I almost never read celebrity workout articles, don’t relate to them and they make feel bad. I did, however, click accidentally onto an interview with Blake Lively’s trainer recently that actually wasn’t completely demoralising. Can’t remember how I ended up there but I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t end up hating myself afterwards. Because a lot of what was in there was common sense.
Blake’s trainer, Don Saladino, told E! that when they work together, their focus is simple: consistency. Here are the parts that resonated most with me:
“If we're gonna come into a session, it's not about going into every session with a Rocky-type mentality."
Saladino tailors their workouts based on things like the quality of sleep Lively had the night before or her energy level, a lesson he hopes people can learn from their partnership.
"I's just that most people out there have to understand that this isn't about coming in and stepping on the gas and going as hard as you can every work out. That's the biggest mistake that people make," he explained. "The reality is, it's never gonna be a perfect scenario, right? There's always going to be things getting in your way. That's just life. Just get in there and move."
It’s the “quality of sleep” thing. On weekdays I work out after 5pm and on weekends I do it when I wake up and the difference is remarkable. I’m always stronger on the weekends, on Sundays, for example, because I’m rested. Running is so much easier on a Sunday. At 5pm on a Wednesday, it’s a f-cking slog. Same body, but such a different response.
So hearing her trainer take sleep and time of day into consideration was refreshing. And also the part where he says that not every workout has to be like a Rocky training session. For me, on some days, sure, I have it. Like yesterday I went full Rocky for a HIIT workout because I did f-ck all on the weekend and my legs were fresh. That’s not going to be the case today or tomorrow. Today I’m probably just going to walk on the treadmill at a slight incline and a moderate speed while watching Business Proposal on Netflix and feel the same level of satisfaction as yesterday. As Don said:
“…just to get in and move everyday successfully, because rather than comparing it to your best workout, [Blake’s] now leaving and saying, 'Great, I moved!' That's the big lesson here. Don't feel like you have to get up off the couch and set this world record workout. Because if that's the goal, no one's ever going to be successful. We're looking for this level of consistency."
It’s not easy though, to wrap your head around consistency and not indulge the guilt. Because so much of fitness messaging is about how effort is measured and how hard you have to go. I’m the kind of person who will always choose a nap over anything else so if I have an excuse, like feeling overwhelmed by pressure to hit 120% EFFORT GO GO GO, I’ll just take myself to bed. But if a trainer shows up on a day when I just don’t have it and says, let’s just do some walking and stretching today, we don’t have to go to the Olympics, it would be way more motivating.
Here's Blake Lively meeting up with Ryan Reynolds this morning after a gym session. I continue to be surprised when celebrities “go to the gym” because you know they have the space for a gym in their homes. But then again, fitness is so personal – for some people they work out better outside of their home. I’m the opposite, I’m more likely to work out if I don’t have to go somewhere to do it, if all that requires of me to work out is to go downstairs in my own house, there’s a much higher chance of getting my heartrate up. This is why there is literally a treadmill in the middle of my living room even if it meant sacrificing the Zoom background, LOL.