What Celebs Know About Fitness That Regular People Don't

You've probably seen the memes around social media that you have the same number of hours in the day as Beyoncé. As a certified personal trainer, many of my clients sent it to me right away to get my opinion because the context of the meme is often around working out. It is arguably meant to inspire all of us to get up and put in a workout, no matter how busy we may be. After all, if Beyoncé can do it while juggling motherhood, sold out tours, recording, and filming, can't we all? After a long day at the office, commuting for an average of 25 minutes each way, then coming home to make dinner, doing household chores, taking care of any children (human or of the animal variety), and preparing for the next day, how is it possible to get everything done and still worry about our fitness? How does Beyoncé (or any celebrity) do it?

Treat it like your job

For celebrities, image is everything. Whether it's right or not, we hold celebrities (male and female) on a pedestal and look to them for our beauty standards. They should be pristine, blemish-free, and super fit all the time. When image is everything, there's one positive that comes out of it — fitness becomes part of your job. When a contract hinges on fitting in a certain costume or being able to run, jump, and dance while you sing, there isn't much of a choice when it comes to staying fit. For these celebrities, fitness is just as important as your meetings with your boss.

Treat fitness like part of your job and you'll never miss a workout again. One of the things I always tell my training clients is to create an appointment for your workout; actually put it in your planner. Now treat it like any other important meeting. You wouldn't skip a meeting with your boss, so don't skip a meeting at the gym with the boss of your body (hint, that's you). Other things will come up, but treat them like you would if this really were a work meeting. Sometimes you really want to get your hair done instead of going to the gym, but that wouldn't fly with your boss, so don't let it fly with your fitness.

Hire a personal trainer

Most celebrities don't have a background in exercise science or fitness programming. While it is possible to head to the gym without a plan and still have a great workout, it's a lot easier when someone is telling you what to do. Not only can hiring a personal trainer take a lot of the guesswork out of what to actually do when you get to the gym, it can help with motivation and accountability as well. I can tell you from experience that if you don't make it to the gym, your trainer is going to notice. I have also been known to reach out to my clients when I know they have a big event (with the potential to really indulge) to remind them of some options for healthy choices. They ultimately make the decision themselves, but the accountability is there when it otherwise might not. Another big advantage of a trainer is injury-prevention. It's always good to have someone with you who knows what they're doing and how to keep you safe during a workout. You aren't as likely to try a workout again if you got hurt the last time you did it. Sure, personal trainers can be expensive, but there are affordable options. Check out group fitness or small group personal training to cut down on costs. Many boutique fitness studios even utilize certified trainers in addition to group fitness instructors in their classes.

Change it up

Celebrities like to try new fitness trends. There are dozens of different workout styles to choose from and no one says you have to choose just one. Whether you're a SoulCycle regular like Kelly Ripa, a lover of The Bar Method like Zooey Deschanel, or want to give aerial fitness a try like the Kardashians, it's important to change things up every once in a while.

Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, who has trained some of the Kardashians, Brooke Burke, Sofia Vergara, and Jennifer Lopez to name a few, believes in keeping things interesting in this way. "I focus on muscle confusion, high intensity intervals, multi-joint movements, and a dose of levity every time it seems like it's too hard!" Peterson said in an interview. By changing up their routine, they are able to maximize results and keep things interesting.

Time matters

Celebrities don't usually have time to spend hours at the gym, so they need to find the most efficient workouts possible in a short time. They also often need to get in shape for a particular event or role. Celebrity trainer Joel Harper told the Huffington Post it often comes down to those deadlines. "If they are shooting August 1st and they have a scene in a swimsuit and they know everyone is going to see them in that swimsuit, they are going to get it done. This pressure drives behavior and in turn creates daily consistency." This is true of regular people too. When I meet with clients I have them set short-term and long-term goals so they have deadlines to hit. Then we talk about how to maximize results in that time period. High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great option if you're short on time and want results.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), "HIIT can easily be modified for people of all fitness levels and special conditions, can be performed on all exercise modes, including cycling, walking, swimming, aqua training, elliptical cross-training, and in many group exercise classes and HIIT provide similar fitness benefits as continuous endurance workouts, but in shorter periods of time. This is because HIIT workouts tend to burn more calories than traditional workouts."

Not having enough time is no longer an excuse.

Food matters too

Abs are made in the kitchen and this is just as true for celebrities as it is for the average Jane. While there is no one best way to eat (healthy can mean different things for different people) many celebrities have found that sticking to a healthy diet is the key to their success. Celebrity trainer David Kirsch, whose clients include Kerry Washington, Heidi Klum, and Kate Upton, said in an interview, "To get results, you should change the quantity and quality of what you eat in addition to following an exercise regimen."

I see this time and time again. Many clients think that just by eating "better" foods that weight loss will be immediate. It's important to remember that it is possible to overeat healthy food and gain weight. The key is finding out which foods are healthiest for you and in which portions.

For some stars, like Melissa McCarthy, that means increasing protein and decreasing carbs. McCarthy has reportedly attributed her weight loss to a combination of a high protein diet and consistent exercise. Other stars, like Jennifer Hudson focus on portion sizes. Hudson is a former spokesperson for Weight Watchers, which focuses on balancing the food you take in with the energy you expend in the form of exercise. Hudson told People, "My experience with Weight Watchers has truly been life changing. I am grateful for what I have learned throughout the process and will always take it with me."

