As if teaching personal training privates and classes at Carrie’s Pilates Plus wasn’t enough, LA fitness phenom Lisa Moloshok also offers serious sweat sessions at SoulCycle. With smarts and style, the energetic instructor has garnered a devoted following, many who go to her for all three workouts. Talk about a winning triad.
Born in Philadelphia, Moloshok grew up in LA. A self-proclaimed, fashion-loving valley girl, she never liked exercise. While she was always up to try a different fad diet (Snackwell cookies, oh my!), true wellness wasn’t top of mind.
But after college, when she got into the entertainment world replete with industry dinners, lunches at her desk and gunning for an executive role, she also joined the boutique studio trend. Though she’d buy 10-packs of classes, she admits she rarely attended. But finally, one day, she went to Equinox, took a simple jog and noticed she was seriously Zen-ed out, happier—and way more productive.
Eventually she got certified in Pilates, and her entire world changed once she took the full leap to fitness—for herself and her clients. Read on to hear how she changed her own life, how she helps her clients cross-train and how cycling and Pilates create an awesome feedback loop.
SBS: How did you finally transition to fitness?
Lisa Moloshok: I was teaching Pilates and decided to also get my NASM certification to become more educated in my teaching. Shortly thereafter, Pilates clients were asking me if we could also privately train. I soon realized I was happier training clients than I was in my current job. One day, without even planning, I just quit! My friends always knew I’d be much happier, but I kept running up against this thing where people in the entertainment industry don’t think they can ever leave. It took me a while to quit.
In 2010, I started training full-time; I didn’t do that until I had a substantial amount of clients. I was lucky that from the start I had clients who wanted to workout often and took me with them when they traveled. So I didn’t struggle all that much in the beginning.
SBS: What were the challenges on your path?
LM: Working for yourself has its ups and downs, and that’s hard. You need to be entrepreneurial and know how to market yourself. How do you reach clients? How do you sustain your work? I didn’t always think ahead, and I had to learn that.
SBS: How did cycling become part of your work?
LM: I had been teaching Pilates, and had never taken a spin class. I started taking classes at a cycling studio when it opened across the street. Eventually I decided it wasn’t a great fit for me, and I walked into SoulCycle after a friend suggested I joined her one morning. It was incredible and so cathartic for me. There were days I would go two or three times a day. At the encouragement of the staff, I finally auditioned five years ago. And the rest, as they say, is history.
SBS: What do your clients get out of the blend of your three offerings?
LM: Quite a few people will cross-train with me through Pilates, cycling and personal training. Sometimes someone will come take my cycling class, then come over to Pilates. Or I’ll train someone in the gym, and then they’ll be in class. So even if each approach isn’t for everyone, there’s something for everyone. It also allows me to help them see why they like or don’t like something. I used to hate doing lunges, but that’s because I was doing them incorrectly. So now, when someone says they hate running, I’ll say, ok, let’s try the elliptical. There are opportunities and new ways to do things in a varied program of fitness. Each thing is beneficial to the other: When clients take cycling after Pilates, they say they can feel how powerful they feel on the bike from their newly built strength or their endurance in Pilates has grown substantially from the consistent cycling.
SBS: How can someone find their own personal blend of classes and techniques?
LM: Find a mix of strength and cardio, but that doesn’t mean you have to choose just one type of strength or one type of cardio. There are so many new things to try right now, so if you don’t want to run, don’t. Go to Rumble to box or SoulCycle to spin. And, studios are creating new classes too. SoulCycle created SoulActivate, which is an athletic-based, high intensity interval training and strength class.
Also, don’t worry about what your friends like or go by their preferences. Some of my friends love a class or see results with things I don’t. Be open to doing what’s right for you, even if it’s different than you friends.
SBS: What should a client look for in an instructor?
LM: The instructor should be there to best explain and demonstrate form, first and foremost. Instructors should be watching each client carefully and understand that each person is at a different level athletically. If I was in a strength class and a trainer said ‘Everyone pick up 20-pound weights,’ I would be concerned. One of us might need 20 pounds or one of us may need 10 pounds or even less. General statements are not helpful and can actually be dangerous. Look for instructors who are connected to the technique—and the client.
SBS: What’s your personal approach to wellness?
LM: Everything in moderation. I eat red meat, and I have French fries, but not all the time. Extremes in anything is unhealthy and unsafe, so I stay away from anything that says, ‘Never do this” or “Always do this.” I look at my grandparents who always had whole fat butter and no microwaves. They biked and walked all the time, moved their bodies, and that’s my approach too. So if I want to get fries, I do. But I don’t get them every single night!
If you listen, your body tells you what it needs. So if you’re feeling tired and cranky, perhaps it doesn’t want the crap you’re putting into it. So ask yourself why you do it. Are you tired or upset? Check in, and be honest with yourself.
SBS: What is your main goal as a trainer?
LM: I try to help people see how capable they are, and that they don’t need to underestimate themselves. I want them to prove their strength and power to themselves. I’m certainly no-nonsense, but that’s because I can see that strength in you and want to help you see it too. To see a client push through that hurdle is a great celebration.
Lisa’s Cali Faves:
Healthy Restaurant: Kreation Organic Juicery and Earth Bar|Splurge Restaurant: Dan Tana's
Calming Activity: Meditation, going to the beach or watching The Office
Athleticwear: Ultracor and Puma
Athletic Shoes: Puma
Online Resources: Carbon38.com, NYT.com, WomensHealthMag.com, MensHealthMag.com
Lisa’s Sticky Be Mantra: Be Strong. Strength is something I’ve worked so very hard on over the last several years. And that’s exactly what it is: work. Maintaining that strength and realizing that moving forward (no matter how slow) is still moving forward. That’s the key. Struggle is normal and very human. Everyone struggles, has setbacks, failures and loss. But we can’t sit in it. No matter what, I encourage everyone to move forward to the best of their ability. Also remembering…it’s not about being perfect. It’s about being your best.
The Best, Zaniest Part of Being Lisa: I think the best part of me is my honesty. What you see is what you get! I will always be straight with you. Always! And I’m pretty much generally zany!