Gwyneth Paltrow is back in the spotlight again, and as many of you know, her workout was recently featured on Oprah’s website.
The video clip features Gwyneth and her personal trainer demonstrating her two hour per day, six day per week, marathon workout routine.
The program consists of multiple exercises for toning her arms by using an elaborate elastic band set-up, resistance-free exercises, and a tiny set of 3 lbs weights for the remainder of the strength training routine.
This is in addition to a 40 minute ‘cardio dance’ routine that looks like something out of “Riverdance”.
Now, before you get excited and think “I can get a body like Gwyneth Paltrow if I just follow her workout program” - think again.
Gwyneth Paltrow's workout encompasses all that is wrong with celebrity fitness programs, and celebrity personal trainers.
It is a total disaster in every sense of the word.
Her workout program is fraught with physique ruining mistakes, and her trainer is completely out to lunch as to how the female body actually responds to exercise.
In a word, her program is…crap.
Due to the popularity of Gwyneth (and Oprah) this simple video clip has polluted the minds of women all over the world who will now think they need to workout for 12 hours a week just to get a lean and toned body.
And thanks to Gwyneth’s trainer, many women also now believe that if they lift 3 pound weights they’ll develop big, ugly, bulging muscles.
This is not Gwyneth Paltrow’s fault, in fact, she probably has no clue the damage she is causing to herself.
However, I’m not about to let you make the same mistakes.
The mistakes Gwyneth Paltrow is making in her fitness program, and how to make sure you don’t fall into the same trap.
Mistake Number One - Gwyneth’s workouts are too long.
At two hours, 6 days per week, the poor girl is going to run herself into exhaustion just to try and maintain her body. She has young children to look after, and an incredibly busy career that requires constant travel and long hours. Burnout is on it’s way if it hasn’t struck yet.
When your workout creeps past an hour in duration, your body starts to release hormones that cause decreased muscle tone, increased fat storage, and increased stress. It doesn’t take long for this to lead to exhaustion, stress, anxiety, lethargy, weight gain, and a whole host of other problems.
Not to mention it also takes a significant amount of time out of your day, and away from your family and the activities that you would rather be doing.
Who wants to spend 2 hours a day working out?
I certainly don’t, and I hope you don’t either!
My Solution - Keep your workouts short and sweet.
1 hour is the absolute maximum time you need to be training unless you are a competitive athlete.
Keep your intensity high. You should have a sweat going within the first 5 minutes, and you should be pushing yourself for the entire duration so you are working hard without long rest periods. The harder you work, the less time you need to spend.
You can work moderately hard for 2 hours, or you can work really hard for 20 minutes.
Pssst...take the 20 minutes.
Mistake Number Two - Gwyneth uses light weights or no weights at all, for fear of bulking up.
This is a direct quote from Gwyneth’s trainer “no woman should lift more than three pounds…less weights equals less bulk”.
Then I guess she shouldn’t be lifting her children anymore then should she? Not to mention she should never carry a shopping bag, a heavy purse, do a pushup, or even bend down to pick something up off the floor.
If it's true that women should never lift more than 3 pound weights, then all these activities are out, and you had better find yourself a nice assistant who will carry out your everyday tasks for you.
This type of ignorance is absolutely astonishing, especially coming from someone who should know better.
Obviously her trainer has absolutely no concept of physiology and how the female body responds to exercise.
In fact, in the same video, Gwyneth states how she carries her son in her left arm, and how that arm is much more toned and defined. In fact, her trainer has her spend more time working on her right arm to stop it from sagging.
Does anyone else see the irony here?
In one sentence her trainer is saying she should never lift more than three pounds, and in the other, Gwyneth states that the arm that is more toned and defined is the one that she lifts her thirty pound child with.
Heavy weights mean lean and sculpted arms, light weights mean saggy and droopy arms, period.
My solution - Lift weights that are as heavy as you can handle for 6-12 repetitions.
I have worked with many women who can lift incredible amounts of weight, and still have a lean, toned, and sexy body, and are still under 120lbs.
They aren’t big and bulky, and they aren’t gaining weight.
You can put a man and a woman on the exact same program, lifting the same amount of weight, and two very different results will occur: The man will build large and bulky muscles, and the woman will lean out and become more defined.
If you neglect to lift heavy weights, then you won’t build the lean muscle tissue that is so important for giving you a high metabolism and making your body burn off calories while you rest. This means you will have to constantly restrict your diet and starve yourself because your body simply will not be capable of getting rid of extra calories.
Remember - heavy is a relative term. Heavy is considered any weight that YOU can handle for 12 repetitions or less - and if that’s only three pounds for now, then so be it. As you get stronger and you can lift more weight, then do it.
Mistake Number Three - Gwyneth is not utilizing the after-burn effect.
Something incredible happens when you work out with heavy weights and high intensity: You create a shift in your metabolism that stokes the calorie burning fire. You force your body to increase the amount of calories it burns during your workout , and more importantly, during the entire day.
When you work hard, you ignite your fat-burning furnace for the rest of the day, and you are torching away body fat and calories even while you sit at your computer. This is the after-burn effect.
This does not happen with low or medium intensity workouts like Gwyneth Paltrow’s.
My solution - Workout at a high intensity to take full advantage of the after-burn effect.
Set yourself a time limit of half an hour and make every minute count. Don’t take long rest periods, make sure to lift weights that are as heavy as you safely can handle for 6-12 reps, and do short duration, high intensity interval cardio training. This is exactly how the workout programs in Go Sleeveless are set up, and that's exactly why they are so effective.
By following these three steps you will ensure that you turn on the after-burn effect and transform you body into a 24/7 fat burning machine.
Here's what to do.
Here’s a simple workout to get you started sculpting your entire body. This will take you about 20 minutes, you don’t need any fancy equipment, and it will get you better results than Gwyneth Paltrow’s workout.
For more details on how to perform these exercises refer to the Go Sleeveless program.
The “Better Than Gwyneth Paltrow’s Workout”
by Rylan Duggan RK, BHK, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
Skipping 3 minutes continuous + 2 minutes of alternating between 15 seconds as fast as you can + 15 seconds slow.
1a) Weighted Step-Ups (20 steps up and down)
2a) Forward and Reverse Lunge (10 lunges front and back - each leg)
3a) 2 minutes of continuous skipping
REST 30 SECONDS
1b) Plie Squat to Overhead Press (8-10 reps)
2b) Good Morning with Forward Reach (8-10 reps)
3b) 2 minutes of continuous skipping
REST 30 SECONDS
1c) Swiss Ball Wall Pushups (8-10 reps)
2c) Left-To-Right Moving Elevated Pushups (8-10 reps each side)
3c) 2 minutes of continuous skipping
REST 30 SECONDS
1d) Band Curl To Press (8-10 reps each arm)
2d) Bent Over Reverse Band Flyes (8-10 reps)
3d) 2 minutes of continuous skipping
There you have it. This better than Gwyneth Paltrow's workout routine will get you burning tons of body fat, revving up your metabolism, and sculpting your entire body in less than half the time that Gwyneth spends swinging her 3 lb weights around.