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Meet The Trainer: Paul Katami

The kettlebell master! (Photo courtesy of Paul Katami)

I met Paul Katami, the cutie to my left who's an awesome master trainer at Equinox West Hollywood, at an event a few months ago (the celebs work out in his gym!). After trying his unique and super effective kettlebell combo moves (like the ones featured in our Ready, Set, Swing Express Workout in the September issue), I knew I had to share them with all of you. Those moves will definitely sculpt and tone your entire body. Never tried kettlebells? Read on to hear why Paul thinks they're so great, the one body part every woman needs to work out and what women find most intimidating in the gym.

What do you consider to be the greatest accomplishment in your career so far?
Starting my own fitness company, Katami Fitness, that takes what I do with clients and classes and brings that to the home through workout DVDs and downloads. It really follows my motivation to bring what I’ve learned to as many people as possible.

Do you ever feel the “Hollywood” pressure to be the best?
I think that pressure is self-inflicted because there are so many people that are chasing what they feel is success in Hollywood. I used to feel that based on the common thought that success only comes with a TV show or celebrity clients. What I’ve learned is that no matter where you are success is what you make it. I have success everyday when people love classes or find inspiration through our workouts. I’ve always said that if something more “Hollywood” comes out of it organically, like a TV show, that I would make sure it fit my mission and philosophy and then I would take the opportunity to inspire as many people as I can to live a life of health and wellness.

If you made it to TV, what would your dream reality show be like?
My dream show would be about approaching health and wellness from every angle. It would be inspired by real people connecting with real viewers to reach beyond the six pack mentality and spark the power in people to make the right choices in life. It would be “we are all in this together” and here’s how to get up and exercise, eat right, and make amazing choices so you aren’t only looking for inspiration you become the inspiration for others.

Paul spilled about his perfect (and most-hated) exercise routines. Click below for the details!

What’s your favorite workout?
I love the kettlebell workouts. I treat the kettlbells in new ways as a dynamic weight. It's fun to come up with the complexes and share them with others.

What would your workout hell be?
Stair climber cardio. It’s a love/hate thing.

If someone could only afford one workout tool, what should that be and why? I'm guessing the kettlebell!
Honestly I’d say either tubing or a kettlebell. Tubing is great because it’s portable and so incredibly versatile. You can work out every part of your body with varying resistance and range of motion. Tubing also travels so easily that it removes the notion of "no gym, no workout." And kettlebells are like holding an entire workout in the palm of your hand. You can do everything from cardio, to strength, to flexibility and core with just this one piece of equipment. I think they used to be considered scary to some people, but now they are all the rage and they can provide an amazing workout anywhere.

What’s the one body part every woman should definitely work out? And what’s the forgotten muscle/body part?
I think I go back to the powerhouse with this answer and say the CORE. It’s so important that women have a strong sense of center. Benefits of training the core relate to everything else in the body. You become better at doing so many other things with a strong abdominal and back combination. It also helps with posture and keeps your midsection tight and looking great. Everyone notices that when you walk into a room.

The forgotten muscle or body part is the leg group. So many times I hear women say they don’t want to bulk up their legs, but that comes along with the misconception that cycle classes or group fitness classes and light lifting are going to do that. To truly bulk up you would have to push so much weight so you can always just take a lesser percentage of weight and work those legs! By pushing some weight with the lean muscle of the legs (not forgetting the glutes/butt and hamstrings/back of legs), you are not only going to build good-looking legs but also strength, power and stability. Legs are a big muscle group and can also really benefit weight loss by burning more calories at rest after adding lean muscle to them!

What’s the one thing your female clients complain about in the gym?
The intimidation factor of the weight floor. It’s this notion of “I can’t do that” or because it’s so male centric that there is a fear of jumping in. I always remind everyone that regardless of sex there is a first time for every person learning your way around the floor. Once you do it a few times you’ll quickly know that the intimidation factor is simply a fear of the unknown. I was there once too, so I say be brave and go get it!

More from FITNESS: Inspired by Paul's explanation of kettlebells and looking for a beginner routine? We have you covered.