Workouts

Train Like a Celebrity

Get an A-list workout with these tips from our trainers to the stars!

http://strength-exchange.goldsgym.com/wp-content/uploads/archives_assets/2009-11/images/trainLikeACelebrity-photo.jpg

How do Hollywood’s hottest celebs keep their envy-inducing figures?

“The key is consistency and intensity,” says celebrity trainer and Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute member Ramona Braganza, who helped Anne Hathaway tone up for the 2008 Oscars and Jessica Alba drop her post-baby weight.

“When celebs have to get in shape, they are really on top of it,” agrees Adam Friedman, a certified personal trainer at the Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute whose clients include model and Olympic volleyball star Gabrielle Reece and NBA forward Austin Croshere. “They view working out as not just for health, but as a responsibility to their profession.”

But that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own Hollywood-inspired workout at home. Braganza thinks taking fitness cues from your favorite celebs is a great way to put a fresh spin on your gym routine. For example, to help today’s leading ladies perfect their figures for upcoming roles, Braganza alternates 10-minute intervals of cardio with three sets of circuit strength-training and core exercises. She notes: “You have to keep the heart rate up throughout the routine for maximum calorie burn.”

ramona

Hot Celebrity Workout Trends

Today’s starlets don’t want to bulk up, so cardio is king, Friedman says. Cycling, running on the beach (and from paparazzi!) and climbing the trendy Santa Monica Stairs, a taxing set of 154 steep wood stairs, are popular ways to burn calories. The Los Angeles-based trainer also relies on functional body-weight exercises — moves like push-ups and squats, which challenge your muscle groups to work together at once — to get his famous clients in their best shape ever. “The idea is to recruit the highest amount of muscle fibers at a time, because the more you’re getting your nervous system involved, the more calories you’re going to burn, the more fat you’re going to burn, the more challenging the exercise is going to be,” he says.

workout-adam

His tried-and-true favorite? The dreaded lunge.

“Lunges are the No. 1 most hated exercise among all my clients,” Friedman says with a smile. “They’re hard and they hurt! But there are so many benefits and so many variations that hit all the areas you want to target.” Case in point: Braganza’s client Jessica Alba reportedly owes her refined behind to a strict diet of lunges.

For an extra challenge, pair the moves with a weight known as a kettlebell, as Friedman makes his pro athletes do, to really work your core and develop explosiveness. “But you should already have a strong foundation in your core, so it’s not something to go to right away,” he warns.

According to Braganza, making those basic changes to your routine will help to keep exercise fresh and exciting.

“Variety is very important,” she says. “For my clients, I try to find what they enjoy and then include it somehow every few workouts, whether it’s boxing drills, hiking or dance classes.”

Celebrity Workout Favorite

One activity in particular is especially popular with today’s leading ladies: yoga.

“Celebrities love yoga!” Friedman says. “It works for them on a mental level, and they love stretching and the feeling they get.” Not to mention long, lean muscles and improved balance and posture. And good posture can mean the difference between a great red-carpet photo and a nod on the worst-dressed list.

“Carrying your head and shoulders forward with bad posture doesn’t look good in pictures or in the mirror,” Friedman explains. “But if you improve your posture and strengthen your back, you’ll look dramatically different and your energy will be different.”

The Ultimate Hollywood Workout

In her 3-2-1 Method, celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza mixes short bursts of cardio with three sets of strength training to keep the workout interesting and the muscles guessing. This particular workout focuses on the triceps and legs, but you can easily sub in alternate exercises. “Variety is very important,” she says. “Find what you enjoy and include it somehow, whether it’s boxing drills, hiking or dance classes.”

CARDIO

Recumbent bike, 10 minutes

Begin at a moderate pace for the first three minutes, then gradually increase pace and resistance for the remaining seven minutes.

CIRCUIT I

Do this circuit three times, with one minute of rest between exercises.

Flat bench chest press

20 reps, use a challenging but liftable weight

Lie on your back, gripping a dumbbell in each hand, elbows bent 90 degrees. Press dumbbells upward until arms are extended. Lower to starting position.

Standing rear lunge

20 reps for each leg

Stand with feet together, hands on your hips or down at your sides. Step back with one foot, landing on the ball of your foot. Bend the back knee until it almost or barely touches the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat with opposite leg.

Bench dip

20–30 reps

Position your hands shoulder-width apart behind you on the edge of a secured bench. Walk your feet out in front of you until you are resting on your heels. Lower your upper body toward the floor by bending your elbows. Slowly press off with your hands to push yourself back up to the starting position.

CARDIO

Treadmill, 10 minutes

Jog at a moderate pace for one minute, then switch to intervals: Every 30 seconds, increase pace to a sprint, then return to normal speed. For the final five minutes, gradually increase the incline.

CIRCUIT II

Do this circuit three times, with one minute of rest between exercises.

Incline fly

20 reps, use a challenging but liftable weight

Lie on an incline bench with legs parted and feet firmly on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended above your chest and elbows slightly bent. Slowly lower the dumbbells out and away from each other until they are at chest level. Raise to starting position.

Squat thrust

15 reps

Begin in a standing position with feet shoulder-width apart. Squat and place your palms on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back as if you are going to do a push-up. Quickly return to the squat position and then stand up.

One-arm tricep extension

10 reps for each arm, plus 10 reps for both arms together

Sit on a seat with back support just below shoulder height. Grip dumbbell with one hand over head with arm straight up or slightly back. Keeping upper arm vertical, lower dumbbell behind the shoulder. Then extend arm to the starting position.

CARDIO

Elliptical trainer, 10 minutes

Gradually increase resistance every 30 seconds until you are at about 80% heart rate.

CORE

Add a stability ball or BOSU balance trainer to any of these exercises to crank up the intensity.

Crunch

30 reps

Lie on your back with your legs bent, hands behind your head and feet flat on the floor. Keeping your neck relaxed, roll your upper back off the floor and then slowly return to the starting position.

Reverse crunch

30 reps

From the crunch position, lift your knees in a smooth arc toward your head, contract the abs and then lower knees back down, making sure not to touch them to the ground. That way, abdominal tension will be maintained.

Plank

Hold for 30 seconds to one minute

Lie facedown on a mat. Push off from your chest, as if you were performing a push-up, coming to rest on your forearms (elbows bent 90 degrees) and toes. Keep your back flat, in a straight line from head to heels with abs contracted, while you hold the position.

STRETCHING

Finish with five to 10 minutes of stretching