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Q&A with Viktoria Telek: Real Estate Pro & Fitness Inspiration

By Marc Perry / July 1, 2017

Viktoria Telek is a successful commercial real estate broker in Florida who has been named to the “Top 30 Under 30” list by Realtor Magazine. Despite her intense career, Viktoria recently won Shape Magazine’s “Hot Body” contest where she beat out thousands of applicants and was featured in the September 2010 issue with a full page spread. So how does she maintain a fitness model body with such a busy career? Check out my interview with her below to learn more!

1. Hey Viktoria, thanks so much for your willingness to share your insights into staying in shape with a busy professional lifestyle. So for starters, have you always been in such great shape? Was there a time in your life where you didn’t exactly have a fitness model body?

I have always been very active and enjoyed playing sports. But, as I approached my sophomore year in college I noticed that my metabolism began to slow down and I could no longer eat everything I wanted to. I also realized that I needed to start working out in order to maintain my weight. I started off in the gym with 30-45 minutes of cardio on the elliptical or running outside. I gained about ten pounds from my freshman year of college and kept it for about 4 years. I did not know how to properly train or eat so I could only maintain my weight. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was able to take my shape to next level. Especially, for busy professionals your time is limited so you must train effectively to burn maximum calories. Working out for me is just as important as all the other things I have to do during the day and always make it a point to fit in my schedule.

2. What kind of workouts, or activities do you? Are there any that form the core of your exercise regimen?

After years in the gym, I realized that in order to be consistent and effectively live an active lifestyle you have to enjoy your workout. I now teach boot camp classes outside on the beach and in the park 4 days a week for 1 hour. The focus of all my workouts includes cardio interval training, body weight exercises that target the core and exercises the incorporate the total body to effectively burn maximum calories in the least amount of time. In addition I enjoy boxing, dancing, snowboarding, yoga, outdoor activities including running, biking, tennis, beach volleyball, and water sports such as wakeboarding, kiteboarding, SUP (stand-up paddle boarding), surfing, and swimming. If you look forward to your workout or physical activity then you will want to be active every day.

3. How many days per week do you workout and for how long?

I believe once working out become a part of your lifestyle you will want to be active every day. I typically train 6 days a week for an hour and do one of my favorite activities on the weekend.

4. Many women are terrified of strength training because they will get “bulky”. Do you do any strength training? What would you say to women who fear getting “bulky” with strength training?

I love this question because I used to have the exact same fear. No one believes me now but I have always struggled with having “big arms”. My body type is very muscular and I was not born with tiny arms. Even after losing my college 10 lbs my arms still made me look bigger and I refused to use weights. Finally, I have successful shredded the fat and sculpted my arms to what they are today by incorporating strength training into my workout. For women seeking lean sexy arms you need to incorporate light weight training into your workout. The key is to use light weight, 15-20 repetitions per set and incorporate cardio in your workout. I highly recommend pushups and boxing.

5. Can you share a quick sample workout routine that you do?

One of my favorite workouts is the YouTube video called- Lean Sculpted Arms Workout. (Please see bottom of article for a video of this workout!)

6. How would you describe your eating approach, or strategy? Any favorite healthy foods, meals, or snacks?

I practice the art of portion control. I always start my day off with a healthy breakfast and then a snack 2 hours later, lunch 2-3 hours later, an afternoon snack 2-3 hours after lunch, then a light dinner and even a small snack after dinner. It is all about calories in and calories out. There are no miracle diets or tricks, you just simply need a well balanced diet, small portions every 2-3 hours to keep your metabolism up. I also believe that once you have achieved your diet goals to avoid overeating you should not cheat yourself of your cravings. If you have a craving for say, chocolate have a piece. Enjoy it slowly and don’t eat the whole candy bar!

7. One of the top excuses for why people don’t work out is lack of time. How do you find time, or make the time for exercising with such a busy schedule?

In life you have choices and the ability to prioritize what is important to you. For me, my day is not complete until I have a good sweat. Everyone can find time (even just 15 minutes) in their schedule. By making a commitment to your body, you WILL see changes. If you have kids you can take them to the park and run with them or do your pushups and squats while they play. Having a workout buddy is also a great way to stay committed and enjoy your time working out.

8. Industrial real estate is a very competitive business. Has being fit helped you have more energy and focus to succeed in your career?

Industrial real estate is a competitive business and typically male dominated which is why being fit and involved in sports has added to my success and ability to gain respect from other professionals and clients.

Eating healthy and being active will improve your overall quality of life, enhance your career potential, allow you to achieve your goals, boost energy, build lean stronger muscles, increase endurance, gain confidence and help you live a more productive life. People admire and acknowledge the dedication one has to have to stay in shape. The ability to manage your time and commitment to maintaining a healthy & fit lifestyle are great qualities not only to look and feel good but also in your workplace.