Consistency is key

Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston know that consistency in diet and exercise is what results in superior fitness. As appealing as it is to have "cheat" days where we scarf down cheeseburgers and skip going to the gym, it may not be worth it. Aniston, who has one of the most sought after physiques in the industry, told Yahoo!  just how important that has been to maintaining her fitness level. "My diet's good all year round. I don't do a big reset," she said. Aniston's no-frill approach to nutrition proves that it doesn't have to be complicated to work, you just have to be consistent. One way to do that is to plan your meals in advance and then prep them all at once. This style of meal prep seems to have always been popular with the bodybuilding crowd, but now everyday individuals are seeing just how much convenience it brings to their schedule and how it keeps them consistently eating healthy. I advise my clients to break up their food shopping and meal prep into two days so it doesn't seem like you're devoting an entire day to food. Plan your meals for the week and go grocery shopping on Saturday mornings, then spend the rest of the day doing something fun. Then, on Sunday morning, spend a few hours chopping fruits and vegetables, prepping meat to cook in batches, and making the rest of your healthy food for the week. The more consistent you are with doing it, the faster you'll get at doing it.

Consistency is also important for exercise. Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak revealed to Shape that his client Jordana Brewster's secret to success is consistency. According to Pasternak, Brewster hits the gym five days a week. I have only very rarely seen clients one day per week for this very reason. I also advise them to come in at least two days on their own so they get in the habit of coming to the gym. So the next time you want to skip the gym just this once, keep in mind that consistency matters.

Friends make fitness fun

Even celebrities need a workout buddy. This goes back to accountability, but having a workout buddy also makes fitness a lot more fun. Your workout buddy could be anyone: a co-worker, someone you met at the gym, even a family member. Take Serena and Venus Williams. Despite a well-documented rivalry, they push each other to be the best.

No matter who you work out with, there's strength in numbers! Not only are you more likely to try something new when you're working out with a friend, you have someone built right into your workout to motivate, commiserate, and celebrate along the way. When you're feeling like you can't possibly spend another minute on the step-mill, your workout buddy is there to shout, "Keep going! If I'm doing this, you're doing this." Then, when you finish the workout, hit a personal record in weight lifting, or scorch your previous fastest mile, your workout buddy will be right there to offer a high five.

Put in the work

Celebrities are no strangers to extreme fitness results. Whether it's dropping 20 pounds to portray ballerinas like both Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis reportedly did for Black Swan or getting ripped to play superheroes like Scarlett Johansson in the Avengers franchise and Jessica Alba in Fantastic Four to name just a few, celebrities know where there's a will there's a way. It may require incredible self-control and a lot of effort on your part, but it can be done. Johansson said that her routine consisted of 90-minute workouts seven days a week over five months, that included not only standard moves like pull-ups and lunges, but also more advanced kettlebell exercises.

Your fitness goals may seem daunting, but if you're willing to put in the work and accept that there is no quick fix, you can get the results you seek.

Get the right gear

What's a workout without the right clothes, shoes, and accessories? Well, it's still a workout, but it might not be as comfortable or stylish. The right gear for your workout should not only make you feel confident, but also ensure you have the proper range of motion and that you'll be safe during the workout. Celebrities know this too, and some of them have even developed their own line of workout clothes. From Kate Hudson's Fabletics to Beyoncé's Ivy Park and Carrie Underwood's Calia, stars know that the right workout clothes are a necessity. Khloe Kardashian has an entire closet for her workout clothes. That's some serious gear! Kardashian's closet isn't just for shoes and workout clothes though, she's also a fan of other workout accessories like waist trainers and pre-workout snacks like almond butter.

Get help at home

Sure, we can hire trainers, get the right gear, set a meal plan, and really commit to doing the work in the gym, but we still have all those other things to take care of — like household chores and a day job. Take another cue from celebrities and get help! Many celebs have a whole team of people helping them stay fabulous, from nannies to personal chefs.

Now, assuming you're a regular civilian like us and not a star rolling in money, you probably can't afford to pay someone to come clean your house and help your kids with their homework. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't ask your partner or roommate to pitch in a little more. If you explain to them how important it is to hit your fitness goals, your loved ones will probably be happy to help you out.

If you live alone, think about other people you can ask for help. Talk to your boss about shifting your work hours earlier or later in the day so you can get in a workout. Or see if the babysitter can stay for an extra hour a few days a week while you're at the gym. Not everyone has someone at home who can pitch in, but there's still hope! Think about all the things you prioritize over your own health and fitness and brainstorm ways to break them into smaller, less time-consuming pieces. Can you wash the dishes, take a break for a quick at-home workout, and then do laundry after?

Make sacrifices

If you really can't get someone to pitch in, you may need to make some sacrifices. This is the one no one wants to hear. It's also the one we forget about when it comes to celebrities. Their lives look like all glitz and glamor to us outsiders, but fame requires a lot of sacrifice. Whether it's getting up super early to get to play tennis by 5:45 like Vogue editor Anna Wintour or ducking out of an after party early, celebs have to make hard decisions too.

There may be days when you have to decide between getting in bed at a reasonable hour or getting in a workout. You may also have to decide whether that next drink at dinner with your friends is worth the hangover that could keep you from the gym tomorrow. While it's important to have fun and do the things that are meaningful to us, fitness must be a priority if you want any chance of keeping it up. It doesn't always have to be the number one priority, but it shouldn't be the first thing to go every time you have a conflict.

You can do it too

Celebrities know the biggest secret about fitness that the rest of us don't know, or don't like to admit: Being fit can be hard. It takes dedication, time management, sacrifice, and the support of loved ones for success. Beyoncé can get through her day and still manage a workout, not only because she chooses to make sure it happens, but also because she has people in her life who can help her make sure it happens. You don't need to be a superstar with a boatload of money to make this happen — you just can't be afraid to ask for the help that you need to achieve your goals.