W.O.W! Working Out With Bob Harper

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MICHAEL WILLIAMS 

On January 31st of last year, day 31 of my 31 Days of Fitness challenge, I worked out with Bob Harper for the grand finale. Bob is one of the most famous trainers and personalities in the fitness industry, having starred on “The Biggest Loser” for 17 seasons. The workout did not disappoint. Bob lived up to his all-star billing, pushing my body beyond what I thought it was capable of in a high intensity circuit workout that kicked my butt after 1 round. Relentless but nurturing he kept me going for 3 more — dropping my time with each round.

12 days later Bob suffered a massive heart attack on the floor of that very same gym.

Bob calls it “the heart attack heard round the world”. It was the top story on every entertainment program, morning television, and the evening news. The last thing you ever expect is for one of the world’s most famous trainers to have a heart attack. Bob had what is known as a “widow maker”, which usually has about a 6% rate of survival. He credits the doctors who happened to be at the gym that day. and the AED (defibrillator) on the premises, for saving his life. He has since said he won’t ever work out at a gym that doesn’t have one.

When Bob woke up from a coma in the hospital two days later, he had no recollection of what had happened, nor anything about that day. He confessed recently he didn’t remember our workout or how we had met, as his short term memory was affected by the heart attack. Since then, however, he has been making steady progress, documenting on social media what has been both a physical and emotional journey back to health. Confronting his mortality and the realization that despite his physical fitness he could not avoid his family history of heart disease has been extremely challenging. His mother died of a heart attack and his priorities have shifted dramatically. He doesn’t sweat the small stuff, and he doesn’t sweat the big stuff either.
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May Madness: 31 Days to Rock That Summer Body!

 

Hello May! With the first day of the month and the first day of the week coinciding, what a perfect moment to kick off a month long challenge! 

Memorial Day is almost here and the official start of bathing suit season. Many of us have a little extra something from the winter we’d prefer not to, so we’re sharing something new everyday this month to help you do just that. A new exercise, piece of equipment, food, supplement, and much more… stay tuned for a month filled with great tips and products to get you ready to rock that summer body!

I would like to highlight that we are not paid to write about these products. They are all things we use, think are great, and would like to share!

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W.O.W! Working Out With Abby Elliott

 

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JAIMIE BAIRD

If you are a fan of Bravo’s “Odd Mom Out”, you hate, but kind of love Abby Elliott. The character she plays, Brooke Von Weber, the entitled young wife of your stereotypical NYC hedge fund CEO, is fairly detestable, but Abby does it with such deadpan and oblivious humor, it’s hard not love her for playing it so well.

Abby is third generation comic genius and third generation “Saturday Night Live” alum. She was a cast member from 2008-2012. Her father, Chris Elliott, probably most recognizable for his regular sketches and guest appearances on “Late Night With David Letterman”, was also a cast member from 1994-1995. Her grandfather, Bob Elliott, one half of the famed comedy duo, “Bob and Ray”, made a guest appearance on the show in 1978.

Abby is currently filming the eagerly anticipated third season of “Odd Mom Out”, Bravo’s foray into scripted television. Set in Manhattan, it is a satirical peek at the outrageous lifestyles of the extremely rich wives and mothers who live on the Upper East Side. Abby’s character Brooke is most definitely the odd mom IN. She is the leader of this pack — foe of writer and creator Jill Kargman’s character, Jill, the series “odd mom out”. Both spoof the opposite ends of the spectrum at the other’s expense and the result is pure laughs.
 


 

For this installment of “W.O.W! Working Out With”, I met Abby at The Bar Method in Soho, her go-to workout of choice. While I kept waiting (and kind of hoping) for Brooke to appear, Abby is far from the character she plays. This fresh faced and unaffected cheerful young woman blended in with the crowd of regulars there for the packed morning class. With long hours on set, typical of any filming actor’s life, it’s been hard to workout lately as much as she would like, but with her first day off in while, this was her first stop. I, a HUGE fan of the show, was beyond excited to join her, although slightly dreading the torture I knew was in store.
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The 31 Days of Fitness 2017!

