Interview with Fitness Guru Sylwia

I love varying my workout routine to keep me energized, motivated, and on-my-toes. So on top of my rotation cycle of spinning, running, yoga, lifting, and stretching, I like to throw in Tonique. Tonique, founded by Sylwia Weisenberg, is the ultimate workout. A mixture of cardio, strength and endurance, the workout kicks your tush. Featured before in the Josie Girl Blog, Tonique and Sylwia know not only how to shape your body, but also to inspire, encourage, and motivate. Sylwia is a fitness buff and guru; an inspiration to thousands of women, and to all of us Josie Girls.

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Tonique and Sylwia keep on getting bigger, better, and more popular. Not only does she offer classes in New York City (MWF at Complete Body and Spa on 19th Street between 5th and 6th avenue from 930 to 1130), but she has many DVDs and podcasts for people WORLDWIDE to purchase. A new DVD is coming out soon — Tonique Femme Fatale — so be on the lookout. Expect a challenging, killer moves, killer body workout.

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Sylwia has a contagious positive attitude, with her constant smiles, jumps, laughs, and humor. She makes you believe in yourself and that her method is not just a workout, but a way of life.

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I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Sylwia about her methodology, beliefs and outlook on fitness and Tonique.

How did you come up with “Tonique?”

Tonique was born very organically. I think it was born the day I was born but I had to wait and mature and recognize that it was always a very significant part of me and my life! Tonique is my life and my lifestyle…it goes beyond fitness and food — it is everything women want. Ten years ago, Tonique was born in Manhattan, and it means going beyond your comfort zone to achieve all your lifestyle goals. My mission is to help every woman to feel and look great. I believe that I am an artist, a creator of unique workout method and my mission is to empower, help and educate women, making them stronger and feel beautiful every day – feel unique!!!! and here is Tonique – Unique Toning and Lifestyle Method.

How would you describe “tonique” to someone on the street?

Positive suffering that elevates your life to the next level..why?  You become stronger mentally and physically and you feel invincible just like the feeling we have in our teens! Nothing is impossible! and Yes, nothing is impossible!

What is your favorite exercise move?

this is a hard one to answer i have hundreds of them hahahah I love lunges – long, deep, diagonal lunges! any move that includes lunges and squats is my favorite move.

How do you get *your* abs and tush?

Sylwia's tight tush.

Sylwia’s tight tush.

Constant repetition of lunges and squats in a very unique sequence of moves…and the key is a precision to make every move equally challenging and every move quality move.

How many hours should people exercise in a week?

Run, hop, and skip!

Run, hop, and skip!

Anything counts, and to maintain you need 3-5 hrs per week, but we don’t want to maintain , right? We want to elevate! We want to fight the gravity, so we need to put more time into working out – put this way that we need more time for ME TIME , I say at least 7 hrs to start and elevate to 8-12 hrs per week. But at the end it is the focus, and the quality of workouts you do, so never stop pushing yourself a step further no matter to which method you workout.

What makes your classes different than other workout classes?

Donkey kick!

Donkey kick!

The question is what makes one Tonique class different from the other hahahahah I love what I do, I am with my girls and boys 200% present and alive, ready for challenge. The minute I begin the class, my mind is not anywhere else but with the group, and it is working hard on creating the new experiences, new moves, and challenges. Tonique also promotes more than fitness, it is entire lifestyle that you enter once you come to the class or use the dvd. You leave the class feeling invincible, tired but challenged and you feel firm..oh I love the feeling after the class when my body feels so firm and tight!

How much cardio vs strength training do you suggest? how should people split their time?

Bridge!

Bridge!

Depending on your goals, and what you want to achieve and how you want to feel and look. I think balance is important, so you really don’t want to only focus on one thing. In Tonique the focus is on endurance, cardio, strength but building strength differently and not lifting 150lbs weights. I want everyone to workout on balance, form and focus…and we cannot forget neurological connections. More mental ones – discipline and self motivation!

What is the best way to build muscles (resistant training, bands vs. weights in the gym)?

Weights!

Weights!

Again, it depends on the size of the muscles you want to build. In Tonique you work on so many muscle groups at once, and you build muscles through constant repetition, using very light weights 2-3 lbs and using your own body weight. The effect is sculpt and firm physique.

Any suggestions on pre and post workout food?

Typical shake.

Typical shake.

I eat light before my workouts, and I really focus on eating the right foods that will help me to stay strong and hydrated for the entire two hour workout or any training I do. I start my day with 1 banana and glass of water with lemon, then have 1/2 avocado with hemp seeds or chia seeds, and drink my mixture of young coconut water and meat blended together, with beets and watermelon, or strawberries and I add chia seeds again or Udo’s oil.

A typical meal prepared by Sylwia. Fitness guru AND chef.

A typical meal prepared by Sylwia. Fitness guru AND chef.

