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Meet The Trainer: Denise Austin!

Denise Austin

Denise Austin

This month I worked with fitness pro Denise Austin on our Lose More Fat! workout (page 64 of the April issue -- on newsstands today!). Besides Denise's passion for fitness, I just love her positive attitude, contagious energy, and the fact that she's just really really sweet! After speaking to her on the phone I felt like she could definitely be a workout buddy of mine. (How cool would that be?) Here's a little from my chat with Denise!

What's your greatest accomplishment in your career so far?

Well I wouldn't say this is necessarily an accomplishment but it's something I'm very proud of. I've continued to stay close to my mentor, the late Jack LaLanne, throughout all these years. He gave me my big break when I co-hosted his TV show with him. When he passed away this past year, his wife asked me to give a speech at his funeral—it was a very meaningful moment in life. But I'm also proud of being appointed by President George Bush to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports for two terms.

What workout apparel and gear can you definitely not live without?

I love my Skechers Shape-Ups Radius Trainers—I wear them all around my house and while doing errands. I constantly feel like I'm working my muscles out when I have these on. I also live for my dumbbells! You can do anything with them, especially helping my achy wrists doing push-ups!

What's the most annoying thing people assume about celebrity trainers?

I'm a foodie so every time I go out to eat and don't order a salad, I get weird looks! Everyone is always so surprised and assumes trainers only eat salads, but we like real food too! My favorite is a pepperoni pizza and a cold beer when I'm hanging out with friends. See, we like to have fun too!

Read on to find out which exercise Denise dreads most -- and which star she thinks should play her in a movie!

Denise with Jack LaLanne in 1981 on The Jack LaLanne Show

Denise with Jack LaLanne in 1981 on The Jack LaLanne Show

Any advice for a rookie trainer?

Besides getting your certifications and staying on top of getting your renewals every few years, just make sure you stay true to yourself. The key to keep going and having a long, successful career is not only staying knowledgeable, but being genuine and true to who you are. If a client asks you something you maybe don't know, just tell him/her that you don't know but will get back to them with that answer—they'd rather hear that then be told something that ends up not being true!

Who would you want to portray you in a movie?

A lot of people say I look like Heather Locklear, but my daughters think that Jennifer Aniston would play a good "me"!

Which celebrity do you want to work out with?

I would love to work out with Cameron Diaz because she tries all the good stuff like drills and bootcamp, and she's a gung-ho girlfriend type of friend (who happens to also be really funny!). The other is Beyonce, who has a rockin' body—plus we could work out to her music and maybe she'd sing along too!

If you weren't doing this what would you be doing?

Well, if I'm going to dream big then I'm going big—I'd love to be a rock star! I can't sing but it's my dream to be a rock star. I love to sing and dance and be in front of people entertaining. I've always loved Bruce Springstein; it'd be cool to switch careers with him.

Which move do you dread the most when you're working out?

I hate push-ups!! I'd rather be doing anything else. But the beauty is, it's a tried-and-true move that definitely works. It's more fun to do push-ups using dumbbells so that's my way of working through the agony of having to do them.

How'd you fall in love with fitness?

I was a gymnast my entire life and competed all over the country. I got a scholarship to the University of Arizona and during my first week there we got tested at their exercise lab to record our body fat percentage, our oxygen intake (etc)—I was so intrigued by the fact that you could test your body in this way. Since I was only a freshman and looking for a major to choose, I knew right away that this is what I wanted to do.

Name your guilty pleasures!

1) FOOD! I'm a huge foodie. I love visiting new cities just to check out the restaurants I've read about. I'll even research the chef's best meal and have him make that for me! I love food in NYC, San Francisco, Seattle, and even LA.

2) I watch 90210 and Gossip Girl with my two daughters.

3) I love drinking red wine. Any red wine is good with me, but my faves are the South American ones.

4) Getting a massage. I don't get them often but when I do I really love them.

Don't forget to check out Denise's quickie dumbbell workout in our April issue -- on newsstands today!