As mentally unhealthy as it probably is, I’ve always aspired to a celebrity body. Not in an obsessive way, just in that general sense where I’m happy with how I look, but I’d love Jennifer Aniston arms or like, Ariana Grande’s ass.
Basically, I’d love the honed, toned muscles of a celebrity. But celebs? They work out. A LOT. Every day, in fact. I learned this when I got in touch with Soma Collection, a Sydney-based gym whose clientele includes Aussie celebs like Rebel Wilson and Lincoln Lewis.
I asked if their trainers would train me like a celebrity for a week. They were like, yeah cool but you’ll have to come in for an hour (!!) every day (!!!!) except Sunday. Oh god.
For the record, I’ve never been massively into gyms. I adore netball, and have played since I was six years old. I’ve recently gotten mildly into boxing – but like, once a week. Barre class was fun until my office moved away from the barre class place and I couldn’t be fucked going.
So this was a big ask of me. However, for you guys, I committed to it.
My first sesh (lol, sesh) I was stressed. Would I make a fool of myself? Did I need to wear a sports bra or would a crop top suffice? Would the gym be full of hot women in tiny bike shorts and hot men with sexy tatts?
In the end, it was me, my trainer Simon, co-owner of Soma Collection, and like one other dude on the rowing machine. The first thing I noticed was that Soma Collection smelled like a spa – not like feet and balls. Can I just say, other gyms take note – it will not cost you 4 billion dollars to eliminate a foot and ball smell, and I’ll be far more inclined to join you and work out there.
Anyway, Soma Collection is LUSH. Really, really lush – they have infrared saunas inside the change rooms. State of the art equipment I’ve never seen before in my life. The fanciest reception area in existence. It’s a real ~ experience ~, and very celeb-vibes.
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???????? Meet our #somacollection personal trainer, @mikegostelow. Mike specialises in helping executives and leaders regain control of their health. He has worked with companies like Microsoft, CommBank, QBE and all levels of senior management. Basically, he gets corporates! So if you want to take your goal-focused attitude to your health and fitness this year, come in and chat to Mike.
We start out by going through my fitness routine, what I like and don’t like doing, any injuries I have, all that stuff. It’s pretty standard stuff, but obviously important.
Then, Simon stretches me. I mean he literally pulls my arms and pushes my legs to the point where I think they’ll rip off, except obviously they don’t because then he would be in jail, probably. You will be ruined for life if a personal trainer stretches you, let me tell you. It’s THE BEST. EVER. It’s also not creepy like they make it look in the movies, it’s just like you’re Gumby.
After that our session is shorter, and more focused on form. We work through a short circuit but not intensively – Simon stops me often to correct my form, explaining how basic exercises like squats, deadlifts and push ups are meant to work, correcting all this misinformation I’ve developed over years of no one teaching me properly, and how a slight change in foot placement or movement can engage muscles like it’s meant to.
I finish off my sitting in the infrared sauna, because that’s surely what celebs would do.
On Tuesday I have a super frazzled day at work, but as soon as I walk into the candle-smelling oasis of Soma Collection I feel heaps better. Again – SCENT STUFF, GYMS.
On Tuesday I train with Franco, the other co-owner of Soma Collection. He runs me through a circuit that mainly uses my body weight to work my legs and butt. Which is great since I have a pancake ass at the moment.
Again, there’s a lot of focus on form – I’m starting to realise that a huge benefit of having a personal trainer is the intensive focus on how you actually DO exercises, more than pushing you to do MORE. So many things I was fucking up – like, I never realised how you’re actually meant to do a deadlift, or how amazing it was for engaging really specific butt muscles.
It’s definitely a harder session on my muscles though, I’m wobbly when I leave.
I wake up a bit sore and also a bit over carving an entire hour out of my day to go to the gym. When I get there, I again feel less frazzled, but this morning I was dreading it.
I have Franco again, and we do a proper circuit – including pushing that funny little sleigh thing with weights on it.
^^^ that thing. It’s the hardest circuit I’ve done this week, and I feel great afterward – but then I have to go back to work. I’m exhausted – I could really have done with another 30 minutes in the infrared sauna, but I don’t have the time to do that. I’m so tired I get over-emotional and have a tiny cry because I got home and my sister hadn’t cooked any dinner when I’d asked her to. I go to bed at 9pm that night.
Okay now I am DONE. DONEEEEE. No more, please! But still, I lug myself down to the gym. And do the (even harder) circuit properly. This time, I’m back training with Simon and it’s ALL equipment-based, super hard and I want to die.
I don’t die, but I also don’t enjoy it. I think I’m at the end of my tether when it comes to gym sessions. It’s really, really hard to go to work, then rush off for an hour of the gym, then go BACK to work exhausted.
I’m also done with being so tired at night. I am meant to go to dinner with friends but I bail – no energy whatsoever. I have another small cry. Surely celebrities don’t do this much fitness work then, like, socialise or be normal in public.
I do not go. I miss the gym!! I know! I give up!! It’s terrible! To be fair, I was overwhelmed with work and had a legitimate reason to cancel my session. But I also just… don’t go on the Saturday either.
I’m officially done trying to be a celebrity. You know why? Because I just cannot commit to an hour of training EVERY DAY in my life. Nope! Not for me!
I know people do this. Especially those “morning people”, except I am actually convinced those people are surely demons.
But I just can’t believe all celebs are morning people, and I think the difference for celebrities is their days are less structured – many of them will be doing nothing besides meetings between contracts for filming. It means you have more freedom with when you can hit the gym, and also the option to rest afterward, or at least not go back to work and be hyper-busy for the rest of the day.
Maybe I have my idea of celeb life all wrong. But what I DO know is – I personally do not need to be exercising 6 days a week.
Did I Learn Anything?
YES!! I learned so much. Since training with these guys, I’ve noticed myself subconsciously implementing the new techniques to age-old moves like squats and push ups, feeling the difference for sure. I think that was the most beneficial element to being trained one-on-one every day, having my technique constantly under observation.
It was also the most confronting part of the experience. In classes, I can just hide when I wanna take it easy or reckon I can’t do one more repetition or I’ll die. When being trained, you can’t do that – well, you can but then the trainer is right there watching you give up. I was surprised that personal trainers don’t yell at you – well, at least Simon and Franco didn’t – when you get tired or start doing the exercises shittily. They were very much more using encouragement to keep me going, instead of shaming me. That was nice to find out.
Overall my takeaway for anyone reading this would be – if you can afford it, get a personal trainer even just for a week or a few sessions. Heaps of gyms give you the option of a few free sessions when you sign up anyway. It’s a fantastic way to hone your technique, which will make ALL your fitness efforts more effective.