During the summer, I got really into Pilates (still am!) and I began to realize why women are so addicted to it. The long, lean look and perfectly toned muscles you’ll get from a class like this and even the slight soreness I don’t expect to have the day after, but do, gets me super pumped whenever I have a Pilates date on my weekly workout schedule.
I started searching around for a Pilates studio that kicks butt—and stumbled upon Jumping Frog Pilates in Tenafly, New Jersey, just outside of Manhattan. Jumping Frog Pilates is one of the most successful Pilates studios in the state and one of the instructors, Alexandra White, a Lululemon Ambassador, is truly a FITNESS magazine role model. Mom to two young boys, Alexandra is also a successful runner who holds training camps for adults and kids, teaches girl’s lacrosse, competes (and oftentimes places) in local half-marathons, 5Ks and obstacle course races like Spartan Race, and is an avid skier. She knows firsthand why Pilates is the perfect complement to all the running she does, so I scouted some moves. What you got was the very awesome Absolute Power workout in our September 2012 issue. Read on to find out a little more about our trainer of the month:
Everyone I talk to seems to have a pre-trainer life. What’s your story?
I went to Parsons School of Design for a degree in graphic design and I was an Art Director for an advertising agency in New York City for 15 years until I switched gears and decided to make my workout hobby my job. I still do freelance print and web design on the side, because I still really love it.
What’s the hardest part about following your dreams?
Giving up knowing what is coming. When you work for an agency, you have predictable hours and rates. Working for yourself is much more unpredictable. I had to get used to having a very flexible schedule and income from week to week. But I’m so much happier now!
During those 15 years, how did you fit fitness into your busy schedule?
Fitness is part of my day no matter what. I work out like I eat my meals. I feel like I have to do it at some point during the day. I often worked out at 9-10pm just to get it in. I still do that now sometimes when my kids are asleep- just get on the treadmill late at night to fit it in. I put my workout first always–and if that means I have to come an hour later to a happy hour gathering, I do.
You’re an avid runner—okay I’ve read your race times border on elite status. Tell me how you got so good?
I wouldn’t say I’m elite by any stretch, but thank you! I usually place in the top 10 of a big race and I’m lucky to get a podium finish if it’s a smaller one. But I have just been doing it a long time—and maybe it’s some talent too! I’ve played sports my entire life that included a lot of running. And I’m too competitive to be mediocre, so I train hard and try to get better each time. You definitely have to put the time in to get the results you want. And yes I’ve won a few races!
Of the races you’ve done, what’s your favorite?
I did a really fun Super Spartan obstacle race with my younger brother. It was fun to break up the running with obstacles and mud!
How did you go from running to being a Pilates pro?
I hurt my back a few years ago and had to do some physical therapy to get it better. I tried Pilates to help strengthen my back and core and since I don’t like lifting weights, I found this was a great way to get my whole body strong without spending hours and hours lifting dumbbells.
Why does a Pilates workout complement a regular running routine?
When you run, your power comes from your core. As soon as you get fatigued, you start to lose form. A strong core helps keep a good body position, which allows for the best running economy. Read more
When celebrity trainer Jackie Warner recently dropped by the FITNESS offices—she’d dashed in between doing a TV segment and hitting some other morning meetings—she was fresh off the success of her latest book, 10 Pounds in 10 Days, and already on to the next big project. Fans who watched her Bravo TV reality series Thintervention With Jackie Warner will recall scenes where the fitness pro showed up in contestants’ kitchens and taught them to whip up healthy, don’t-blow-your-diet shakes. Turns out, Warner sensed a secret ingredient was missing. “I’d read a lot about protein powders and consumed them myself but I couldn’t find anything with all the all-natural, organic components I thought they needed,” she says. “I wanted whey protein powder with more than protein isolate. So I spent two years developing some myself.”
The resulting product can be found in her just-launched Wellness Collection, which also includes a multivitamin, a combo Omega-3,-6 and –9 supplement, flavored H20 boosters and 150-calorie snack bars. “Plus it tastes great,” adds Warner.
Before her morning workouts, Warner whips up a healthy shake (recipe below) with the vanilla bean protein powder. “It has the perfect combination of carbohydrates, fat and protein to fuel your workout, ” she says.
Jackie Warner’s Pre-Workout Protein Shake
- 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
- 1/2 cup frozen spinach
- 1 tablespoon all-natural peanut butter
- 1 scoop vanilla bean whey isolate protein powder
- 1/4 cup dry oats
- Water, added until shake reaches desired texture
Blend all ingredients, pour in glass and sip on the way to the gym.
More from FITNESS:
- Find Out What It’s Really Like to Work Out With Jackie!
- 6 Smart Snacks For After Your Workout
- Exercise Boosters: Energy and Recovery Supplements
Lacey Stone has shared her fit tips on The Dr. Oz Show, MTV’s MADE and Bravo’s Pregnant in Heels, and Hollywood all-stars like Nicole Kidman, Brooke Shields, Amanda Peet and America Ferrera have shaped up fast with her help. We were lucky enough to join celebrity trainer Lacey Stone at a recent KiwiSweat cycling class and found her intensity infectious.
A big driver behind all of that fire? Her killer playlist! We asked Stone to share her favorite songs for summer so you can channel that energy in your workouts too.
- “The Fighter,” Gym Class Heroes, featuring Ryan Tedder
- “Can’t Stop Me (Tiesto Remix),” Afrojack; Shermanology
- “Girl Gone Wild,” Madonna vs. Avicii
- “Beware (Jay-Z Remix),” Panjabi MC
- “Turn Up the Music,” Chris Brown
- “Glad You Came (Alex Gaudino Remix),” The Wanted
- “Breathing,” Jason Derulo
- “The World is Mine (Radio Edit),” David Guetta
- “Where Have You Been,” Rihanna
- “The Cave,” Mumford & Sons
Now tell us: What songs are on your summer playlist?
