Nicole Winhoffer Speaks on Training Mya and Madonna with Her Unique Workout, Her Celebrity Client Wishlist, and Gives Must-Know Diet Tips

If you’ve ever wondered why Madonna and Mya’s body is still killing the game after all these years, you can thank Nicole Winhoffer. The celebrity trainer uses a unique and refreshing workout routine that incorporates dance, music, and maintaining womanly features.

“Have fun with music, listen to the lyrics, listen to the music and move your body in a certain way. I feel that way the results come much greater,” says the trainer who believes music is a key ingredient in making exercising bearable. “I’m always targeting the body parts that will give females a silhouette­—I develop a workout based on the muscles to create the hourglass figure.”

Flip the pages to find out how Nicole trains Mya, the importance of music in a workout, and learn must know diet tips to add to your daily routine to help you have a healthy difference.

How did you get started?

I’ve been a dancer all my life. I trained in Balanchine Ballet, jazz, hip-hop and musical theatre. I would make my parents drive me into the city everyday so I could take classes at Broadway Dance Center and different studios in NY with adults. So I always had a foundation with taking care of my body and changing up my fitness regime to keep my body in shape. I’ve always gone to the gym. I was a member at David Barton, Equinox, and Crunch all through my life taking dance classes from yoga to Pilates. In 2009 I was on the road with Madonna, I did the [Sticky and] Sweet tour. I trained her dancers on the road. From there I became Madonna’s primary trainer since 2009.
Nicole WInhoffer

Is that why you incorporate dance in your workouts?

I think fitness is boring. I think people don’t think outside the box. Because I’m an artist, a dancer, I’ve been on stage, and had to dress up in costumes; I have an imagination. When I train people it’s to move into their imagination. Have fun with music, listen to the lyric and music, and move your body in a certain way. I feel that way, the results come much greater because women that I train have more fun, and they’re more involved and focused. Mya’s a stage performer, she likes to perform, she’s been on stage, and she’s a recording artist so I always try to incorporate her personality into the workout.

Do you primarily work with treadmills or do you use everything?

I’m always targeting the body parts that will give females a silhouette. I do that based on what’s available to me. The treadmills in the gym, if I don’t have a gym with a treadmill, I’ll do something in the gym, on the bench, on a bike, on a mat, on the floor. I use rolling chairs and tables. Anything that’s around in the moment and I develop a workout based on the muscles to create the hourglass figure.

Have you ever struggled with your body image?

I’ve struggled with weight my whole life. They call it body dysmorphia—you have a very high expectation of what your body’s supposed to look like. I’m a very extreme person, I’ve been 90 lbs. and 180 lbs., every type of weight. I empathize with those who are emotional eaters; they have low self-esteem. That was my quest that I started out when I wanted to become a personal trainer—how do you empower women, still keep them feminine and make them love themselves? Physiologically with the body, I had to try many things. I created my own philosophy behind the hourglass shape. Combining music, doing at least 40 kinds of cardio and special moves we do to target the butt, the back, and the back of the arm.

Do you have a personal workout?

We’re all different so I do my own to take care of my body. Because I do all these workouts with so many different people that I take on their bodies. I either do Bikram Yoga or my treadmill workout for me.

What inspired you to come out with a DVD and are you coming out with a whole series?

I was inspired to keep creating new things and I understood that if I’ve done it once, then I knew I couldn’t do it again. It’s about finding new ways, and never repeating myself. My second goal would be to do a DVD series collaborating with a musician that’s just making music for the DVD, with a high fashion designer, with a photographer, or a director like Spike Lee.

Are you going to create your own workout fashion line?

What you wear to workout effects your performances so you need to feel sexy and look good and feel great. I want to come out with my own line and I want to collaborate with a high-end fashion line to do that.
Nicole WInhoffer

If you could train 5 celebs, who be on your wish list?

I’m working out with one of them, Madonna. Other than her it would be Rihanna, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, and Naomi Campbell.

I have to ask, why Naomi and Mary J?

Mary J is an amazing performer, her energy on stage is sick, I’ve seen her in concert and she’s such a strong woman. I would just love to be in the room with her, work out, and exchange energy. As for Naomi Campbell, I’m intrigued with her body, [she’s been] looking young and fit for so long. I like to work with new body types, to perfect my craft and learn something new from working with her.

How do you select the songs to work out to?

My iTunes account is ridiculous; I’m always downloading music. I create new programs with the music and move my body, then I categorize it to the different client that I have. Every client has a different music taste. I take notes when I workout with my clients about their music preference. After I categorize it, I make a new playlist every Saturday night for their new program. Number 1 is getting the job done but in the middle of getting the job done, we’re gong to have fun. My goal is to get it done, make them work hard and keep them motivated.

What’s in your personal playlist?

  1. Cry Me a River – Justin Timberlake
  2. Side Effects – Mariah Carey
  3. Appetite – Usher
  4. I Could Have Loved You –Jack Splash ft. Missy Elliott and Jazmine Sullivan
  5. Oops Ohh My – Tweet
  6. You Got Me – The Roots
  7. I Just Died – Amerie
  8. Bad Girls – MIA
  9. Pour It Up – Rihanna

10. Love Lockdown – Kanye West

11. Fuckin’ Problems – ASAP Rocky

12. The Wood – Juicy J Feat. Justin Timberlake

13. No Heart, No Love – Juicy J

14. Put Your Loving on Me – Robin Thicke

15. One More Chance – Notorious BIG

Flip the page to get 6 diet tips that you should incorporate into your daily regimen to see drastic changes.

