What happens when you put seven New York City-based fitness trainers together and the cameras start rolling? You get a bird’s eye view of some amazingly toned bodies…and a whole lot of drama. And I am sure that is what Bravo was counting on when it launched its latest reality series, Work Out New York, which debuted last night.
The premiere episode featured some trainers were really feeling themselves, but egos aside, these men and women are at the top of their game, helping sculpt bodies at some of the NYC’s hottest workout studios (Flywheel, Barry’s Bootcamp, Orangetheory). What's more, many have whipped the bodies of celebrities and professional athletes into amazing shape. So we caught up with three of the stars of the new show to swap fitness secrets. One thing they all agreed on: squats are one of the most important exercises for women (read why further down).
Here’s what else we learned…
The trainer: Holly Rilinger
Credentials: A 10-year fitness vet who is a Nike Master Trainer, Flywheel Sports Master Trainer, Certified Personal Trainer, and Group X Instructor.
Fitness philosophy: It's about the way you feel when you're walking out the door! Sure, fitness regimens are about getting lean, looking sexy and, of course, being healthy, but the real magic is the feeling you take with you. It's that "on top of the world" feeling you get that will find its way into all facets of your life. When you start to understand that, you begin to understand that working out is something that you just CANNOT do without.
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Is it wrong to just stick with one specific workout all of the time?
Our bodies will adjust to any workout after a period of time, making the workout less effective. When I create programs for my clients, I change the regimen every three weeks. If you're doing a specific group class, you should incorporate others for variety. Lift heavier, increase the circuit, and throw in some indoor cycling and/or boxing classes. There are endless ways to sweat, so MIX IT UP.
What are your top three must-do exercises for women and why?
My Flywheel indoor cycling class! No seriously, indoor cycling is the one place where you can lose yourself and leave the room completely drenched in sweat, uplifted, and worked. Squats. You not only work your legs, which house the biggest muscles on your body, but you also activate your core. You're chasing down the beautiful booty and sexy abs, as well as burning the max calories in one simple move. And burpees. It's a great full-body exercise that requires zero equipment. You work both your upper body and lower body while stabilizing with your core.
How to do a burpee:
What is the one thing you think folks do and are unaware of that is keeping them from reaching their fitness goals?
A great workout will NEVER overcome a bad diet. Eating unhealthy is negating all your fitness efforts. It's almost like your workout doesn't count.
What is your biggest gym pet peeve?
People not working hard. I just don't understand it. Either show up or don't. When you walk through that door, whether it's into the indoor cycling stadium or your gym, flip that switch "ON." Get into the ZONE! Decide that nothing is going to stop you and leave everything else at the door. THAT is how you make big changes.
What is your favorite pre- and post-workout snack?
Pre workout, I'll have a banana with a scoop of almond butter. Post sweat, I go BIG! I'm all about a big piece of grilled chicken and a variety of organic veggies, especially Brussels sprouts, and sometimes a sweet potato. My current obsession is a bottle of Maple Water.
What is one fitness trend you wish would die right now?
Waist trainers. I mean...are you serious? Just stop it. You are not going to lose 2-4 inches off your waist by compressing your core. These types of endorsements really make me angry. Show me the science behind this and while you're doing the research why not just eat clean and get to the gym. There's your 2-4 inches.
What is the one thing you would never go a day without doing?
Creating an amazing playlist. Great tunes lead to a great workout. Right now, I'm into some old school hip-hop. And, I always love some Jay Z, Rihanna, Biggie and I'm very much into Justin Bieber's new album (don't hate!). Pick some fresh tunes every week. We are never in the same mindset.... so we always need new inspiration. Also, I rarely go a day without my morning sweat. It changes my brain chemistry. It lights my fire. It makes everything else in my day come together. I take one full day off per week, otherwise you can find me sweating in the early AM.
Trainer: Courtney Paul
Credentials: Licensed with the National Council for Certified Personal Trainer, he has helped develop eating an fitness plans for high-end sports clubs including David Barton Gym and Barry’s Bootcamp. He's also worked with celebrities and professional athletes such as Alan Cumming, Jane Krakowski, Dylan McDermott, Katie Holmes Tara Lipinski as well as models Ashley Graham and Alina Baikova.
Fitness Philosophy: Push past your mental limits because where you want to back off and give up is the exact place where your results live.
