Spring is officially here, which for most women is a sign that summer is coming, which means bikini season. Oh boy! Not to mention, the weather is finally warming up, rosé season is upon us, and there’s nothing better than sitting on a rooftop with an adult beverage (or three) in hand. Ok, wait, let me back up and tell you who I am. My name is Justin Gelband—I’m the guy who created ModelFit—and now I have my own fitness studio in NYC. But I’ve spent the past 15 years training the world’s top models and A-list actors with my workout method (obviously called the JG method), so I guess that’s why Betches asked me to give you my tips on how to get summer body ready without giving up alcohol.
Most of my clients
want have to maintain their bodies, whether it’s for a new role, or for walking in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. They work hard and dedicate themselves to being the best they can be. But guess what—with hard work, comes reward! For the purposes of this article, that reward would be alcohol, right?! Now, I’m not telling you to slug a cocktail after every workout, but you also don’t have to give up a drink at Sunday brunch or a champagne toast at your best friend’s wedding altogether. With my method, I want to help women build the connection between their minds and bodies so they can not only look their best on the outside, but feel their best too—and I promise, a little alcohol won’t kill you with my method of functional movement based on Movement, Motivation, and Moderation!
Movement speeds up your body’s metabolism so you can burn the calories that come with alcohol! Dancing or simply moving around during your night out can help burn the calories you’re putting in your body. I would also suggest holding off on food an hour or two before drinking, and not eating at all after party time is over—I know drunk munchies are real, but you’re strong-willed, I believe in you! If you crack under tipsy pressure, and you HAVE to eat, stick to fruits, vegetables, or anything light. This way, you are balancing the toxicity of the alcohol with foods that won’t add to it. Especially since heavy amounts of sugar and salt are huge contributors to holding water and water weight!
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This might seem like a small piece of the puzzle, but motivation is a big key to success in getting ready for the summer (and life in general). If you’re motivated to look fantastic, you will put your energy towards treating your body with respect—that not only means working out smart, but drinking smart as well. You don’t need to drink til you drop, no matter how stressful your work week was. Put yourself towards the mindset that you are drinking to enjoy yourself, not drinking just for the sake of getting wasted. Then, your hangover days will (hopefully) be behind you and you can wake up in the morning feeling motivated to work out and sweat out the alcohol from the night before, so one equalizes the other.
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Drinking is going to cause you to gain water weight and can cause other body image problems, so please moderate your drinking! So, if you’re used to drinking three drinks in a night, drink two. If you’re drinking (even one drink) every day, cut that down to three days per week. If you find these simple ways to cut some corners, you will still be able to get summer body ready without giving up alcohol. Drink red wine instead of white, and keep in mind a glass or two doesn’t mean a bottle! We’ve all been there. Look at the calories in the hard alcohol you’re drinking and go with whichever has the least number of calories and sugar. And try to steer away from mixers—it’s the sugars in mixed drinks that really get you. If you can’t drink something straight, then add a mixer (sip, no slugging) and have one or two less drinks. This will cut down on the body holding water or gaining weight.
A common misconception in today’s age puts being “skinny” in the same category as being “healthy.” This is not the case, trust me. Sure, you can give up alcohol and maybe see some weight loss, but does this improve your overall health? Have a drink or two, but discipline yourself and commit to exercising, and you’ll be summer ready… but start NOW! Don’t wait until May and say, “Okay JG—I need to transform my body by Memorial Day—help!!” You have 2 months to get your sh*t together, so zombie walk over to my studio with some betches, and I’ll be there to whip your butt in shape.
Images: Elevate / Unsplash; Justin Gelband (2); dietstartstomorrow, justingelband / Instagram
You may have never been to a workout class with Don-A-Matrix, but you’ve definitely heard of his clients. The LA-based trainer trains the likes of Kourtney and Khloé Kardashian and Kanye West. So when we got the opportunity to talk with Don about his celebrity clients, his workout routine, and his favorite sports drink, BODYARMOR, our reaction was an immediate “okurrrr”! Read on.
