- Beverly Hills
- Silver Lake / Los Feliz
- West Hollywood
Rock a Bikini with Tips from the #1 Pilates Plus Instructor in the Nation
Though summer officially started yesterday, our bodies have not yet gotten the memo. And while it may be too late to wow anyone in a bikini come the Fourth of July, it's never too late to start working towards the banging body we know is hiding somewhere beneath all of those venti vanilla lattes and late-night snacks. To this end, we've enlisted Leslie Karpman, recently voted the number one Pilates Plus instructor in the nation by Vogue, to give us some advice on how to get the curves we want (and get rid of the ones we don't!) without having to auction off our firstborn to pay a trainer.
BGG: First of all, can we just say...wow. Your body is amazing! Before we get into any of the at-home workout tips, do you have advice for those of us who aren't good self-motivators and need to attend your classes (so you can kick our butts!), but can't necessarily pay full price?
LK: Absolutely! There are great packages at Pilates Plus West Hollywood. For $99 a month, you get two classes per week; if you do the math, that breaks down to $12.50 per class! I teach there on Tuesday and Thursday from 8-11 a.m. (4 consecutive classes), so you can get a great workout with me twice a week. Tuesday/Thursday is also a nice split for your body to have time to recover.
I also teach at Pilates Plus Silver Lake on Tuesday nights and four classes on Saturday (8 am-12 pm). They're running some amazing specials right now, just in time to get you that summertime bikini body!
Also, keep your eyes open for deals on Groupon and LivingSocial! I love teaching at Pilates Plus Beverly Hills, and they've run a few LivingSocial deals in the past few months -- those prices really can't be beat! I teach there on Thursday nights, on Friday at 7 and 8 a.m., and on Sunday at 8, 9, and 10 a.m.
BGG: What is the best way to burn fat and calories quickly?
LK: I believe in short, intense-interval workouts comprised of compound movements, which means you work multiple muscle groups at once. You will burn the most in the shortest period of time if you push through the ones that are hardest for you, because that's where you're the weakest, and minimize the rest time between exercises. This means no stopping between exercises to fix your hair, grab a Gatorade, or send a text! If you challenge your body to make it through the set without breaks, your body will change. But, you've got to stay inside the exercise and stay present. I really believe that everyone can have the body of their dreams!
BGG: Could you give us an example of a basic circuit that we can do at home?
LK: Here's a basic circuit to start with -- it's what I demonstrated on the KTLA segment Monday morning:
1. Plank Position: Make sure to keep your wrists directly under your shoulders, and pull your belly button to your spine the entire time - no arching or sinking of the back.
2. Walking Plank to Push-ups: Get the full range of motion for each push-up, from the chest all the way to the ground.
3. Mountain Climbers: Bring your knee all the way into your elbow for the tightest abs - don't stop halfway in!
I will soon be creating videos for you to follow here on BrokeGirlsGuide.com, but for the purposes of the here and now, start with these moves. I like circuits of at least three exercises, so you'll start in the plank, then go directly into the push-up planks, and then keep walking it out to each side for the pushup and back to center for plank UNTIL YOU HAVE NOTHING LEFT!!!! That's a burnout. Beginners may only be able to do 10 reps, while advanced may go for 50. Then, go straight into the Mountain Climbers - same thing, to burnout. Then back to the Push-up Planks. Repeat 3-5 times. That's a circuit.
If you want more cardio, jump rope for 200 reps (or whatever burnout is for you) right after the mountain climbers.
BGG: It seems like a lot of girls are scared of strength training. Can you change your body just by doing cardio?
LK: Women ask me every day in class during the pressing exercises, 'Are you sure I won't bulk?' You absolutely will not bulk! Lean muscle burns fat, so strength training is key to changing yoru body. Cardio alone will not change your body. When you stop running (or whatever type of cardio you're doing), your body stops burning. With circuit/resistance training, your body continues to burn for 36 (some say up to 72 hours) after you stop working out. The reason for this is that your metabolism is fired up and remains boosted while restoring your body's system to normal, so you burn more fat.
Also, the legs are the largest muscles of the body, so they burn the most fat. Always work your legs! If you're working out at home, I would invest in some weights and work the squats and lunges -- those are the best. Remember to keep the exercises compound. If you're lunging, add a bicep curl so the weights aren't just hanging by your side.
If you're going to go outside to take a long jog, cut the time in half, and speed parts of the jog up to a sprint. There is so much more value in short, intense interval training. Sprint from one stop sign to the next, or to a lamppost, or to the pub! Then, jog to the next light. Pick the mark to which you're aiming to make it, and make it! Switch up the pace. Your heart will thank you, and your body will be bikini-ready. That's a nice side-effect.
BGG: Any final words of motivation to get our lazy, out-of-shape bums off the couch?
LK: Our bodies are capable of so much more than we can even begin to fathom! Here's one example.
The guy's doing a handstand. ON ONE FINGER. Stop. Rewind. Replay. That's right, people. Our bodies are capable of amazing things. Think. About. That. This video footage proves that we don't need a magic pill. If we take the mind/body connection of yoga and Pilates -- so you get inside your body and stay present during your workouts, and power those workouts with the fat burning intensity of strength training, then you can have the body you want!
Jun 22, 2011 - 07:22 AM