I first heard about PLYOGA, when I was at a BollyX event last October. I was vending, so I was unable to participate in the class, but I couldn't resist peeping my head in to watch! The trainers were super enthusiastic and it looked tough! I love workouts that use only body weight, because that means you can really do them anywhere, and not limit yourself to the gym or a fitness studio.
Read on to learn more about Founder, Stephanie Lauren and how you too can join the PLYOGA team.
AM: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your typical day?
SL: I am a former NCAA Division I two-sport athlete and current record holder, a wife, mother of 2, and the creator of the internationally recognized fitness system PLYOGA. I have years of experience in both competitive gymnastics and track & field, both as an athlete and as a coach. The athletic dimension of my life has made quite an impact on me, and I miss it dearly. This is the primary inspiration for everything I do in fitness. I am always trying to recreate this experience and team dynamic through exercise.
I am an AFAA Certified Personal Trainer & Perinatal Fitness Instructor, ACE Group Fitness Instructor, YogaFit Trained Teacher, ANBF Physique and Figure Pro Competitor, and Health & Wellness Coach. I am a Continuing Education Provider for ACE, AFAA, NASM, SCW, ISCA and CanFitPro. In addition, I was one of the top competitors on Jillian Michael’s TV Reality Show titled “SWEAT INC.” Fitness and wellness inspires me to change lives and spread the message that anyone can be their best self. I am also so excited to win the 2017 NYC MANIA BEST FEMALE PRESENTER
AM: Tell us more about PLYOGA Fitness! What makes it unique and what inspired you to create it?
SL: Well, PLYOGA Fitness is my third child… Savannah (my girl). PLYOGA (my middle child), Cameron (my boy). PLYOGA is a fitness phenomenon that fluently pairs two of the most fundamental disciplines in fitness: PLYOMETRICS & YOGA! PLYOGA, created just over 4 years ago, is a 4-part functional interval training system rooted in dynamic PLYOmetric movement that uses simple YOGA as an active recovery. This is a program that guarantees to WORK for EVERYONE and reveal your “INNER ATHLETE”! There are options for ALL ages and fitness levels in addition to the awesome fact that it is BODYWEIGHT ONLY! In creating PLYOGA, I have been able to bridge the gap between the hardcore athletes who never engage in Yoga and the Yogis who need more cardiovascular training in their routine. PLYOGA is not just an amazing workout, but a true mind & body intense experience that WILL change the game for you! Try PLYOGA and you will become hooked on our “YOUR BODY IS POWER” mindset!
AM: What are the mind and body benefits of PLYOGA?
SL: Incorporating PLYOGA into your fitness routine, even just once a week, will change the game for you, both physically and mentally! The physical benefits you gain from engaging in PLYOGA are derived from the extreme functionality of both Plyometrics and Yoga (balance, flexibility, core strength, breath awareness, strength, endurance, agility, power & more!).
The mental game is the most important thing though. We are not music cued, so people can move at their own pace. We are not pre-choreographed, so instructors offer classes in our format that cater to their people (young and old). PLYOGA is a format catering to our motto “YOUR BODY IS POWER,” which is more mental than it is physical in the way you are taught to push on. PLYOGA is an “equipment-free” experience that shows you how strong and mentally resolute you can be.
AM: What are the steps to join the PLYOGA team and get certified as a trainer? Are there any prerequisites?
SL: We want YOU to join the PLYOGA team! You can earn a whole bunch of CEUs from the top major fitness organizations in North America!
Go to our website to get certified. There are no specific prerequisites except for the fact that you must love fitness, be on a journey, and have a positive open mind. We do however recommend that before you begin teaching or training that you obtain a group fitness or personal trainer certification. Most reputable gyms/studios will require that of their trainers before hiring anyway. A basic Yoga certification is encouraged but not necessary as we teach, practice, and review ALL Yoga postures that are used in PLYOGA.
AM: Where can we take a PLYOGA class in NYC? And elsewhere?
SL: Rather than spending money to take the subway to a gym or studio, your best bet is to hop on our website, and rent one of our signature classes ONLINE! You can either purchase the entire DVD series (includes 5 different workouts) or use our streaming options at the bottom of our shopping cart. Or...you can contact me directly to set up a Master Class at your business, gym, or fitness facility, and experience PLYOGA directly with me, I am based in central Jersey! Best email to reach me at is Stephanie@PLYOGAFitness.com.
