It’s no secret celebrities practically train like professional athletes. Almost as famous for their incredibly taut and toned figures as they are for acting or singing, celebrities are usually the first ones to try out the latest workout trends. Privy to the latest fitness tricks and tips courtesy of their A-list trainers, celebs make the fitness trends that inspire the rest of us want to hit the gym. In fact, if it weren’t for Hollywood, there probably wouldn’t be a spinning or Pilates class at your local gym.
So why we wouldn’t want to know behind-the-scenes secrets of how celebs stay fit and energetic all the while getting up for early 5 a.m. calls, rearing children and tending to a celebrity marriage? That’s why we talked to some of the hottest celebrity trainers in the biz on their top fitness tips and how their celeb clients get in tip-top shape.
“Find a weight that is challenging for you to lift for 10 reps, and then rest a minute in between,” celebrity trainer Anna Kaiser, founder of AKT, who’s worked with Kelly Ripa, suggests. “Repeat that same exercise two more times. This will help you build lean muscle. Try not to cheat yourself by using a lighter weight that isn’t challenging enough for 10 reps.”
Another tip: “You want to create goals that are specific enough that you know when you have accomplished them. Good goal: I would like to lose 2 pounds in 30 days. This is a goal that is quantifiable and allows you the opportunity to focus within a time period that feels attainable. Once you reach it, it’s time to set a new goal.”
“Create a reward plan,” says Kaiser who’s also worked with Shakira. “For example, aim for three days a week for a month. Every time you do, give yourself a star, and when you reach 12 stars, reward yourself with a manicure or lunch with a friend.”
Another tip: “Eat a good source of protein within 45 minutes of finishing your workout. This will help build lean muscle and rev up your metabolism and keep your energy going.”
“My No. 1 rule is that you must find fitness programs or methods that you enjoy,” Ferraro says. “If you don’t like it, you won’t be motivated to do it, and therefore won’t give it your all. Make sure these methods are a balance of strength training and cardio.”
As far as dieting goes, Ferraro says you don’t have to go overboard counting calories. “If you’re eating good whole foods, the calories are not what matters. Nourish your body with nutrients through produce and clean protein, and you are good to go,” he says.
“Move your body every day! It is not optional,” Jordan says. “Choose something you enjoy for a rest day like a long walk, hike, short swim, dance class—it doesn’t have to be a full hour. Get five, 10, 20 minutes in, and your body—and mind—will give you back beautiful results!”
Jordan says a lot of people can get intimidated by the thought of starting a new workout. “Hear us when we say, ‘Wherever you’re at today is perfect!’ Get in there, give it your best, shake off the intimidation and never let frustration interfere with your mind-body connection,” she adds.
Karen Joubert, a celebrity physical therapist, has a very impressive roster of clients, including Jennifer Aniston, Serena Williams and Cher. And though she’s not technically a trainer, Joubert plays a big part in her clients’ fitness and well-being.
“If people were to go visit a physical therapist first before starting a workout routine, then they would avoid so many injuries,” she says. “Sure, spinning is great, but is it for you? Not everyone should be doing it. Have someone analyze your body and discuss what your goals are, and then you can develop a good exercise program that works for your body.”
Joubert advises people to mix up their fitness routines. “If you’re only doing yoga or only lifting weights, then your body becomes complacent,” she explains. “Your body needs to be stimulated and have different stimulants. Like doing a cardio class, then doing a weights class and then stretching. If you’re constantly switching it up, your body will be challenged and you’ll see better results.”
It’s also important not to overdo it, she says. “You don’t need to exercise every day. Your body needs a day or two to recover,” Joubert explains. “Also, know your limits. Don’t let your competitive edge take over. You don’t need to push yourself in a class. Be patient and enjoy the process.”
And don’t forget that what you’re eating really matters. “You are what you eat,” she says. “Our bodies are like a machine. If you’re not feeding your body or hydrating your body, then the body breaks down. Before you even start a fitness regime, take a look at what you eat. Make sure you’re eating foods that are good for you. Without proper nutrition, you can’t participate fully in a workout program.”
Her first tip is to try to work out in a warm or heated room. “One of my biggest concerns is that these big gyms usually have the AC blasting, and that usually leads to injury and not being able to fully extend your body,” she says. “So with all of my clients, we have the temperature up to 80 degrees, which gets the blood flowing more, you sweat more, and you get the muscles warmed up to extend themselves further than they would in a colder room.”
Her second tip is to stretch. “I see a lot of people do a warm-up, but they’re not accessing certain muscle groups that help with stability. So I have all of my clients do a three- to five-minute dance movement/dynamic stretch before their workout,” says Winhoffer. “Also, don’t forget to cool down. When your heart rate is at a certain point and you’ve exerted yourself, you need your body to cool down before you go off to your everyday activities.”
And if you’re a beginner, Winhoffer’s top tip is to tell yourself you’re really good at exercising. “When I work with my celeb clients, their mindset is already there,” she explains. “But beginners have trouble believing that they’re good at it. So first, get your mindset right.”
On top of that, she tells beginners to schedule their workouts on a calendar and make sure they’re going two to three times a week. Winhoffer also recommends purchasing a workout video or a gym membership so you’ve financially committed yourself to a fitness journey.
“When people pay for something, they’re more inclined to use it or do it,” she notes. “When you watch something free on YouTube, it’s hard to commit to daily. But if you pay for something, like a subscription or a membership, you’ve made the commitment to do something about it.”
When it comes down to it, you don’t need the financial resources of a celebrity to get a great workout in, and when it doubt, try some of these proven tips to getting the job done.