Celebrity trainer Ashley Borden has trained Mandy Moore and La La Land‘s Ryan Gosling. She talks exclusively to Healthista
They say behind every successful man is a great woman, and you could say the same for La La Land’s Ryan Gosling. His internationally recognised trainer Ashley Borden has had the enviable job of keeping him fit, as well as Hollywood’s beautiful beaus Reese Witherspoon, Mandy Moore and Christina Aguilera. Recently Ashley, who has a retreat in California and numerous DVDs, has made her transforming workouts available online; The Body Foundation is a 21 day or six-week programme that you can do at home without equipment, incorporating the workouts she actually uses with her clients.
As we found out when Ashley chatted to Healthista exclusively, the body of a celebrity is totally achievable as it is ‘made of the same DNA as we are’. But after tackling her own personal struggles, such as an eating disorder, the A-lister trainer reminds us to never get hung up over aspiring to be someone else. Here, the fitness and lifestyle guru shares some tips and tricks for focusing on you.
Training a celebrity
I train my celebrity clients with the same attention and focus as I do a non-celeb. The only difference is if there is a time crunch or not or we are training for specific physical roles that may require a type of training to achieve a certain look that matches the year/era its filmed in, or the sport that actor is supposed to be playing.
Celebrities have the advantage of pulling from a pool of high level experts
A celebrity body is achievable, if you work hard and eat conscientiously. Celebrities are made of the same DNA as we are. I have the mindset that wanting to look like anyone other than yourself is a huge waste of energy. Celebs can inspire you, but to try and look like someone is nuts to me. Focus on yourself and improve what’s off balance. Celebs have the advantage of pulling from a pool of high level experts who usually guide them in the direction of success.
Ashley trains her clients the same way, celebrity or not
Ashley’s favourite way of working out
My favourite fat busting workout is HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training). It’s efficient, burns fat and gains muscle, and you can do anywhere without equipment needed – just your body weight. HIIT also allows for a fantastic post exercise metabolic boost called the EPOC effect. That means after a HIIT training session, you continue to burn calories up to 36 hours post workout!
Rolling out is one of the most effective ways to improve the appearance and function of your body
I always use rolling out in my workout routine. It warms up the muscles, increases flexibility by breaking down adhesions between muscle fibers, and allows more blood to pump through your body, thereby increasing your metabolic rate. Consistency with rolling out is one of the most effective ways to improve the appearance and function of your body.
Ashely’s free guide to rolling out can be found here.
Q. What are your favourite strength exercises?
I love Olympic lifting and power lifting moves: Clean and Jerk, Snatch, Deadlifts, Bench Press, Back Squat. They are all so technical and you are always improving and getting stronger. My body went through an insane change after I started Olympic lifting and incorporating power lifting exercises in my programming, because of the hormone release it provides. Heavy lifting releases testosterone and Human Growth Hormone – women especially see and feel changes immediately, such as a decrease in overall body fat, reduced core fat and more muscle, too.
Ashley is a fan of lifting
Q. What ratio of cardio-weights do you advise?
I don’t do ‘traditional’ cardio. Workouts that are HIIT have both strength and cardio conditioning all in one, that’s why I love it. I love cardio when it’s a secondary focus to the exercise I’m doing; I like boxing, kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
A trainer’s diet
I will indulge in Ben and Jerry’s ice cream
I basically follow the guidelines of my S.O.S. Food Plan. I use hand, palm and fist size to eyeball protein, carb and veggie portions. I look at my plate and seeing something hot, cold, colourful and crunchy. I always look for colour in my meals (veggies, lower sugar fruits like berries). I eat good fats, no white flour and have been faithfully using Udo’s Oil for over a decade, which is vegan-friendly. I like protein powder from FSH. I’m an intuitive eater with the above guidelines because that’s what my body likes and in turn runs with the most amount of energy.
Q. What’s your cheat meal?
I say an “off meal” because ‘cheating’ implies I’m doing something wrong. I don’t like negative associations with food I eat. I will indulge in any Ben and Jerry’s ice cream that contains chocolate. Yum!
What YOU can do
If you aren’t seeing results, your training programming is wrong. Following a programme is important because it is a skill someone has or they don’t. It’s not something you can just guess at and hope for the best. That’s why people get results from functional, comprehensive programs. The problem with most people choosing their own workouts is human nature. People gravitate towards things they are good at, and don’t naturally address their weaknesses. There might not be enough intensity. You may be over training or under training certain parts of your body, or not using a foam roller consistently (I am a major proponent of this!)