‘American Idol’ Fitness
March 13, 2011 21 Comments
This week I made my debut on American Idol. Since I possess very little vocal talent, I suppose I should clarify. My awesome pal, Stephanie, called earlier this week with tickets to the American Idol screening in Hollywood, and although my first instinct was to pass (as I have kids to shuttle, homework to supervise, classes to teach and clients to train), I chose to drop everything and drive those hundred miles up the coast to Hollywood in search of one of my all-time idols—Season 10 judge and Aerosmith front man, Steven Tyler.
Four of us 40-something mommies giggled and chatted on the ride up as we played hookie from the minutia of our daily lives. We somehow also managed to create a sign made with bright poster board, colored Sharpies and a funny caricature cut-out of Mr. Tyler’s prominent lips and rockin’ hair. The final product was a work of multi-tasking genius. Colorful and to the point, it read: “Steven Baby…Walk This Way and just Gimme a Kiss!” with a thick arrow pointing down toward the sign holder. We elected our cute blond friend, Maureen, to wield the sign! Needless to say, our plan worked. After waiting outside the studio for hours and making friends with other Idol fans, we were assigned our seats. When the studio usher looked us up and down with her discriminating eye to assess how we’d “read” on camera if it happened to pan over us, she also read our sign. We were clearly not here to see any particular “idol,” we had a higher calling: Steven Tyler!
She placed the four of us directly behind the judges’ pedestal—possibly moved out of pity for us and our desperate request, but we didn’t give a damn, we were within reach of legendary talent. With hearts pounding and adrenaline rushing through Ryan Seacrest’s introductions, the judges finally strutted across the stage and took their seats. Randy wasn’t as hefty as I’d expected. He’s definitely not svelte by any means but he’s also rather average in size since his gastric bypass surgery. J. Lo was flawless in her Louis Vuitton stilettos, mini-dress and café latte skin as she stepped on beat to the Idol theme music. Finally, Steven slithered toward us in his 2 ½ -inch rocker boots, skinny jeans, feathers, leather and lace—still gritty, raw and unpredictable at 62 (yes, 62!). After reveling in the roaring applause and leaning into his chair, Randy called Steven’s attention to our sign; and, as he rose with a smirk to shake our hands and “oblige” my friend, I realized I was peering down at him slightly (my 4-inch platform boots put me just over 5’9”). He hugged and kissed Maureen and the cameraman rushed in for a shot. I swear, from behind, I could have been looking at a Jonas Brother. My 13-year-old daughter could fit into those size 1 jeans!
It got me thinking about aging and fitness (of course I constantly think about aging and fitness, who am I kidding?!). Surprisingly, the fitness regimens for the American Idol judges collectively offer a complete plan of attack. Maybe nothing new here, per se, but simply general wellness reminders that are obviously working with our three judges who span two decades in age and 100 pounds in weight.
J.Lo (41): So let’s face it, she’s a diva, employs a chef, a trainer, a nanny, and earns millions. I ran into J.Lo and Ben Affleck in Vegas about eight years ago and she looked fantastic then, but at 41, I can honestly say she looks better today. Maybe it’s motherhood (we all know how that makes us glow…Ha!), or Botox, or a little nipping and tucking, but no one can deny that her clean living and fit lifestyle is apparent. She claims that she rarely drinks, never smokes, never restricts any food she loves, and she’s “never been on a diet” (which I love!). However, she is vigilant about controlling sugar intake, portion size and nutrition. Also, the ultimate fly-girl works out AT LEAST THREE TIMES PER WEEK. Her secret is mixing it up: dance, yoga, Pilates, weights. Even cardio workouts include a circuit of machines (i.e. 5-10 minute intervals of Elliptical, Spin bike, treadmill, Stairmaster, etc.). I teach outdoor boot camp three days per week, and my students who were stuck in a rut of JUST running or JUST spinning or JUST weights experienced immediate CHANGE because of the resistance circuits, plyometrics, and cardio bursts.
Randy Jackson (54): Yo Yo Yo…Yes, Randy underwent gastric bypass surgery several years ago, so his weight loss is predominantly due to that procedure (he lost over 100 pounds). However, in order to keep the weight off, this Louisiana born and bred “emotional eater” needed to re-program his habits. Randy was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2001, which challenged the self-proclaimed chocoholic to find a satisfying and low-sugar alternative in the form of a tasty protein shake (my choice is Arbonne’s vegan shake with CQ10 and flax seeds, check it out: (http://suzystein.myarbonne.com/, click Shop Online then Health and Wellness Fit Essentials). Also, Randy positioned his treadmill next to his bed so he had “to step over it every morning.” Now, instead of using it as a landing strip for dirty laundry, he actually GETS ON IT at least 30-45 minutes five days per week. And, believe it or not, the “Dawg” does a few yoga postures daily, including his favorite, downward dog (of course).
Steven Tyler (62): When Aerosmith’s hit “Dream On” dropped in 1970, Steven weighed 144 pounds and stood (this is debatable) 5’9”. I was 2-years-old. As we jammed at our senior proms to Aerosmith’s (and Run DMC’s) “Walk This Way” in 1986, Steven weighed 145 pounds. Today? Still 145 pounds. How does he do it? Years of drug addiction and vanity are part of the answer. (Steven once said in a Rolling Stone interview that he still wants to “fit into those pants I wore on the last tour!”). But, Steven claims his full-proof strategy is to eat small, frequent snacks all day and then enjoy a healthy evening meal—usually fish and veggies. I did witness his make-up artist slip him a protein bar to munch at a commercial break at Tuesday’s taping. As a trainer, however, I would suggest a few more calories and some weightlifting.
Also, he credits his slim abs to a “religious” commitment to 250 sit ups per day. But seriously, let’s face it…when it comes to Steven Tyler, his “fitness” is a result of his lightning-fast metabolism, his unadulterated resilience, and, most importantly, his pure Rock-Godliness!