How Stars Get in Shape

Celebrities—and the personal trainers behind their famous bodies—tell all
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Jennifer Aniston

Fittingly, the mastermind behind Jennifer Aniston’s totally toned bod is an old friend: Mandy Ingber, the actress’s yoga teacher of 20 years. Ingber relies on a hybrid workout that pairs traditional yoga poses with calisthenics. In addition to the obvious physical payoffs, Aniston also swears by the emotional benefits of the routines. She told SELF, "I’ve had everything from deep laughter to deep sadness where I was crying through moves. You feel like you’re having a therapy session, a workout, and meditation at the same time." Want to try it for yourself? Read our review and pick up a copy of Ingber’s DVD, Yogalosophy.

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Julia Roberts

“Julia Roberts and I have been working out together for 20 years,” says Kathy Kaehler, who has also trained Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Kim Basinger, Claudia Schiffer and Michelle Pfeiffer. “Our workout is step aerobics—it’s the most amazing way to tone and shape your legs and butt. She travels with my Kathy Kaehler's Fitness System DVD and has me come to her house three days a week. The bottom line is that she is consistent. That’s the key to all the actresses I have trained. They started training and never stopped.”


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s_bukley /

Sharon Stone

At, Stone reveals that intense Pilates is her fitness secret. She’s such a fan that she’s penning a book with her trainer Anne Winfree called Built from the Inside Out. Stone is definitely no slouch in the gym. Winfree says, "Sharon… definitely wants to be working as hard as she can." For MORE’s full story on Sharon Stone, click here.
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Poppy Montgomery

To keep Poppy in shape for her hit series, Unforgettable, Joe Dowdell has her perform a series of three mini-circuits with three exercises in each circuit. “For the first two movements, I will choose more traditional types of exercises, like a dumbbell split squat (i.e., A1) and a push-up (i.e., A2) along with a non-traditional movement, such as prowler push, battling ropes or sled pulls with a 30’ rope (i.e., A3),” says Dowdell, founder and co-owner of Peak Performance in NYC and fitness expert on LIVESTRONG.COM’s advisory board. “I give Poppy up to 30 seconds of rest between the A1 and A2 movements and then up to 60 seconds after the third exercise in the circuit. Once we’ve completed the first mini-circuit three times, we’ll move on to the next mini-circuit, which will be comprised of three entirely different movements. I find that this style of training not only allows me to get her stronger and leaner but it also keeps the sessions interesting for her.”


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s_bukley /

Vanessa Williams

For the last five years, Vanessa Williams has had trainer Sal Gaglio, of Sals Pro Fitness Center in Westchester, New York to thank for keeping her curves in fabulous form. Gaglio says his one-hour workout for Williams is no cakewalk: "First I train her harder for a half hour to get her heart rate up by doing a series of exercises like plyometrics, bench hop-overs, and sprints with resistance bands. Then she does push-ups for 30 seconds, followed by squat thrusts for 25 seconds. Then for 20 seconds she’ll do a split jump, and then for 15 seconds she’ll do a pull down. Let me tell you, when you do those exercises for that time, you’ll be breathing like you can’t imagine!" He adds, "She is one of the best, if not the best person I’ve ever trained and not because of who she is, but because she has the biggest heart."
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Ana Paula Araujo

Trainer Stefan Aschan gets Sports Illustrated centerfold Ana Paula Araujo’s rear into gear with a Swiss ball, which challenges stabilizer muscles by creating instability. Her favorite derriere developer is the “ball bridge.” To try it, lie face up with your back and head on the ball. Lower your butt to the floor for two seconds, then drive it back up in one second. Repeat 20 times. Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat the exercise three more times. In addition to toning your tush, it will also target your hamstrings and core.

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Sela Ward

Actress Sela Ward loves to sweat and does it best when she’s racking up miles on the treadmill, according to her former trainer of seven years, Tracy Effinger. "We worked out three to four times per week and more often when she had a role to do or for the Emmys," says Effinger. Sela was on a cardio program that included two 45-minute sessions a week, plus 20 to 30 minutes of sprint intervals. Effinger also credits high-repetition weight training at various speeds with helping to keep Ward’s body sinewy and lean. "She wanted to focus on upper body work in order to keep her neck and back strong as she went into her 40s," says Effinger.
John Spellman/Retna

Megyn Price

After giving birth to her first child, Rules of Engagement star Megyn Price decided to do something for herself: compete in triathlons. In 2011, with two seasons of racing under her belt, she upped the ante and signed up for the Nautica New York City Triathlon, an Olympic-distance race comprosed of a one-mile swim, 25-mile bike and six-mile run. Price trained two hours a day for three months to successfully complete the race—her longest to date. Afterward she told MORE, “The race really seemed out of my reach. But I guess that’s my new mantra as I get older: Find the things that are too big, and then go do them. I feel like when you have a little girl, that’s your responsibility. You have to teach her things like that. You’ve got to go find what scares you, and do it anyway.” Read the full interview here.


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s_bukley /

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyenth Paltrow likes her trainer, Tracy Anderson, so much she went into business with her, and helped Anderson open up a training studio in New York City. Anderson is known for fusing intense aerobic movements with dance ones to target specific problem areas. "She has kicked my formerly sagging ass into shape and I will be forever grateful," Paltrow once said of Anderson. Click here to watch Anderson and Paltrow sweat it out during one of their workouts.
Tina Paul/Camera Press/Reta Ltd.

Lauren Graham

Trainer Michelle Lovitt likes her clients to aim for 20-60 minutes of continuous cardiovascular exercise each session, incorporating intervals in their target heart rate zone. Lauren Graham mixed things up by doing these workouts on her bike, on the treadmill and while hiking, says Lovitt. To find out how to calculate your target heart rate, click here.