9. Most working professionals frequent cocktail parties and other social functions with a lot of temptations to consume unhealthy foods and drinks. Do you have any tips for avoiding these pitfalls?

This is a great question and social functions can get you off track very easily, especially with everyone around you indulging. The number one advice is to eat before you go to the social function. Have you ever been to an event that had healthy snacks, low- fat foods and fat free deserts?

Stay on schedule and eat a light meal before heading off to the event. Once at the event a key to avoid any temptations keep your mind off the food & desert tables and enjoy everyone around you. If you feel the urge to indulge take a few minutes to think about how hard you have worked and walk away. Usually, you will become engaged in a new conversation and completely forget about that calorie packed appetizer. If you choose to have a drink, make sure you stick to a glass of wine and vodka with soda or tonic water. Avoid the high calorie and sugar packed “pretty” drink specials.

While everyone goes for the cakes, pies and other sweets, I suggest enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee. Not only will it satisfy your sweet craving, but the caffeine also acts as a hunger suppressant.

10. At the office, there are also many temptations to eat unhealthy foods. Do you have any tips to share for staying healthy at the office?

Another great question and challenge I had to overcome. The office is a place of constant temptations that you have to avoid every day. I used to not only eat one cookie but kept going back to the kitchen until there were no more cookies left. Now, I don’t even take a bite. If I have a craving I stick a piece of gum in my mouth or wait 5 minutes for the craving to go away. Before you grab a cookie, a piece of cake or chocolate ask yourself is a sugar rush for few minutes worth an extra hour of working out?

Here’s a video Viktoria demonstrating a workout that combines some of her favorite arm exercises with cardio:

Viktoria graciously offered to answer any questions, or comments you may have below in the comment section, but we’re taking this offer down within a couple weeks of this post! For more on Viktoria, you can check out her fitness website www.TheSouthBeachBootCamp.com.

Update: Commenting is now closed.


  • Arianne says:

    Viktoria, great video! I just did it twice through and it feels very effective. The best part is it's something that doesn't require a lot of time and can be done every day. Thanks for sharing!

    Marc, thanks for the great interview post

  • Mili says:

    These are great exercises and I am positive they will help me improve my muscle toning, but Victoria is a young women and these exercises are effective quicker on her because of her age than for us older women, even if we are lean to get rid of the stubborn belly fat and the flabby arms it would take how much longer?, would we be better off doing it with heavier weights? Since it takes us longer, how long should we do this routine? Thank you for sharing this info, it's great

  • MARY says:

    Great arm workouts. Definitely something women can use. Thank you for the inspirational interview. I especially found Viktoria's video helpful when she demonstrated basic movements progressing to a more advanced level.

  • Viktoria says:

    faneeza-Thank you for reading my article. I don't take any supplements but I do drink no xplode before my workouts to increase energy.No-Xplode is a drink mix meant to amplify mental focus, performance, strength, and training intensity. It is a pre-training energy and performance enhancer that helps your muscles to perform harder and longer than they would without it. (I would do your own research as there are conflicting benefits). In addition I take glucosamine which is a precursor for glycosaminoglycans, and glycosaminoglycans are a major component of joint cartilage, supplemental glucosamine may help to prevent cartilage degeneration and treat arthritis. It has helped to recover from workouts more quickly.
    Hope this helps....Viktoria Telek

  • Viktoria says:

    Carli- I would love for you to come check out one of my boot camps. You can find the boot camp class schedule at viktoriatelek com
    Since fitness is my passion and profession I do workout everyday. But, not lifting weights or similar typical workout everyday. I usually will do yoga one day and/or play volleyball or other sport for fun. If I do not workout I tend to watch what I eat but since I don't really follow a strict diet just a healthy diet, I don't have cravings to binge. I eat about 1400 calories a day. You can find programs on the web or a scale that can give you guidelines on how many calories you can eat as well.

  • Viktoria says:

    Mili- I am not sure of your age- can you provide so that may respond. I would still avoid using heavy weights. Incorporating light resistance training and a variety of exercises is best. Viktoria Telek

  • dozenz says:

    While a nice article with some good information, I was dissapointed in your response to Question 4, concerning women terrified of strength training for fear of bulking up. The reason with my dissapointment is that the "key" is not the "light weight/high repitions" myth which still persists (which you are continuing to spread), but in your daily nutrition (to go along with your daily exercise). The only way to "get big" is to "eat big", which means increasing your caloric intake and by eating the right types of foods .

    Do all the "light weight/high-rep" you want, but you will not get results if you do not change your nutrition. On the same note, you can do "strength training", and by that I mean heavy weight, low repetition sets of squats/deadlifts/presses/etc and you will get nice and lean...or "toned" which is the goal people state...as long as you eat lean. A typical lean diet has a decent breakdown of carbs/proteins/fats, but you have to eat the right types, and preferably at the right times. Fruits/veggies/nuts/chicken/beef/healthy fats, few starches.

