How Quarantine Changed Kate Upton's Approach to Working Out

The model says that focusing on quality workouts and setting small goals has been helping her stay motivated.

Kate Upton
Photo: Getty Images

2020 was life-altering for most of us. For Kate Upton, she says it allowed her to hit pause and do some re-evaluating. "It's been a crazy time," she tells Shape. "But I've tried to look at the bright side of things because it's been such a hard year for so many people."

The 28-year-old model shares that she's been treasuring spending extra time with her family, especially her 2-year-old, Genevieve. When it comes to her lifestyle as a whole, she says she's learned to appreciate quality over quantity, especially when it comes to her fitness routine.

Upton, as you might know, has been killing it in the gym this past year. Her trainer, Ben Bruno (who's also worked with Chelsea Handler, Sophia Bush, and Naomi Campbell) has shared countless Instagram posts of Upton crushing single-leg Romanian deadlifts and making 205-pound barbell hip lifts look easy during their virtual workouts. He even crowned her a "meathead" after she only took six days off of training during an 8-week period.

While her achievements are nothing short of impressive, Upton says it's not so much about how often she's working out, but rather how efficiently. "I only get breaks for short periods of time — mostly when my daughter is napping," she explains. "So it's been important for me to focus on getting in quality workouts."

For Upton, she says a "quality" workout means setting small goals that keep her motivated. "My goal is to get a good workout in every day, even if it's for 30 minutes," she shares. "I've been enjoying workouts from my Strong4Me Fitness program and have also been focused on hitting PRs, which has been a great source of motivation for me." (Watch her hit one of her latest PRs doing a dumbbell squat to press.)

"Working out has been a saving grace during this time," adds Upton. "But having a support system has also been crucial, at least for me. It's so important to talk to someone, whether that's your husband, members of your family, friends, or even a professional. Now more than ever it's so important to take care of yourself."

Upton also kept this "quality over quantity" motto in mind while venturing into her latest endeavor. She recently partnered with beauty and wellness brand Found Active to launch a line of clean, hassle-free skin-care products and wellness supplements that cater to the everyday active woman. "For the longest time, I've been searching for skin-care and wellness products that fit my lifestyle and not the other way around," she explains. But when Upton noticed a gap in the market, she says she set out to create a line of her own. "I wanted products that were multi-use and didn't only make me feel confident on the outside, but the inside as well."

The line features everything from wellness supplements (think: gummy vitamins and nutrient-packed, berry-flavored powders) to skin-care products, including exfoliating bubble face pads (Upton's favorite, she says) and four different serums with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and retinol. None of the products are tested on animals, and they're all free of irritants such as parabens, phthalates, and mineral oil. (

Each product in the line ranges from $18 to $23 — an affordable price point that was important to Upton to maintain throughout the creative process of developing the collection, she says. "I think every woman must have access to natural, high-quality skin-care and wellness products because they're a game-changer for our bodies," she says. (

Most importantly, Upton says she hopes that her new line with Found Active will help women embrace their natural selves. "I always believe in enhancing who you are and looking and feeling your best," she says. "I hope that these products fit into your daily routine instead of you changing your life for them. I want women to be who they are, enjoy their lives, and have the energy to be themselves."

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