From Instagram to the red carpet, celebrities like Heidi Klum are totally nailing it in the hot bod department. We’re sure this supermodel learned a thing or two about striking the perfect pose on the catwalk of countless Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows, but the real secret comes from working with A-list personal trainers that know all the ingredients for achieving a flawless physique.
While I won’t be walking down a runway any time soon, I’m always looking for ways to improve my fitness, and what better place to go for advice than the experts themselves!
Here are 10 health secrets some of Hollywood’s top personal trainers swear by.
Water is king
We’ve all heard that drinking eight glasses of water can help us prevent dehydration and flush unnecessary toxins from our systems. But according to FitFusion trainer Andrea Orbeck, who’s worked with celebs like Heidi Klum, water is also crucial for keeping our bodies in prime shape. In fact, Orbeck told me she downs “at least half a gallon of water” every single day.
H20 is also on the list of daily essentials for celebrity trainer Reggie Chambers, whose A-list clientele includes stars like Christina Ricci. “I drink tons of water,” Reggie told me in an interview. “Most people don’t realize how much water the body needs.”
Sip some green tea
When he’s not drinking water, Chambers says he’ll often enjoy some green tea on most days. “Green tea increases your metabolism and the caffeine improves your endurance and helps you work out longer,” he told me.
Green tea can also be a great option for anyone actively trying to reduce their daily caffeine intake. While green tea isn’t completely caffeine free, it does contain less caffeine than your average cup of coffee or espresso, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Abs are made in the kitchen
While planks and V-ups are certainly great ways to tone your midsection, Orbeck says that eating poorly will almost always sabotage the work you put in at the gym. When I asked her if the average person needed to spend hours at the gym to achieve a fit body, she said, “It depends on how much time they spend in the kitchen eating horribly.”
She explains that when you eat healthy, there’s no need to kill yourself at the gym for hours every day. “If you eat 80% of your meals with clean and lean in mind, you can spend less than an hour [exercising], 3 to 4 days a week, as long as you train hard, smart and efficient.”
Some food just isn’t worth the calories
With a hot body comes great responsibility. Sure, we’d all like to think that it’s possible to have six-pack abs and eat whatever we want, but unfortunately, that’s just not the way it works. The truth is that there are certain foods super-fit celebs — and their trainers — just won’t touch, no matter how yummy and tempting them may seem.
Chambers, for example, told me he avoids milkshakes at all costs. “Too many calories, not enough nutrients,” he told me. For Orbeck, it’s fast food. “Anything prepared by the restaurant with the golden arches sign: never!”
From Yoga to kickboxing, there are no shortage of options when it comes to getting our sweat on. And while any physical activity is better than nothing, Orbeck explains that certain exercises are more effective than others, especially when you’re short on time.
“Quick combinations of weighted squats with anything plyometric or high intensity heart rate work,” she told me, when I asked about her favorite quick workout routines. “It’s astonishing how you can end up in a pool of sweat in less than 10 minutes when you ask your legs to perform heavy and fast movements.”
Make push-ups your BFF
Chambers is also a fan of quick, no-nonsense exercises when he’s short on time and space. His go-to: push-ups. “I even drop down and do them in between appointments or any spare moment that presents itself,” he told me. “It’s a great all-around upper body workout that keeps you fit. Push-ups also improve muscular endurance and create lean muscle mass that helps raise your metabolism.”
In fact, according to an article published in WebMD, just five minutes of pushups can burn close to 50 calories. So the next time you find yourself stuck in a hotel room with no workout gear, drop down and get give those arms a workout!
Mix it up
Hitting the gym on a regular basis is a big commitment. That’s why FitFusion trainer Kenta Seki, who works with fitness guru Jillian Michaels, says it’s important to switch things up. He suggests using a platform like FitFusion — which operates like a Netflix for workout videos — to help you mix up your workouts. “FitFusion has hundreds of workouts available with many types of focuses, including cardio, resistance training, Yoga, dance, and more,” he told me in an interview. “This diversity gives the viewer endless options of other ways to burn calories.”
I recently gave FitFusion a whirl for myself and loved that there were many options — some as short as 10 minutes. Plus, working out with a celeb trainer in real life isn’t exactly affordable for most people, so this felt the next best thing.
Stay off the scale
When it comes to getting and staying in shape, there’s one piece of advice Chambers says he always gives his clients — and surprisingly, it has nothing to do with exercise.
“Stay off the scale,” Chambers said. “If your clothes fit comfortably, and you are feeling good, it doesn’t matter what the numbers are. It’s just not the best measure of weight loss. You may have lost inches and gained more muscle — you have to remember that muscle weighs more than fat.”
Sleep is underrated
Eating right and working out are super important when it comes to reaching your fitness goals. But there are two other big factors, Orbeck says, that are key to helping us stay in our best shape: sleep and relaxation. “You have to sleep well and deep and live a generally stress-free life,” she told me. “It is incredibly hard to out-eat and out-exercise a burnt out and stressful lifestyle.”
So, next time you feel guilty for sleeping in on a Saturday morning, remind yourself that it’s all in the name of fitness.
There are no short cuts
It all comes down to rest, nutritious food, exercise, and dedication. When it comes to looking and feeling our best, there’s really no other way to get there, says Seki. “It’s very common for people to expect fast results while doing the minimum amount of work,” he told me. “To see real change you need to make a lot of effort, and that means doing more than 2-3 workouts a week and making better decisions about your eating habits.” The payoff will be worth it!