As a group of women working towards common goals for STYLE Canada‘s brand and business, we understand the value of peer support in the workplace. So, after our last Supper Club at Soho House, we decided to bring like-minded women in business together and feature them in an ongoing series: #LeadingLadies. Learn more about #LeadingLady Alessia Scauzillo, founder of online fitness platform A Sculpt Body.
SC: If you were introducing yourself to someone for the first time, what would you tell them?
AS: I’m the founder of A Sculpt Body, an online fitness platform with amazing low impact sculpting workouts. I have built this amazing community of hundreds of women on the principle that fitness isn’t about achieving a certain weight, body shape, or clothing size. My programs are created to make women feel good on the inside, relieve stress, and find mental clarity and focus. I’m not your ‘typical’ fitness instructor. I’m a regular girl who loves fitness, but also loves fashion, wine, travel, and so many other things!
SC: Who or what has been a strong influence in your life?
AS: My mom, who had a strong passion for fitness. My mom passed away in June 2011 and I found that exercising helped me continue to feel connected to her. I first began working out when I attended a class held in my mom’s honour. During this class I was out of breath, dizzy, and struggling… but I pushed through. At the end of the workout I felt equal parts embarrassed and accomplished, but I had hit a turning point.
After a lifetime of dreading physical movement, my perspective on exercise shifted. I realized that working out could be fun, a way to boost my mood and a way for me to gain confidence that I had not previously had. And again, most of all, movement helped me feel connected to my Mom.
My mom is the reason why I got into fitness, and ultimately the reason why I created my business. My mom’s dedication and grit pushed her to exercise until the final few months of her life to keep her mind and body as strong as she possibly could. When I’m feeling tired or unmotivated, I often think to myself, ‘If my mom could do it in those last few difficult months, so can I’. Despite my Mom not being with me physically any longer, she inspires me daily to be my absolute best self, go after my dreams, and help so many women around me do the same.
SC: What made you make the move from corporate finance to fitness?
AS: I was a vice president at a large Canadian bank. It was every bit as hectic, stressful, and intense as you could imagine, but on the outside, I was living the corporate dream. Working out was the ultimate self-care tool for me. It boosted my confidence and mood and gave me the energy I needed to take on each day.
While I was working full-time at the bank (pre-COVID), I was experiencing firsthand how difficult it was to find the time for an in-person workout class or gym session, not to mention fitting it in with travel or drinks with my girlfriends. I started to see a white space for amazing, effective, and fun online workouts that women everywhere could fit into their hectic schedules.
Now remember, this was in 2019 pre-COVID, when there were very limited online fitness options. So, I decided to create one myself and officially launched A Sculpt Body in 2020. Since then, it has become my personal mission to empower as many women as possible to make movement an important and fun part of their everyday lives, no matter how busy things can get.
SC: What is the ASB Method?
AS: The ASB Method consists of simple, yet effective, low impact workouts that breathe life into your day. Since no equipment is needed, women are able to conveniently fit classes into their busy schedules. ASB provides the support, information, and motivation that is needed to show up as your best, most energized self, from anywhere at any time.
SC: Why do you focus on low-impact movement?
AS: I believe that you don’t have to destroy your body with grueling, lengthy, high-impact workouts to become a stronger you. Having a consistent workout routine that feels good on your body is so much more beneficial and sustainable. This is why all the ASB workouts are low-impact and use controlled movements, with no jumping ever(bye, bye burpees!).
ASB workouts allow you to get a deep burn in your muscles and strengthen your entire body without compromising your form, or putting immense pressure on your joints. You’ll also increase your flexibility and improve your alignment, balance, and posture, all while keeping your stress levels in check. The ASB method is not just about sculpting your body – it’s about energizing your life!
Prior to starting ASB, I did a lot of high impact workouts and I was constantly getting injured. It didn’t make sense to me. I was working out to feel good, yet working out was also causing me to be in pain. This is why all my workouts are low impact, yet are super effective, while always being safe for the body.
With our increasingly sedentary lifestyles and spending lots of time at a desk, (something I know all too well from my corporate life), I don’t recommend working eight, 10, 12-hour days and then suddenly getting up and doing burpees. It’s just a recipe for disaster and injury.
SC: What motivates you to empower women?
AS: Knowing that when women incorporate movement into their lives, it has a positive impact on every other area of their lives – family, friends, work, school, community, and beyond. When women feel amazing, we are unstoppable. I am so grateful for my community and they keep me motivated on a daily basis.
SC: What is your greatest achievement over the past decade?
