Meet London’s Hottest New Fitness Fanatic4 min read
Since he was eight, Artur Zolkiewicz has been mad about fitness, wellness and healthy living. A couple of decades later, he has an enviable list of models and moguls that he trains on a regular basis, and is setting businesses up left, right and centre. With them all going from strength to strength, V.F. sat down with the legendary trainer, to discuss inspirations and aspirations—and where to begin for those wanting to kickstart a healthier way of living.
V.F. : What led you to fitness?
A.Z. : I’ve been passionate about fitness, wellness and performance for more than two decades. My passion for movement and performance began when I started training and competing in martial arts at the age of eight. My interest in nutrition had started even earlier in life—I was raised as a vegetarian in Poland, a country known for its meat-eating culture. This experience made me learn more about the importance of nutrition and find out more about the relationships people have with food, but also as a way we express emotions, socialise with others and how strongly we identify with the way we eat.
I started training fashion models while travelling and working as a model myself. I simultaneously worked as a freelance journalist and it didn’t take long for me to start gravitating towards writing about health and fitness. I then committed to being a full-time trainer when I moved to London seven years ago. Since then I’ve managed to work with several A-List celebrities, billionaires, and models. Working with my clients now, I see myself more as a Performance and Health coach rather than “just” a personal trainer.
I think of training as a performance system rather than just getting into great shape. This is also the approach I use with my clients. That ranges from coaching them in the areas of sleep, nutrition, recovery and more.
V.F. : What’s your favourite method of exercise?
A.Z. : My own training routine is a mix of a few different disciplines. I do several weightlifting, as well as martial arts sessions per week. I also spend a significant amount of time stretching and mobilising. I have also recently introduced hot yoga to my weekly schedule which has been a great addition and has helped me to relax both physically and mentally.
I strongly believe that you cannot achieve long-lasting and sustainable results without incorporating a sufficient recovery practice. Personally, I start every day with an infrared light session and combine it with a few minutes of a particular breathing technique that allows me to mentally focus and get ready for the day. I usually meditate/nap during the day and use self-hypnosis or meditation to switch off at night. I also regularly engage in various types of contrast therapy that includes cold (cryotherapy chamber, cold showers, ice baths) and heat (sauna, infrared sauna etc).
V.F. : What are your big plans for the future?
A.Z. : The future is definitely very exciting. I’ve partnered up with some amazing people to open a new, ultra-luxe private wellness/health club in London’s Mayfair. We aim to redefine the way people see and consume health and wellness. I’m currently travelling around the world visiting various amazing facilities, attending health/ wellness events and building the concept. It’s a challenge to innovate in the wellness space, especially in a market as saturated as London. However, I’m confident that, with the fantastic team we have in our corner, we can build something truly exceptional.
Apart from that I have also co-founded a start-up called ZoopScoop and we’re about to launch our first product. ZoopScoop is an innovative solution that vastly improves the dispensing, portability, hygiene, and measurement of powdered supplements such as collagen, greens, protein powders etc. My dream has always been to build a business that improves people’s health whilst being economically viable. I’m planning to do exactly that with the few projects I’m working on!
V.F. : What is the perfect workout with no equipment?
AZ: It very much depends on your goals, what you enjoy and what you want to get out of it. I personally like combining several different movement systems and training methods to achieve the best results. My equipment-free sessions would usually incorporate exercises and movements inspired by martial arts, yoga and Pilates, to name just a few. Our body is so versatile, and we can do so much with it. There is this quote I love from Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)”: “Use your body any way you can, it’s the greatest instrument you will ever own”. I couldn’t agree more. The human body was designed to move, and we need to keep it that way.