In 2010, after 18 years as a professional dancer, training and sculpting her own body for the rigors of the stage, Simone de la Rue had an epiphany: "I worked with an actress on a movie set using a mixture of advanced sculpting techniques and when I saw the transformation in her body, I thought, 'This is so fun—training other people and working 1-on-1.'" The British-born, Australian-raised La Rue decided then and there to use her knowledge and experience to show others that they too could get definition and tone "without having to go to a gym and be bored." Body By Simone, her eponymous bi-coastal fitness studio that fuses pilates, bar method, cardio dance moves and strength training into one high-energy class was born shortly thereafter and has quickly become a destination for A-listers and anyone else in search of a top-notch total body workout. "It's applying the same principal as going out dancing with your girlfriends at a nightclub, but without the alcohol and the cigarettes and the guys hitting on you," de la Rue laughs, adding, "It's females training females so there is a joyous vibe." Here, the in-demand author of The 8-Week Total Body Makeover Plan gives Estée Stories her 6 tips to get in shape for beach season.
Set Small Goals
"I'm a big believer in it doesn't matter what form of exercise you're using as long as you're doing something and getting yourself off the couch! Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work. Buy a jump rope, and jump outside with your kids. Rather than take the car to the grocery store, walk there. Even 10 minutes is something!"
Skip The Gym Membership
"Everything we do in my classes doesn't require special equipment; you just need to find an area in your house that you can put a mat down. For toning stuff, we use 3-pound weights, resistance bands and a yoga ball—all of which you can get from the local sporting goods store. We have our Body By Simone TV streaming service and there are also so many online apps now that allow you to exercise at home without the group environment, so you really can't make excuses anymore!"
Make A Commitment
"If you want to change your body you really do have to commit. When I'm working with actors or with clients working toward their wedding, or women looking to get rid of baby weight, the more you show up the more change you'll see."
Keep A Food Journal
"Even though I'm in fitness, [a great body] is really 20% exercise and 80% diet. It doesn't make sense to work out for an hour and then eat a pizza. It's really important what you're putting in your body. My body really responds to protein, so I stick to the paleo diet—no dairy, no gluten and I try to not eat a lot of sugar. The general idea, though, is to graze like a cow and constantly eat little meals. A food journal keeps you accountable so you realize that you didn't eat breakfast, you just ate lunch and you inadvertently starved your system for 6 hours. You start to see patterns."
Eliminate One Thing
"Going cold turkey with your diet won't work. It's easier if each week, you eliminate one thing—so, for example, caffeine one week, or alcohol the next—so you ease yourself into eating healthier. When you put too much pressure on yourself you end up binging."
Get More Sleep
"It's very important to get a lot of sleep. This is the time your body can repair—but it's also good for weight loss, which not a lot of people think about. The more sleep you can get before midnight is great. It all becomes a bit of a serial effect if you're sleep deprived—you're drinking more coffee, with more sugar and more milk, and a donut!"