How did you become a celebrity trainer to some of these huge celebrities?
I’ll make this story very condensed. So I moved to San Diego in 2001 when I started my training career… in charge of the San Diego football players, and I had a few athletes from the San Diego baseball team… And then I got called up to do the movie Transformers here in Hollywood, which I was training some of the cast, like Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson. So after that was over, those guys moved me to Hollywood to continue to work with them. I started training Fergie—of course, she’s a member of the band Black Eyed Peas. I started traveling with her, I started training the whole band. We were on a world tour with those guys and then one person led to another and now some of my current roster right now would be the Kardashians as we speak. My journey, from athletes to entertainers, still continues.
I read that your workout is set up like a sports game. Is that because you were training athletes?
The method I derived is from when I was training my athletes, because basketball and football games are set up in quarters—by first quarter, second quarter, third and fourth quarter—so I started conducting my workouts as such… We do two exercises each quarter, and we do those two exercises for three sets. And we do that within a 45-minute span each exercise, anywhere from 10-20 repetitions. So that ended up working pretty good, so when I moved to the entertainer side, when I moved to Hollywood, I continued to do that method even with the entertainers. Some of those guys played sports in high school, but they’re not even playing a sport, they understood the concept of the method… us doing very well, even with the entertainers, because now they’re more pressed to go through the method than just clock watch a 45-minute hour workout. And they end up working out really well that way.
That leads into my next question—our readers are really big Kardashian fans. Are you able to tell us a little bit about what some of their favorite moves or exercises are?
Yeah, absolutely. So taking my method, you can do the method as an individual one-on-one session, which I do with my celebs a lot. I also took the method and did a group training also which I called the Matrix workout, where I do it here in my studio in Hollywood. I do a lot of multi-functional movements, so we’re talking about cardio and resistance within the same exercise. So we’ll do a cardiovascular movement and let’s say maybe we have the resistance bands where we would do a fast shape curl and drop into a squat. We’re doing these movements where we can get the cardiovascular out of it, as well as the resistance strength. So a lot of my success with them has come from doing these multifunctional movements where I’m able to expend a lot more energy, which results in the burning of a lot more calories.
So your workouts are typically, you said, 45 minutes to an hour. How much time do you think the average person needs to get a good workout?
I would say, yeah, anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour if… the impact of the consistency of that workout is kinda like what I do in my four quarters where you’re able to get the amount of exercises in. So we’re doing anywhere from 8-10 exercises within that 45 minutes to an hour. So, you know, if you’re spending 45 minutes to an hour at the gym, you need to make sure you get efficient enough exercises in to complete your workout.
What do you think is a mistake that you see people making when working out?
A lot of traffic today would be influence of social media. There’s a lot of people who are just looking at exercises and they’re doing things where maybe the top performance is not there. The… exercises, a lot of the times, are then done incorrectly… Say like the squat—sometimes I see people go, you know, extending in the knee on their squat which in the long run, they end up having extra pain or joint problems… I think that’s a common mistake of people just seeing exercises and doing them versus getting the professional help in those exercises.
I’m glad you brought up social media, because I feel like with the rise of social media, working out has become kind of more trendy. How do you feel about that?
I love what’s happening with social media—people taking the initiative to want to work out. I would just say, to the person who’s just starting their journey, to seek professional advice and help when it comes to them starting their journey.
Definitely. How do you keep clients and yourself motivated to workout? I think we all have those days when we just don’t wanna go to the gym.
