Pimp My Workout: Train Like a Hollywood A-Lister
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Fitness

Pimp My Workout: Train Like a Hollywood A-Lister

We gave four readers a taste of the star treatment by pairing each of them with their favorite celebrity's trainer. See what it really takes to have a Hollywood body -- and steal a few tricks to get one of your own!

Work Out Like: Hilary Swank

The Trainer: Jay Wright, co-owner of Peak Performance gym in New York City, has taken A-listers like Hilary Swank through an athletelike regimen of moves and machines your average gym-goer has never seen.

The Stunt Double: Marketing exec Kristen Wise, 29, played on just about every sports team while growing up but has since turned yoga devotee with a yen to do a triathlon: "That's next on my list."

Seven Days as Swank

SESSION 1: An hour of "what felt like moving furniture," says Kristen, who pushed and pulled an iron sled across the gym floor and did tug-of-war squats, in which she yanked a rope with another weight sled on the end. "Hilary loves to train," Wright explains. "She was an elite-level junior swimmer."

SESSION 2: Boot camp! Lunges while lugging weights, push-ups in all sorts of hand-and-foot positions, and squat thrusts done while hoisting a sandbag. "A weight machine will get you only so far," Wright says. "Do walking lunges with dumbbells instead and you're not only strength training but also revving your heart rate to burn more calories."

SESSION 3: An hour workout with full-body strength exercises using more cool tools, like a kettlebell, and followed by core-focused moves. "I went through gallons of water and I never touched a cardio machine," Kristen says. "I never thought that actresses worked out like that."

Kristen says: "You can't just read a magazine while exercising on the elliptical and expect to get Hilary Swank's physique. You really have to grind it out in these workouts."

Work Out Like: Queen Latifah

The Trainer: Jeanette Jenkins, longtime trainer of Queen Latifah, helped the star slim down by 25 pounds and stay fit ever since with a fresh routine each month.

The Stunt Double: Talie Grill, 30, a marketing coordinator in Los Angeles, admits that her gym routine has been more off than on lately: "I get bored with exercising after a few months and gain back the pounds all over again."

Queen for a Week

SESSION 1: Six times up and down the Santa Monica stairs -- almost 2,400 steps -- mixed with crunches and push-ups. "There's no phoning in the push-ups in front of Jeanette," Talie says. Why? "Nothing motivates you more than results, so don't cut corners," Jenkins says.

SESSION 2: A three-mile run through Beverly Hills -- "My calves were toast by then," Talie says -- plus 200 reps of ab exercises.

SESSION 3: Circuits at Fitness Factory L.A. in West Hollywood, alternating a little bit of everything, three sets of 25 reps each.

SESSION 4: A boxing and rope-jumping workout at the Gym on Nemo, a private studio in West Hollywood. "The key is to find things you love to do," says Jenkins, who varies Latifah's sessions.

SESSION 5: Ashtanga and Iyengar yoga at Jenkins' studio. "That's it! I'm done with my usual gym drill: upper body one day, lower body the next, then cardio," Talie says. "I'm switching to yoga now and the same exercises Queen Latifah does, from Jeanette's workout DVDs."

Talie says: "I want to be as strong and body confident as Queen Latifah is. But man, am I sore."

Work Out Like: Eva Mendes

The Trainer: Michael Olajide Jr., owner of downtown Manhattan's sleek Aerospace gym, creates supershaping boxing workouts that are a big hit with stars like Eva Mendes.

The Stunt Double: Corinne Iasilli, a 31-year-old film production manager in Sea Cliff, New York, has a goal: "I have closets full of clothes that used to fit, and I want to wear them again."

My Amazing Eva-lution

SESSION 1: A 60-minute Aerobox signature class session: nonstop punch combos and fancy footwork. "I could hardly keep up. I was thinking, 'So Eva has to tough it out like this too?'" says Corinne, whose heart rate monitor recorded a smoking 600 calories burned.

SESSION 2: The gloves are on! Corinne's first-ever boxing lesson, with tons of jabs and crosses. "All the twisting you do throwing punches targets your core, and ducking works your butt and legs, while you're burning lots of calories," Olajide says. "But what attracted Eva was the feeling of power."

SESSION 3: A one-hour lunge date: 60 lunges plus squats with a medicine ball and punching the speed bag.

SESSION 4: Ding-ding! "I was dancing around Michael while throwing punches into his focus mitts, then ducking as he swung the mitts just over my head," Corinne says. Calories burned: 533. "I'm a convert. I finally dropped below 140 pounds and sculpted my upper arms like never before."