Don’t you ever wish you could take a peek in the pantry or gym of the fitness and diet pros you see on TV to see if they really practice what they preach? We do too! That’s why we asked Jillian Michaels, celebrity personal trainer, author, motivational expert and soon-to-be mom(!), to share her top snack picks that keep her energy high on even the busiest of days.
“These snacks are quick, easy and they all taste good. Plus they’re preservative-free, contain no trans fats, MSG, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners,” Michaels says.
- Hummus and veggie sticks.“This is an incredibly healthy snack that’s filling and tasty,” she says. The protein from the chickpeas in the hummus and the fiber from the veggies will keep you satisfied.
- One hard-boiled egg and one piece of fruit. This combo offers an ideal proportion of healthy fat, protein and carbohydrates.
- Barbecue or sweet potato popchips. “A serving of popchips is packed with flavor and a great savory, salty crunch,” Michaels raves, and the 100-calorie bags are handy for on-the-go eating.
- Ciao Bella sorbet. Perfect “for when your sweet tooth kicks in,” she says, and it’s all-natural.
- 22 Days Protein Bars. “These bars taste amazing! Mocha Mantra is my favorite flavor,” Michaels explains. She loves that they use hemp protein, “which is great for you.”
More from FITNESS:
This week’s fit links from around the web:
- Two tablespoons of tomato sauce on a slice of pizza = a serving of veggies? — ABC News
- Why many docs skirt around issues related to the scale. — NPR
- This is one mindfulness exercise we’re happy to try any time. Why? One word: Chocolate! — Vital Juice
- Grab your apron and cook up these healthier versions of Thanksgiving crowd-pleasers! — Divine Caroline
- Even Olympians struggle with making healthy choices sometimes. Here’s how they get back on track. — Yahoo! Shine
- Get more bang for your burn! Try these nine fitness tricks from a few of the country’s up-and-coming trainers. — Chicago Tribune
I’m really excited to introduce to you one of my favorite new trainers in the city. I met Natalie when she came by the office to model for a fitness story—her energy was so upbeat and contagious, not to mention she had a killer body, so I had to know more about her. Turns out, this model is definitely more than just a pretty face: She’s one of the most popular instructors at Barry’s Bootcamp here in New York City and a Pilates teacher at the just-opened SLT Studio we told you about last week. I’m sure she’s got more tricks up her sleeve and I’d love to one day see her working it out on a show like The Biggest Loser (watch out NBC!). Inspiring, fit, strong and healthy, this trainer has it all.
Read on to find out more about our November/December 2011 Express Workout trainer.
I’m writing a movie about your life, tell me the plot.
It involves a young girl chasing her dreams from Idaho to the big city of New York! She gets the chance to move as a junior in college from The University of Nebraska to the Fashion Institute of New York. This is where she realizes that fashion is amazing but fitness is really where her heart and passion belong. She graduates and works for Ralph Lauren while still making time to soak up her fitness classes. While at Ralph Lauren, she dreams of becoming a fitness professional and creating her own method. She finally makes the jump and her whole life changes. Things fall into place and all of her dreams start coming true.
And it looks like you’ve made it! Tell me about the NYC fitness modeling work? It really fell into my lap. A friend of mine was casting for Under Armour and told me to swing by. I went not knowing what to expect and I booked the job! From that moment I signed with Wilhelmina Models and things really started to take off. It has been such an amazing experience because I get to workout on the shoots and there is nothing better than that!
What do you consider to be the greatest accomplishment in your career so far?
Believing in myself and taking the leap of faith from my corporate job into a full time fitness professional. It was so scary but totally worth it!
How did you end up at Barry’s Bootcamp and what do you love most about your job?
A good friend of mine, Keoni, took me to meet the owner of Barry’s and I feel in love with the format. After seeing the space and feeling the energy around the workout style, I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of. I love the personal interaction I get with my clients. Since the space is small, it allows me to get to know everyone. It is like family there and plus the workout works! I love seeing the changes in people’s bodies.
For Uhling’s exercise of choice and her top three workout songs, Read more
Personal trainer Harley Pasternak’s client list reads like a “who’s who” of Hollywood elite. He and his 5-Factor program have been featured on countless TV shows, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, America’s Next Top Model and NBC’s Today show. Check out some of the hot bodies he’s sculpted and shared routines for:
And thanks to a neat promotion from Centrum multivitamins, your muscles could be next on Harley’s to-tone list!
To enter to win an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles to train with Harley, simply text the word “CENTRUM” to 89800 by June 22.
Now tell us: If you could have any celebrity as your workout buddy, who would you choose?
April’s Top Workout DVD: Bob Harper’s Ultimate Cardio Body
Best for: No-nonsense exercisers seeking a challenge; those looking for an at-home routine that will burn major calories.
Why it’s a star: You’ll alternate kettlebell-inspired moves (don’t worry, a pair of dumbbells is all that’s required), traditional yet effective cardio like high knees and mountain climbers and plyometrics (think jumping lunges and squats holding weights). All of these high-energy moves will have your quads shaking and heart pumping! And since it’s a combination of cardiovascular and strength work, you’ll torch plenty of calories during and after the workout.
Where to get it: mytrainerbobdvd.com, $14.98
Bonus DVD! We also recently tried out Bob Harper’s Kettlebell Cardio Shred and loved that too. The smart, contoured design of the bell makes “racking” moves much less painful. Read more about it on page 80 of our new May issue, on newsstands today!
Now tell us: What is the best fitness DVD you’ve ever done?