In a world obsessed with celebrities bodies, we are bombarded with images at every turn. But though we see women's shapes everywhere in our day-to-day lives, it's only really two bodies that we're seeing, over and over again. Ours, and usually a young, thin, white, toned one. Funnily enough, that's why singing sensation Adele resonates as much as she does. Her body is what a lot of bodies look like, but the airbrushed media ideal is so powerful, that women find themselves comparing their own bodies pejoratively. Unrealistic media ideals of female beauty have spawned a multitude of "body confidence" campaigns, and here at mbg we take pride in showcasing all the kaleidoscopic women that make up our world.
Step forward Adele's PT, Pete Geracimo, a former elite triathlete who's introduced Adele to regimes that actually got her liking the gym. The 27-year-old singer once confidently declared: "I'm not going to lose weight because someone tells me to. I make music to be a musician, not to be on the cover of Playboy." So when she emerged after a three-year break to debut a significantly slimmed-down figure, it came as something of a surprise to fans who had loved her unapologetic pro plus-size stance. She says she has hit the gym only to shape up for her 105-date world tour...and to be healthy for Angelo, her 3-year-old son with charity boss Simon Konecki. The superstar revealed, "I was trying to get some stamina for my tour so I lost a bit of weight. Now I can fit into normal, off-the-shelf clothes, which is really a big problem for me. It's to get in shape for myself, not to be like a size zero or anything like that."
KJ: What's your training method?
PG: My training method or philosophy centers on establishing a strong and stable core first and foremost before working peripherally. Our core is where we draw our strength and stability from when performing exercise, movement, or activity. If it is weak, then that weakness will translate into overcompensation by our body and in turn may lead to postural issues, muscle imbalances, and overuse injuries. My training method incorporates a variety of different disciplines. Dependent upon what the desired training goal is will determine which method I will employ. I am a big advocate of body weight, calisthenics, and movement training generally for overall health and fitness well-being.
KJ: Why should we exercise?
PG: Exercise is meant to enhance our daily activities and not impede it. By having the ability to lift our own body weight and move it freely and fluidly through all planes of movement is an amazing accomplishment that will enable us to maintain a high quality of living as we age.
KJ: Thoughts on the ketogenic diet?
PG: I am not a fan of diets that intensely restrict food groups or calories. Restriction on carbohydrates, in my opinion, often leads to lower intensity training, low brain function, and irritable moods. The ketogenic diet has some dangerous side effects such as ketoacidosis and flu-like symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, headaches, and cramping. It definitely does not sound like a fun time to me. I think people would have a hard time staying on this form of eating plan. I am a huge supporter of the Sirtfood Diet. It's easy, accessible, and all about the inclusion of food rather than deprivation. It focuses on the positivity of food and not the negative, such as a well-balanced eating lifestyle, as I call it, in that it allows you to enjoy and celebrate food. You can even have dark chocolate and red wine!
KJ: What's it like training celebrities?
PG: I have had the great opportunity of training many celebrities over the years and to me, they are just like everyone else. The only difference is that their everyday lives become front-page news or is televised on entertainment shows. I treat them the same way I treat my non-famous clients. I tell them what they need to hear and not what they want to hear. There have been times when the pressure was on to get fast results because they were preparing for a film role and needed to get in fantastic shape quickly. That can be draining because it often involves long training sessions at odd hours to work around filming.
KJ: What's the perfect balance between cardio and weight training?
PG: Again it all depends on what your training goal is. If you are training for a marathon, you will have a higher concentration of cardio training and less of strength work. If you are competing in physique competitions, strength training will dominate over cardio. I believe the incorporation of both training modalities is essential to a well-rounded and effective fitness program.
KJ: Quickest way to burn fat?
PG: HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts are my choice for best fat burning in my opinion. The fluctuation from high to low intensity keeps the body guessing as it takes you out of your comfort zone. In a short amount of time, 45 minutes or less, you work extremely hard, recover during the rest interval, and then go hard again creating an oxygen deficit. This is the key. Once you have finished your workout, your fat-burning potential continues long after you have finished the session. Exercise that consumes more oxygen burns more calories.
KJ: How do you custom train workouts to specific bodies?
PG: Every program I create for my clients is specific to them, their needs, and body type. I do not employ the cookie-cutter method where one program design fits all. Everyone is unique and responds differently to training. It is my job to recognize this and develop a training method that will allow that person to achieve their desired goals. If everyone was the same and did the exact same thing, I would die of boredom. A nonstop Groundhog Day!
KJ: What's the best thing to eat after training?
PG: You burn a lot of energy during a workout. If it's not replenished within an hour or two after finishing, you may compromise the recovery of your muscles, and all your hard work could go to waste. A quick and easy way to feed your muscles after a workout is with a protein shake. This quick protein infusion will tide you over until you can have your proper post-workout meal. Some of my favorite foods to eat after a workout are eggs, quinoa, salmon, hummus, dried fruit and nuts, and sweet potato.
KJ: Thoughts on intermittent fasting?
PG: I believe that it works and you can get some great results from it. By depleting the body's energy stores, it stops fat storage and puts the body into survival mode. As a result, it stimulates fat burning that then leads to weight loss. However, on the negative side, it leads to low energy levels, hunger, irritability, fatigue, and muscle loss. Sounds miserable! I would use it as a reset button for no more than a day or two. But for me, what works best and is easier on my system and does not cause muscle loss would be following the Sirtfood Diet.