Corinne says: "I tried to channel Eva Mendes during series after series of punches, especially as my trainer spurred me on with 'You don't get tired; you get stronger!'"

Work Out Like: Courteney Cox

The Trainer: Beverly Hills trainer Michelle Lovitt works with big-name beauties like Courteney Cox and leads classes at the tony Burn60 gym in Los Angeles that draw a steady stream of stars.

The Stunt Double: Publicist Diana Larios, 31, of Burbank, California, is a gym regular but doesn't have the muscle definition to show for it: "No biceps! No triceps!"

Following in Courteney's Cross-Trainers

SESSION 1: Band camp! Upper-body-toning moves from every angle using two types of resistance bands, cool-down stretches on a vibrating Power Plate -- "Courteney's favorite machine," Lovitt says. "A killer workout after just 15 minutes," Diana says.

SESSION 2: A 75-minute cardio (treadmill intervals) and lower-body medley of squats and lunges. "And I thought taking my boot-camp class was tough," Diana says. Cardio tip from Lovitt: "Use a heart rate monitor, like Courteney does, to track your intensity when you run. Otherwise, you may as well be driving blind."

SESSION 3: Treadmill intervals to start, and back to the resistance bands for more upper-body sculpting. "My arms were practically still feeling it from our first session," Diana says. "I found my old resistance bands so I could steal those moves." Her fave is the cross-body biceps curl: Stand with right foot on one end of a bow tie resistance band (think of a figure 8) and hold the other end in left hand to curl band across body to left shoulder.

Diana says: "I'd love to have arms like Courteney Cox's -- really toned and not too skinny. And it takes serious reps to get there!"

Hollywood Confidential: An Insider Look

Want to know more about the full weekly workouts that our four celebrity trainers used? Here, we've included the session notes from each trainer to give you an insider's look at how they worked our stunt doubles. Some of these one-on-one sessions require pro supervision or, in the case of Hilary Swank's sessions, heavy metal found only in select training studios.

The Hilary Swank Workout

Trainer: Jay Wright, co-owner of Peak Performance gym in New York City

SESSION 1

  • Warm up on Power Plate (vibrating platform) with stretches for hamstrings and calves.
  • Push-pull exercises with sled: Push sled across gym floor and pull it back to start position across gym floor. Do three supersets (alternating one push set with a pull set).
  • Push-pull rope exercises: Squat rows using a rope with a weight sled at the end of it (drive elbows back to pull weight toward you as you squat) followed by pulling weight across floor in other direction (facing away from the weight sled, grasp rope in your fists and bring them near chest). Do three supersets.
  • Ab exercises on a scorpion bench (an apparatus with a stability ball anchored in the center and foot grips) and gym mat: Three sets of 12 reps of medicine ball toss crunches (with lower back on center of stability ball, catch medicine ball as you lower, crunch up to toss ball back to trainer) followed by plank holds with 30- to 90-second rests in between. Do three supersets.

SESSION 2

  • Walking lunges using 17-pound dumbbells (hands by sides).
  • Push-up series: Three sets of 12 push-ups with varying hand positions, three sets of push-ups, have one hand up on step and one down on floor, cross one foot over the other, switch hands on step, always uneven, did three sets of 12.
  • Sand-bag exercises: Three sets of 16 reps of squat lifts: Squat to pick up sand bag off floor, flip it up over your forearm so it rolls and hooks into nook of elbow. Straighten legs to stand up as you raise elbows toward ceiling so you're cradling sand bag in nook of elbows. Then, squat down slowly and pop up. Drop bag onto floor and repeat.

SESSION 3

  • Warm-up: Stretches for shoulders, upper back, hamstrings, and calves on a Power Plate for 3 to 4 minutes plus dynamic stretching (standing while touching elbow to opposite ankle, wide-legged sumo squat up to standing) for about 2 minutes.
  • A Series: Split Jerks using Russian kettlebell
  • B Series: Prowler Press, Sled Row, Sled Pull Backwards, Prowler Push
  • C Series: (targeted moves for any specific areas that need attention): Prone Leg Curls, Long-Rope Triceps Extensions
  • D Series: (for core muscles): Dynamic Medicine Ball Throws on a Scorpion Bench, Static Back Extensions in an Arrow-Pose on the Scorpion Bench

The Queen Latifah Workout

Trainer: Jeanette Jenkins, FITNESS Advisory Board Member and creator of the Hollywood Trainer workout DVDs

SESSION 1: Stair workout: Run up the Santa Monica stairs (180 steps from bottom to top) and down six times. After each up-down set of stairs do 25 push-ups (alternating 5 on-knees modified push-up with 5 regular pushups) and 25 crunches.

