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.
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