Written on October 31, 2013 at 12:06 pm , by Lauren Cardarelli
Dedication. That’s the name of the game for Grammy-winning rapper, entrepreneur and actor L.L. Cool J. Whether he’s memorizing lines for his Navy SEAL turned NCIS operative character (Sam Hanna) on NCIS: Los Angeles or hitting the gym, L.L. is committed to giving it his all—and then some.
Finding the time for a healthy balance is his secret. “You just have to be willing to get [to the gym] when you can fit it,” says Cool J. With long-time trainer Dave “Scooter” Honig, one of Hollywood’s fittest musician sticks to a rigorous routine bursting with burpees, sprints, pushups, hanging abs, running mans and more. Hello, tank top-ready guns! And according to the multi-talented artist, there’s no excuse for skipping a sweat sesh. “It could be late at night when I get home around midnight, or early in the morning, like 3 or 4 a.m. I just try to figure it out,” he explains, adding that he couldn’t live without protein shakes, oatmeal, tuna and chicken breasts when it comes to refueling.
It certainly helps that fitness is a family affair. “Everyone loves getting to the gym and understands the importance of it, without a doubt,” the father of four shares. “[My kids] grew up seeing me work out like a maniac!” But many children aren’t nearly as lucky to have such a fit and fabulous role model, which is why Cool J teamed up with After-School All-Stars (ASAS).
The organization, which provides youth the tools they need for success through skill development programs coupled with athletic and academic competitions, struck a chord. “It’s great because when I think about how I grew up and where I come from, you know, after-school programs are super duper important,” he explains, hinting at his personal childhood struggles. “ACE Brand Sports Medicine Products just launched the ‘A’ Game Challenge. They’re paying it forward.”
In celebration of youth athletics, the trio created this video entry contest to inspire youngsters to showcase their outstanding athletic skills for a $10,000 scholarship. Learn more about the initiative with ASAS here and if you know any interested participants, be sure to submit their all-star moment by November 15.
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Written on September 10, 2013 at 10:12 am , by Colleen Moody
Maybe it’s the slew of emails and pitches editors get a day, but lately it seems like everyone is an expert at something. That’s far from the case, says Paul Juris, ED. D., executive director of the Cybex Research Institute. Even if the person is certified, there are some critical checkpoints you should look out for when choosing a trainer for your own fitness goals. See what he has to say below.
Oh, and did we mention that Juris used to be the strength coach for the Dallas Mavericks? If there is anyone who knows a thing or two about using personal training to reach your goals, it’s him!
More from FITNESS: What’s Your Fitness Motivation?
Written on July 22, 2013 at 1:09 pm , by Colleen Moody
Can you imagine working out nine hours a day? Me neither. But that’s what professional ballerinas do Monday through Friday, in addition to strength training, conditioning and technique workshops. Whoa. We got a glimpse of the life of a dancer in the first season of Breaking Pointe, a reality series that follows a group of dancers at Ballet West, a professional ballet company in Salt Lake City, Utah. To kick off the start of the second season on the CW, we chatted with Allison DeBona, one of the dancers featured on the show about what it takes to become a professional dancer and what putting your life on TV is really like.
How did you get started dancing?
When I was three years old, my mom put me in gymnastics and dancing. I gravitated more toward dancing and that was that!
Was there ever a point that you got sick of it?
Yes, I actually quit for a while from 8th grade until junior year of high school.
Wow, that’s a big gap. How did you get back into the scene?
I had always loved ballet and the reasons I walked away from it wasn’t because I didn’t like it, I just had a lot of other stuff going on at that moment. When I went back I was just really determined. I did go to college though–most ballet dancers who try to go professional do it right after high school. My parents and I discussed it and we thought it was best if I went to college since I had taken so much time off. I went to Indiana University and they have a ballet program so I worked hard there and then got a job at 24 years old at Ballet West, which is pretty late age-wise for a ballerina. Read more
Written on July 1, 2013 at 10:18 am , by Colleen Moody
Anytime a surfer comes into the office for a meeting, I’m immediately jealous. The tan, the sun-streaked hair and the overall free-spirited attitude they all seem to encompass has me tempted to trade in my cubicle for a surfboard (except for the tiny issue of having absolutely no idea, nor the courage to learn how to surf). But though she may seem laid back, Roxy pro Lee Ann Curren is a busy lady! Between competing in the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour at the Roxy Pro Biarritz this month in addition to rehearsing with her band Betty the Shark in her free time; Curren’s fearless spirit is completely contagious. Below, Curren chats about her workouts, favorite places to surf and more.
