Nolan Ferraro sets his intention for better fitness.
You’d think that owning a fitness studio, teaching daily boot-camp classes and working one-on-one with personal training clients would be a natural motivation to exercise constantly — but Nolan Ferraro, owner of Salire Fitness, says finding a balance is trickier than it sounds.
“Because of owning the business, there’s so much to do that you never envision when you’re a trainer somewhere,” Ferraro says. “Twelve- to14-hour days make it very difficult to stay energized and motivated.”
But Ferraro, a LaPlace native with nearly 20 years of fitness industry experience, has learned to prioritize his health. Upon graduating high school, he joined the Army — a two-year sojourn that ignited his love for fitness and movement. Within a few years, he had become a certified personal trainer. “In January 2000, I got an opportunity at New Orleans Athletic Club,” he says. “I came back home and haven’t looked back since.”
Ferraro opened Salire Fitness in June 2005, rebuilding the business after Hurricane Katrina flooded it less than two months later. These days, Salire is going strong on Magazine Street — and Ferraro is enthusiastic about the studio’s newest offering. “I developed the Body Blitz class as part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program,” he says. This high-energy alternative to outdoor boot-camp classes boasts a smaller class size, and targets serious fitness buffs.
On Staying Motivated: “You have to be intentional,” Ferraro says. “It’s about capturing the moment.” Whenever he has an hour to himself, he’ll hit the gym for a quick workout.
His Fuel: Ferraro eats regularly so his blood sugar doesn’t spike, and he avoids excess complex carbohydrates. “I eat four to five times a day, so I don’t get ravenous,” he says.
Plain Greek yogurt and a piece of fruit are his morning go-tos, while lunch might be Vietnamese spring rolls with extra sprouts and lettuce. A protein bar, or another piece of fruit, helps round out his snacking schedule.
Lately, Ferraro and his wife have been trying to cut down on complex carbohydrates for dinner, opting for salads with “a little bit of protein,” he says. “If people could get dinner in check, they could have a lot more food in the earlier hours of the day.”
Client Success Story: “I can think of two,” Ferraro says. Aisha Champagne, a longtime Salire Fitness member, has lost nearly 50 pounds with the help of the studio’s classes. “She’s been going to boot camp for three years,” Ferraro says. “She also does our Body Blitz class now.”
A private training client, Katie Hock, has also transformed her body. “Katie lost about 50 to 55 pounds training with my other trainer, Wesley Johnson,” Ferraro says. “Both of them were going at it for six to eight months.”
Wise Words: Ferraro offers a systematic approach to getting fit. “First, research your own health and wellness,” he says. “Find out your goals. Most people have no goal or vague goals when they go to find a trainer.” Those in poor health should get medical clearance to begin an exercise routine.
Once you’ve found a trainer who’s a good fit, it’s important to work with that person to set your intentions — and take your measurements. “Demand that due diligence is done, and they help you set specific goals that are reasonable,” Ferraro says. “If they don’t do a full-out fitness assessment, they should at least take body fat, body mass and circumference, so you can check your progress every six weeks. Metrics are important, if they’re taken and they’re used.” salirefitness.com