It can be hard sticking to a fitness regime, especially when you don’t see changes right away.
You may not see the results right away but you will thank yourself the day you notice a new sculpt in your body. It may not be tomorrow or the day after but there is a light at the end of the tunnel!
What exercises are a must for women?
Squats are number one—not only do they target the body's largest muscle group, the legs, but it also works every man's favorite, the backside. Two, triceps dips. They focus on the arms, help build upper body strength, and keeps away the loose flabby arms. And three, Side Bends— they help keep the midsection snatched and tight by strengthening your body's natural girdle, the obliques.
What do you think of cheat meals?
Cheat meals and cheat days only push you further and further away from your results. Stay focused and on track. Rather than food or drinks treat yourself to material items like a new wardrobe to go with your new body.
What song gets you hyped to workout?
Reach Up (Peter Rauhofer Original Mix) by Celeda. When I train or teach a class I like to throw in songs with a positive message about getting to the next level from wherever you are. It also helps that this beat is sick!
What is your favorite pre-workout snack?
I usually eat a light protein and carb-filled snack such as tuna fish on a rice cake or a slice of sprouted bread with natural almond butter.
Any fitness trend you aren’t really feeling?
Any form of movement is a good thing especially when most Americans are nailed to a desk the majority of their day, so I promote all the trends, styles and methods if it pushes the client towards being better today than they were yesterday.
What is the one thing you would never go a day without doing?
Being active, be it a walk, a run, or a workout. In some way shape or form keep the body moving, and be thankful for what you have while constantly working towards the best version of you possible.
The Trainer: Joe Lazo
Credentials: He's trained in elite fitness clubs, including David Barton Gym and Complete Body, and holds five certifications: ACE, NCCPT, CrossFit Level 1, CrossFit Movement & Mobility, and CrossFit Kettlebell Trainer.
Fitness philosophy: Fitness is only going to work if you are doing it for the reasons that are going to directly increase your quality of life. It only makes you feel better if you are doing it to be a better you. If you are doing it to look like John Doe in the magazine, then you are now trying to be the best him. That will never work, and it now increases your own discouragement.
What advice would you give someone who has been dedicated to eating healthy and exercising regularly and has now reached a plateau?
That all depends on what the goals are. If the person is trying to bulk up muscle mass then I would revise the diet, increase her complex carb intake and increase overall caloric count. If they are plateauing in strength gains then I would tell them to completely switch up their style of training. They need to create a different stimulus for their muscle confusion. If you normally lift with isotonic movements, switch it up to Olympic lifting, or implement gymnastics (body weight exercises) into your programming. Plain and simple, you have to shock your skeletal muscular system.
What are three must-do exercises for women?
In order of importance: Squats, push-ups, and rowing (ergonomic machine). The reason: women are significantly more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. Heavy lifting develops bones density, and bone density decreases the chances of osteoporosis. Squats are great for legs, glutes, and core. Pushups are great for triceps, pectorals, shoulder capsule, and anterior deltoids. The rowing machine is great for the back, biceps, and cardiorespiratory.
Is there anything that folks may not realize is keeping them from their fitness goals?
I don’t think there is anything that people are unaware of that is hindering their fitness goals. Everyone who drinks alcohol knows very well that they are drinking nothing but empty calories and sugar, and most importantly that it dehydrates the muscles. I have NEVER met a single person that refrained from using alcohol as a social crutch and it didn’t significantly speed up their results.
Any gym pet peeves?
My biggest one is watching trainers make their clients do exercises they don’t even do in their own programming. No individual, in any industry, has the right to make someone endure something they haven’t tried and tested themselves. You don’t know something just because you read it somewhere.
What do you reach for post workout?
Any wacky trends that make you roll your eyes in disgust?
There are plenty that I don’t personally agree with or believe in, but anything that gets a person off of their ass and engaged in physical activity is a good thing in my opinion.
Is there one thing— fitness or health wise—that you must do every day?
Walking. I was 10 years old when we were hit by the Blizzard of '96 in the tri-state area. We had 3.5 inches of snow and you couldn’t drive anywhere for a couple days. We needed some food and my mother walked the 2 miles to the closest supermarket in the snow. I know it sounds silly, but since that day I have always viewed walking as action of strength. And since I have been living in New York City I have walked home from work almost everyday regardless of the neighborhood I lived in and where I was coming from.