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4 Celebrity Secrets to Sculpting a Red Carpet-Ready Body

by
author image Kacy Duke
Kacy Duke is a celebrity personal trainer who’s been called New York City’s best trainer and top workout guru. Known for her insightful training techniques for the body and soul, she has worked with many of the entertainment world’s biggest names, including Kate Beckinsale, Dakota Johnson, Bebe Rexha, Gwen Stefani, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Denzel Washington.
4 Celebrity Secrets to Sculpting a Red Carpet-Ready Body
Gwen Stefani's rockin' bod didn't happen overnight. Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

No matter who you are — big-name celebrity or average Joe or Jane — my training philosophy always starts with love. Love the body you have to get the body you want. The goal is to train your body to do what needs to be done to keep it healthy and strong. So skip the negative self-talk and focus instead on your mindset, motivation and movement.

What else can you do to get a superstar physique? Here are four celebrity training secrets:

1. Celebrities Begin With a Targeted Plan

When you see celebrities on the red carpet, it’s easy to forget that those amazing bodies don’t just happen. They’re built over time with hard work, discipline and commitment. If you want to create your best body, you’ll need to connect with those qualities within yourself as well.

As a trainer to the stars, actors put their bodies in my hands. My mission? To work with them to get them to the point where they can meet the requirements of their roles in a strong and healthy way.

First, I’ll look at their current fitness level. Are they in decent shape, or do they need a total muscle makeover? Does the role require the long, lean lines of a ballerina, or do they need the pumped-up look of a superhero? Is their eating on track, or do we need to work on that too?

From there, I design a roadmap to help get them to their goals. That same approach is great for civilians too. Commit, be consistent, have a goal and put a plan in place to get there, if possible, with the help of a trainer as your guide.

2. Celebrities Make Time, Not Excuses

You may think celebs have it easy when it comes to working out. After all, it’s their job, right? But when I’m working with a client who’s shooting a movie or TV show, one of the great challenges is finding the time. (Sound familiar?)

With their crazy schedules, we have to grab workout time anytime and anywhere we can. Consequently, it’s not unusual to find me putting a famous face through their paces at the hotel gym at 2 a.m., in an on-set parking lot during a break in filming or in a specially outfitted mobile gym trailer at 5 a.m.

Ultimately, you have to seize the moment to work out — no matter what. Even if you have to break your workout into three 10-minute sessions in a day, you’ll be making a positive impact on your body. It all counts, so no excuses!

3. Celebrities Work Out Wisely

I love to keep my celebrity clients (and their muscles) guessing with different kinds of circuits to target all the various muscle groups. Doing the same moves day after day won’t get results, so I have to keep them on their toes.

If you’re creating a better body all on your own, think of designing a month of training plans and giving each muscle group its own “starring moment.” For example, focus on legs one week, chest and torso the next and arms and back on week three. Then repeat the cycle, upping the weight or reps as you progress. And don’t forget cardio, especially if you’re looking to keep your weight in check.

Celebrities aren’t necessarily all that different from the rest of us. They have days when they may fall off the wagon (they’re only human). The difference is that they get back on the path and focus. So take a cue from them and get back on track ASAP. And never give up!

4. Try This Superstar Circuit

Here are a few of my favorite do-anywhere exercises that can be done on their own or as a circuit:

1. The Push-Up Tri-Fector

  • Equipment: two small towels or a pair of gliders
  • Muscles Targeted: abs, arms, chest, back and legs
  • Reps: three rounds with 30 to 60 seconds of rest in between rounds

HOW TO DO IT: Start in plank position with hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Place a towel or glider under each foot. Do one push-up (or remain in a plank). Bring your knees toward your armpits and back out for three reps. Next, do three mountain climbers on each leg (bring one knee up at a time) Finally, do three pull-ins, opening and closing your legs when they’re extended.

2. ASAP Slide Lunges

  • Equipment: pair of dumbbells and gliders or towels
  • Muscles Targeted: arms, shoulders, waist, butt and inner and outer thighs
  • Reps: three sets of 8 to 12 reps on each side

HOW TO DO IT: Stand with the right foot on a glider or small towel and a dumbbell in the right hand. Slowly slide your right foot out to the right side. Keep your right leg straight and bend your left knee. Reach over to the left side with the arm holding the weight until you touch your left foot. Return to standing. Slide the glider out and in with each lunge.

3. Push, Pull, Kick-Back

  • Equipment: pair of dumbbells
  • Muscles Targeted: chest, back, shoulders, triceps, butt and thighs
  • Reps: three sets 8 to 12 reps

HOW TO DO IT: Assume a squat position with your legs bent about 45 degrees. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms bent so the weights are positioned just in front of your chest. Palms face each other.

Extend your arms straight out in front of you, pushing the weights forward. Next, bend your elbows, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the weights back to either side of your chest. Finally, straighten your arms out behind you. Return to the start and repeat.

4. New York Booty-Lift Tri-Fector

  • Equipment: light weights (2 to 5 pounds) in each hand.
  • Muscles Targeted: butt, thighs and arms
  • Reps: three sets of 8 to 12 reps on each leg

HOW TO DO IT: Start in a lunge position with your front knee in line with your heel. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Pulse up and down as you do biceps curls for eight to 12 reps. Hold the last rep, straighten the back leg and lift the heel off the floor. Moving the upper torso only, rock forward and back (like deadlift).

Rock back and forth eight to 12 times while staying in this position. Keep your back and arms straight, and don’t round your shoulders. Hold the last rep and slowly pull your elbows behind you. Without moving your legs or upper body, do eight to 12 triceps kick-backs. Change to the other side and repeat the full circuit before resting.

5. Chest and Ab Master Blaster

  • Equipment: a pair of dumbbells
  • Muscles Targeted: chest, back, shoulders, triceps and thighs
  • Reps: three sets of 6 to 12 reps with 15 to 20 seconds of rest between sets

HOW TO DO IT: For the first part, lie on your back with a weight in each hand, legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Position the dumbbells at the shoulders with upper arms at a 45-degree angle to the body. Push the weights upward, straightening your arms and bringing your hands together while lifting your head and shoulders off the floor. Lower your arms and shoulders to the starting position for six reps.

For the second part stay in this same position. Bring both arms out to your sides, forming a T. Keeping your legs bent and your arms straight or slightly bent, lift your upper body and bring the dumbbells together over the center of your chest and toward your knees. Slowly bring you upper body and arms back to the starting T position.

Repeat, exhaling as you lift. This time, bring the dumbbells to the outside of your thighs and toward your feet. Continue alternating lifting toward your knees and lifting toward the outside of your thighs and feet.

What Do YOU Think?

What's your current workout strategy? Do you ever look to celebs for workout motivation? Have you ever borrowed moves from a celebrity workout? Had you ever been curious about their strategies? Do you think you'll adopt any of these strategies or give this workout a try? Share you thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author

Kacy Duke is a celebrity personal trainer who’s been called New York City’s best trainer and top workout guru. Known for her insightful training techniques for the body and soul, she has worked with many of the entertainment world’s biggest names, including Kate Beckinsale, Dakota Johnson, Bebe Rexha, Lenny Kravitz, Gwen Stefani, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Josh Brolin, Denzel Washington, Kiefer Sutherland and Rachel Weisz.

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