What Personal Trainers Wish Every American Woman Knew

From the WebMD Archives

By Meg Lundstrom

Redbook Magazine Logo They're buff, they're beautiful, they're fully booked by the hottest celebrities-but if these fitness trainers had a few minutes alone with you, here's what they'd say.

Name: Denise Austin

Denise Austin (from REDBOOK Feature) Photo Works with: 1.4 million viewers of "Fit and Lite" and "Daily Workout" on Lifetime TV

Latest ventures: Hit the Spot Core Complete, Fit & Firm Pregnancy (DVDs, $15, out in September)

What I want you to know: "You don't have to do tons of sit-ups to tighten your tummy. Wherever you are-sitting in your car, cooking a meal, working at your desk-pull your tummy up and in, like you're zipping up a tight pair of jeans. If you hold it for five seconds, it's the equivalent of one sit-up. Practice this regularly every day, and in three to six weeks, you'll see results."

Name: Michael George

Michael George (from REDBOOK Feature) Photo Works with: Reese Witherspoon, Julianne Moore, Toby Maguire, Meg Ryan, Christian Slater

Latest venture: 6-Week Virtual Coaching Program (BodyExpressMakeover.com, $60)

What I want you to know: "You have to give a new fitness program some time to deliver noticeable results. When you start cardio and strength training, you might actually gain weight at first because you're putting on lean muscle faster than you're dropping body fat. But if you're training the right way-high intensity training mixed with interval training-you're kick-starting your metabolism and should start dropping pounds in two to eight weeks."

Name: Kathy Kaehler

Kathy Kaehler (from REDBOOK Feature) Photo Works with: Julia Roberts, Kim Bassinger, Michelle Pfeiffer; NBC Today Show fitness expert

Latest venture: Free five-minute workouts for iPods and Mp3 players (GYMp3.com)

What I want you to know: "Your diet is about 75 percent of the weight loss battle. Don't think that because you went to the gym, or saw your trainer before work, or did an exercise video before bed, that you can raid the pantry. If you do not fuel your body properly, your results will be washed down the drain with your sweat. Follow a well-balanced, low-fat diet that includes lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and lots of fruits and veggies. Drink water, water, and more water."


Name: Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels (from REDBOOK Feature) Photo Works with: Tara Reid, Amanda Peet, Vanessa Marcil, Nicole Kidman; fitness consultant to Redbook magazine's Real-Life Healthy Life campaign.

Latest venture: Winning by Losing: Drop the Weight, Change Your Life (book, $25)

What I want you to know: "Go beyond your "target fat-burning zone" when you do cardio. It's true that when you work out less intensely at a lower heart rate (65 percent to 70 percent of your maximum), you burn a higher percentage of fat calories over sugar calories. But when you get your heart rate up to at least 85 percent, you'll ultimately burn more total calories overall of both fat and sugar, making it a better weight-loss strategy.

Name: Harley Pasternak

Harle Pasternak (from REDBOOK Feature) Photo Works with: Alicia Keys, Eva Mendes, Kanye West, John Mayer, Zach Braff

Latest venture: 5-Factor Fitness: The Diet and Fitness Secret of Hollywood's A-List (book, $15)

What I want you to know: "Train your body evenly. Many women will pick a body part they don't like-like the inner thighs or butt-and work more on that than on the rest of the body. But this causes muscle imbalances and leads to injury, poor posture, and a worse physique. Just as you train equally on your left and right sides, train equally in the front and the back."

Name: Gunnar Peterson

Gunnar Peterson (from REDBOOK Feature) Photo Works with: Jennifer Lopez, Angelina Jolie, Brooke Burke, Penelope Cruz, Matthew McConaughey

Latest venture: Core Secrets fitness program (videos and exercise ball, $10-$80)

What I want you to know: "Strength training doesn't make you 'big.' Women have on average only one-tenth the testosterone that men have, which means that their bodies are far less able to build big muscles. In fact, all training breaks down muscles; the building occurs after exercise while you are recovering, and only if you take in the proper nutrition at the proper time."

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WebMD Feature from "Redbook" Magazine
Reprinted with permission from Hearst Communications, Inc.