Some of the hottest legs in Hollywood, which have been seen gracing runways and photo shoots perched atop six-inch stilettos, just so happen to belong to a 33-year-old personal trainer named Jason Wimberly. The group fitness guru and master instructor, who created his own movement and DVD titled Wimberlean, is known for his flamboyant style both in and out of the gym. Below, find some of his top fitness tips for keeping those New Year's workout resolutions.
1. Dress the Part
Going to the gym doesn’t have to be a fashion show. But then again, do you really want to meet your future ex-husband while wearing that worn-out Abercrombie shirt? Putting a little effort into your gym look doesn’t just score points with the guy across the way you’ve been checking out. It has been proven that when someone feels they look good, they actually perform better at the gym. Not to mention the fact that hiding under baggy clothes will never help you fix the things you’re working on. If full-on spandex catsuits aren’t your thing (like the ones I wear to work), then opt for a slim-fit stretch tank and a streamlined pair of shorts. No need for excessive accessories that will just get in the way, especially when you’re flexing for that post-gym selfie.
2. Stand Up
Never in my life have a met a guy who said, “I just wish I were two inches shorter.” Then why, oh why, do so many of us have such horrible posture? The quickest way to look taller, leaner, and younger is to stand up and have perfect posture. Gym aesthetic varies, of course, but the reason for the slouch is twofold. Oftentimes, guys overdevelop their pecs and the front deltoid without proper upper-back work for balance. That tightness can pull you down, which eventually can cause some big alignment problems in your training. In addition, a weak core or attempts at constantly flexing your six-pack abs can enhance the slouch. Excellent posture is a matter of how your muscles and ligaments support your skeleton, which, let’s face it, we want to have the best support possible. Roll those shoulders back, pull that belly button in, and take a look. Taller and thinner already. Find more information about posture here.
3. Drop the Crunches
We all know the saying that abs are built in the kitchen, and it’s 100 percent true that your diet and body fat are a major component of how your six-pack is born. While crunches are not the devil, they are what I instead refer to as a great “finisher.” Meaning, if you have your abs poppin’, a series of controlled crunches with proper form can’t hurt. Unfortunately, most people spend more time crunching their neck than actually engaging their core. Core strength is about lower back, stabilizers, obliques, and all the fun drool-worthy stuff in the middle. That’s why, whether I’m getting drag performer Willam ready to hit the stage in a bra and panties or supermodel Leila Goldkuhl ready for the runway, we skip the crunches and focus on pretty much every version of a plank I can dream of. Throw in some high-intensity intervals to torch calories, and that carved-out midsection will be yours in no time. Find more tips about achieving the perfect abs here and here.
4. Go Hard, Then Go Home
The fitness industry can be confusing. There are many conflicting opinions, but that doesn’t mean an opposing view is wrong or bad. It just means you have to learn a lot and figure out what are the best techniques for you. One thing that everyone agrees on: the benefits of high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. It's been scientifically proven that you can do more benefit for your body in a matter of minutes with interval training than in an hour of steady-state cardio. It’s no wonder then, that with our busy schedules, people are favoring these sorts of calorie-torching workouts. The problem is, high-intensity workouts are not intended to happen constantly. Your body needs downtime to recover, grow, and get stronger. If you adhere to the idea that more is better in your training, you run the risk of overtraining, which can lead to an array of damaging conditions. Training like a beast is just half of having the body you want. The rest is recovery.
5. Bigger Isn’t Always Better
Yes, big muscles are amazing. We all love to have them and touch them. Let’s be real for a minute, though — it’s hard work to keep all that up. And quite frankly, it’s just not sustainable on many levels. While weight lifting is essential to keep you and your bones strong, overdeveloped muscles can be problematic as we age. Not to mention, a leaner silhouette appears more youthful. Model, dancer, and friend Steven Dehler has the body of a Greek god. When he came to me after casting with major agencies, which gave him some feedback that he was too bulky, it seemed crazy that we would suggest tampering with perfection. After leaning out and dropping about 10 pounds by training less and adding more cardio, the result was an even more chiseled physique. And oddly enough, he achieved the ability to look even bigger in photos, since the muscles were more defined.
The bottom line is, fitness isn’t just about how you want to look today, but rather, the life you want to lead in the future. Make healthy decisions and train for sustainability. Create a body that’s strong and supple, and able to be its best for as long as possible. Stand up tall, take a few days off, don’t overdo it, and make sure you wear a cute outfit while sweating through it all.
All images are courtesy of Wimberly Woldwide