 
ROW 1: CITY ROW; RUNNING; DANCEBODY; ROW 2: DOGPOUND; PURE YOGA; SWTICH PLAYGROUND; ROW 3: EXHALE CFX; RUMBLE; DEUCE GYM

 
Happy New Year everyone and welcome to The 31 Days of Fitness! Every January your editor embarks on a crazy adventure, and does a different workout or takes a different fitness class everyday all month long. My objective? To show our readers how many different exercise options are out there and that there are no excuses not to get in shape this 2017! The holidays have been fun but it’s time to get our butts back in gear as this new year begins. There is a workout for everyone out there — running, spinning, boxing, rowing, Crossfit, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), pole dancing, yoga, pilates, and more — and I’m going to sample them all this month! I’m determined to find the workout for you — not just one you’ll do, but one you will actually enjoy!
 

January 31: BODY BY BOB. That’s it folks… the 31 Days of Fitness are officially a wrap! Back in NYC, we went out with a bang on Day 31, with a grand finale featuring none other than super trainer Bob Harper! Yes, “Biggest Loser” fans, THE Bob Harper, and let me tell you something… believe the hype! This guy gets star billing for a reason. He is a super motivator. Sampling some of the flavors of workouts I’ve done so far, with a few I hadn’t tasted yet, Bob whipped up an all-out, full-blast circuit of high intensity moves that kicked my butt after one round. Then he kept me going for 3 more rounds, coaching and inspiring me to drop my time too! Borrowing from Gymnastics, CrossFit, and HIIT workouts, the stations went from the Woodway Curve (cool to run on that self propelled treadmill again after Speedplay on Day 29); to Parallette Shoot Thrus (parallel bars on floor with leg swings to front and back); to the Schwinn Airdyne bike (told you it was back); to Thrusters (barbell squats with overhead press); to Sprawlers (burpees without the push-up); to Kettlebell swings.
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The XPT Experience

 

3 DAYS WITH GABBY REECE, LAIRD HAMILTON…

AND KERRI WALSH JENNINGS, TOO!

IT’S THIS SPORTY GIRL’S DREAM COME TRUE!

 

PHOTOGRAPHS & COLLAGES BY KEITH KING

Ever wonder what life is like for Gabrielle Reece and Laird Hamilton? Well, wonder no more. Gabby and Laird, along with Brian MacKenzie, a human performance specialist, have created The XPT Experience, a 3-day turbo-charged immersion into their lives. XPT stands for Extreme Performance Training and for $5000, you get full access to this trio and a roster of the most buzzed about – although you may not have heard about them yet — trainers, coaches, health and wellness experts. The XPT Experience is an action packed program of workouts, lectures, and playtime too, all of which comes from the cutting edge training, nutrition and recovery these professional athletes have integrated into their daily lives.

For those who don’t know this Amazonian beauty, Gabby Reece is a former professional beach volleyball player, model, best-selling author, mother, and world-renowned fitness personality, most recently seen as the host of NBC’s Strong. At 6’3 she is a towering presence, and at 47 years old, as gorgeous and fit as ever, enhanced by a big heart and generosity as large. Husband Laird Hamilton is the world famous big wave surfer, who at 53 defies age and gravity, riding massive walls of water for a living and inventing new water sports for the rest of us to enjoy. He is recognized as the creator of Stand Up Paddleboarding. His rock hard physique and hunky good looks are hard to ignore, along with an engaging stream of dialogue that questions many common assumptions on health and fitness, while offering alternative ways of thinking with the latest discoveries in human performance. Read More

 

Beach Bodies

 

JUST A FEW OF THE BEACHBODY AT HOME WORKOUTS: INSANITY, P90X, BRAZIL BUTT LIFT, FIXATE, 21 DAY FIX, FOCUS 25 AND CORE DE FORCE 

 
Whether or not you have actually bought the DVDs, chances are you’ve heard of Shaun T and “Insanity” or Tony Horton and “P90X”. The high energy infomercials on which they’ve been sold are undeniably captivating and have dominated the airwaves at those hours we all seem to be flipping around looking for something to watch. The infomercials and these workouts, as well as the before and after body transformations, have made superstars, or “Super Trainers”, out of these fitness personalities and earned the company that produces these workouts over $1 billion in sales.

Beachbody is the company behind these DVDs and many more, and producer of the most popular at home fitness and weight loss programming that also includes FOCUS T2521 Day FixBrazil Butt Lift, Fixate, and Hip Hop ABS, among others. P90X alone has sold approximately 7 million DVD copies since its inception. Beachbody On Demand launched in March of 2015, giving consumers unlimited streaming access to the entire library of workouts via their computers. Now available online is a wide variety of programs designed for those who want to lose weight, build muscle, learn to dance, start yoga, or simply eat healthier.

