We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!
If you've seen the new svelte Jennifer Hudson (that's "J-Hud" to you) in Weight Watchers commercials, you know that the transformation from "hopeful" to "diva" can be a big change. And not just from a physical standpoint.
That's why — whether readying clients for class reunions, weddings, new jobs, new chapters, or performing nightly in front of millions of viewers — frequent American Idol trainer Marco Reed's GetBeyondFit program weighs stress management and stamina as heavily as body sculpting and nutrition.
At this time of year, after American Idol has reached its stunning conclusion, and TV audiences are readying themselves to move onto other shows like The Bachelorette, Marco Reed's job is just beginning.
After the initial hoopla has died down, the show's producers recruit this go-to trainer to ready their new pop stars — like David Cook and Adam Lambert in the past — for album releases and solo tours. (Though Casey Abrams and Haley Reinhart have not trained with Reed, they have been in touch.) An avid watcher of the show, Reed confesses, "I really enjoyed Casey Abrams and Haley. However, I would love to work with Lauren once the show ends. She has a sparkle about her, and I think she would benefit from my GetBeyondFit program."
But what makes that program so unique? And how can we get on board? To find out, keep on reading!
Well, for one thing, instead of inspiring clients with tough love (aka screaming his face off), Reed eases them into their new workout program with tandem workouts, calm understanding, and careful recovery regimens. He's all about balancing four pillars of fitness: Movement, Thought, Connection, and Stillness. He sees each element as a necessary "chair leg" that keeps us stable: "Once our health and balance is established, we continue to maintain and nurture these four pillars. [They] propel us past limits. We get lost in new adventures, yet always land on four, balanced legs of steel."
That sounds a bit like Yoda. But by the looks of him (below), his program works.
On the less philosophical side of things, Marco Reed has five specific areas of focus for getting Idol contestants — and other clients — in shape and pumped full of new found energy:
Here are some tips to follow at home:
1. Stress Management:
For performers (and anyone under pressure), rest between tasks — meditation and visualization both enhance your state of mind.
For us at home, Reed suggests: "Take 5-10 minutes every day to breath and visualize success. Inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of two, then exhale for a count of eight. This will help calm you. Visualize an ideal state of being regardless of the outcome of your upcoming event (meeting, game, show, concert, etc). We have no control of how things turn out. We do have control of how we handle ourselves."
Like being on stage, sometimes rushing around to complete all the tasks in our lives can feel like a marathon.
For home, Reed suggests: "Incorporate a variety of exercise methods. Circuit training is a quick way to work your entire body and increase your strength, as well as boost your cardiovascular level." Try Marco's workout at home!
3. Energy Level:
We not only need to be able to get through our days, but also maintain high energy levels throughout, just like Idol contestants.
For home, Reed suggests: "The irony is that to increase energy levels, you need to get away from all the things that 'pick you up.' Try reducing caffeine to one cup per day. [Get] eight hours sleep, [consume] 30 percent protein per day, replace coffee with green tea, and replace high-glycemic carbs (breads, sweets, muffins, candy, sugar, sweet cereals) with low-glycemic carbs (sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, beans)."
4. Body Sculpting:
It's all about muscle confusion.
For home, Reed suggests: "A variety of workouts keeps you from adapting and thus allows you to continue improving. Vary your exercises, reps, amount of weight, rest time, etc. Incorporate balance exercises and agility drills." Follow Marco's outdoor workout!
Well, we all need to break bad eating habits, right? But especially when we're busy, traveling or under stress.
For home, Reed suggests: "Test your body fat and find out your muscle mass. You can get a pretty good idea of how many calories you need to eat. Women are usually between 1300-1600 calories. Men are usually between 1800-2400. One thing I do with clients is [have] them eat primarily protein and veggies for three days. Then every fourth day they put back in the fruits and starches. This method works because you don't have to count calories and it weans you off of your overwhelming carb cravings. I have a book coming out later this Summer that spells this eating method out, 3+1 GETBEYONDFIT DIET."
With all these practical suggestions, we'll all be off belting out arias in no time. Marco Reed, you're our idol!