Your dad is surf legend Tom Curren. Did you feel pressured to surf growing up?
There really wasn’t any pressure, because I loved surfing when I was younger. It was cool having my dad always there and looking after us and it was something we could share with him. I have four brothers and we all surf, so it’s kind of like family bonding time. Read more
Written on June 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm , by Colleen Moody
One of the many perks of working here at FITNESS is the ability to test out new workouts and routines often. And while as a staff we work up a sweat quite a bit, we have our fair share of standard 9-to-5 days too, which of course means sitting all day long. But now thanks to the new TechnoGym Wellness Ball, anyone can get a workout at their desk by using it for what trainer Josh Holland calls, “active sitting.” The ball is composed of two different densities, so that bottom half is heavier than the top half (so no rogue ball rolling down the hall!). It also comes with a QR code on the handle, which gives you the ability to scan with your smartphone to grab additional exercises.
To correct your posture, strengthen your core and improve your flexibility on those days when you can’t make it to yoga or even a quick lunchtime walk, sneak into a conference room and try a few of these moves below using the Wellness Ball.
First, start with a stretch. Wrap your arms as far around the ball as you can then do the inverse, lie with your back on the ball and roll it slightly to elongate your back and open up your chest and shoulders.
Plank and Pike (Core): Start with a plank, forearms on the ball and feet on the floor (for additional support put the ball against a wall). Hold for 10 seconds and go into a Pike and Level–from plank position pop your butt into the air, then back down to level for 10 reps.
Chair and Squats (Legs): Place the ball between you and a wall at waist height with your back to the ball. Squat into a seated position for 10 seconds and hold. Next, squat up and down, rolling the ball against the wall with your back from the seated position for 10 reps. End back in Chair position and lift one knee at a time for 10 reps.
Even if you can’t bust out a squat in the middle of your busy day, just sitting on the ball gives you a slow and steady burn if sitting correctly. Holland says to make sure you are always engaging your core. To give yourself a quick self-check, place your hands behind your back and lengthen the chest to straighten out your posture.
For more information on the TechnoGym Wellness Ball, visit technogym.com.
Written on April 29, 2013 at 3:29 pm , by Colleen Moody
As someone who is feverishly planning her own nuptials, I came to a realization I’m sure many brides arrived at much quicker than I did: Weddings are expensive! To then even think about shelling out beaucoup bucks on a pricey boot camp tailored toward brides made me want to curl up in a ball (or elope, though I’m not sure Mom would be too pleased about that).
Luckily, The White Gown, a bridal boutique in Dumbo, Brooklyn understands that brides want to look great despite their budget and are setting up a series of public workout sessions this summer in NYC at Pier 46 in Greenwich Village. Workouts will be led my Molly Winter Stewart of Molly Winter Fitness, and will be designed to hit the spots most visible on your wedding day based on your dress shape–mermaid, halter, strapless and backless. The best part? You can cross “find fitness plan” off your very long wedding to-do list without spending a single penny.
Fit to Be Bride Bootcamp starts Saturday, May 18 at 9:30 a.m., at Pier 46 in Manhattan. Sign up by emailing email@example.com.
More from FITNESS: Vow to Stress Less: Wedding Day Tips from Brides
Written on April 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm , by FITNESS Editors
Written by Alyssa Shaffer
Has our 10-week triathlon training guide in our May issue got you itching to sign up for a race? We don’t blame you! Whether it’s near your own backyard or across the country, these beginner-friendly sprint races will transform you into a true triathlete.