Included in the Beachbody On Demand programming there is also a reality show called The 20’s: The Search for the Next Beachbody Super Trainer. Hosted by one of the original reality TV stars, Dan Cortese, who many will remember from MTV Sports, a bunch of trainers are “picked to live in a house…work out together and have their lives taped…” Well, you know how the “Real World” tagline goes. The show pits a group of 10 hot bodied trainers against each other in competition to see who has what it takes to be the next fitness superstar. Viewers will decide the winner via online voting. At stake is a guaranteed product development contract, the chance to be the next Beachbody Super Trainer, and the opportunity to earn millions of dollars in royalties, bonuses and appearance fees.
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W.O.W! Working Out With The Men of Wilhelmina

 
AT FLEX STUDIOS WITH MODEL CHRIS RYAN, SOS EDITOR CLAUDIA LEBENTHAL,
WILHELMINA CEO BILL WACKERMANN, AND MODEL CJ KOEGEL

 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY @IMAGISTA

Bill Wackermann is the CEO of Wilhelmina International Inc, having recently taken the helm at the famed modeling agency at the end of January. Although our paths had not crossed previously, Bill and I have common bond, having both spent many years at Condé Nast – he on the business side, most recently as the publisher of Condé Nast Traveler and Glamour, and me on the editorial side at Allure, Womens Sports & Fitness and Self.

Bill is someone who clearly takes his workouts very seriously–not just for the physical benefits, but also the spiritual ones. For this installment of W.O.W, we decided to try something new, a workout neither one of us had done before. Imagine my disappointment (not!), when Bill’s publicist asked if he could bring along two of Wilhelmina’s male models to join us — especially when I checked out the portfolios of CJ Koegel and Chris Ryan. All I can say is these are the days when I really do love my job.

We met up early Monday morning to check out the Flex 90 class at Flex Studios, a jam-packed 90-minute combo of TRX, Barre, and Pilates (30 minutes each). Taught by Jessica Cadden Osborne, coincidentally a Wilhelmina fitness model herself who we featured last summer in a SUP Yoga story, she put us all through our paces in one relentless, supercharged workout.

wow-flex-trx-1

PART 1 OF FLEX 90: TRX

While we both spend a lot of time working out, TRX, Barre, and Pilates are workouts you can’t fake your way through. On their own, they’re challenging enough, but together they are a brutal. They force you to use those little muscles that the big ones usually compensate for — in addition to a whole lot of core. Bill and I had our fitness put to the test, and I’m proud to say we held our own against the young studs. We chatted the next day about the workout, his new job, and how his approach to fitness is very much in tune with his philosophy on professional success:
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Elevation Mask Training

 
YOUR EDITOR WORKING OUT WITH THE ELEVATION TRAINING MASK 2.0

 
If you’ve ever skied out West, you’re familiar with the lack of oxygen at high altitudes and have experienced elevation training. You may have noticed how super human you feel when you return to sea level — a result of your aerobic threshold having increased by adjusting to the air up there. Athletes often opt to train at altitudes. Oxygen deprivation increases the production of red blood cells, which aids oxygen delivery to the muscles, giving them a competitive edge.

There is no need to leave home any longer to train at altitude. The Elevation Training Mask 2.0 mimics training at a high altitude. It adjusts between 3,000 and 18,000 feet, by controlling the flow of air delivered to the body, and trains your lungs to use oxygen more efficiently. The Seattle Seahawks star running back Marshawn Lynch is often seen warming up on the sidelines with his mask on. The Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade posted a picture last summer of the whole team using elevation training masks.

The masks are now popping up in gyms across the country, as reported recently in both Cosmopolitan and Womens Healthand this editor couldn’t resist giving one a try. I was put through the paces by James Brewer at Exceed Physical Culture, who uses the mask with clients looking to max out their workouts. From slower movements like dumbbell flys and presses, to full body moves like squats, plyometrics, and the sled push shown above, I did find the mask forces you to be more conscientious of your breathing, and take slower breaths in rhythm with the exercise you’re performing. If you’ve ever gone scuba diving, the sensation is similar to breathing through a regulator. The other thing I noticed, which reminded me of the feeling after a non-stop ski run out West, was my abs contracted with that heavy breathing — a bonus core workout. Read More

 
 

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