She is clothed in confidence, exudes passion through her words of wisdom, and has the superpower to transform women’s bodies into perfection within 3 months! Who is this wonder woman you may ask? Allow us to introduce you to Chicago’s most influential personal trainer and lifestyle coach: Kay Yasin. Kay’s health and fitness tips have been featured numerous times on ABC Chicago’s Windy City Live and WGN. She is the owner of LIFFT and is also a fitness model and TV spokesperson.
(Outfit above: Split Front PU Pencil Skirt, $75, Embellished and Feathered Crop Top, $40, TOPSHOP.)
The holiday season calls for holiday parties, festive banquets and beyond. We asked Kay to offer us tips on how to celebrate this season while keeping a check on our fitness. Meanwhile, in collaboration with our super talented production team, we shot an exclusively styled post, modeled by Kay exclusively to inspire your holiday wardrobe. This festive photoshoot highlights Kay Yasin dolled up in this season’s must-have lace, leather and metallic looks for the holidays.
(Premium lace maxi dress, $300, TOPSHOP.)
What does a typical day look like for you?
There is No typical day. Being an entrepreneur and working for yourself means a 24-Hour workday, I am basically ‘On Call’ all day.
If I were to try to describe a ‘typical day’ it may look a little something like this. I wake up around 6AM for coffee with a 7AM workout. Prepare breakfast and complete errands at home before hopping on my computer to work on Invoices, Client Nutrition Info, Off-Day workouts and completing some PR and Marketing campaigns and Workshops for the Holidays (TV promo’s, blog entries and magazine articles were written and packaged). I like to listen to a little positive Joel Oesteen or Oprah and Deepak Meditation or Sing in the Shower while I get my day started (this all helps shut down all the noise that one faces in every day life). Today I put together some Holiday gifts and cards and was off to work with some AMAZING clients. I typically book late morning, afternoon and evening training clients and fit in another a quick workout, some personal shopping for clients and/or a quick afternoon 30 minute nap. I usually have a Fundraiser, Networking Event or Kay time scheduled one day out of the week and weekend. Saturdays I only take 1 or 2 clients and use to catch up on personal items. Sundays – I book morning and early afternoon clients with time for Entrepreneurial projects in the afternoon and early evening. With a business background focusing on IT and Marketing – I like to stay involved in Philanthropy in the Technology Field.
How did you first become involved in the Fitness Industry?
I discovered fitness in my early teens. I struggled with my weight and also found it to be very therapeutic during some very trying times. My mom first became sick during that time and I was able to distract myself from all that was around me and create a world of peace by focusing in on Myself. I studied Fitness and Nutrition inside and out all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and graduating H.S at the age of 16.
I became my very own first personal Transformation. I dropped from a size 14 to a 4 over the course of 1 summer. I met my first boxing coach that summer and fell in love with the idea of having someone that believed in me and held me accountable.
This passion and love remained in me during my college years in which I was recruited to do some fitness modeling and videos while completing my Bachelor’s in Business with a Focus on IT and psychology.
What is LIFFT? What inspired you to create LIFFT?
LIFFT is an acronym for Lifestyle.Image.Food.Fitness.Training (Talent and Transformations). It is an all encompassing program that allows me to address all the areas that it takes to truly transform an individual. I was a former IT Consultant but realized that my passion lied in helping others, seeing the potential that certain team members had and really identifying people’s true gifts and passions. LIFFT draws out greatness from individual clients, be it TV Personalities, Professional Athletes, VP’s and CEO’s,
Artists, and Super Moms. LIFFT has achieved things from helping individuals drop 5 dress sizes in 3 months to helping individuals’ On-Air presentation Image, getting talent and agents together to helping clients venture out and launch their own business in the Wellness and Personal Image fields. I have been able to build a network of great individuals including Therapists, Dating Coaches, Personal Stylists (Including the fabulous Kristie Jorfald), Make up Artists, Massage Therapists, Attorneys, Plastic Surgeons, Dentists, Skin Care Specialists and Photographers that all aid in the completion of a Personal LIFFT by Kay.
