I Tried Working Out Like Jennifer Aniston & It Helped Me Find Time In My Busy Schedule
You've been there before: You're scrolling through your Instagram feed when you see your favorite celeb post about their favorite new product — a face serum, vitamins that will make your skin brighter, or a specialty food service. You can't help but want to be like the stars, but are the products worth it? In Elite Daily's new series, I Tried, we put it all to the test. We're trying those products as well as celebrities' health and wellness tips, recipes, and life hacks. We'll do the leg work and tell you what living like your fave star is really like.
I have to be honest. I think celebrity workouts are a bunch of BS. They're usually radically inaccessible for the average person, which means anyone wanting to give them a go is probably set up to fail in the first place. Normally, they involve expensive trainers, specialized gym equipment, and a team of individuals monitoring said celeb's schedule to ensure "work out" is plugged into their calendar. I used to think trying to peddle a celebrity workout to a regular civilian, like me, was dumb. Then, I tried working out using periodization like Jennifer Aniston and my eye rolls turned into raised eyebrows. Maybe... just maybe... I found one celebrity workout routine I can get behind.
Before we go any further, let me be super clear: Jen (can I call her Jen?) does have all the aforementioned famous person luxuries. She has a fitness trainer, access to professional gear, and someone organizing her daily schedule. That much is all true. However, her workout approach doesn't require any of the above. "Periodization" is essentially the practice of observing your day-to-day lifestyle and implementing workouts that fit your needs at any given time. So, instead of committing to five-hour workouts six days a week and only using free weights, you can toggle between different styles, lengths, and types of exercise. That sounds a lot more realistic, right?
In Aniston's case, her personal trainer Leyon Azubuike told Women's Health in February 2019 that she puts in 45 minutes of fitness three days a week at the minimum. At the maximum, she might take it up to 1.5-hour sessions seven days a week. Yeah, that ain't me, but adjusting the frequency and duration of my workouts based on my needs sounded nice. I used to think if I only had 20 minutes to work out then it was a waste of time and not worth it. With my new "periodization" frame of mind, I decided to fight that.
As a freelancer, my schedule varies quite a bit. Some nights I work way past dinner, and other days I am done before the bank closes. This means my fitness routine is fluid (i.e. unreliable). With my new Jennifer Aniston game plan, I looked for ways I could fit in exercise despite the weirdness of my routine. Sometimes this meant I completed 90-minute vinyasa yoga classes. A lot of the time, I found myself going on 20-minute (and sometimes even 10-minute!) runs. The old me would say, "It's just a mile, not worth it," but the new me says, "Hey, that's one more mile than last week."
Full disclosure: I have no idea how to push myself. I get a much, much better workout if it's in a class atmosphere. Alas, gym memberships are expensive, and "periodization" has the added pro/con that it doesn't require me to sign up for anything to give it a go. This is a pro because I don't have to spend money, but a con because I don't really have an excuse or anyone there to push me.
To keep track, I used a pink pen to mark down on my physical desk calendar each day I got a workout in and what it was. I can't show you a picture of my full calendar because it also includes private info like when/who/where my therapist is (hi, mental health!) but here's a miserable, blurry attempt at the first two weeks in April. Not a lot of pink, but you can see I bopped between running, yoga, and what I lovingly refer to as "abs."
Sorry guys, I threw out January through March!
It's worth mentioning that I also did the fab and fad diet, Whole 30, at the beginning of my periodization experiment, which meant I was doing lots of healthy lifestyle things like eating nutrient-rich, unprocessed foods and eliminating booze. Here are some photos of me living one version of my best, most active life.
That is me on a run, posing in workout pants, skiing, teaching a yoga class, and chilling outside after what I call an "intense stroll" with the sun still up.
In summary: No. I did not and will not ever work out for 90 minutes at a time seven days a week. I will invite new fitness routines into my ever-changing schedule and continue to push myself to move "even when there's no time."
Do I look like Jennifer Aniston? Hell no. But, that's fine — zoom in on my butt in that one photo to see what's really poppin'!