The body of a supermodel is down to weightlifting don’t you know? Nicola Addison, celebrity trainer to the likes of Elle Macpherson and Erin O’Connor shares her mantra
The body of a model is not simply down to luck, says celebrity trainer Nicola Addison – (although we are sure good genes play a part). Elle Macpherson, Erin O’Connor and Daisy Lowe have finely tuned their figures with strength training – yep, that’s heavy weights.
Used to the luxuries life has to offer, the models are fans of Nicola’s super exclusive Eqvvs Training gym. Discretely set in the streets of bustling Knightsbridge, London, the gym offers a supreme service. Each customer has not only their own locker, but their own bathroom. No more than three people can train in the spacious haven, with a personalised training plan for any need.
Although looking gorgeous is integral to the job of being spread across the front covers of Vogue and catwalking for Jasper Conran, the supermodels insist their motivation to workout runs deeper. Elle Macpherson, 53 and the mother of two, says being strong, healthy energised and happy is more important to her than the number on the scales. She told Hello she makes exercise part of her everyday life, which, living in Miami, means 45 minutes of paddle boarding, surfing, swimming or walking the dog, all whilst maintaining a ‘clean diet’.
Daisy has incredible deadlifting tehcnique
Daisy Lowe has ‘incredible deadlifting technique’ according to Nicola. However, she needs a little more gym motivation. In the past, Nicola has tailored their workouts to resemble a fun P.E class, because ‘Daisy, like I’d say 90 per cent of our clients, really doesn’t like exercise’. With a weakness for ‘anything Cadbury’, Daisy, 28, told the Daily Mail she works with a rewards system. A fan of the 80/20 rule, she said ‘You need to have the balance of both otherwise you’ll drive yourself mad. I know if I stop myself eating bad things I’ll actually go the other way and it’s a nightmare’.
Healthy eating comes a little more natural to Erin O’Connor, who Nicola is currently training. ‘My parents were quite health-conscious so I was the girl who had the satsuma, the yoghurt and the wholemeal sandwiches when it was quite the revolution’, the 39 year old recalls in an interview with the Guardian.
I weight train three times a week and I’m getting better, but anything over 60kg is still a bit of an effort
Although models are known for their ultra slender physiques, a closer look at many of their bodies will reveal hot lean muscle, popping in all the right places. ‘I want to look healthy, not anti-living, so I treat my body the way an athlete would’, Erin told the Mail Online. ‘Recently I finally found my “thing”, the exercise that liberates my mind, detoxes my brain and keeps me fit: weight training. I do it three times a week and I’m getting better, but anything over 60kg is still a bit of an effort’.
Erin O’Connor smashed her personal best with a 60kg deadlift
Celebrity Trainer Secrets: The Nicola Addison method
Strength training can turn your body into an efficient calorie burning machine
Weight training is part of Nicola Addison’s sought-for expertise, and she preaches the benefits of lifting for a calorie burning. ‘Strength training can turn your body into an efficient calorie burning machine’, she told Healthista. ‘Muscle (protein) is metabolically active, burning energy even when at rest (increasing your basal metabolic rate). So the greater the mass of muscle that is active, the more calories you will burn, not only in your workout, but also throughout the day.
Think of it with Nicola’s formula:
- Heavier weight lifted = more muscle worked
- More muscle worked = more strength
- More strength = more muscle built
- More muscle built = less body fat
Nicola demonstrating her best deadlift.
With a wealth of knowledge under her belt, our ears are pricked and eager to learn more from Nicola…
Who are you training with at the moment and what are you what do you do with them?
At the moment I am training Erin O’Connor, Jade Parfitt and Gemma Cairney. We would mostly train between 2-3 times a week diary permitting. I have had some clients that train every day and some that can only manage once a week.
Sessions are 60 minutes in length. How hard the client is pushed really depends on their current phase of training and how they are feeling on the day. My celebrity clients are training for a specific result, so workouts are periodised and focused.
Is a celebrity body achievable and if so, how?
It is, and it’s not! For most celebrity cases, their body is their job. To that end, they take a very disciplined approach towards it. For my celebrity clients (and in fact 99.9 per cent of people) an amazing body is not a given. Hard work and persistence achieves the results you see in the magazines.
Hard work and persistence achieves the results you see in the magazines.
What is your most reliable go-to type of exercise for all round fitness?
Compound movements (working lots of muscles & joints simultaneously) is my go-to. My favourite is the crawl.
Check out Nics crawling series!! Great to do as a warm up before a workout or at the end of a run for a little bit of a full body blast to finish you off 👊🏽! Make sure to keep your tummy nice and tight for these moves, do them in sequence 10-12 reps of each, with little rest in between. Also Nic was clearly very happy when we recorded these– hope they bring you as much joy as they brought her 😂😂😂😂.
What is your favourite fat- busting advice?
It’s not an exercise, its ADHERENCE! Exercising regularly will see the best results.
What is your favourite strength exercise?
It all starts with the squat. The squat is the staple of all great exercise programs as most functional movements (both in and out of the gym) require a level of squatting. It is also a key compound movement, working many muscles & joints, so in turn, it’s a big calorie burner.
How do you advise people on ratio of cardio-weights?
It really does depend on the specific client and what phase of training they are in. In my own training I prefer working with weights – which can also be cardio. Try doing 100 squats and see if that’s not effecting your cardiovascular system!
How do you keep clients or yourself motivated to continue a workout?
I make workouts fun. With some clients I hide classic movements. For example, instead of a one arm row, I will do a tug of war with them.
Nicola keeps her clients such as Jade Parfitt laughing throughout their workout
What diet do you typically follow?
A mindful one. I adopt an 80/20 rule regarding day to day choices. This means for 80 per cent of the time (5 days a week) I adopt a mindful approach to my food, exercise, sleep, stress and alcohol choices. For the remaining 20 per cent I allow for full flexibility. I enjoy my curry, which is without doubt my favourite meal. I will often have a Friday night curry with my other half and friends.
I will have that drink, go to bed a bit later and eat the odd Malteaser. My only foody-focus is to have protein present at every meal time.
I will often have a Friday night curry with my other half and friends
What is the best diet tip you can give people?
You are far better off being consistently good at 80 per cent than being inconsistently excellent at 100 per cent!
What do most of us get wrong when we aren’t seeing results?
Most people just STOP when they are not seeing results. This inconsistency with exercise adherence is probably the largest factor why they are not achieving results. Setting realistic goals when it comes to results wanted must be realistic. So often we expect instant results. Unfortunately the slow horse will always win the race!
Nicola Addison is the founder of Eqvvs Training, Knightsbridge. A top female London personal trainer and wellbeing expert, she has worked with Elle Macpherson, Daisy Lowe, Pixie Geldof, Mischa Barton, Jamie Winston, Alexandra Burke and Jade Jagger. She also created Healthista’s Couple’s Workout Series:
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