    I hope you edit you article to at least address this issue. The last thing we need is people refusing to include very valid options because they don't fall into this "low weight/hi-rep" requirement needed to get "toned" and not "bulky".

    Otherwise nice article!

  • dozenz says:

    I just now saw the date of this article (came to this via Digg where it was submitted today) and realize that the chances of Viktoria responding are probably slim.

    Either way I hope other people read my above comment and learn something from it.

    • Marc Perry says:

      @ Dozenz - Thanks for your input. Most research will tell you there are rep ranges for strength (6-8), hypertrophy (8-12), and endurance (12-20). From my experience lifting religiously for 12 years and spending thousands of hours training other people, I think these rep ranges are a decent guide at best, but they don't take into account some important factors. First, different people respond differently to different rep ranges. Some people get hypertrophy benefits as low as 4 reps, while others get it at 15 reps. Secondly, different muscle groups respond differently to different rep ranges in general. I personally lift 6-10, that's my sweet spot. My clients I usually keep 15, or under, with sets to failure.

      I'm with you on compound movements in general, but you have to appreciate the reality that most women (at least that I meet) don't want to lift "like men". They don't want to feel, or be "muscular". That's not to say lifting heavy with compound exercises won't help get a women leaner, because it 100% does combined with great nutrition. I LOVE compound lifting in general (sans deadlifts, I think deadlifts are MUCH too dangerous unless you have a strength coach watching you). Compound lifting + interval training cardio + great nutrition = very lean physique, man or woman. The point I'm trying to make is there are different modalities for accomplishing the same outcome and I think Viktoria presents a very appealing and effective workout regimen/framework that women can really enjoy.

      I'm not going to edit the article unless Viktoria tells me to. I think she did an awesome job. I think people will see these comments and be able to make there own judgements. Also, I'm going to be exploring the optimal rep range concept in much more depth. BuiltLean.com is only 7 months old so I've been focusing more on breadth, then will start adding more depth.

      Again, appreciate you taking the time to share your opinion. That's why I started this website to encourage knowledge transfer and participation. Also, if you want a good read where I go into depth about lifting for women, check out my 10 Cut report (www.builtlean.com/email - you can unsubscribe at any time). I have a version for women that I think you will enjoy.

  • Mili says:

    Hi Victoria, thank you for answering my post.I am 50 years old, keep a very healthy diet, take my supplements daily, drink my protein before and after workouts, keep a cardio routine, I finally can lift 8 and 10 lbs. (it took a lot to get there, thats how weak my arms were), I weigh 135lbs and my heighth is 5' 5". I am concentrating on biceps, triceps, shoulders and back and can see muscles starting to define, I would like to be clear which is the best amount of repetitions and for how long should I do it, and what do I have to add to see if my abs finally show up sometime in the near future, because this fat around the belly is stuck !!!! I have read of supplements that help burn fat (CLA), with your experience in the field, is this true?


  • dozenz says:

    Thanks for the response Marc. I agree with you on the rep ranges as ok guides which you should customize to fit your goals and your responses. I have done many varied programs, currently doing a modified 4-week powerlifting cycle (5-3-1), which also includes a week 4 deload with low weights and higher repitions. Also incorporating HIIT cardio, which I love to do.

    If the main goal is to easily find something that's palatable to a certain audience without going through the effort to educate them fully, than that's fine. Any exercise is better than none, and it is a lot easier to give women a routine that consists of the accepted view of not "lifting like men". I personally prefer that they fully understand the benefits so that when introduced to the squat (or other manly exercises) they won't refuse simply because they think it'll get them bulky or looking like men.

    If they understand and it doesn't fit their needs than I agree than they should go for it. The main need I have seen voiced is just to look "toned" though, in which I feel is best achieved with a combination of high weight, low rep compound fully body movements along with HIIT (which can include high rep/low weight strength training not just cardio) but the KEY factor is nutrition. Changes to nutrition will have a greater impact on achieving that toned look than anything else.

    And you can't get Bulky unless you eact that way. I've fluctuated a lot over the last 4 years (160 -> 137 -> 160 -> 219 -> 170 -> 165 -> 155 -> 190 ->) with varying degrees of leannes (bodyfat %), using many different programming, and the one think that was true for all was nutrition. I got my leanest for a "300" halloween costume, by purely strength training and only losing 10 lbs(166 -> 155) but my appeance was night and day. The main factor was nutrition.

    Anyway I will continue to read your site as it does have good information and allows for open discussion.

    • Marc Perry says:

      @dozenz - I think you're twisting my words a bit, but I understand your point. It's not possible to present EVERYTHING in a single post, which is why I write articles every week. Commenting for this article is now closed and I want to thank Viktoria again for her AMAZING interview and helping answer questions. Really an inspiration!