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Meet The Trainer: The Balance Method's Becky Tinney

Tinney helps her clients—and you—achieve amazing results! (Photo courtesy of The Balance Method)

When I met LA/NYC celebrity trainer, Becky Tinney, a few months ago I instantly liked her spirit, and her personal story. I'm always intrigued by trainers or people who have lived the walk and can train and preach from the heart. As a young girl Becky struggled with body image issues, anorexia and obsessive working out. And upon moving to New York City after college she was faced with the delicious and decadent bevy of restaurants this place has to offer (we face this battle every day!) and she packed on too many pounds. Finally getting in shape the right way Becky realized the secrets to a fit body and a healthy, manageable diet.

Creating her own routine from scratch, she found that women at the gym started mimicking her moves, asking her questions about fitness and showing up when she worked out. Becky saw that she was on to something and The Balance Method was organically created. When Becky moved to Los Angeles she started working in the entertainment industry training actors and industry executives on movie and television sets (what a cool job!). That's why I love the moves that we give you in the April 2012 issue—they're tried and true and will get you results. Plus, with summer time literally around the corner, tank top arms are a must-have! Get moving with Becky's "Strong Armed" workout on page 50, but first check out a little behind-the-scenes action with this inspiring trainer!

If your story was the plot for a movie, tell me how it goes.  

It would probably be The Hunger Games because I'm always training and I'm always hungry. Just kidding! Well I'm a girl from a small town who moved to NYC, fell in love, moved across country to LA and started a dream career. I feel like we've seen movies like that before but I hope the biggest part of my movie is still to come!

Why do you like working with actors on set? Is it exciting being a "silent" part of a movie?

It’s a fun time to work with actors because it's essentially "game time." We usually have a short period of time to achieve a specific goal so the determination and commitment is in full effect. It's fun to be a part of creating a whole new image for someone and to give them that added confidence to perform their best work. Having a body that matches the role is a huge boost in confidence!

Who is your favorite client to train and why?

I would have to say Jackson Rathbone from Twilight. He's so committed to his goals and he never complains, even when I put him through really intense circuits! Even when he's so sore he shows up with a smile and still manages to make me laugh while he's in pain.

Which celeb would love you to give a makeover to and why?

That's such a hard question. We usually make OURSELVES over to be more like celebrities! I don't know about a makeover but I'd love to work with Jennifer Lawrence or Kaley Cuoco. They seem like strong dedicated women who would be amazing to work with!

So, what's in your gym bag?

Everything! I always have an extra pair of socks, my iPhone, Kindle, a Larabar, exercise bands (I even have bands in my purse), a zip-up sweatshirt (you'll always find me in a zippy!), facial wipes, lip gloss and my newest addition is going to be a deck of cards for the crazy new "Deck of Cards" workout!

What's your workout "heaven?”

I'm in "heaven" when my class is in "hell!"  It's sounds so cruel, but I get such a high when I'm teaching class and working out so hard that my class is screaming. When my legs are burning and I'm sweating like crazy I know they're dying too so I push harder and we do 20 more reps. The screams of relief when we finish help me know that I'm doing my job well!

What's your workout "hell?”

Oh man, I'd have to say now it's running. I used to love running but after breaking my foot the pain is just too much. When I'm just walking around my block I start to lose it. It's my "hell" when I can't do something I used to be able to do!

What's the most important move that all women should do every day?  

The best thing you could do for yourself is to attack the day with a plan. Plan your meals, plan your workout, bring your healthy snacks to the office and make sure you're getting plenty of water. When we aren't prepared we make poor food choices and often don't workout.  Also, keep track of your posture. Keep your stomach tight and your shoulders back and you'll see a big difference in your core strength.

What's your favorite fitness look?

Since I live in workout clothes it's really easy to feel "frumpy."  But when I'm wearing Lululemon I feel so put together and really cute! I'm almost always in black pants and something colorful on top!

Tell us about your healthy diet.

I decided to go vegan for several reasons. I'm a nutrition coach as well as a trainer. A lot of my day is spent researching food practices and studying ways to achieve optimal nutrition so the body functions efficiently and at it's best. It seemed like everything I read said a plant based diet is not only ideal for fighting disease in the body but also creates an environment where your body is a well-oiled machine. Everything functions as it should and you achieve more than was ever possible. Another big reason I decided to become vegan is I just don't trust the production of meat anymore. Just recently the lid has been blown about pink slime and how eating meat can take years off your life. This is BIG stuff that can't be ignored! It's about time we start learning about what's in our food. For me it clicked when I watched several documentaries back to back. After watching one called "Vegucated," I decided to take the plunge. It basically posed the question if you were educated (hence "vegucated") about everything to do with the production of meat and dairy and the benefits of plants would you still chose to eat meat?  My answer was most definitely no!

What's one misconception people have about eating vegan?  

I constantly hear "It's too hard" and "where do you get your protein?" We've been programmed to think that protein is the most essential energy-yielding nutrient and that we need to have a lot of it. However, it’s the complete opposite!  Our bodies only need 10-15% of our entire daily caloric intake to come from protein. I was nervous that it would be hard to become vegan because I would feel deprived or cheated, but I feel so clean and healthy that any feeling of deprivation is long gone!

What's your favorite pre- and post-workout meal?  

My pre-workout meal is usually very light—something that will give me a lot of carbohydrates for fuel. I love to eat an apple or even drink a pressed juice before a workout. My post-workout meal is a BIG salad if it’s lunchtime. If it’s not, I usually have a smoothie made with frozen berries, 1/2 frozen banana, brown rice protein powder, spirulina powder, alkalinity powder and almond or coconut milk.

How much time before and after do you eat?  

I eat anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes before a workout. After my workout, I try to eat within 10 to 30 minutes. After your workout, your body will absorb nutrients at an incredibly fast pace, so it's essential to get nutrients into your system before your body starts to eat itself.

What are your fitness plans for the summer?  

I love the summer because you can workout outside all the time! I plan on doing a lot of hikes with my puppy.

Any "fit" vacations that are on your to-do list?

I love active vacations! My fiancé and I are not big fans of guided tours so we try to do as much on our own as possible. This year we plan on going to Thailand for our honeymoon so there will be a lot of exploration! We always try to do something active each day—whether it be a hike, bike, or swim we try to get a workout in. I think we'll get our Scuba certification before we head down there so we can do some underwater sightseeing.

What can we look forward to in the future with you?

I hope you'll be seeing a lot more of me! It's a goal of mine to work at the level of Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels so who knows? Maybe you'll be reading my book and watching me whip people into shape on TV someday!