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Featureflash /

Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan is described as a "stellar client" by former trainer Michael George. "I worked with Meg for several years and her routines varied depending upon the different roles she played," he says. "For one role it could be high-intensity interval training, for another it could be straight sets of lifting with cardio components. Meg didn’t have a problem with anything we did."

Courteney Cox

Like Paltrow, Courteney Cox depends on the Tracy Anderson Method to maintain a bikini-ready body. "I stick with the Method because it is a constant challenge," Cox told GOOP, Gwenyth Paltrow’s lifestyle newsletter and website. "I have seen amazing results that I never thought were possible. My butt has lifted, my arms are sculpted and my skin is tight and actually clings to the muscle again."

Chris Ashford/Camera Press/Retna Ltd.

Oprah Winfrey

When Oprah wants to drop weight, the activity she loves best is hiking, says trainer Bob Greene, creator of The Best Life Diet and Oprah spends a lot of time in Hawai where the grades are steep, but she brings her dogs and hikes for an hour or more. “It passes like it’s not a workout at all,” says Greene. “She’ll do that daily and complement it with weights.”


Photo courtesy of Featureflash /

Featureflash /

Kathy Griffin

The star of Bravo TV’s My Life On The D-List wears full make-up to exercise and doesn’t like to sweat. But her non-stop joking didn’t stop her former trainer, no-nonsense TV personality Jackie Warner, from putting the comic through hard-core shape-up sessions. Warner, star and executive producer of Bravo TV’s Thintervention and creator of the Fit In Your Skin workout DVD says, "I would just do an upper-body and lower-body circuit to keep her moving consistently and some boxing techniques. Kathy pretty much wanted to do the bare minimum to get the body."
Hellmuth Dominguez.

Julianne Moore

Her former trainer, Michael George, got Moore into fighting form for her role in Jurassic Park. "We focused on creating a lot of power and strength," says George, who counts Hollywood heavyweights Reese Witherspoon and Dennis Quaid among his past clients.
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Cindy Crawford

Kathy Kaehler also helped Cindy Crawford get in shape to tape her “A New Dimension” fitness video. “The one tool that we used that everyone has at their disposal is a deck of playing cards,” says Kaehler. To tighten and tone your tush, try this card-inspired squat exercise: Hold 20 cards in your left hand. Feet should be shoulder width apart and your back straight. Keeping your weight in your heels, squat down (with belly in) and put one card down between your legs. Stand back up. Repeat until all 20 cards are on the floor, then do the exercise in reverse, picking up the cards one by one between squats and putting them in your right hand. 


Photo courtesy of Featureflash /

Featureflash /

Amy Brenneman

Actress Amy Brenneman "likes to train hard!" says her former trainer Tracy Effinger "I trained Amy for over ten years and she is very athletic and likes anything you throw her way. Our training consists mostly of my Squeeze workouts, which you could say is Pilates on crack. It fuses the Lotte Berk Method, Pilates, yoga and proven weight-training principles." Effinger says that because Brenneman is naturally thin, she doesn’t need excessive cardio, but rather opts for a leg series at the ballet barre.

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Emily DiDonato

Model Emily DiDonato worked with trainer Jay Cardiello to sculpt a body that looked lean and natural but was also functionally strong. “The protocols we used were based on a training system I developed called JCORE, which keeps muscles constantly challenged from all angles and through full ranges of motion,” says Cardiello. “This means that Emily performed multi-joint, body weight exercises for a duration of 30 seconds each, which kept her body in constant movement for 20 minutes working on agility, cardiovascular health, strength and core balance conditioning.” Here’s an example of one move: Standing on your right leg with arms extended laterally, rotate down as fast as possible and touch your left hand to your right foot then stand back up. Repeat for 30 seconds. Switch sides.

Janet Mayer / PR Photos

Lori Loughlin

When Michael George, trained 90210 actress Lori Loughlin, we "focused on more of a high-intensity strength routine with some yoga and Pilates thrown in," the trainer says.
Sara De Boer/Retna Ltd.


Since fitness guru Tracy Anderson has been criticized for being "obsessed" with exercise, it seemed like a match made in exercise heaven when she started working with Madge. In 2009 Madonna told the UK’s Daily Mail, "Tracy Anderson is my savior. After two cesareans, three hernia operations and one riding accident that left me with ten broken bones, she was the only one who could pull my body back together in one piece." But a few months later, after three years together, Madonna and Anderson had a very public split. Madonna reportedly said she grew "tired of the trainer’s personal baggage," when Anderson delayed joining the singer on the European leg of her Sticky & Sweet tour to spend time with her boyfriend. Want more workout tips?

RD/Dziekan/Retna Digital

Victoria Osteen

Samir Becic worked with Victoria Osteen, co-pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, and wife of Joel Osteen, for two years using his ReSync method, a training philosophy that emphasizes manual resistance, free weights and calisthenics. To get a lean, full-body workout like Victoria's, Becic recommends a 7-10 minute warm-up on a cross-trainer or elliptical machine; 30-35 minutes of strength training doing multi-joint movements such as a squat shoulder press (4 sets of 10-12 reps), half-squat bent-over row (4 sets of 12-15 reps), lunges with hammer curls (4 sets of 8-10 reps); and five minutes of running up stairs. Take an active rest by walking around or performing light aerobic exercises. If you need to, repeat the sequence. “Keep your core engaged during the entire workout so you're working your abs, too,” says Becic.


Next: 28 Ways To Rev Up Your Shape-Up Routine


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First Published September 28, 2010

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