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My day with J.Lo's personal trainer

For the past week I've been doing a new routine at the gym and I'm loving how I feel--all thanks to Gunnar Peterson, famous celebrity trainer (the one who got J.Lo buff for her triathlon last summer). I was ecstatic when I got an email asking if I'd like to train with him for the day--before I worked at Shape, his workouts would be the ones I'd rip from the magazine and take with me to the gym. Now, I really felt so lucky to be given this chance to meet with him--if the stars can do it I can too! (Maybe I can't afford him on a daily basis, but I can definitely pick his brain and learn as much as I can in an hour.) He gave me so many useful diet tips and a unique workout to follow targeting my trouble spots (my hamstrings and abs). This is the advice I'm loving:

 
Eat before you work out.
I mentioned that even though I'm in shape, I'd like to shed some extra pounds to give me a more toned look. Gunnar insisted I eat a big protein meal--his favorite, an egg white omelet or oatmeal--before I work out (which is something I never do, especially at 6 AM). This way I'm getting more of the daily-recommended amount of protein in the morning and burning it off right away. Too much protein too late in the day can be stored as extra body fat; which is probably a reason why I'm holding on to a few pounds.

Don't leave it all to your trainer.
A trainer can only show you how to exercise and teach you new routines to practice in the gym and at home, but you'll have to want it bad enough when he/she isn't around too. Gunnar told me that if you want to see results, you have to eat a healthy diet--every Skittle and chocolate chip cookie matters. (I think I'm finally giving up my 3PM mini York Peppermint Patty.)

Always exercise first thing in the morning.
Any interruptions in your day or unexpected plans after work sometimes get in the way of your gym schedule. I hate having to choose between seeing a movie with my friends or working out...it's always such a toss-up! So fitting in exercise before you get going is a guaranteed way to start the day off on the right foot. Also, you'll think more about what you're going to eat: if I definitely work out in the morning, then I can still go to the movies with my friends, and I'm most likely not going to have a tub of buttered popcorn.

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