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Autumn Holley is a top fitness instructor in New York City. In a town filled with beautiful people who are always on the go, she stands out in every way. She's modeled for designers including Valentino, Guess and Victoria’s Secret and been featured in Maxim, Glamour, Shape, Men’s Health, Cosmopolitan and others.
A fearless trainer with a relentless motor and a deep love of animals of every kind, Autumn sat down with Longevity to talk training, modeling, fitness fads and the difference between being skinny and being fit...
How important is it to have a goal in mind for fitness and what is yours?
It’s super important to have goals in fitness because it will keep you grounded and focused on the big picture, and help you to incorporate physical activity into your lifestyle. One of my personal goals has always been posture, because I am tall and often hunch. I also constantly strive to have stronger glutes and abs because those muscles are crucial to so many movements (and they look good when they are toned).
What are some important differences between being “skinny” and being “fit?”
In the modeling industry, I encounter this a lot. There are so many skinny girls who are not fit and not even necessarily healthy; in essence, they are "lucky" to be genetically thin. The difference between skinny and fit runs very deep and is crucial to long-term health. Being fit means taking on a wellness-focused lifestyle to challenge your body to stay strong, active, and healthy.
What if someone doesn't belong to a gym?
That's not an issue at all, many of my clients don't belong to gyms. You don't need a health club or fancy equipment to stay in shape - I work with people in their homes, parks, offices, etc. - I'm a firm believer that you can be active anywhere!
What is your take on fitness fads like Barry’s Bootcamp, Soulcycle, Hot Yoga, etc?
They've gotten a lot of people moving, which is great. Some of them have a sort of "cult" following that I don’t really subscribe to, and I don’t think it should be your only workout. But at the end of the day, if you like it, and it gets you up and moving… by all means, do it!
Are you a meat-eater, vegan, vegetarian, or other?
I am a pescatarian, so I’m a vegetarian who eats seafood. I saw one too many documentaries about where we get our meat from, and the abuse of animals, which inspired me to change my lifestyle. I've enhanced this diet by cutting down on sugar and bread, which I highly recommend as a practice. You really feel the difference.
What is your go-to snack before and after a workout and why?
My pre-workout snack is a banana with peanut butter. The potassium is great for your muscles during your workout, and the peanut butter will help give you energy to last throughout. Afterwards, I like to have a smoothie with a plant protein, berries, almond milk, Greek yogurt and spinach or kale.
Favorite story from being a personal trainer?
I really like the camaraderie that comes with working out with others and helping them reach their goals - so when a client tells me they've really felt that bond, it inspires me, too. I also love seeing the progress they make - one of my clients came to me asking for help when he weighed 221 lbs. I helped him with his diet, worked with him several times a week, and now he is down to 195 lbs. Not only does he look great and is noticeably stronger, but I see the confidence in him, too, so it was a true overall transformation. It’s important to me to not just help people while they’re training with me - but also to give them the best tools to be healthy when they’re not with me.
Find out more about training with Autumn at autumnholleyfitness.com
Follow her on Instagram @autumnholleyfitness