Menopause App

Digital Packs Banner Digital Packs Banner

Fit And Famous

A-lister trainer secrets: Kerry Washington’s Pilates teacher Julie Turner on how she pushes celebs

A-lister trainer secrets Kerry Washington's Pilates teacher Julie Turner255

A lister trainer Julie Turner talks exclusively to Healthista about how hard she pushes celebs like Kerry Washington  and her top tips for getting the most of your body’s abilities

LA based Julie Turner has a wealth of expertise in Pilates, ballet, modern and social dance, and yoga. Her movement inspires physical health with emotional wellbeing, to improve quality of life. With busy schedules, celebrities are often trained by Julie on movie and television sets, such as Bellamy Young and Kerry Washington.

Kerry Washington at the Golden Globes earlier this month

American actress Kerry, who recently had her second child in October, has trained with Julie for many years, including whilst filming Scandal in 2012. Pilates is the 39-year-old’s go-to workout, practicing at least two to six sessions a week for the past five years. In an interview with SELF, she explained how Pilates allows her to push herself out of her comfort zone whilst taking care of herself, adding: ‘There are a lot of forms of exercise where you have to leave yourself out of the room while you force yourself to do this thing. With Pilates, I get to bring my true self. I cry, I laugh. I get to go: Where is my body today? What do I need today?’

Kerry often gets up in the early hours to fit in a workout at 6:30 a.m. so she can get back home to children and husband, NFL star Nnamdi Asomugha, at a decent time. She rarely misses a workout in order to feel good, and said ‘It’s important to have rest days. But in the long run, if I don’t work out for, like, three days, I feel worse, not better’.

We caught up with the A-lister trainer Julie Turner to find out exactly how she likes to work her clients.

Training a celebrity 

I encourage them to reach beyond physical limitations, but also to respect where their bodies are

I train all of my clients in the same way, celebrity or not, I specialize in helping people get to know their physical bodies from the inside out which helps them heal from injuries, reach specific fitness goals, and transform their bodies to lead healthy and active lives. Depending on what other fitness activities my clients are engaged in, I work with them 1-3 times per week, for 60-90 minutes.

A-lister trainer secrets Kerry Washington's Pilates teacher Julie Turner255
Julie Turner

When I work with a client, I assess where they are that day by looking at their movement as they walk in the door as well as asking them if they have any aches and pains, or specific things they want to pay attention to. I work with them based on my observations, encouraging them to reach beyond physical limitations, but also to respect where their bodies are and trust that the right process will yield wanted results.

No two celebrities have the same body or same needs. I focus on training my clients to be in their body wherever they are in their fitness journey. Post baby, post injury, or preparing for a role can cause dramatic change in the body. A combination of diet, exercise, and rest, along with consistency, can produce fantastic results. I am most concerned with my clients having bodies they are connected to and proud of, six pack or not.

The favourite workout


Q. What is your favourite strength exercise and why?

Plank, when done correctly, it is a full-bodied, challenging, and a healthy exercise. If you don’t have time for anything else, you can do a plank to work on your diaphragm breathing, strengthen your deep core, and engage your muscles that form the most important connections in your body.

Q. What ratio of cardio-weights do you advise?

You will never regret showing up for a class, hike, or session, but you might regret it if you don’t

I try to keep up with the latest research on fitness. I don’t necessarily advise my clients on what ratio to do, but I keep them informed and encourage them to make their own decisions based on how they are feeling about their workout program. They are always capable of making the correct decisions if they listen to their bodies and pay attention to their fitness and nutrition patterns.

To stay motivated to finish a workout, this has always been my mantra, “You will never regret showing up for a class, hike, or session, but you might regret it if you don’t.”A-lister trainer secrets Kerry Washington's Pilates teacher Julie Turner

A trainer’s diet

I don’t follow any particular diets, but I live a very healthy lifestyle and I consistently make healthy choices when I am purchasing food or cooking. My best diet tip would be to make sure you are eating food for nourishment, and work with a nutritionist if you aren’t sure you are getting the proper nutrients from your diet.

I have a four-year-old son who loves French fries and burgers, so that’s our go-to cheat meal!

I don’t focus on what I’m limiting, but I try to eat as simply as possible. I eat mostly lean meats and as many fruits, vegetables, and nuts as I can in my meals because my body feels better and my digestion works better when I do. As a result of eating that way, I don’t crave foods and therefore don’t have to limit anything. When I feel like something that isn’t on the regular menu, I allow myself to eat it because I know it won’t be an everyday event. I do have a four-year-old son who loves French fries and burgers, so when I take him out, that’s our go-to cheat meal!

What YOU can do 

Quality over quantity

When we aren’t seeing the results we want in our bodies, or feel we have “problem areas”, a postural or movement dysfunction is generally the cause. It won’t matter how much you work out if you aren’t moving properly, you will never see results. This is the area in which I work best. My sessions are designed to teach people about their anatomy, while unravelling a life-time of movement dysfunctions to inspire a physical transformation that they never thought possible. My focus is always on helping them heal and enhancing their quality of life, but in doing so, the results they are seeking are also achieved. Focusing on the quality and integrity of the work gets you much closer to your desired outcome than focusing on what you haven’t been able to achieve already. Remember, “quality over quantity!”


Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

More Healthista Content