My job as a fitness professional has given me wonderful opportunities to work with stars of stage and screen. On set I’m under pressure to ensure my clients are camera-ready.
I’m part trainer, soft tissue therapist and nutrition coach and each skill set plays a role in getting my clients optimal results.
I can confidently tell you that while training is vital to success – what you do during the other 23 hours in the day plays a significant role too.
Here are six fitness non-negotiables I share with all my A-list clients.
1. START YOUR DAY WITH A MORNING ROUTINE
If you win the morning, you win the day, says Tim Ferris, author of The 4 Hour Body – and so do I.
A few simple morning habits can have a powerful influence on the day ahead, and prime your mental and physical state to be on the offence, full of energy and vigour.
I ask clients to perform some form of movement practice, be it five minutes of yoga or a few mobility exercises. This habit shakes off any morning stiffness and replaces sluggishness with feelings of vitality.
Here are a few options so you can build a morning routine right for you:
- 1. Meditation
- 2. Journaling
- 3. Movement/exercise
- 4. Take a cold shower/make the last 30 seconds freezing cold
- 5. Eat a consistently healthy breakfast. Do not allow the morning rush to be an excuse for making bad choices.
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2. QUALITY SLEEP SHOULD BE A TOP PRIORITY
Quality sleep is essential to recovery and hormone production. Poor sleep can elevate the stress hormone cortisol and decrease the release of anabolic hormones such as testosterone and growth hormone.
In layman’s terms that means poor sleep disrupts the body’s ability to build lean muscle and shed body fat. Does that sound dramatic? Consider one of my clients who battled sleep deprivation for years. Despite a solid training and nutrition plan, progress was stagnant during out first month of training. One stress point affecting his sleep was the habit of routinely answering work emails right before hitting the sack. With a few adjustments to his night time routine – he gave up screen time an hour before bed – his sleep quality improved, energy levels drastically changed and progress resumed.
- 1. Turn off all electronics 30 minutes before going to bed (yes that includes your phone).
- 2. Make your bedroom as dark as possible – sleep in a cave!
- 3. Aim to be in bed for a minimum of 7/8 hours per night. Don’t stress about trying to sleep, just make your best effort to be under the covers for this amount of time and let sleep take care of itself.
3. YOU CAN’T OUT TRAIN A BAD DIET
Poor nutrition is one of the limiting factors that can stand between you and your fitness goals. No matter how hard you train, efforts are futile if they are not matched with proper nutrition.
A diet rich in nutrient-dense foods is essential to powering your body, fuelling and repairing muscles and keeping the calorie-burning metabolic furnace fired up. Fill your shopping basket with fibre-rich vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and some starchy carbs.
And for those of you who desire a leaner mid-section or Hollywood six pack – like Zac Efron in Baywatch – don’t think you can sculpt those abs with crunches! Ab definition is bound by your level of body fat – and nobody is getting leaner without proper nutrition to back up a solid training plan.
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4. SELF-CARE: THE DAILY HABIT THAT SPEEDS UP RESULTS
We sabotage our own bodies with a sedentary lifestyle. Lack of movement, poor postural habits and a whole lot of sitting have profound effects on the health of our tissues. This can lead to stiffness and movement restrictions which drastically reduce our performance in and out of the gym.
- 1. Reduce your level of optional sitting. If desk bound for work take short movement breaks every 30 minutes.
- 2. Be mindful of postural habits throughout the day. Are you hunched over your phone or laptop reading this right now? Over time, these postural tendencies can lead to a host of orthopaedic health problems.
- 3. Perform self-massage using a foam roller or massage balls when time permits. My clients say 20-minutes in the evening helps release muscle tension, allowing them to wind down and sleep better.
- 4. Engage in a form of movement practice such as yoga, kinstretch or perform your own movement and mobility routine at home.
- Related Article: Beyonce’s New Workout Routine Includes Soul Cycling and Exercising With Jay Z
5. COMMIT TO CONSISTENCY
- I’m not just talking about getting your workouts in – I’m talking about consistent effort in the gym, being 90% compliant with good nutritional habits, taking care of your body every day. It’s the commitment to consistency that makes the difference between no progress, slow progress and rapid change.
6. SCHEDULE YOUR TOUGHEST WORKOUTS AT THE WEEKENDS
I often book my clients in for Saturday and Sunday morning sessions, much to their delight…! I do this because it encourages them to make smarter choices about their evening plans. A big night out can literally take you two steps backwards.
When you know you have a workout planned the following morning, you are less likely to misbehave on a Friday and Saturday night. Either that, or you can learn your lesson the hard way – by showing up hungover, and spending more time squatting over a bucket than under a barbell. Of course, I can’t name names. But, let’s just say, I’ve witnessed this first hand.
And even though you might think this will restrict your social life, my clients have grown to enjoy this weekly habit. You’ll experience better mood, feel more energised and get more out of your weekend.
From: Harper’s Bazaar US