Nichelle is a fitness model, personal trainer and the owner of Optimum Training Centre, a 6,000 sqft training facility in Toronto. She’s known for her 8 weeks to fabu-LAUS program and oh did I mention she’s a mom of four boys?! Let’s find out how this ex-cop turned mompreneur stays on top of her fitness game and what exercises she recommends for other busy moms…
What’s a day in the life of Nichelle Laus like?
Being a mom to 4 little ones and owning a business, it is pretty hectic. Sometimes I don’t even know how I fit it all in but I do because I have to. There is no other choice and to make things happen, you have to hustle. You can’t sit there and dream about making things happen. You have to go out and make them happen!
My average day usually starts really early in the morning. I get up at 5:00 am and hit the gym at 5:30 am for my daily workout. I like to get it done early so it doesn’t interrupt family time, and I don’t have to worry about finding the time during my busy day to get it done.
I have a pretty busy, yet manageable schedule because I make sure everything has a time slot. I also leave room for surprises, a flexibility is key when you a momtrepreneur!
After getting 3 of the 4 kids off to school, I head into work, Optimum Training Centre, which is my personal training studio in Etobicoke. I train clients for a part of the day, and of course, work on the administrative stuff that comes along with owning your own business.
After 3:00pm, I go into full time Mom mode again, which involves after school activities, cooking, cleaning, laundry and snuggles. Once the kids go to bed at night, I relax by having a bath or shower, then work on my other business, my online transformation business.
I enjoy my busy lifestyle. A lot of people wonder why and how I do so much but I really enjoy what I do and because I love it so much, I don’t look at it as work. It’s my passion and if I can motivate or inspire one person a day, my job is done. The rest is gravy.
Tell us about Optimum Training Centre.
Fitness has always been part of my life. I used to be a competitive kickboxer and boxer. When I started our family, I found the demand for training for a fight was far too great. I went to my best friend’s fitness competition and decided that I could do that too. Training can be done on my own time and still have the competitive edge. I started coaching a short time after, and by word of mouth, my online training business started to grow rapidly.
This whole time, I had a career as a full-time police officer. The shift work and days off made it easier to have a second job. But after a while, all my time off was spent working on my online training business.
At the same time, my husband who was also a police officer, started working a second job as a fitness photographer. Our passions for what we did shone through and as the years went on, our second businesses became so successful that we decided to take it to the next level.
Dave decided to spread his wings and look for a studio space of his own, He came across this beautiful, well lit, easy accessible location in Etobicoke and asked me if I wanted a small space to train clients out of. One thing led to another, and after a few consultations with some business mentors, we decided to open OTC Toronto. The name is actually a derivative of OPC (Ontario Police College), which we thought would be a neat idea considering we were police officers. (Love it!)
We decided in order for us to run at our full potential, we had to make an important risky decision. After 15 years as police officers, we both resigned to nurture our new baby, OTC. It was very hard to leave my comfort zone. I had a secure job, with great benefits and a pension. But sometimes in life, you have to take a risk. You have to follow your heart and your passion, and realize that other great things are meant for you.
2 years later, and we are going strong! Never give up! Jump. You will find your wings along the way.
Have you trained any celebs or well known personalities?
As far as movie stars, tv personalities or musicians, no I have not. If anyone can send Drake my way, I would be glad to train him though! Lol
You are such an inspiration to others so who inspires you?
Thank you so much, I appreciate that (blush). Strong women (and I don’t mean only physically) inspire me. Those who have been through adversity, and hardship and still manage to come out on top. Watching their journey inspires me because I know how hard they are working to make it happen despite the obstacles they face.
I have one extremely active toddler son that acts like 4 kids … but you actually have FOUR boys!!! I can’t even…
Yes, my house is a complete zoo. They wake up at 6:00am every morning no matter what time they go to bed, and they do not stop all day long until night time. Sometimes I don’t even know myself how I do it. The past 10 years has been a blur. But we have a lot of fun, and I love watching them interact with each other. They really are best friends despite all the fighting that goes on. And I would like to think they are all mamas boys!
What’s the secret to juggling a business, fitness and your daily mom routine?
I would have to say scheduling and consistency. Everyone knows their daily roles and routines in the house. As for me personally, I always keep an open mind as well as a flexible schedule. Anything can change at any given time. Although I do wish I had more time in my day, I manage to get most of my daily tasks done. And if I don’t, I prioritize it for the next day if needed. A daily to-do list and learning to multi-task is extremely important to making all the pieces run smoothly together.
What items do you always have in your gym bag?
My workout routine, my wireless Beats, BCAAs, grips, weight belt, ankle straps, gym towel and can’t forget the lip balm!
What types of exercise do you recommend for busy professional moms to stay in shape?
If you want the best for your buck, I suggest compound movements (exercises that target several different muscle groups at once) because they build the most muscle and increase strength. Some examples include Barbell Squat, Flat Bench Press, Deadlift, and Bent Over Row. Another recommendation is doing circuit style workouts. Circuit training builds strength and muscle endurance. There are many ways to organize a circuit workout, but the idea is to perform one exercise after the other for a set amount of time or repetitions, then proceed to the next exercise without rest until all the exercises are complete in that circuit. Then rest and repeat for as many times as you want depending on your fitness level or time you have.
Your favourite dining and hangout spots in Toronto.
I am typically with my boys and husband everywhere so we always try to go places that can accommodate us all. We love our favorite bakery, San Remo Bakery, at any time of the day. Other favorite family restaurants include Vesuvio Pizzeria, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen for weekend breakfast, and for delicious burgers, we enjoy Woody’s.
Top 3 places on your travel bucket list.
Malta, Jamaica, and Disneyland.
If you wrote a biography, what would the book title be?
Nichelle Laus: Fit Survival