Nicole Winhoffer Combines Movement and Mindfulness with The NW Method
After years of designing programs for others, including five years as Madonna’s personal trainer, Nicole Winhoffer found her own rhythm and created The NW Method. Combining music, mindfulness and movement, The NW Method taps into a multitude of influences, from Ayurveda to dance, stage performance and beyond. It comes as no surprise, then, that Winhoffer's creation is resonating with women everywhere, as it brings together and balances the mind, body and soul. In her own words, "it's more than a class, it's an experience." Learn more about Winhoffer and her unique approach to wellness in the interview below.
How did you create your fitness program “The NW Method,” and how does it feel to see the program being used globally?
Movement is universal. I want to connect people through movement. The NW Method is a training program that I created using my experience in the arts, sports, Eastern philosophy, and well-being. I see a need for connection and the importance of building a community.
Working as the creative director of the Addicted to Sweat program at Hard Candy Fitness Gyms from 2010-2014 gave me an opportunity to create and teach a universal training program both for trainers and clients in Chile, Mexico, Germany, Australia, Italy, Canada. and Russia.
Being appointed as the first female Global Women’s Ambassador for Adidas by Stella McCartney from 2014-2016 gave me the opportunity to share my ideas of expression, and the importance of creativity in movement, clothing, and performance. I am honored that the NW Method is continuing to spread across the globe and that people see the need for happiness and healthiness in their lives.
How do you want people to feel, physically and mentally, after they’ve taken one of your classes or used The NW Method?
Infinite. That they can do anything. Our minds are tricksters and can stop us from doing what we dream. One of the intentions of the NW Method is to quiet the mind through music, releasing emotions, and sculpting a fit body. Physically you feel sexy AF. Mentally you feel unstoppable. Soulfully you are whole.
Instead of calling yourself a trainer or fitness instructor, you refer to yourself as a fitness artist. Can you explain what the "art" component means to you?
The Human Body is Art. I design the body like an artist would paint. I create workouts that offer a full experience and representation of life: I draw on contemporary culture, music, arts, fashion, news, film, performance,and anything that moves me emotionally. I draw, write, and create new workouts based on inspirations I see in life. That’s what artists do, create and take from what influences them. Emotions are a huge center of influence for me. I was honored when Adidas featured me in their “Here to Create” campaign, which captured my process for creating new programs and shifting perception of fitness away from just a physical practice.
You grew up dancing and it has always been a passion of yours. What style of dance has been your favorite and why?
I studied Balanchine ballet – I love the discipline, the artistry, and the technique. Technique is the foundation of freedom. Hip hop taught me emotion, feeling, and soul. I love the beat of the music and emoting with my body what words couldn’t say. Together ballet and hip-hop have brought me the most fulfillment and will continue to drive parts of my creativity.
How did you make the transition from being a Broadway dancer to a global fitness ambassador?
Dance is a powerful connector. It teaches you about yourself and has the ability to connect the world. Working on Broadway, on award shows, and touring opened my eyes to the world and the power of music and movement to connect people.
Working as Madonna’s personal trainer for 5 years, I developed my craft and have been able to fuse my experiences to create new workouts and training programs.
Inspired by my love of traveling and learning other cultures, I found a new way to connect people from different parts of the globe. Movement is universal and through dance and fitness I became comfortable in knowing my purpose. After 4 years’ experience of co-creating the Hard Candy Fitness program, I signed with adidas by Stella McCartney as their first Global Women’s Ambassador. I seek to bring creativity and newness to each project I am part of.
“Keep trying new things. Go dancing at night. Listen to new music - something that moves your soul. Your soul has to be moved for you to be inspired."
What’s it like to work with a major athletic brand like adidas?
Super. Working with adidas was an incredibly rewarding experience, personally, emotionally, and professionally. Our two-year global partnership taught me about innovation in clothing and the importance of self-expression in apparel and shoes. I was incredibly honored to join the global family that supported me as an artist.
Being named as the brand’s first Global Women’s Ambassador for adidas by Stella McCartney helped me to share my passions and inspirations with so many women around the world. I was able to see first-hand how the clothes are created from design to store and share creative and performance feedback after dancing in their apparel. I asked for a tour… So they allowed me to tour the US and Asia with a stage, a mic, and I was able to perform while teaching women around the world!
What is your golden rule when it comes to working out?
Music loud, mind off. Let the Subconscious flow. I get all my best ideas when I work out, and manifest my dreams when I’m toning my body.
The people taking your classes always look like they’re breaking a sweat and having a good time. What are your tips for those who struggle with finding a workout that they actually enjoy?
You haven’t found what inspires you and that’s OK. Keep trying new things. Go dancing at night. Listen to new music – something that moves your soul. Your soul has to be moved for you to be inspired. If you’re not in NYC, try my #NWChurch live streaming service (which you can check out here). I have sick music, fun moves, and you can be alone in your house dancing so you don’t feel weird.
There are plenty of ways to work out, but not all of them are as successful as yours. Why do you think people love your routines so much?
People don’t want to be bored. They want results. They want a good time. They don’t want to be sold bs. They want to have fun and look good. That’s what the NW Method does.
Any big fitness projects that you’re working on for the future?
I do have a few. I don’t like speaking about things until they’re executed… so you will see! It involves fashion, performance, and the stage!
What are four gems in New York City?
1. Lafayette – My favorite restaurant, I’m there four times a week.
2. Great Jones Spa – A great place to get a massage (if I’m not with my home masseuse).
3. Dr. Yamaguchi – my acupuncturist.
4. Opening Ceremony – my crew!!! They hook me up when I shop.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
That I’m a Miss and I'm independent.
Photos by: Paristobio