Remember when Tracy Anderson trained Madonna? Gone are those days. Enter Nicole Winhoffer, who's actually been working with Madonna for a while...but it was kept under wraps until the duo released their newest fitness DVD--Addicted To Sweat. Nicole is a dark angel with a fitness hex.
In my opinion, she's like the Rihanna of fitness. She's a confident bad-ass whose star keeps rising no matter what you have to say about it. Her irreverence towards existing fitness trends and trainers who think they know it all is compelling. Her sense of pride and accomplishment is enviable.
READ MY CELEBRITY SWEAT INTERVIEW WITH NICOLE WINHOFFER
Nicole who is a mix of Filipino and German, went from assisting on Madonna's Sticky and Sweet Tour to becoming Madonna's primary trainer, to then becoming the Creative Director of Hard Candy Fitness Gyms (founded by Madonna). She is the reason Madonna stays svelte, on beat and full of youth despite her 50+ years.
Q.Nicole, you are Madonna's secret no more! Can you share your dance-fitness journey with us?
I started dancing at 7 years old. I studied jazz, hip hop, freestyle, and contemporary dance as well as musical theater. At the age of 17, I booked my first job - Broadway's 1st National tour of 42nd Street! From there I went to Broadway in Bombay Dreams, and then to the biggest Broadway musical in the world--Wicked!
I decided to leave Wicked to broaden my mind-body connection. I studied acting and went to a conservatory for 2 years. I was broke. I catered. I bartended. I stopped dancing and began furiously working out in the gym creating my own workouts. It was here that I applied my existing knowledge of performance, dance technique, and acting exercises to create my own ways of working out.
In 2009, I was given the opportunity to assist on Madonna's Sticky and Sweet Tour. I immersed myself in anatomy, physiology, and the body and I am now Madonna's primary...
Before I met them, I'd never guess that Karena and Katrina from Tone It Up would be anything close to normal. For crying out loud (as my Grandma would say), they're beach babes! They probably walk down the street with an entourage of hecklers and panty-shot prone photographers. Could these girls, featured in countless magazines and known online globally as the Tone It Up Girls, really be normal?
That's what I wanted to find out because word on the fitness scene was that Bravo had been scouting them for a show. Luckily, I got to meet and hang with Karena and Katrina over the summer and find out more about their journey, including how they found each other and where they're going next. I interviewed them on the red carpet at Pedal On The Pier in Santa Monica...
...and then spent a weekend with them as part of Oakley Women's Perform Beautifully experience in Napa Valley, California.
Being in the fitness world (which can be as caddy and...
Q.Where are you two from? You both seem like true Cali girls.
Karena: I’m from Indiana and Katrina’s from New Hampshire! I think it’s hard for anyone to live in California and not get a little sea salt in their hair and wear flip flops every day.
Q.How’d you two meet? What spurred Tone It Up once you became friends?
Karena: We met at Equinox! I was training for a triathlon and had a shoot coming up. Katrina was a trainer and asked me for my number to train me. We realized we were neighbors and started hanging out. It was like we knew each other our whole lives.
Almost immediately we started Tone It Up. We wanted it to be a blog where girls like us could come support one another to be fit and healthy.
Q.Is having a sexy beach body the core concept of Tone It Up?
Katrina: When Karena and I first started TIU we didn’t really know what it would turn into. We wanted to promote healthy living, balance and fun, so when we started doing videos...
She's one of the godmothers of fitness as I know it. She's incredible because she's kept herself in top shape throughout the years, and by no means through sacrifice. Kathy loves hiking, skiing, strength training, dancing...and eating! She can't workout without her favorite energy boosting smoothie. She truly defines "fun" healthy living, and I've always wanted to be just like her.
I've traveled across the country to work out with her (at IdeaFIT) and then begged Acacia Fitness for an interview with her. I nearly stalked Kathy Smith to bring you her story and point of view, so you better read it!
CLICK HERE FOR MY CELEBRITY SWEAT INTERVIEW WITH KATHY SMITH
Find out why perfection isn't a priority for Kathy...and why "balance" is a part of her whole fitness shtick. Even the moves in her 2 newest workout DVDs incorporate balancing. You'd be surprised how hard these exercises are!
Q.Kathy, women all over the world own your DVDs. How has fitness stardom affected your life?
I like to think that I have the best of both worlds. I've had enough
"celebrity" to get the opportunity to meet some amazing people, from
the President of the United States to Ken Cooper (the doctor who started the whole aerobic movement). I have met countless celebrities in all fields from Jay Leno to Deepak Chopra, Tom Cruise to Barbara Streisand.
But I'm also not so famous that it impacts my day-to-day life, so I don't have to worry too much about anonymity, and I don't feel pressure to uphold some unrealistic image, the way that some big stars might.
Q.At what point in your life did you become interested in pursuing a career in fitness?
When I first moved to LA, I started taking a class called BodyDesign by Gilda. It was amazing - any given day, I'd have Barbra Streisand on one side of me in the class, and Jane Fonda on the other. But it was all...
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