- May. 13 2020
Today I am pleased to say that I recently interviewed the woman who was deemed “Hollywood’s Hot Trainer” by US Weekly Magazine. That’s right, I am talking about the awesome and very talented, Valerie Waters.
Valerie has seventeen years experience getting celebrities ready for important movie rolls, events, magazine lay outs, and award ceremonies. She is known for getting her clients “red carpet ready,” producing results fast.
You may recognize some of her famous clientele, such as Jennifer Garner, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Poppy Montgomery, Kim Raver, Cindy Crawford, Richard Gere, and Elizabeth Berkley to name a few.
I bet you are as excited as I am to have this inside scoop from one of the masters. So what are we waiting for, let’s get this show on the road, shall we?
Sheila: Thank you, Valerie, for taking some time out of your very busy schedule to answer some questions for me and the Live Well 360 readers.
For those readers that are not familiar with your background, can you give us a quick overview of how your journey and your passion for health and fitness lead you to where you are today?
Valerie: From the moment I first picked up a barbell, I loved weight training. For years I studied and mimicked what the body builders were doing. This was the early nineties, before it became too extreme, but also when everyone else was doing aerobics. I moved to LA and got a job in a very fancy boutique gym that I would never be able to afford to join. They hired me to do sales. It was straight commission and I wasn’t very good at it so I never made any money.
To make a long story… not so long… I quit and came back to the same job 4 times. I quit because I couldn’t make my rent but I would come back because I missed being in the gym. The fourth time they hired me back I said, “I’ll still sell memberships but I also need to know I’ll have a pay check. I’ll work the front desk. Anything.” They said, “Why don’t you train people?”
This was one of the first gyms to really promote personal training. I said, “I don’t know how to train people,” and they said, “Christ, you work out 3 hours a day, we can teach you how to train people.” So they put me through their program and one month after starting I was booked solid eight hours a day.
I knew then that I had found my calling. Eventually the gym went under, as did the next three gyms I moved my clients to. It was a rough time but I was learning so much. A couple of years later, I picked up Cindy Crawford as a client and she ended up training with me for over 15 years. She was at the height of her supermodel-ness when we met and this helped me get some attention. I also started training her then-boyfriend Richard Gere to help him prepare for several movie roles.
At one point, someone referred Lauren Holly to me. She was nervous about working with a trainer because the previous ones had made her “too bulky” and she didn’t want that look. I had already moved past my bodybuilding and body-part split routines toward my own style of circuit training. Lauren loved the workouts and her new body.
Six weeks after we started I had her camera ready for a film role and soon she was on the cover of In Style. It was around this time that my number seemed to be on speed dial of all the major talent agents and managers. I became known for delivering results fast!
Sheila: Wow, four times! Ha. I can relate to the mental struggle that you must have been dealing with. Speaking of the mental aspect of training, what is your training philosophy?
Valerie: My motto is “You are one workout away from a good mood,” and that pretty much sums things up. I believe you can exercise to change the way you feel and you should, to a certain extent, change the workout based on how you are feeling.
For example, if someone is sad or a little depressed, I will give them a different workout than if they are really angry or annoyed. I believe this is why my clients are so consistent. I love weight training but I do it in a circuit style, and I use a lot of body weight exercises.
Sheila: I love circuit training as well. I have found that I personally have achieved my ideal body by doing more circuit/body weight training versus body-part split routines as well.
Many people feel discouraged when they look at celebrities, and their fit bodies, because they believe that you have to be able to hire trainers, chefs, and so on in order to have a movie star body. What are your thoughts, from inside the industry? Do your clients have an upper hand?
Valerie: My clients (and other movie stars) look the way they look because they have made it a priority. Trainer or not, they still have to not eat the cookie, they have to get their workout in whether that means 4am, 7am or 10pm! The point is, they have made it a priority and so can everyone else.
My program Red Carpet Ready is the same diet and exercise plan that I used with Jennifer Garner, Kim Raver and Elizabeth Berkley (among many others) and is available to everyone. The only difference is that when we work out together, there is a lot more going on than just the workout.
This is when we talk about how the diet is going or what to do if they had a couple days of bad eating. I have now made that kind of access to me available through weekly on-line chats for members of the Diamond Club or Diamond Express (Diamond Express no longer available) as well. This is where we talk about strategies and bust through excuses!
Sheila: Wow, that is fantastic. So, when you are training a client, like Jennifer Garner or Kim Raver, for an upcoming red carpet event, what criteria are you primarily training to achieve? What type of look do most female celebrities want from you?
Valerie: My girls favor a long, lean, sexy toned look. That is my specialty and what Red Carpet Ready is all about. In fact, the name of my book came about because I was always saying “it’s time to get red carpet ready!”
Sheila: Do you have a secret weapon that you use in order to achieve that certain look?
