Feeling the burn doesn’t have to cost you thousands of dollars and you don’t have to follow a strict celebrity workout in order to get great results.
When you see a celebrity workout advertised in the media, most of the actors endorsing their “get-fit-quick” plan have a specific purpose behind their workout. Most of the time, it’s for a movie role, and most of these celebrities have personal trainers that charge expensive hourly rates and weekly fees.
As a Strength and Conditioning Specialist, a Personal Trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and as the fitness expert at BistroMD, Dr. Sean Wells knows how appealing celebrity workouts can look to the average person wanting to start an exercise plan. Celebrity workouts can be effective, but they can also be very expensive.
“Most celebrity workouts are curtailed to the specific client and most of these celebrities work with personal trainers 3-5 times during the week. The price for a personal trainer is usually hefty, ranging between $100-$200 per hour,” says Sean. “Working out like a celebrity doesn’t have to cost you thousands of dollars, and most exercises can be incorporated into an effective, daily routine that will work best for your individual needs.”
As the go-to-guy for all things exercise, BistroMD’s fitness expert, Sean, is giving you tips on how to gradually create your own celebrity workout specific to your needs, without spending thousands of dollars.
Steer Clear of Gimmicks and Ridiculous Claims
Celebrities love to market themselves, and many of them agree to do product plugs that promote their miracle workout plans. Most of these endorsements include gimmicks that promise you the same dramatic results as them in a limited period of time.
“Gimmicks are always present in the world of exercise and fitness,” says Sean. “Many of the exercise plans promoted by celebrities promise extreme results in little, to no time at all. These workouts generally begin with implementing high-intensity exercises right away, which isn’t ideal for the average person looking to start their own daily exercise plan.”
Rather than follow the "quick" trip down the celebrity workout highway, recent guidelines for exercise and physical activity have changed to promote a more gradual physical transition of your body, that is both healthy and effective.
“Today, health and physical fitness experts like Dr. Steven Blair of the University of South Carolina, promote the idea of several bouts of physical activity every day, rather than doing rigorous physical activity all at one time,” says Sean. “This includes more low-intensity activities like walking, taking the stairs, and parking further away at the grocery store.”
Other than gimmicks, celebrity workout plans today promote simple “gadgets” that are reinforced by absurd and ridiculous claims. The results may look physically appealing on your favorite movie star, but your body can actually end up paying a steep price to look famous with help from these "miracle" gadgets.
“Many of these products and gadgets endorsed by celebrities promote unnatural movements, and can expose a person to injury,” says Sean. “Not only that, but many celebrity workout plans don't start your body out at a gradual pace, which isn't effective for getting into the habit of a daily exercise routine. The gadgets and products used in many celebrity-endorsed advertisements include devices that involve aggressively shaking your arms up and down, or doing extreme physical movements that can put too much strain on your spine, causing severe physical damage.”
Other than the potential risk for serious injury caused by unnatural body movements, many of these "get-fit-quick" celebrity products only target one realm of fitness, whether it be cardio or resistance training.
Start Gradual, Then Progress Naturally
If you want to achieve a body that looks like one of your favorite celebrities, you don't have to buy their products in order to get the same results. The process of transforming your body physically should be done at a natural and gradual pace.
Instead of turning to fast fixes and celebrity-endorsed gimmicks, start with low-intensity exercises, like walking and jogging, and then gradually work your way up to more intense levels of physical activity.
Listed below are some guidelines on how to work your way up from low intensity workouts to a more balanced exercise routine, courtesy of BistroMD's fitness expert, Sean.
1. Start with Moderately Intense Aerobic Exercises
Includes: biking, jogging, walking, swimming
If you are just starting to exercise daily, rotate between these exercises at a moderate pace for about 30 minutes each day, 5 days per week.
“There are ways to determine if your body can handle increasing the level of intensity in your exercises," says Sean. "The ability to speak is a good indicator for determining if you are ready to increase your range and intensity. If you can speak clearly without gasping for breath, then you are ready to start cranking up the intensity levels of these exercises."
2. Progress to Vigorous, Intensive Aerobic Exercises
Includes: biking, running, swimming, and rowing.
These are basically the same type of exercises, just with heightened intensity levels. To achieve the best results, rotate between these exercises for about 20 minutes each day, 3 days per week.
“By doing the same exercises at heightened intensity levels, you are gradually helping your body transform into a more fit and toned physique," says Sean. "Rather than walking and jogging, crank up the speed and endurance by running instead. Add swimming into the mix, and you have successfully developed an exercise plan that works all of the major muscle groups in your body, which is similar to what many celebrity trainers focus on when working with their clients."
Gradually start increasing your time doing these exercises, until you can only speak one word sporadically at a time. Once you have adjusted more comfortably to the intensity of these exercises, you can start incorporating strength and resistance training into your daily routine.
3. Start Incorporating Strength and Resistance Training
Includes: arm curls, arm dips, push-ups, plank holds, crunches, squats/lunges, knee extensions, and heel raises.
In addition to your aerobics routine, you can also incorporate these strength and resistance training exercises into your plan to help build muscle strength, and to develop more muscle tone.
“If you decide that you want to incorporate some of these exercises into your plan, I recommend doing 8-10 minutes of these exercises, 8-12 times each, for twice a week,” says Sean. “By adding in these exercises, you will definitely be getting the type of workout celebrities pay for, without spending thousands of dollars.”
It’s important to note that these are the minimum guidelines for strength and resistance training for those under the age of 65. If you are over 65, exceeding these numbers can actually provide additional fitness and health benefits.
“If you are over the age of 65, it’s recommended that you perform a higher number of reps, for strength training, (10-15), and that you set aside an extra day each week to do these exercises,” says Sean. “This is based on solid evidence that strength training slows the progression of age-related sacropenia, (muscle loss), and helps prevent falls. Balance training, particularly Tai-Chi, is also recommended, especially if you are a senior, who is at risk of falling.”
Don't Let the Appeal of "Celebrity" Fool You
Celebrity workouts are often rapid, and they force your body to do too much in a limited period of time. Instead of jumping right into an aggressive exercise program, it’s important that you gradually adjust your body to an appropriate routine and that you avoid gimmicks and weight loss products that make ridiculous claims.
“Celebrity workouts are tailored to the individual celebrity, which is good, but most of these celebrities work with personal trainers on a daily basis,” says Sean. “You can get the results of a celebrity, just make sure it isn’t rushed, and that your daily workout routine is appropriate for you, your lifestyle, and your own personal goals.”