SESSION 2: 3-mile walk/run followed by two sets of 25 reps (200 total reps in all) of the following core exercises: elbow-to-knee bicycle crunches, reverse crunches (lie faceup on floor and curl bent knees in toward chest), regular crunches, oblique crunches (lying on right side with knees bent and left hand lightly touching ear, lift torso and legs 45 degrees off floor to bring left elbow and knees toward each other).

SESSION 3

  • 10-minute warm-up on the elliptical, followed by weight-machine and bodyweight exercises.
  • First circuit: Three sets of 25 reps on leg press machine along with plank holds and alternating leg lifts.
  • Second circuit: Three sets of 25 reps on lat pull-down machine along with reverse lunges, front kicks, and medicine ball rotation.
  • Third circuit: Reverse lunges with biceps curls and dumbbell jabs and reverse crunches on a bench.

The Eva Mendes Workout

Trainer Michael Olajide Jr., owner of Aerospace gym in New York City

SESSION 1: Olajide's signature Aerobox Class (Sample it yourself with Olajide's workout DVD: Aerobox, the Ultimate Boxing Workout.) Class begins with some light calisthenics to get body warmed up and the blood flowing.

SESSION 2: One-on-one boxing session: 15-minute warm-up with jumping rope and walking lunges followed by boxing into a focus mitt and ab exercises. More punch combinations finishing with 10 jabs and 10 crosses. Abdominal exercises, including this resisted reverse crunch: Lie faceup on floor with a partner standing just behind your head. Raise both legs up, feet together, directly toward ceiling as partner pushes them away toward floor. Without allowing heels to touch floor, raise legs up again. Repeat.

SESSION 3: Total body strength session plus speed bag work and ab exercises: Warm-up followed by about 60 walking lunges; 16-pound medicine-ball toss with trainer; deadlifts using medicine ball (standing with feet hip-width apart, bend at hips to lower ball toward floor without bending knees, then return to standing and press ball overhead); squat thrusts with medicine ball (holding ball in front of chest, lower into a squat then place ball on floor to perform a push-up with one hand on ball one hand on floor). Next up: punching the speed bag for 10 or 15 minutes followed by more abdominal exercises.

SESSION 4: Mock sparring session: Warm-up followed by cardio drills alternating high-knees running in place with football player-style running in place (stay in a semi squat position and move feet quickly up and down) and jumping rope for 5 minutes. Combined punching sequences with footwork and ducking: Both left stance and right stance punching into the focus mitts alternating with ducking under the mitts. Punching speed bag for 10 minutes followed by core exercises like plank holds and crunches.

SESSION 5: Ashtanga and Iyengar Yoga Session: One hour of Sun Salutations and static yoga poses. For a sample, check out Jenkins's workout DVD: The Hollywood Trainer: Yoga.

The Courtney Cox Workout

Trainer: Michelle Lovitt of Beverly Hills

SESSION 1: Band Workout. Three sets of 10 reps of each exercise below using a bow-tie shaped resistance band:

  • Rear Deltoid Flye: Standing with feet hip-width apart, hold one end of band in each hand and pull band away from the midline of the body, keeping arms at shoulder height. Make sure to keep constant tension on band as you bring hands inward.
  • Upper Back/Triceps: Standing with feet hip-width apart, hold one end of band in each hand. Extend left arm directly in front of you. Keeping both arms at shoulder height and left arm still, pull band toward you by driving right elbow behind you (as if pulling back a bow and arrow). Do 10 reps. Switch sides, repeat.
  • Chest: Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold one end of band in right hand and grab the other end with left hand, keeping it behind your back. Tuck band under armpits and bring arms to shoulder height. Extend both arms in front of body and slowly return to the start position, remembering to return the arms to a 90-degree angle keeping your elbows up at shoulder height.
  • Biceps and Shoulders: Stand with feet hip-width apart; hold the band in right hand and wrap the other end around right foot. Keeping your right elbow in tight to your side bring your hand up to your shoulder and return to the starting position (biceps curl). After completing one set, keep the band wrapped around your right foot but grab the handle with your left hand. Pull the band across and up from your body leading with your elbow. Complete 1 set and switch sides.