Valerie: I do have a secret weapon! It’s called the Valslide, and it will change the shape of your butt faster than anything else I know of. It will take your butt, lift it up and put it back where it belongs. It is also amazing for abs and inner thighs.
Sheila: Yeah, I think that is what all of us women want. Ha. Cute butts are perky! So then, what about the men? What type of look are you training them to typically achieve?
Valerie: All of the guys I’ve trained, like Bradley Cooper, Matt Dillon or Jim Carey, all want to be fit and athletic but not overly muscular. They never know what part they will play next, so it doesn’t make sense to train them like a body builder.
Sheila: That makes sense. What would you say are the most crucial components to an effective workout plan?
Valerie: Consistency is #1. The best program in the world won’t deliver you spectacular results if you only follow it 60% of the time. #2: You must lift weights. Cardio is not enough, yoga is not enough. Even if you prefer the pilates body, I can give it to you faster using weights and interval training for your cardio. There is a reason all trainers are saying this now. It is simply the best way to burn fat.
Sheila: So true about consistency and weight training is critical, I agree. It really has to become a lifestyle. So given your own busy schedule, how do you fit in your own workouts? What is a typical workout like for you?
Valerie: Just like my clients, I have to make it a priority. I don’t always feel like working out but I am always glad that I did. I train myself the same way I train my clients: big circuits, high reps, moderate weight. I also like to go to yoga 1-2 times per week.
Sheila: I hear ya. That is why I get to the gym first thing in the morning. Once my workout is done, I am ready to rock and start my day. What is your nutritional philosophy in terms of artificial sweeteners versus whole foods, etc?
Valerie: I believe in eating as close to the natural state of food as possible. Artificial sweeteners only keep us dependent on an overly sweet taste. I prefer to wean people off these.
Sheila: AMEN. I have been trying to get my Mom off of artificial sweeteners for the past 3 months! Ha. So, then what ratio of protein to carbs to fats do you typically have your clients follow?
Valerie: I loosely follow a Zone style of eating, which is 40/30/30. I am not quite so strict on the exact ratio. I go by portion control, so for my women I have them select about 4 oz of lean protein and then add two servings of vegetables, such as green beans and a salad.
At breakfast they may have a piece of whole grain toast or some oatmeal. I prefer that they have a salad at lunch but if they have a sandwich they made themselves, it’s not the end of the world. They just don’t do that the week or two before an award show or bikini shoot.
Sheila: And…that ratio breakdown allows a wide variety of food types, which is so important in order for us to get a range of nutrients and minerals. In addition to your meal plan recommendations, do you recommend specific supplements for your clients, i.e. a multi-vitamin, fish oil, etc?
Valerie: I am not a nutritionist, I am a food coach, so generally I stick to meal plans. I personally take a multi, and antioxidant, fish oil, digest enzymes, and occasionally an all natural fat loss supplement called CUUR. If my clients want to supplement beyond the basics, I refer them to a nutritionist.
Sheila: Fish oil and digestive enzymes have made such a difference for me in terms of how I feel, as well as how my system metabolizes what I eat. What are your thoughts on the controversial question, “Is a calorie just a calorie?”
Valerie: I do not believe that all calories are equal. There is too much information available about the thermogenic effect of food. Besides, can you really tell me that an organic chicken breast and a Chicken McNugget are the same, the only difference being the amount?
Sheila: NO, they are NOT the same at all…in fact, who really knows if a chicken nugget is really a nugget of chicken meat, which is why I really prefer to stay away from fast food!
How do your celebrity clients stick to their meal plans while traveling, etc? Do they pack food and take it with them, or how do you typically handle their diet with all the traveling?
Valerie: Often they bring food with them or use a meal delivery service like Sunfare. If they are on location or on a movie, then often I will work with the caterer, but all my girls are trained how to make the best food choices for themselves.
Sheila: I agree, learning the process and how to do it for yourself is so essential in incorporating healthy eating into one’s lifestyle. So, being that we love recipes here at Live Well 360°, do you have a favorite healthy recipe that you might share?
Valerie: Teriyaki Tuna with Daikon Radish Salad
Sheila: Yumm, and so simple! I am trying this out this weekend. Alright, one last question for you, Val, you have a new program that is launching today. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Valerie: I am so excited about my new online coaching club, called Diamond Express (Diamond Express no longer available). Everyone in it will get access to my Red Carpet Ready program plus a membership in the Red Carpet Ready Club which is great for support.
Plus, they will get the first sneak peek of my new Action Hero Babe workouts. But most importantly, they will have access to me, through weekly chats that I deliver through the web!
This is where all the good stuff happens. I know I will have a group of women who will get their best bodies ever, months before it’s time to even think about putting on a bikini.
Sheila: Wow, I am geeked just talking about it. I bet you are going to see some amazing results! Thanks again, Val, always a pleasure.
For more information on what Valerie’s up to, click here.