Well yeah, that’s a tough one. Motivation is different for everybody. As far as me, it’s pretty much knowing what I call “plan personal.” You know. some people you can push a little more, some people you need to say something to, some people you might try to give a text… You gotta understand everyone’s functional—that thing that makes them tick. Once you understand the thing that makes anyone tick, I think you can present them with that thing to help them get going as a method for motivation, other than just, you know, some people yell, scream. My tactics are more finding that functional, something that’s going to make people push. Whether that’s someone getting ready for a wedding or trying to lose weight for a special occasion, get into a dress, jeans—you gotta find that one reason that they’re there and use that as the motivation tool.
So what types of exercises would you recommend if I did want to just tone up or lose weight for a special occasion?
I’m a big fan of the multifunctional movements. One, I want to spend more energy but then burn more calories, and I’ve also seen a decrease in body fat percentage from doing the cardio and the resistance together. So most people, when they enter the gym, they’ll do a cardio segment and then they’ll maybe do their resistance training. For efficiency of time, I just add those two into one. So any multifunctional movements if you see in my videos with the Kardashians or any of my clients, more likely we’re doing the multifunctional movements, again, which is a resistance and a cardio move done in one sequence.
I wanted to also talk to you about BODYARMOR Lyte Sports Drink. What makes you passionate about it?
BODYARMOR LYTE is the perfect hydration option to fit within my quarters workout method. Again, I do my four quarter method, and in between the quarters, it’s time to rehydrate, which helps sustain performance throughout the workout. BODYARMOR LYTE is naturally sweetened, low in calories, and packed with potassium; it’s my go-to drink when I’m doing my workouts.
And you think it’s better than just drinking water, or even Gatorade?
Yeah, I think it’s better because BODYARMOR LYTE is made with coconut water, it’s also packed with potassium and electrolytes and has nothing artificial. Once I tried it I was like, “hey I want to present this to all of my clients”—to all of my group clients and to all of my private celebrity clients as well—and it a big hit with them. They love BODYARMOR LYTE because it tastes great and it’s only 20 calories per serving.
We also just launched BODYARMOR SportWater, a proprietary sports electrolyte formula with a pH of 8+. People love water, but this is water works harder for you during a workout.
…The example that I give is, you take a professional athlete in any sport, and you know there’s no way they can perform in the third quarter of the third half of the game like they gotta perform in their fourth quarter or the end of the game, whether it’s soccer… Like, those guys are running up and down the field… To perform in the beginning and the end, you just can’t drink water alone. So that’s why BODYARMOR Sports Drink became one of those go-tos for me, packed with electrolytes and vitamins.
Do you have non-famous clients in addition to the celebrity ones?
Yes. In my eyes, everybody is a star. I do my group Matrix workout, I have a studio in Hollywood on Melrose where I train, where we get non-famous people as well. So I train them all.
Do your workouts differ between your two types of clients?
The individual, you know, it’s only one or two people in the room so sometimes a Kardashian sister might join or something so I’m able to focus on, in terms of space, “stay right there”. Versus in the group workouts where I get to move around a bit, but the method and the exercises, everything remains the same. In the group workout, I only use resistance bands. On one on one, I’m able to use a few more tools like dumbbells or a machine or something, depending on who I’m training, like a Josh Duhamel or someone who likes more muscle would go to a more heavier weight. But the method stays the same.
Speaking of using heavier weight, I know there’s this common fear among women that if we lift weights we’ll get too bulky. Do you have any advice about that?
I think my advice on that is, stay within high repetitions, so anywhere between 20 and 30 repetitions, and stay away from the heavy weight. But even like, for Khloé right now, who just had a baby three months ago, she’s very adamant about not gaining and not having muscle. She wants to lose, lose, lose right now. So again, as I’m handing her different resistance equipment, I just keep reminding her that we’re gonna stay low in weights, high in repetition is the key for that.
How many days a week do you think that people should workout?
I would say anywhere from three to five days a week. Three at the minimum, five at the max. It’s basically to give yourself a day or two for recovery. This way it also helps to beat injury as well.
Follow Don on Instagram and download the Don-A-Matrix Training app, where you can follow the group Matrix workout he does in Hollywood!