"A summer of you - because it's summer somewhere" – we love #AFinBK merchant Nager by Nic Hyl's slice of paradise in our Williamsburg home – it's always summer in her booth! In addition to being a total business babe, we recently learned that Nic - owner, designer, and maker of her own swimsuit line - is also a Natural Physique Competitor. Naturally, we had TONS of questions, including the pressing, age-old question: "how do you have time for all of this?" - check out what we learned from Nic about her work/life/fitness balance below.
When did you first get the idea that participating in fitness competitions could cross over into marketing for your brand, Nager by Nic Hyl? What are your goals – for your brand and your gains!
Nic Hyl: I first got the idea when I was trying to think of ways to generate income from things I already do. I was already working out (not at the level I do now, but on a regular basis) and was already making the swimwear. I thought that there may be something there, since one of the demographic influences of buying swimwear is a fit and active lifestyle. Also, the women that compete in fitness competitions wear swimwear, so it seemed like a good idea. I thought why not me and the rest is history.
What's your workout schedule like?
NH: Right now I'm "shredding" and on prep for my next competition, so my goal is to lose fat while maintaining . l do weight training 5 days per week and cardio 4 mornings per week and 2-3 evenings per week. My weight training alternates between upper body and lower body.
What's your favorite lifting routine?
NH: I really enjoy working on my abs and legs. I have long legs so seeing muscle development in them takes a bit longer than on a shorter person, so right now it's my favorite body part to work out. My fav routine for legs would be either seated leg press or the leg extension (single leg or dual). Both focus primarily on the quads and give a really toned look on the legs. For the abs, I like a nice toned tummy, so any ab exercise is my favorite. I switch it up though so that I am always challenging the muscles in a new way.
Do you drink those protein shake things?
NH: lol, I love this question. When I'm on prep yes. Prep requires that I keep my calories, fat, and sugar intake low, protein and carb (complex carbs) intake high. The portion shakes make for a great meal (or snack) on the go when I need to eat something but didn't prep my food or there aren't any suitable options around.
How do you find time to balance your competitive fitness lifestyle and designing (and making) your own line of swimwear?
NH: This is the hardest part for me and I have to weight train Monday-Friday, since I'm at the market on Saturday and Sunday. I usually wake up and do my cardio, then "go to work" and finish the day with my weight training. Because I can control my work schedule it was actually more challenging in the beginning because I wasn't saying no to things. I would try to do everything in one day and be so exhausted from the mental work of running a business and the physical work of being a fitness competitor. I'm still learning the balance of scheduling and prioritizing what NEEDS to be done today versus what I want to do today. I listen to my body and when I feel like I have no more, I rest. I also have an amazing support system of people who help me and tell me when I need to rest. My coach is my friend so that makes it easier too. She knows what's going on in my life and can suggest times to pull back on the fitness schedule or ways to make it not eat up so much of my time if I'm working on a special project, for example.
Any advice for small business owners out there who might be pushing off hobbies and things that make them happy, outside of their businesses?
NH: My advice would be to do a little bit each day. So maybe today the focus is on the website, and tomorrow the packaging. Balance is key in life and while we all want to be successful at our craft, forsaking life has a cost. I would never want to look up one day and be alone because I alienated everyone around me to build my brand. Go to the beach, sleep in every once in awhile, order the extra wine, enjoy time with family and friends. Life is so precious and so short. Work during the time you're supposed to be working and live the rest of the time.