We sat down with Lydia of @lifebylyd to discuss her new online fitness program BurnbyLyd and to hear her fitness philosophy, workout and self-care tips.

After a short professional career in dance lead to tearing both hamstrings, Lydia discovered the rehab potential and strength building that could be possible with Pilates and Barre training. After diving into Pilates with Stott Pilates instructor training and becoming the first certified Booty Barre instructor in Quebec, Lydia began her teaching career instructing Pilates on the Reformer while developing and opening barre programs at both Dita Pilates and Enso Yoga. In 2014 she was part of the opening team of b.cycle Spin and taught at b.cycle for five years as a Spin, Barre, Bootcamp, Sculpt and Mat Pilates instructor, helping to open their following 2 locations. She was hired as the lead of the PARK Pilates program and Barre program at Victoria Park, where she was most recently working. Now with her online platform BurnbyLyd and with over 10 years of teaching experience, a strong love of music and movement, no two classes are ever the same. Lydia’s approach to teaching is energetic, efficient and effective.

In a few words, what is your approach to fitness/your fitness philosophy? 

My approach and philosophy when it comes to fitness is that fitness should be available, accessible and efficient. I believe that you should train your body for life, to live life healthily and actively. 

Do you believe people need to workout out everyday to see results?  

While I don’t believe that people need to workout every day to see results, I do believe that people should be active every day for mental and physical health to remain strong. There are so many workouts that are not of the same output energetically nor demand the same of the body physically that it is easy to mix it up all the time to remain consistently active as opposed to specifically « training » or « working » the body out. Think of the difference between Yoga & HIIT. Two VERY different styles of fitness that demand different focuses physically, mentally and even emotionally. Every day you are different which is why your activity should be as well!

What is your fitness pet peeve/do you have a fitness myth you can debunk for us? 

Probably that you need to workout harder to see results, when the reality is that you need to workout smarter. It is truly important not to overstress the body as overworking without proper time for recovery will in fact work your body in the opposite way and hinder your fitness goals. Rest days/less strenuous days are important to reduce swelling and inflammation in the muscles, which can so often be the ‘bulk’ that people see in the mirror. You won’t get bulky from doing Spin or HIIT. You WILL get inflammation, puffiness and swelling that resembles bulk when you don’t give your body a break. 

Can HIIT training/hot yoga pilates be damaging to the skin? 

In general, heat isn’t the greatest for the skin. It can promote circulation however it can also cause major drying when combined with exercise which increases a loss of hydration the more you sweat. In hot rooms skin can tend to feel irritated, can be red or dry so you would want to make sure you were doubling up on staying hydrated and making sure you were using a hydration serum to help protect and replenish your skin. People with rosacea and sensitive skin would definitely need be careful of going into a hot room to workout as the heat can make the condition worse. As for HIIT, like other impact-exercise such as running, can be a workout that includes a lot more impact because of the explosive movements. We are working against gravity every day we move and we want our skin to stay lifted as we age, and impact unfortunately can cause early sagging of the skin. 

What are your thoughts on all these fitness and diet challenges cropping up recently? E.g. gluten free/sugar free for 2 weeks? Plank for 2 mins everyday for a month? 

I am a huge foodie and LOVE the artistry and experience of eating beautiful and delicious food. Unless you have a dietary restriction or allergy that doesn’t allow you to eat certain types of food, I am a HUGE fan of everything in moderation. When I say everything in moderation I don’t meant McDonald’s in moderation. That’s crap food, and no help to your body in any way. Clean food, good fats, free-range/antibiotic-free/non-gmo meats, organic and beautiful cheeses, home-baked sweet treats etc. in moderation. Sugar-free is always a good idea, as sugar feeds inflammation. But don’t drive yourself crazy. If you want some pie, eat a slice and then be done. Food is about enjoyment and experience, not just forgoing satisfaction for fuel. Plank for 2 mins. every day for a month? Go for it. In fact, add 10 seconds on every day. See how long you can do it, just allow yourself breaks and listen to your body. If you can’t do another plank, don’t. Take a break. The body is smarter than we give credit to and will tell you exactly what it needs. You just may have to listen more intently and carefully. 

Would you ever do your own fitness challenge? 

I would, however it wouldn’t be focused around weight loss or restriction. It would be about development, progress and performance. Designed to give you the tools needed to continue challenging yourself so that you can create your own ‘fitness challenge’ in your workouts.

You recently started BurnbyLyd – can you tell us a bit more about that and how people can get involved?

When Covid-19 happened, like many my work life changed very suddenly. The gym where I was leading and managing studio classes closed, and since there has been zero indication as to when we will be able to go back and work. I wanted to continue helping my clients remain consistent in their workouts for not only physical health, but mental health as well. BurnbyLyd was created out of the desire to give people that same burn that they would get with me in studio. Whether on the Reformer, the Mat or at the Barre, each class is crafted to deliver a whole-body burn using props that you already have at home, making everyone’s kitchen/living room/bedroom the perfect space to double up as home-studio. 

The way people can experience BurnbyLyd is online through Instagram. I have created a private account with LIVE classes happening daily in various styles of workouts such as Pilates, Yoga-Sculpt, Resistance Band training, Barre and Mat workouts with light weights. Each class can be done with or without the props suggested with many classes using your own body weight as resistance to do the workout. For $10 people can reserve their LIVE class or have access to it after for up to 24 hours on the BurnbyLyd page. I also have weekly & monthly subscriptions for those who want to workout with me daily and/or have unlimited access to the growing IG TV library of full-length workouts. 

How has your dance background influenced your style of training and BurnbyLyd?

My dance background has influenced my style of training greatly. Whether it’s with the music I choose, the stretch and length focus of the muscle work, the flow of movement, the transitions of the exercises, each part of the class is intentional and intended on giving you a full-body workout while building mind & body connection. My dance training taught me the importance of being intentional about movement as well as enabled me to understand the anatomy of the body better in exercises. When fitness is intentional and educational, clients are motivated on an emotional level to take charge of HOW and WHY they workout in a much greater way. Since dance is something you do using solely your body as means for expression (and work), I was inspired to make sure that no matter people’s access to equipment or facility that they should be enabled to get the best workout possible using exactly what they have access to every day of the year – their body. 

As someone who works out a lot, do you have any skincare tips you can share with us? Any tips to prevent post-workout breakouts? 

I definitely focus on hydrating my skin. Since I sweat a lot and am naturally more prone to dry skin, I notice when my skin feels taxed from doing a lot of workouts. Cleansing at the end of the day is crucial as is using products that help fight environmental damages to the skin. My 3 biggest skin tips would be to:

1. Only wash your face after activity and/or at the end of the day. You don’t want to strip your skin of it »s natural oils, so in the AM skip the face wash and go straight to your serum.

2. Pat to dry. Try not to ‘wipe’ your face clean, but rather pat your face dry. You don’t want to pull the skin down, you want to bring it up!

3. Sunscreen and SPF today and every day are a MUST. I love me some sun, but strongly dislike reptilian aged skin that looks leathery. 

Where can people find you? 

You can find me on Instagram under @lifebylyd for my personal account and @burnbylyd for my classes and workouts!

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