Three sets of 10 reps of each exercise below using a resistance tube with handles:

  • Chest Press: Wrap the band around something stable behind you and hold handles in both hands, tubing running along the inside of the arms (under the armpits), palms facing each other. Squeeze chest and press arms out in front of you. Return to start and repeat.
  • Bent-Over Row: Center tube under feet and bend forward at the waist, back flat and abs in. Grab tube close to the feet and bend the elbows to pull the arms up to the torso, squeezing the back. You can also do a seated version on a ball or chair.
  • Rear Delt Row: Wrap band around stable object and sit (or stand) facing it, holding the handles with arms out in front, palms down. Pull the elbows back until level with torso, squeezing the shoulder blades, keeping arms parallel to ground.
  • One-Armed Reverse Flye: With front foot standing on one end of the band, hold other end in one hand and lean over, abs in, torso at 45 degrees. Keeping elbow slight bent and in fixed position, raise arm out to shoulder level, squeezing shoulder blades.
  • One-Armed Lateral Raise: Sit (or stand) with one end of tube under foot and the other end in one hand. Keeping elbow slightly bent and fixed, lift the arm out to the side, to shoulder level.
  • Overhead Press: Place both feet on tube and grasp handles, bringing hands up just over shoulders with elbows bent and palms in. Press arms up over head and then lower.
  • Biceps Curl: Place both feet on tube and grasp handles (the wider the feet, the harder the exercise). Bend the elbows and curl hands up toward shoulder. Lower and repeat.
  • Cross-Body Biceps Curl: Place left foot on tube and hold the handle in right hand. Begin the move with palm facing in and bend the elbow, curling hand up toward the shoulder, going across the body.
  • Band Kickback: Attach band to sturdy object in front of you in a split stance, bent at the waist with abs in. Hold handle in one hand, elbow bent. Straighten the arm, contracting the back of the arm.

SESSION 2: Treadmill workout followed by lower-body exercises.

TIME

PACE

INCLINE

2 MINUTES

WARM-UP

4.0

2 MINUTES

WARM-UP

4.1

1 MINUTE

WALK

4.2

1 MINUTE

WALK

4.3

1 MINUTE

WALK

4.4

1 MINUTE

WALK

4.5

1 MINUTE

JOG

5.0

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.5

1 MINUTE

JOG

5.2

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.5

1 MINUTE

JOG

5.4

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.5

1 MINUTE

JOG

5.6

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.5

2 MINUTES

JOG

5.7

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.5

2 MINUTES

JOG

5.8

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.5

2 MINUTES

JOG

5.9

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.5

2 MINUTE

JOG

6.0

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.5

2 MINUTE

WALK

4.0


Do two sets of 10 reps of any three of the following exercises:

  • Single-Leg Squats: Stand with your back to a bench or chair with elbows bent at sides, hands in front of chest and lower. Lift right leg up in front of you a few inches off floor then lower into a squat as if sitting on bench. Return to standing before sitting down.
  • Squats: Stand with feet hip-width apart and bend knees to 90 degrees, knees behind toes.
  • Lunges: Take a giant step forward with left leg and lower, bending both knees 90 degrees, left knee behind toes. Step back to start and repeat with right leg.
  • Side Lunges: Step left foot out to side, left toes pointing forward, and lower so that left knee is bent 90 degrees and right leg is extended. Return to start and repeat with right leg.
  • Reverse Lunges: Take a giant step forward with left leg and lower, bending both knees 90 degrees, left knee behind toes. Step back to start and repeat with right leg.
  • Step-Ups: Alternately step up, then down off a step.
  • Wall Sits: Stand with feet hip-width apart and back against wall then slide down into squat position, knees bent 90 degrees. Return to start.
  • Standing Leg Extension: Stand with feet hip-width apart and raise right leg directly forward as high as you can. Return to start and repeat with left leg.
  • Standing Leg Abduction: Stand with feet together and raise right leg out to side as high as you can. Return to start and repeat with left leg.

SESSION 3: Treadmill workout followed by upper-body exercises.

TIME

PACE

INCLINE

2 MINUTES

WARM-UP

4.0

2 MINUTES

WARM-UP

4.2

1 MINUTE

JOG

4.4

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.2

1 MINUTE

JOG

4.6

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.2

1 MINUTE

JOG

4.8

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.2

1 MINUTE

JOG

5.0

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.2

1 MINUTE

JOG

5.2

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.2

1 MINUTE

JOG

5.3

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.2

1 MINUTE

JOG

5.4

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.2

1 MINUTE

JOG

5.5      

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.2

1 MINUTE

JOG

5.6

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.2

1 MINUTE

JOG

5.8

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.2

1 MINUTE

JOG

6.0

1 MINUTE

RECOVER

4.2

2 MINUTES

RECOVER

4.0


Do the band workout from SESSION 1.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July/August 2010.

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