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Meet The Trainer: Equinox Pro Rachel Buschert Vaziralli

If you tried February's Express Workout (tear-out cards on page 65!) you know that this total-body, calorie scorching routine is KILLER! I met Rachel, the trainer who created the moves, while working out one day at my local Equinox and I was so impressed by her energy and passion for helping others get fit.  As I've been preparing for my upcoming wedding next week, I've done these five moves from Melt It Off! as a quick morning workout and I've also infused some of the individual moves in between my strength training routine. These moves really get your heart pumping and keep the calories burning long after your workout is done. I think this trainer's going to be a big star in the future! For now, get to know her a little better! (And try those moves—you'll thank me later!)

Did you ever have an "aha!" moment like some of our readers?

I moved to New York to study dance at NYU, but a year after college I was like many struggling artists and found myself waiting tables and bartending to make ends meet. I also packed on 40 pounds—I literally was putting in an order at the restaurant job that I hated, had my hand on my hip and felt my muffin top. I quit that night! The next day I began working out, dancing and studying for my personal training certification. Now, I have over 10 major fitness certifications, I'm 40 pounds lighter, and stronger than ever!

Are you still dancing?

Yep! I occasionally dance with Refractions Dance Collective in NYC.

What is your favorite part of your job now?

I love seeing the progress and results in my students—that's why I teach, to help them get they body they want and deserve. I had a student taking my biathlon class at Equinox where we cycle indoors then run over the Brooklyn Bridge and back; and the first time she was sucking wind and could barely complete the session. After a few weeks she was cruising through the class and told me she had signed up for her first 5K. Nothing is better than that feeling of knowing I helped her achieve this goal and seeing her so happy about it.

What snack is your biggest temptation?

OMG there's way too many! But if I had to pick, nachos all the way! Having a "foodie" for a husband certainly makes eating clean a challenge.

So how do you manage sticking to a healthy diet?

I keep a food journal with an iPhone app. It keeps me accountable and helps me maintain nutrient balance and calorie control.

If you weren't a trainer you'd be.....

Dancing and choreographing modern and contemporary dance. I've always loved the challenge of creating a piece of art work with the medium being music, an empty space and human beings.

What fitness challenge are you most scared of?

My passion is cycling, but I do Biathlons because you must be at least three bikes away from a fellow competitor during these type of races. I need to get over my fear of pack riding and crashing and do just a straight up bike race where distance between competitors doesn't matter!

Who is your fitness idol?
Without a doubt Shaun T the creator and trainer of the INSANITY DVD collections. I got to work with him as one of the athletes in Beachbody's latest DVD series, INSANITY & ASYLUM and the training for it was brutal. He pushed me to a point I never thought possible. To this day I hear him in my head when I train: "Rachel, focus and go...dig deeper. Be in it to win it!"

That's a great mantra to remember. So where do you see yourself in 10 years?

If you asked me that 10 years ago I would never have thought I'd be a master trainer or athlete! I hope to go back to school now and get my doctorate in Physical Therapy and I'm also working on a fitness program of my own so watcht out for that!

What song is on your playlist right now that you think everyone else should have too?

Great Release by LCD soundsystem. Perfect for a strong, steady increasing hill climb in cycling class!

Check out more about Rachel on her website: www.rachelvfitness.com

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