AS: By far my greatest achievement of the past decade was taking the leap to create A Sculpt Body, and ultimately deciding to leave my corporate job to run A Sculpt Body full-time. It was a very difficult decision to leave my stable, “good on paper” corporate job at one of Canada’s largest financial institutions, where I was a strong performer with a bright future ahead. Many factors went into my decision to leave, but ultimately, I knew that empowering women through movement was my calling, and it was something I could not live without doing. If I didn’t jump in full force with both feet, I knew I would regret it. I cannot thank my ASB community enough for supporting and encouraging me to make the jump, and showing up for me every day.
SC: How do you stay undistracted by the body ideals that are promoted on social media, since you say that fitness isn’t about achieving a certain weight, body shape, or clothing size?
AS: To me, it’s not about achieving a certain weight, body shape, or clothing size. ASB is all about creating space for women to feel good on the inside, relieve stress, and find mental clarity and focus. It’s about shifting our mindset from how our bodies look to how our bodies feel. Move because it feels good. Because it gives you energy. Because it clears your mind. Because it makes you feel strong and confident. Not because you are punishing yourself for eating or drinking or to achieve a certain body image.
When you exercise because of how it makes you feel, the other benefits (like toned muscles, the way your clothes fit and all of that stuff) will happen. When you treat your body with love, it knows what to do. Trust in that.
Instead of eliminating, depriving, or restricting, I take that energy and focus on nourishing and caring for myself instead. We should really be focusing on what we can add into our lives to help us feel healthier and better. Maybe it’s more veggies, an extra glass of water a day, a light walk, going to sleep one hour earlier or 15 minutes of movement. Where the focus goes, things flow. The more we concentrate on what we can ADD into our lives, the less space there is for the rest that does not serve us.
I also really believe in curating our social media feeds. If something is popping up on your feed that makes you feel less than in any way, it’s time to unfollow. You are in control of what you consume on social media.
SC: How do you tailor workouts to the overwhelmingly busy and demanding schedules of millennials and moms?
AS: I understand how hard it can be to balance an overwhelming and demanding schedule. Between working, taking care of kids, studying, and spending time with family and friends, it can seem nearly impossible to find any time for yourself. ASB workouts range from five minutes to just under an hour with beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes. There is something for everyone, no matter where you’re at on your fitness journey or how much time you have to move each day.
An ASB membership provides unlimited access to a wide variety of class options, from regular sculpt, to slow burn, to sweaty cardio-based classes (again, no jumping!), to quickie workouts that leave you feeling toned in under 15 minutes. ASB also offers several workout schedules that can be easily followed if you’re looking for guidance, and the ability to save workouts you love to your personal favourites list – plus mark workouts as ‘completed’ once you’ve done them.
You can also filter by what body part you want to work out, how much time you have, and any props that you’d like to use. Convenience is everything at ASB. While our workouts are designed to use primarily your bodyweight so that you can move with me from wherever you are, you will also have access to tons of classes that incorporate bands or light weights for days that you feel like spicing things up. Plus, ASB adds new classes every single week, so you will never get bored!
SC: What do you hope each woman feels after an ASB class?
AS: My goal is for you to finish every class feeling happy, healthy, and inspired, with the energy you need to take on anything that life throws your way. Showing up for yourself on a regular basis, even if it’s just for five minutes, does really amazing things for your physical health and mental well-being. I want women to know that you can feel stronger, healthier, and happier without being overwhelmed or tied to a physical gym.
SC: You have your own line of body bands! How did this creation come about?
AS: I wanted to take the intensity level of my bodyweight workouts up a notch, while making sure the prop I introduced was lightweight, easy to store at home, and light to travel with, so women could continue to do my workouts from anywhere. My ASB bands are the perfect way to do just that!!
SC: What are your goals for A Sculpt Body?
AS: To continue to grow my workout library with different styles of workouts. To foster A Sculpt Body’s amazing community through in person events (hopefully!). To add more ASB branded merch.
SC: What do you love most about the work you do?
AS: That every single day I get to wake up and help ASB’s community of strong, supportive, and empowered women feel like their best selves. I also love that I get to blend my two worlds (fitness and finance) as a business owner now. It is so empowering to get to create my own schedule and build a life and community that I love.
SC: What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
AS: Happiness is more important than money. It will be scary to make (way) less, but your life will become rich in so many other incredible ways. You’ll wonder why you didn’t take the leap sooner.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Enjoy every bit of the journey and try not to always be reaching for the next milestone. Keep reminding yourself that you work to live, not live to work.
Keep living, having fun, making mistakes, bettering yourself, following your gut, working hard, playing harder, celebrating all the moments, and doing you! Life is only going to get better with age!
SC: If there’s one message you could send through your platform, what would it be?
AS: That movement can be fun, affordable, and make you feel good. Every single woman deserves that!