It’s the holiday season and our families and friends are feeding us with delicious meals and baking sweet treats. How can we still enjoy these delicious recipes, but not gain extensive weight and still look fabulous?
Planning ahead is key to the success during the holidays. Sugar, carbs and alcohol are the key components to weight gain and no differently during the holidays. Make sure that you are taking in a little to none of the above mentioned ‘evil’ weight adders 4 – 5 days prior to a Holiday event. Also – keep your calories about 300 – 600 calories under your normal intake knowing that you can easily intake a ‘bad’ 600 calories or more in one Holiday party.
Choose 1 guilty pleasure for the evening. Be it the Xmas cookies, Holiday Egg Nog OR decadent appetizer. Do Not indulge in All. Choose 1 and enjoy with a smile. Be ready to add an extra 20 minutes of cardio on top of the normal workout time the following day!
Is there any specific workout that one can follow during the ongoing winter holidays?
Carve out 35 minutes / day for an intense interval (Hill walk / jog cardio workout OR High Intensity Weight Circuit) during the Holiday season. Ladies – please don’t skimp out on lifting heavier as this is the more effective way to burn a higher amount of calories. If you are tight on time, focus on the larger muscle groups (legs and back as this will burn the most calories and target other secondary muscles in the process)
What are some effective workout options that people can try on a holiday event if they don’t have access to a gym?
Resista-bands, jump rope and body weight workouts are all great and effective ways to burn calories prior to a holiday event.
What is the one fitness advice that you would give everyone on a holiday or leading into the new year?
If last year’s fitness goals weren’t achieved, do something different this year. Stay Consistent and Focused on your goals EVERY day. Never, ever Give up!
Lunges and Pull-Ups / I have a love hate relationship with both. They are both super tough but target various muscles at the same time, therefore make for great go to exercises for me.
Where do you hope to see LIFFT in the next 5 years?
Partnering up with Mental Health Non-Profit Organizations (NAMI and Thresholds are on the top of my list) and organizing Group workshops for Various Organizations (Powerful Partners, NAPW, StepUP to name a few)
Growing up in a multicultural family and living abroad, would you consider working abroad in the future?
Absolutely. Chicago is near and dear to my heart, but I enjoy various different cultures. I also grew up in a tropical climate and getting away during the winters is a Very Exciting part of LIFFT that I am looking forward to.
What would you say has made you the fitness expert that you are today?
My true passion, love and need for fitness and wellness. Life has forced me to be a care-giver from the early age of 10. A true and great Health and Fitness provider loves to help others. Being able to focus on the Goals of another human being is not a trait that many people have. I Want my clients to succeed more than they do themselves at times. I live, breathe and genuinely love my work and the individuals I choose to work with.
My creativity and excitement towards what I do keeps my clients from getting bored with the workouts. Changing people’s bodies and lives is the best form of artwork and I consider my work a true masterpiece.
What inspires you and what is your dream for LIFFT?
Helping others Surpass their own goals and achieve things they never thought imaginable. I would love for LIFFT to be the go to for Talent Agencies with their Scouts or become a Sole Standing Talent Agency. I am working on more Public Speaking Engagements and Corporate Training Events in the next couple of years and very excited about helping larger groups of people. I have worked with various Non-Profits in the past and am excited about integrating the program into helping Special Needs Populations.
I would develop a TV show on Personal Transformations. Not just the physical part but very inclusive of various different aspects of their lives.
More about Kay: Favorite restaurant in Chicago?
Franklin Room and Maple and Char in the Winter. Summer House in the Summer. Osteria Langhe – Cute neighborhood restaurant in Logan Square!
If you could train with anyone in world, who would it be?
Queen Rania because we shared the same last name prior to her marrying King Abdullah and she is quite the Style Icon. Oprah – She was a very integral component in my decision to change directions in my life and career choice and I still love Super Soul Sundays.
Photographed By Nathanael Filbert
Styled By Kristie Jorfald
Hair and Makeup By Megan DeMeyer