'Manifest' Star Melissa Roxburgh's Trainer Shares an Empowering Strength Circuit

This total-body circuit workout courtesy of Paolo Mascitti will have you feeling fit and empowered.

Melissa Roxburgh's Trainer Shares One of the 'Manifest' Star's Strength-Building Workouts
Photo: Paolo Mascitti

Manifest star Melissa Roxburgh didn't always have a healthy relationship with exercise; there was a time in her life when compulsive workouts were just part of a long battle with anorexia athletica — aka exercise bulimia, a type of eating disorder that involves excessive exercise and often diet restriction — and an attempt to shrink her body.

"The control over exercise and the food was actually just a way of controlling the one thing I could in my life," she says. "It's been a long road to having a healthy relationship with food and exercise again." (Read more: How 'Manifest' Actress Melissa Roxburgh Healed Her Relationship with Exercise After an Eating Disorder)

Roxburgh spent several months in an inpatient program during her teens, and it's taken the 28-year-old a long time to find a way to integrate movement into her life in a moderate, balanced, beneficial way. While running had been her go-to form of exercise before (and during) the eating disorder, it no longer fit into her life in a healthy way. "For years I was running, but finally I was like, 'I don't feel that great running all the time,'" she says. "Mostly because I wanted to achieve a healthy version of myself that I was proud of. Something I had worked hard for in the right way and not because someone else wanted me to but for my own sake." (See: How Much Exercise Is Too Much?)

A friend referred Roxburgh to trainer Paolo Mascitti, who also counts actress Lana Condor among his clients. "We started working together and he's just an incredible person but also a really good trainer," she says. "He finds a way to make you feel good about wherever you're at. I came in at an interesting time in my life when I had a lot of stress so I wasn't able to do a lot of things and he modified a bunch of things for me, so he works with where you're at."

Earlier this year when Roxburgh was on hiatus from Manifest and in Los Angeles for a few months, she and Mascitti worked out together two to three times a week for about an hour each session. "He would get me to do high intensity training but obviously we didn't start there, we started with resistance training and worked our way up," she says. "I would do that twice a week and maybe a hike here or there, but other than that, I wasn't overdoing anything."

"She hadn't worked out for a bit and she wanted to go back to filming feeling strong and fit," says Mascitti. "We did plenty of squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses."

Want to tap into the magic of Roxburgh's strength workouts, so you can feel fit and empowered yourself? Here, Mascitti shares a total-body strength circuit he developed for Roxburgh. Whether you're, like Roxburgh, returning to workouts after a hiatus, or simply looking for a new routine to challenge your fitness, this circuit will have you feeling strong, capable, and badass in no time.

'Manifest' Total-Body Strength Circuit

How it works: Do each exercise below for the number of reps indicated before moving onto the next exercise. Repeat the whole circuit 4 to 5 times total.

You'll need: Sets of light- and medium-weight dumbbells and a stability ball.

Dumbbell Squat Overhead Press

A. Hold a pair of dumbbells in racked position at shoulder-height, standing with feet shoulder-width apart.
B. Slowly with control, squat until the tops of thighs are parallel to the floor (or as low as is comfortable).
C. Stand while simultaneously using the momentum to press the dumbbells overhead, directly over shoulders. Slowly lower the weights to shoulders to return to start.

Do 12-15 reps.

T Push-Up

A. Start in a push-up position with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and elbows completely locked out. Body should be in a straight line from shoulders to heels.
B. Keeping core engaged, slowly lower body toward the ground, bending arms so elbows make a 45-degree angle with torso.
C. Once chest touches the ground (or once lowered as far as possible), pause, and then press back up to return to start.
D. Pick one hand up off the ground and reach it towards the ceiling, rotating upper body in the same direction until body forms the shape of a "T."
E. Lower hand to the floor to return to start. Repeat, alternating sides.

Do 12-15 reps.

Kickstand Deadlift

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Place one foot a foot-length in front of the other, toe on the floor, so stance is staggered.
B. Hinge at hips to lower torso until it's almost parallel to the floor, pushing butt back and keeping back flat and core engaged.
C. Push through the front heel to stand up straight, keeping the weights close to shins while lifting. Pause at the top and squeeze glutes to return to start.

Do 12 reps per side.

Renegade Row with Frog Jump

A. Start in a high plank position with feet slightly wider than normal, one dumbbell in each hand, and shoulders directly over wrists.
B. Row the left dumbbell up toward ribs, retracting the left shoulder blade and drawing left elbow up toward the ceiling. Keep hips square.
C. Lower dumbbell with control to return to plank, then repeat on the other side.
D. From high plank, jump feet forward to land outside hands in a frog squat. Jump feet back to plank position to return to start.

Repeat 12 times.

Reverse Lunge with Lateral Raise

A. Start standing with feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand by sides.
B. Take a step back with the right foot and lower into a lunge while simultaneously raising the dumbbells out to the side up to shoulder height.
C. Lower the dumbbells and step the right foot forward to return to start.

Do 12 reps on each side.

Stability Ball Knee Tuck

A. Start in a push-up position with hands on the floor and feet balancing on the ball. Engage core and raise hips so body forms a straight line from shoulders to feet.
B. Keeping back flat, draw knees into chest while trying not to raise hips.
C. Slowly extend legs back out with control to return to start.

Do 15 reps.

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