If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to maintain some of the fittest bodies in Hollywood, you’re not alone—and probably a lot like us. It often seems that no matter how much time, energy and money we invest into replicating Madonna’s toned arms or Rihanna’s washboard abs—ours never seem to look as fabulous as theirs.
So what happens when “real” women—those women being DuJour staffers Lindsay Silberman and Natasha Wolff—endure a week-long workout with two top celebrity trainers? Here, they’ve chronicled their experiences.
The Trainer: Nicole Winhoffer
Celebrity Clients: Madonna, Rachel Weisz
The Subject: Natasha
The Workout Details: Treadmill-based legs and ab exercises, cardio, alkaline diet
I met Nicole at a group dance cardio class earlier this year and was impressed by our workout. She wasn’t some crazy bobble-head trainer who wants you to starve and work out for hours every day. She’s battled her weight and had her own body issues, so she gets it and has a healthy approach to diet and exercise. But I wasn’t prepared for my customized sessions.
Coming off a fried-food-and-wine-fueled European trip, the idea of having my ass kicked for five straight days in the early morning wasn’t appealing. Before I even meet Nicole for our first session at New York’s David Barton Gym, I was sent a detailed description of the diet I was to follow—an alkaline diet (“Being a working woman,” she says, “we are always on the go and have high levels of stress which can produce toxins in the body and keep your body acidic.”). This includes iced-cold water in the morning, cereal with unsweetened almond milk, lean proteins and steamed vegetables (easy on the olive oil) throughout the day, and as far as fruit goes, only melon. I was to avoid bread, dairy, sugar and alcohol—all the fun things.
Our workouts focused on the treadmill. We worked out on adjacent machines, experiencing it all together. The goal is to “wake up my abdominals” (women store fat in their abdominals more than men): a full-body workout including 30 minutes of cardio and a section of legs and abs (20 reps each), all done on or around the machine. Nothing, she tells me, is dumbed down. This is the same workout Madonna does daily for two hours!
Today we did 45 minutes of a new cardio routine (which included a 15 percent incline) followed by 45 minutes of legs and abs to “burn more calories, utilize the element of performance and recruit more muscles to complete the movements.” My body responded quickly to the initial pain of Day One.
Only an hour this morning. We kept adding on movements to our cardio routines on the treadmill in addition to increasing reps (now up to 30) of leg and abs exercises. I’m starting to catch on and learn the routines, and my body is remembering the movements.
Back to an hour and a half and fighting a bad cold. Groan. Continued with 30-minute sections and 30 reps of each exercise (including squats, lounges, kick-backs, hip raises and everything in between). Initial soreness in quads and legs is wearing off!
Our last day, we kill ourselves during a one and a half hour program, and I have to admit, it’s getting easier! I can slog through 30 reps of hip raises/kick-backs elevating myself high above the treadmill. I could see doing this daily (well, maybe), and I swear my butt is higher and tighter. Nicole notices my face and abs (a problem area for me) are looking slimmer.
While I don’t have the luxury of seeing the booked-solid trainer on a regular basis (Nicole’s almost never away from Madonna, plus she’s also in charge of the trainers at the singer’s Hard Candy Fitness gyms), she sends me a video of her doing the treadmill workouts along with her favorite tunes, and I’ve managed to keep doing the routines at the gym on my own (although I’m sure I look crazy). She’s definitely given me the tools to continue on my righteous path and I even followed her diets for weeks afterward.