In A Fitness Slump? Get Lean With Celebrity Trainer Artur Zolkiewicz

We’re almost halfway in the year and if you’re anything like us, you would’ve set yourself fitness goals in January. #Newyearnewme and all. How we’re doing with those set goals is a different story, though. Staying motivated is a literal struggle when it comes to fitness, unless you just love exercise–if that’s the case, we totally envy you.

The rest of us that have strayed a little from hitting the gym every week and getting our ClassPass membership’s worth, we’d love to hear all the tips we can get. Well, we spoke to celebrity fitness trainer Artur Zolkiewicz on keeping to a health and fitness routine. Artur is a celebrity fitness trainer and founder of FitnessArtz in London. He has an elite clientele including A-list celebs and models. So, he knows what he’s talking about having trained celebs and being a model himself!

Artur started getting interested in fitness when he attended his first karate training class at a really young age. Karate has stayed with him since as he mixes in his background in karate into his workout routines. Sports gives him the variety in his workouts and he brings that to his training with his clients, too.

Scroll as he walks us through his personal journey in fitness, the latest fitness trends and how to stay fit while travelling. 

Celebrity fitness trainer Artur Zolkiewiczs suggests finding the fun in your workouts so you’ll keep at it. Image: Courtesy of Vim & Vigour PR

You first got into fitness when you started karate training when you were younger. How do you incorporate karate into your workout classes?

I remember my first karate class. I was 7 years old and petrified of going in and starting to train under the strict eye of my karate coach. Who would have thought that karate was going to have such a huge impact on my future and career?

What I learned the most from karate is discipline and consistency. There is a lot you can take away from any sport and incorporate in your workout routine – a lot of the stretching routines I prescribe for my clients originate from karate. There is this beautiful idea in karate of always learning and that’s how I try to approach movement – with a beginner’s mind! I try to teach this curiosity to my clients as well. It makes you appreciate everything you learn!

What would you say is the hottest health trend right now and why?

There are a few trends at the moment which I think will stick around for a while. In nutrition, veganism is a huge trend right now and it’s gaining popularity and momentum. I think there are a few reasons why it’s so popular and why so many people are attracted to it. We want to know where the food comes from and how it’s treated before it finds its way to our stomachs. The impact of meat industry on the environment is also a reason for many to turn vegan.

Training-wise, there has been a rise in the popularity of home-based workouts. With companies like Peloton, you can work out without leaving your house. Having said that, I also think that people will always want to train in groups and/or with trainers – there is something special about sweating with other people and that feeling can’t be replaced by any technology.

Artur doesn’t believe that there’s a diet that works for all. It’s about finding what works best for you. Image: Courtesy of Vim & Vigour PR

Why do you think health and fitness has been more popular amongst the current generation?

Fitness and health are more affordable and accessible than ever before, and it’s trendy to be fit.

Of course, we all like to look and feel good. We are more conscious of our health and consequently of the food we eat and the exercise we do. I think more people than ever before understand the importance of living a healthy lifestyle and how it can directly impact the quality of our lives.

What is your advice on keeping up with a workout routine while you travel?

Usually, one of my first activities when I arrive at a new place is finding a gym. I also enjoy going to grocery stores in new countries and searching for new healthy products. One of the things I enjoy most about traveling is training at different gyms. You can always learn something new, meet new people and get some new ideas.

“One of the things I enjoy most about traveling is training at different gyms. You can always learn something new, meet new people and get some new ideas.”

What would you say are ways that someone new to fitness can start a healthy lifestyle and stay motivated?

I always tell my clients to plan ahead: Book your training sessions in your calendar and treat it as if it was an important meeting at work. Try to prepare your food in advance. Don’t buy unhealthy food so you don’t have it at home when the cravings come.

Consistency and smart planning will certainly help you to lead a healthier lifestyle. 

What’s the health and fitness regime you absolutely swear by?

There is a simple formula I try to apply to each of my training week:

Strength – Skill – Cardio – Mobility – Flexibility

Strength stands for any training sessions that will make me stronger such as lifting weights. I normally lift weights 4 times per week. Skill relates to my martial arts practice – I always try to develop a skill set which I can apply under stress (sparring/ competition). I normally try to aim for 2-3 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes and 1-2 Muay Thai practices.

I’m currently training for a charity London – Paris cycling trip I’m doing with a few friends in June, so that covers my cardio. It’s mostly 2-3 times indoors cycling per week. Mobility and flexibility is something that I try to work on as much as I can. They help me to bulletproof my body and mitigate the risk of getting injured.

Artur says to stay consistent and plan ahead to hit your fitness goals! Image: Courtesy of Vim & Vigour PR

Can you take us through your everyday workout routine?

Ideally, I train martial arts 3-4 times, lift weights 4 times and cycle 2-3 times per week. Additionally, I try to get some stretching and mobility done whenever I have time. 

I start every workout with a movement preparation routine which depends on what’s on the training menu on the given day. It always involves some sort of mobility, active stretching and activation drills. Then I progress to the main part of the session which involves lifting heavy stuff. I always take my time to wind down after the session. 

“Book your training sessions in your calendar. Try to prepare your food in advance. Don’t buy unhealthy food so you don’t have it at home when the cravings come.”

When would you say is the best time to workout?

According to research, it’s better to exercise in the morning if your goal is fat loss and in the evening if you want to build muscle or lift heavier. I’d say that it very much depends on individual circumstances. It also depends on how much sleep you get as I would never sacrifice sleep to train at a certain time. Sleep is so important! The optimal amount of sleep falls between 6-8 hours. 

Personally, I don’t like to train too late as it tends to affect my sleep. I mostly exercise around noon after I finished with my morning commitments. 

Would you say cardio is really important? What if one just can’t get into cardio exercises like running?

Cardio training is really important for a number of reasons. It can improve your heart health, boost your metabolism, help you to recover, and can improve your hormonal profile.

My advice is always to find a fun way to get your cardio in. Find something that makes you feel good and keep doing that. I’m not a huge fan of running, but I like cycling and get my cardio through my martial arts training. 

Artur really enjoys visiting grocery stores in different countries to spot new healthy products! Image: Courtesy of Vim & Vigour PR

Do you have a certain diet that you encourage others/ your clients to follow?

I’ve been following intermittent fasting for a number of years now. It works well for me and suits my lifestyle. I think that everyone should give their body some sort of break from eating.

Having said that, I don’t believe there is one size fits all approach to diet and training. We’re all very unique with our unique needs, genetic make ups, likes and dislikes. There are so many individual factors that affect the way we eat that it’s hard to recommend one specific diet for everyone. I always try to understand my clients first before recommending any specific form of diet.