10 Hollywood Training Tips

Celebrity trainer Michael George sculpts some of the best bodies in the movie business. He knows how to help an actress shape up for a role in as little as four weeks. Even better, he knows how to help her stay slim and sexy when the cameras aren't rolling. Here are some of his secrets:

1. To get an actress camera-ready in a short amount of time, George gets down to business! His prescription, "a strict diet, five days of weight work per week and six days of cardio."

2. George's diet philosophy: "For weight management, follow a structured nutritional plan that provides for five small meals per day versus two or three large meals per day. Fuel your body efficiently by eating small meals every two to three hours. This will allow your metabolism to operate at an optimal level."

3. George trains his clients using a technique he calls Intergrated Motivational Fitness. He created this concept to prevent the boredom that often leads people to drop out. To keep it interesting, he suggests doing a different cardio activity every day of the week: "On Monday, you could take a step or low-impact aerobic class, a great way to gain balance and agility skills. Tuesday you could find yourself working the machines -- 15 minutes on the treadmill, 15 minutes on the StairMaster, 15 minutes on the bicycle. Wednesday is your new activity day -- try aerobic boxing, a great way to burn calories and build strength at the same time. Thursday you participate in a sports league or pick-up game, such as basketball or volleyball. Friday it's taking a swim, a low-impact high-calorie burning work-out that refreshes as it works. Saturday you take that Power Yoga course, burning calories, gaining flexibility, and giving your mind a chance to quiet down. Sunday you take it outside. Go mountain biking, hiking or walking with the family."

4. According to George, one of the added benefits of building variety into your routine, is that it turns a regular workout schedule into cardiovascular crosstraining. By constantly trying new activities, you'll not only beat boredom, you'll also target a greater variety of muscle groups and see results even faster.

5. To make ab exercises work harder, George gives them a little something extra. For actress and new mom Reese Witherspoon, George recommended that she lift her legs in the air and cross them at the ankles to make her crunches even more effective.

6. Instead of plain old squats, George had actress/singer Jennifer Lopez do these "squat raises" to tone up her legs: With feet shoulder-width apart, bend knees slightly and lower your body until you're almost sitting. Rise back up and onto your toes. Do two sets of 25.

7. Part of the arm workout George designed for actress Jennifer Aniston is a move you may remember from gym class. To do basic arm circles, hold your arms out at shoulder level and do small circles for one minute in each direction. Do three sets.



8. George may be most famous for sculpting Meg Ryan's buff biceps. Here's how you can get yours into similar shape: Try 12 regular bicep curls with eight-pound weights, then do 12 side bicep curls with five-pound weights (keep your elbows against your rib cage, but turn your forearms out and lift to the side).

9. George grew up a chubby and rebelious kid with bad eating habits but later learned the power of the mind-body connection. He shares this passion with his clients. "Fitness combined with spirituality changed my life," he says. "Learning how to take care of my body and mind through consistent exercise, proper nutrition and a sound spiritual path has added a profound quality to my life. Before I turned to athletics and fitness I was on a path of total self-destruction. Health and fitness literally saved my life."

10. If you're ever under the weather, or too tired to workout, don't give up. Simply take your usual workout down a few notches. If you've got a head cold that's on the mend, George recommends a light workout of walking, stretching or yoga. If you're jet lagged, try swimming. If you have PMS, avoid high-impact exercise and try cycling or walking on a tredmill instead.

Michael George offers customized workouts, telephone coaching and other services. For more information visit his website https://healthlinerx.org/.