If you want…
An urban experience
• TriRock Philadelphia: Swim, bike and run in the City of Brotherly Love, starting with a dip in the Schuylkill River and finishing with a ride and run through scenic Fairmount Park. There’s also an Olympic-distance race the next day. (June 22, trirock.competitor.com/philadelphia)
• Life Time Tri Chicago: One of the largest tris in the world begins with a swim in Lake Michigan then follows Lake Shore Drive past such scenic landmarks as Buckingham Fountain and the Shedd Aquarium. There’s also a super sprint distance and an Olympic course if you want to go shorter or longer. (August 25, chicagotriathlon.com)
• Mini-Mussel Sprint Triathlon: Spend the weekend in upstate New York’s popular Finger Lakes region. The 10th annual race includes a swim in a canal, a bike ride along vineyard-dotted roads, and a fast, flat run through a lakefront park. For hearty types, there’s also a half Ironman the next day. (July 13, musselmantri.com)
• Coeur d’Alene Triathlon: The new Scenic Sprint in Idaho lives up to its name as one of the most picturesque courses in the Pacific Northwest, with a placid lake swim, a winding bike course and a triumphant finish inside Coeur d’Alene City Park. (August 10, cdatriathlon.com)
• Nautica Malibu Triathlon: Race alongside celebs (last year’s finishers included Claire Holt, Jillian Michaels and Alison Sweeney) on a course that’s a little longer than your usual sprint—a half-mile ocean swim, an 18-mile bike ride and a four-mile run—with amazing views of both the mountains and the Pacific along the way. (September 8, nauticamalibutri.com)
To celebrate girl power
• Athleta Iron Girl: With a shorter-than-usual swim leg (in some cases, just one-third of a mile) and lots of festivities before, during and after, this series of women-only sprint tris are for newbies of all abilities. Eighteen races take place nationwide, from April through September. (Dates vary; irongirl.com)
More from FITNESS: Sign Up for a Triathlon in Your Area
Written on March 13, 2013 at 11:05 am , by FITNESS Editors
Who doesn’t love a good deal on fitness classes and spa treatments, right? Which is why we’re pretty psyched it’s Wellness Week over at SpaFinder Wellness *right now.* What this means: Well, what’s most enticing is that if you buy a $25 gift card, you get an extra one to use this week. (Sounds like a good girls’ date to us!)
But it also means that throughout the week, leading wellness experts, chefs, and celeb trainers from the nation’s top gyms, spas, and wellness providers have been sharing their tips, tricks, recipes, and tools. If you check out the SpaFinder Wellness site, you can find some of the free events, open houses, workshops, consultations, and more.
FITNESS is headed to a special event in NYC tonight to check out product demos from some of the nation’s top beauty, skin-care, and wellness companies. Click on over to @FITNESSColleen’s Twitter feed later tonight or tomorrow to see how it went!
Written on March 12, 2013 at 4:00 pm , by FITNESS Intern
Written by Carrie Stevens, editorial intern
Rise and shine—it’s workout time! This morning, FITNESS headed to The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers for a little rock climbing to celebrate the launch of ZICO Pure Premium Coconut Water’s latest beverage, ZICO Latte. Coffee and coconut water together at last? This is too good to be true.
After summiting about 35 feet and completing two climbs (hello, full-body workout!), we tested ZICO’s non-dairy, coffee-infused concoction. Billed as “The Official Sponsor of Early Risers,” ZICO Latte contains five electrolytes, provides 45-59mg of natural caffeine and packs as much potassium as a banana. Thanks to its unique flavor fusion—the latte taste takes the forefront and masks the notes of coconut—the drink can both jumpstart your morning and keep you hydrated during your workout.
More from FITNESS: Q&A: When Should I Drink Coconut Water?
Written on March 12, 2013 at 9:00 am , by Colleen Moody
Megan Fox. Jennifer Hudson. Amanda Seyfried. Katy Perry. Those are just a few of the celebs trainer Harley Pasternak has whipped into A-list shape. Here at FITNESS, we’ve been getting a lot of Harley time lately (lucky us!). Not only is he the newest member of our advisory board, he recently treated us to an exclusive staff workout to talk about his latest collaboration with New Balance with the New Balance 5 Factor997 for cross-training and his latest book The Body Reset Diet, which helps you lose weight fast (we’re talking five days fast) in a healthy, non-cleansing or detoxing way. See what Harley had to say about his new program below (spoiler–it involves quitting the gym!) and find out why if you don’t already have one, you should go get yourself a blender ASAP!
What prompted you to create this new plan for The Body Reset Diet?
I finally understood the sense of urgency women have in wanting to see a difference in the way they look and feel. They don’t want it to take weeks, they want to see a change this week. It made me realize that I need to offer them a healthy option to quickly drop weight and transform their body. I wanted to talk them out of doing cleanses and using diuretics and show them that there is a healthy way you can lose weight and feel great.
In the book, you map out a three-phase plan to slim down that incorporates smoothies in each phase. What are some common myths you’ve heard in the past from your clients about smoothies?
People definitely don’t know the difference between blending and juicing. They think blending is for body builders and they are all just forms of protein shakes packed with calories that bulk you up. But that’s wrong. Believe it or not, a fresh cold pressed apple juice can have twice the calories of an entire blended meal and four times the sugar! Read more