. “Music is one of the underlining themes in my class, and I know people come because of my jams.”
Students may come for her playlist, but they stay for her energy—Uhling, 29, is the face of Under Armour Women and a powerhouse trainer with all the makings of a fitness star, which means it’s only a matter of time before you can expect to know her as a household name. Just don’t expect her to take it easy on you.
What’s the basic breakdown of a NuFit class?
My class is one hour. I go right up to the last second, so don’t expect to be leaving before that. I want to make sure people feel fully exhausted when the class ends. The first section is cardio! Chorography is key in this section and the moves build on themselves, so by the end of the 25 minutes you are putting the whole routine together. The second part is 20 minutes and this is where we get into partner boxing. We do all sorts of combinations with explosive plyometric sets in between making sure to keep the brain and body fully awake! The last section before the cool down is 10 minutes. This is really about fatiguing similar muscle groups using glides and also combining Pilates and yoga moves into one. Your whole body is shaking at this point and your abs are on fire! Then [there’s the] five-minute cool down. You should expect to be dripping in sweat and wanting more … pow, pow, pow!
How do you keep your energy up while teaching?
It comes from a magical place—either you have it or you don’t. I lay it all out there when I teach and people respond to that magical energy. It’s contagious.
What’s a common fitness misconception we need to let go of?
There are so many people who want to do a workout because it’s the hottest trend out there, but if your body does not respond to it and you don’t “feel it” on a personal level, try something you like! Remember no one person is the same, so what works for someone else might not be your perfect workout recipe.
Do you think teacher-led classes are more effective than working out on your own?
No, it totally depends on what that individual responds to. Again, finding what works best for you is key.
How can we avoid hitting a plateau during our workouts?
Change it up and try to keep your body in a state of shock.
You’ve trained people in so many different methods—what types of workouts offer the best results?
The results are based on so much more than the training technique; it involves nutrition as well. Everyone is going to respond differently based on his or her own personal fitness and nutrition profile.
What are your favorite fat torching and muscle-building moves?
For me it would have to be 20 minutes of jump rope mixed with boxing intervals. It’s about intensity, not time! After a session like that, I am done.
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