Less than a decade ago, Nedra Lopez moved to the Big Apple to work at the UN by day and wait tables at night. Things have drastically changed since then and our fit bods are thankful for it! After being recruited by Equinox, Nedra became one of their top trainers. Now, as the co-owner of The Studio at Remorca Fitness, Nedra implements a variety of disciplines in her unique class design. It’s no surprise there’s been a lot of client buzz raving about her holistic approach. “I am the type of person who loves what I do for a living because I love to help people and love to help them find balance,” she told us.
Nedra helped target all-over trouble zones (yes, more than just your core!) with the stability ball in October’s issue. Between butt burners and dolphins, Nedra revealed her workout trend do’s and don’ts, the celeb she’d love to shape up and even shared her fave, must-do move. Read on to learn more about Nedra.
Most of us are New York City transplants, so tell me how you made your way and landed in the Big Apple?
My Mom is originally from New York so I spent a lot of time growing up visiting New York and fell in love. I always said I would live here some day so after college I made it happen!
Did you always want to be a personal trainer? How long have you been a fitness instructor?
Fitness has been a part of my life for 15 years. My Dad was an avid workout-fanatic. He had a no-nonsense approach to health and fitness: “You either start young and make it a part of your life or wait until you are older and struggle to find balance.” I started taking fitness classes and certifications in college at the University of Colorado in an attempt to always stay active. I never thought anyone would ever take me seriously as a fitness expert since I spent my time in the gym surrounded by men in the weight room and moms in classes. Teaching fitness was something I did on the side for fun and I loved every second of it! I was told to be a “professional” like a lawyer or doctor. A “personal trainer” was not something my family would ever accept…so I thought! Once I moved to NYC, I worked at the UN during the day and at night at a restaurant waiting tables. NYC is so much more expensive than CO so I did what was needed to survive! Though given my hectic work schedule, I still found time to hit the gym and apparently people noticed! I was recruited by Equinox to become a trainer and still remember breaking the news to my boss at the UN, who said I was making a big mistake. I never looked back and never worked so hard in my life! I became one of the top trainers at Equinox in only three months and maintained that status all three years I was there! I have been an instructor and trainer going on six years now.
You were a personal trainer at Equinox—so why did you want to open up your own gym?
I loved Equinox for giving me the courage to believe in myself and my talent, though along the way it all turned into a numbers game. I guess that’s what big corporations have to do to stay big. I found myself always exhausted and not being able to give each client 100 percent and that’s when I knew something had to change. My boyfriend, Alex, and friend, Dennis, who were also trainers, really pushed me to follow my dreams and create my own business where people and the experience matter again. Two years later we have that and I love it!
What is your favorite piece of fitness equipment?
TRX…such an unlimited array of exercises! I always say, why add weight to an exercise you can’t even do with your own body weight! It has changed my entire body!
What is your workout hell (workout you hate)?
CARDIO! At least traditional cardio…running, elliptical, bike.
What’s on your fitness bucket list?
Trapeze! It requires a lot of upper body and abdominal strength, which is amazing to me! But I am so afraid of heights!
#1 move all women should do:
Bridges! Targets all of our favorite areas!
Describe your daily workout routine:
Warm up with basic dynamic stretches, downward dog, walk outs, leg swings, etc. Then I start with large movements like squats, push ups, etc., then move to working opposing muscle groups each day. I always make sure to work my muscles in different directions, planes of motion, and using different modes of exercise (weights, TRX, bands, body weight, etc.).
What’s your trick for getting in a workout on the days you don’t have the motivation?
I chose to enjoy what I love in moderation and workout to ensure that I can always do that and live a healthy lifestyle. I always tell myself the same quote over and over again: “What sets me a part from the average person is the fact that I have no excuse not to do something to give back to my body.”
Is there a workout trend that you want to try that you haven’t yet?
Monkey Bar Fitness. I love when workouts are made different and fun!
What’s the fitness trend you’d like to see go away?
Juice Cleanses. People need food in their life! Just eat clean if you want to lose weight. Most people go on a juice cleanse for days and starve themselves and expect it to be the answers to all their problems, when in fact it was designed to cleanse the body of toxins and impurities. Small amounts of weight loss is an effect but not the initial purpose.
What’s the number one mistake you see most women making in the gym?
Going to the gym without a plan and spending way too much time on the cardio machines talking to other women. If you can speak while doing cardio, then you aren’t getting anything done!
What’s your pre-workout and post-workout snack?
Before a workout I eat a piece of fruit and after I always have a carb and a protein.
What are the must-haves in your gym bag?
Water, pair of socks, face wash wipes and a snack.
What’s your motivational mantra?
“You might not always feel like working out, but you will always feel better that you did.”
Celeb you’d most like to whip into shape:
Christina Aguilera, she’s a mom who has been through a lot, including a divorce. I love to train moms and help them achieve their goals since they spend so much time making everyone else’s goals first.
Where do you see yourself in five years? What’s up next?
To have opened two more studios in New York City and be working on another somewhere else in the U.S.