Tiffani Thiessen (we’ll always love you, Kelly Kapowski!) looks just as adorably sexy now as she did as a total teenage heartthrob on Saved by the Bell throughout the 90s. Today the 39-year-old continues to break hearts on the small screen starring in White Collar, as well as being a dedicated, devoted mom to her three-year-old daughter, Harper Renn, along with her actor husband Brady Smith (we knew she wouldn’t end up with Zack).
Like many moms, she’s juggling a lot, including regular workouts. we tracked down Thiessen's personal trainer, Josh Zitomer of PhysicalFix.com, to steal the secrets behind this former Bayside cheerleader's fab form. Read on to get her 20-minute power workout and more.
SHAPE: What type of training do you do with Tiffani?
Josh Zitomer (JZ): The workouts I design for Tiffani are short but intense. I believe in keeping the workouts as short as possible. If somebody has "no time" to work out, I design him or her a 10-minute routine. Sounds easy, but it's not. In that 10 minutes, the client is reduced to a sweaty, babbling, crying mess on the floor. But that's it. Their workout is done for the day. Something is always, always, better than nothing. Especially if you spend the full 10-minutes hitting it as hard as you can.
SHAPE: How long has Tiffani been using your method and how often does she train?
JZ: Tiffani's been a part of the Physicalfix team for two years now. Consistency is key! She trains a minimum of five days per week. Her workouts never exceed 45 minutes. If she has an incredibly busy week or is traveling, she lets me know and I bring her workouts down to 25 minutes or even 15. Tiffani is a great client because she works extremely hard and enjoys it. She's not a huge fan of burpees but other than that, she enjoys any and all challenges I throw at her.
SHAPE: Describe a typical workout for us. What are some fitness elements you always try to include?
JZ: All of my workouts include a minimum of four of the main aspects of fitness: cardio, strength, power, and agility. Tiffani will start off with some agility exercises to warm up. Once I feel as though her heart rate is up and she probably has a good sweat going, the fun begins. I throw everything from mountain climbers to squats to to burpees at her. Typically the intensity will stay high for 30 to 35 minutes. Then, an easier cool-down with some core work at the end.
SHAPE: Why would you say your method is so effective?
JZ: There are three main reasons why it gets such great results. First, Tiffani (or any other client) can work out on her schedule--she decides when exercise best fits into her hectic day. There's also no wasted time driving to and from the gym, as physicalfix workouts are done at home. Both of these aspects lead to consistency. The second aspect that makes my workouts so effective is their intensity. I push Tiffani pretty hard. I'm sure she curses at her computer screen all the time and hates me at times. Guess it's one of those "you'll thank me later" things. The final aspect is accountability. The platform I designed notifies me any time a client does (or does not) complete a workout. If Tiffani skips a day, I can adjust her next workout accordingly, typically by adding more cardio.
SHAPE: What specific fitness goals did you and Tiffani have when you started to work together?
JZ: Our main goal was and still is to be healthy and fit in a well-rounded sense. In my opinion, you exercise to be fit, not skinny. Tiffani embodies a well-rounded client. She's strong, cardiovascularly amazing, powerful, flexible, and so on. The key is to design a program that incorporates all aspects of fitness evenly so as not to overload. If done properly, you're left with as sexy a body as Tiffani's.
SHAPE: What advice do you give her or any client when they just don’t feel like working out that day? How do you really kick them into high gear?
JZ: I tell them they have to give me five minutes. If after five minutes they still don't want to work out, they're more than welcome to turn their computer off. Clearly this is a trick--98 percent of the time they continue. Most people are only unmotivated at the thought of working out. Once they get off the couch and get into it, the heart rate goes up, the blood gets going, the endorphins kick in, and they'll continue. I tell them all the time: don't think, just do. Part of the beauty of physicalfix is that I've eliminated a lot of excuses. No time? I'll give you a 10-minute workout. Don't feel like going to the gym? You can work out in your living room. Don't know what to do for your workout? I take care of that. No motivation to work out by yourself? I do it with you. Worried you might injure yourself? I give constant form reminders through every single exercise.
SHAPE: What about diet? Do you recommend anything specific for Tiffani and your other celeb clients?
JZ: I don't advise any particular diet. I have two rules: First, my clients must enter what they eat into their Pfix food journal. Second, no sugary drinks (soda, Starbucks drinks, juices, Gatorades, etc.). Through reviewing their food journal, I teach healthy eating rather than telling them they can only eat this type of food but not that type, or have to eat these two types of food together 7.6 minutes after their workout... or they can only eat at certain times. My point is that if the large majority of your food choices are clean, you will lose weight and you won't feel deprived. If a client has a role or a shoot they need to get ready for, I make adjustments accordingly. Sometimes drastic. Sometimes subtle.
Want to achieve a sexy, sculpted lower body and sleek, toned arms? Check out this 20-minute power workout Zitomer created for Thiessen. (Note: It’s super quick but it’s a major toughie!)