Post workout I focus on hydration and recovering my body from the workout and feeding it is important. I love to hydrate with green juice then have farro salad with pistachio and fresh basil or mint, or I will have vegetarian non dairy based soup or I will schedule a meeting and have my favorite mushroom lasagna at Gramercy Tavern. I try not to eat anything that is processed, but instead eat all fresh and local food. The bar that I will snack on or eat pre or post workout is Chia Bar from Health Warrior, it is really a great snack and the size is perfect for quick bite to recover or satisfy your hungry spot.

What is your philosophy on diet and exercise?

I don’t diet – I hate the word diet as it actually brings a negative feeling to people like they are fat…I eat fresh food only, and everything in moderation…I believe that eating right is the key to success, and food is the best friend to healthy ME, and not my enemy. I need to fuel my body with the right ingredients in order to do workouts and to push myself. And yes, occasional indulgence is a must as well…life is too short to not to enjoy something we crave or love to eat but again we don’t need to do it everyday. I don’t eat meat, I don’t drink coffee and my alcohol intake is less than a glass of wine a week. I want to feel clean at all times – I don’t believe in juice cleanses but I do believe in power of juice and if you include juices to your daily meals you will change the way your body functions, your skin looks. and Exercise is a must! We have to move daily, and even on your recovery days — just walk!

What is the best workout gear?

Proper shoes – and my favorite shorts!

What are the best workout shoes?

Asics.

Any tips on how someone can get motivated to work out and continue to workout?

There are many ways to motivate – I mean self motivate  — and it is very personal! I get motivated by the post workout feeling of being sweaty, feel firm and tight, I get motivated but the fact that my next workout or run will get stronger, harder, faster… get motivated by self challenge all the time, how far I can push myself – it is competing with yourself and only yourself and not comparing yourself to other. I get motivated by women and inspired by them to workout hard and harder so they can achieve their fitness goals because i will be able to make them to sweat extra! I get motivated by next pair of bikinis I want to buy and they get smaller each year hahhaha I get motivated by the feeling I get when i stand naked in front of the mirror and say I love my body and I will respect it very much as I have only one body and one life. wow there are so many motivations I could go on and on..I love to talk and I talk too much hahahhaha

What are key moves / exercises you tell your students to do when they are away from your class?

It is so much nicer to work outdoors so find a spot that inspires you or motivates you. Every morning wake up early before the heat comes and before everyone expects you to do things for them and go for your Me Time – 45 mins, 1 hr or more. For cardio do run, jog, swim, bike, kayak etc then include sets of moves, always start with your favorite ones and move to the one that are challenging , go back to your favorite ones and finish strong with the ones you always try to avoid. Challenge yourself, make sure to have a plan so if you don’t remember sequences from my class or any other class perhaps ask the instructor to design a program for you during the summer. With Tonique it is easy as you can use any of the dvd and experience the feeling of live class.

I would mix 3-7 miles run, the short runs i would do intervals and focus on speed training, the longer 7 plus miles run i would focus on endurance with minimum stopping or walking time, and finish that last mile strong and fast. You can also divide your long run onto two parts 3.5 miles run then stop do 20-30 min sculpt and back to 3.5 miles run, this way you will cover body cardio, endurance and sculpt – firming your buttocks and legs and working your abs…remember stomach at all times!

Tonique.

Celebrating every woman — Tonique. Thank you SOOO much Sylwia! xoxo

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Don’t forget to check out Sylwia’s class if in NYC, or visit her website here. Lastly, like her on facebook here to follow her moves, recipes, and encouragement. Have a great rest of the week, and don’t forget to MOVE!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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10 Comments

  1. Sylwia is one of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life! She is full of passion and has a wonderful positive attitude towards life! I must say her workouts will make you sweat but you are going to love it! Can’t wait for her new DVD to come out! <3 <3 <3

    • Gosia — so glad that you love Sylwia as well. She is indeed full of passion and positivity. Unlike anyone I have ever met before! And her workouts are killer.

  2. I am new to Sylwia – I started workuing out to her DVD’s a little over a month ago and I am in love! It is true that they are brutal but I feel amazing during and after. I am also learning new things about myself and my health through the things she says throughout the video. I feel beautiful, strong and powerful. I honestly cannot say enough good – who knew someone could get so excited about a workout DVD!?

    • So glad that you love Sylwia! If you have the chance, do try to come to her class in NYC — she is even more amazing in person, if you can believe that.

  3. Sylwia does sound inspirational. At the same time, I am not sure if striving for 12 hours of exercise per week is healthy or compulsive. She says “everything in moderation” but that doesn’t sound like it’s truly how she lives her life based on the description. I understand that it feels great to push yourself, but I think there is also value in self-compassion and living a well-balanced life.

    • I totally hear and agree with you. Sylwia is a wonder woman, and not exactly human. Very few people can train like her and commit to exercise in the manner that she does. She is a star — and something that us civilians aim to be a portion of — but is unrealistic to most. I appreciate your comment and completely understand your take. Everything in moderation, even exercise. Thank you for taking the time to voice your opinion.

  4. Found your site doing research on Tonique DVDs. I have never done any of her workouts. I bought 2 of her DVDS and waiting for them to come in. Hoping I like them.

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