AM: We noticed that you have a workout series for purchase online, tell us more about this!
SL: Our Workout Series is AWESOME! There are 5 totally different workouts on there that can be done by anyone…ANYWHERE!! ALL YOU NEED IS YOUR BODY! What is recommended is that you take options when needed. There are always at least 3 people in every workout, and one of them is always showing a modification. They retail at $50 on our website but if you use promo code: “POWER”, you can receive 20% off!
AM: What's in the future for PLYOGA?
SL: PLYOGA will be expanding on a larger scale into numerous international markets. We currently hold LIVE ONLINE CERTIFICATIONS, in which people can join from all over the world, but we have mainly spent our time over the past 3 years in the U.S. and Canada!
We are going to keep releasing new content, as well as continue to create plans for fitness professionals and enthusiasts to receive more value from what we do.
We are always looking for ways to work side by side with other growing brands. The saying goes “all boats rise with the tide.” We have developed a recent relationship with 361USA (who make top quality sneakers and apparel for top athletes. Check them out here. You can use code "PLYOGA30" to earn 30% OFF!
We are also looking to work closer with athletic teams, to nourish that need that Christine (our Chief Master Trainer) and I have to get back in touch with the competitors of the world.
I also have a BS in Education and Christine has a Masters. We are actively looking to apply our exercise functionalities to the school communities. We want to get kids moving and help fight the obesity and diabetes issue with children. Email me if you are a teacher and want us to come through. Stephanie@PLYOGAFitness.com
AM: You're also a mom to two little ones, how do you balance it all?
SL: Yes I am, and I’m not quite sure how we do it all! My daughter is almost 5 years old and my son is 10 months old. Balance is an interesting word that taps into many aspects of life, and being a mom alone is definitely a balancing act. Every mom can relate with one another about the daily struggles and frustrations that come along with the role, but the amazing benefits outweigh all of that! I have to say that I have an amazing support system with my family being a huge help when it comes to childcare. My husband, Thomas, who manages most of our logistics, takes a lot of the workload from me as well. Just like everyone else though, I have great days and stressful days, but I always try to focus on what God has given me, taking a moment to recognize how grateful I feel for my role on this Earth and the role model I get to be for my children. What a gift!
AM: What are 5 of your dreams?
SL: 1 – To become a nationally recognized Strength & Conditioning Coach where I utilize both PLYOGA and my personal exercise preferences for high level teams (I love the athletic world).
2 – To be a household name, STEPHANIE LAUREN, which will allow me the flexibility both personally and financially to give back more to the community around me.
3 – I always wanted to run a marathon. I have a few ½ marathons under my belt, but a marathon or triathlon would be special
4 – To travel the world with my family and continue to learn.
5 – To be a fitness model, so I can outline more visually that being strong is sexy. I have nearly a 40-degree scoliosis in my spine and stress fractures in my lower vertebrae. Only things that you let stop you, can stop you.
AM: Favorite song to work out to?
SL: “Run This Town” by Jay Z but honestly I’m not that picky! This one was on my original PLYOGA playlist and it popped in my head.
AM: Three things that are always in your gym bag?
SL: 1 – Stopwatch; 2 – My favorite protein powder packet - find out what nutrition supplements I use to fuel my body everyday; 3 – PLYOGA brochures
AM: How would you describe your style in two words?
SL: Athletic and Feminine
AM: One place in the world you would love to visit?
SL: NEW ZEALAND / FIGI
AM: Favorite yoga pose?
AM: Favorite good vibe quote
SL: “YOUR BODY IS POWER!” – It says it all. That which you need to do anything is already present within you.
AM: 1 food you could not live without
SL: Almond Butter
AM: Top 3 health food spots in NYC
SL: I barely ever eat in the city, but one I can think of off the top of my head is Sweetgreen.
AM: If you were deserted on an island, what one item would you want with you?
AM: Favorite sinful treat food
SL: Turkey Hill’s, Extreme Cookies & Cream Ice Cream! Love it! Pretty natural stuff too.
AM: Favorite way to start the day
SL: Seeing my beautiful children and their smiling faces as they wake up.
AM: Top 3 things you do to keep a positive outlook
SL: 1 – Practice Yoga; 2 – Exercise; 3 – Go to church