Six diet tips to add to your diet:

If these tips are routine, they’ll start to become apart of your life. These small changes will make a huge difference.

1. Wake up, Drink Cold Water

When you wake up in the morning drink 10 gulps of ice-cold water because it clears dehydration from your sleep. Any build up you have of toxins from the nighttime it cleanses them with water. If that’s the first thing in your stomach, your body recognizes that as complete fluid—no toxins or sugar so your body can stabilize it fast. The ice cold raises your metabolism, because it makes your body have to digest and because your body temperature is high from sleeping, the cold brings it down from being hot over night. It also curves your appetite for breakfast. When you have that water, it kind of fills you up.

Photo Credit: Your Life Tube

2. Breakfast Carbs

Having carbs as breakfast satisfies your sweet tooth. You’re not going to be craving carbs all through the day. Then if you do your workout after you have the carbs in the morning it burns off right away. I would say have your carbs in the morning whether that’s a fruit salad, whole-wheat pancakes, or low sugar cereal with almond milk.

Photo Credit: Shutter Bean

3. No Sugar After 5pm

Your body burns glucose first. Glucose comes from sugar and alcohol. However, if you don’t have glucose in your system your body’s going to turn to the fat. So it’s going to use your fat as energy to stay alert, stay awake, and do your errands. From 5 pm until you go to bed your bodies going to already be burning fat. The next morning you have your carbohydrates and you’ll have your sugar again. Even if your having fruit and it’s super healthy, your body’s going to use the sugar to burn.

Photo Credit: E of Dreams

4. Salt Intake

This depends on your workout level. If your someone who’s not really working out all the time you need to really lower your sodium intake because its going to block your digestive system, make you retain water, and make you bloated. But if you workout a lot and you’re sweating a lot you need sodium and potassium to help your muscles rebuilding and keep your joints supple. It’s also the type of salt you use. For someone who’s trying to lose weight, no salt, no extra sauces, no butter, no olive oil. When you get rid of those things you’ll see results right away.

Extra virgin olive oil has 220 calories in 2 tablespoons. 2 tablespoons cooks one chicken breast, so if your eating a chicken breast that’s only 80 calories but your adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil, that’s 300 calories and your not even getting the gratification of tasting it because olive oil is kind of tasteless.

Photo Credit: Planet Science


5. Snack on protein and veggies

I use nuts, quest bars, celery sticks, all-natural peanut butter, cut up chicken breast, and salsa. Using those items to snack on is going to satisfy you and you won’t crave on all these other foods to snack on. When you get tired you want sugar and candy but you really have to stay away from sugar.

Photo Credit: ABC News

6. Alcohol

Alcohol is the worst for you. It slows down your metabolism by 30% because your body’s consuming the alcohol and that’s the first thing that it takes to burn. So if you eat a huge dinner and you have 2 glasses of red wine, it’s going to take 4 hours to burn off the glass of red wine. Because the alcohol is fermented, it slows down to metabolize in general.

If you eat 1,000 calories a day and you have 2 glasses of wine it’s like your eating 2,000 calories. You know when you have a hangover the next day and you feel like crap and you want to eat greasy foods. It really messes up your metabolism. Once you’re able to reset your metabolism into your body, you can slowly introduce alcohol back into your diet.

Photo Credit: Think Progress

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Aaliyah during TNT Presents - A Gift of Song - New York - January 1, 1997 in New York City, New York, United States.

Fans Rally For Aaliyah's Discography To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

As another day passes without Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms, fans are looking for answers.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #FreeAaliyahMusic appeared on Twitter in light of song battles between Swizz Beats vs. Timbaland and Ne-Yo vs. Johnta Austin. The latter opponents played their collaborations with the late singer, proving Baby Girl's dynamic relevancy in the age of modern R&B. As songs like "I Don't Wanna" and "Come Over" picked up plays on YouTube, the hashtag pointed out the tragedy of her songs not existing on platforms like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

Aaliyah's only album on multiple platforms is her 1994 debut, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. Other albums like the platinum-selling One in A Million and Aaliyah are being held in a vault of sorts along with other unmixed vocals by her uncle and founder of Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson.

Hankerson has built up a mysterious yet haunting aura over the years due to his refusal to release Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms. Reasons are unknown but Stephen Witt's 2016 investigation revealed business deals like the shift in distribution from  Jive Records to Atlantic helped Hankerson take ownership of the singer's masters. The deal was made in 1996 when Blackground featured artists like Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, then-production duo Timbaland and Magoo as well as Missy Elliott.

Sadly, Aaliyah's music isn't the only recordings lost in the shuffle. Recordings from Timbaland and Toni Braxton have been hidden from the world with both taking legal action against the label over the years. There's also JoJo, who had to break from the label after they refused to release her third album. The singer recently re-recorded her first two albums.

With Aaliyah's music getting the attention it deserves, Johnta Austin discussed the singer's impact on R&B today. "It was amazing, she was incredible from top to bottom," he told OkayPlayer of working with the singer on "Come Over" and "I Don't Wanna." "I don't think Aaliyah gets the vocal credit that she deserves. When she was on it, she had the riffs, she had everything."

Earlier this year, an account impersonating Hankerson claimed her music would arrive on streaming platforms January 16, on what would've been her 41st birthday. A docuseries called the Aaliyah Diaries was also promoted for a release on Netflix.

Of course, it was far from the truth. Fans can enjoy selected videos and songs on YouTube, but it's clear they want more.


Aaliyah’s music is the landmark for a lot of your favs not only was she ahead of her time with her futuristic sounds she also was a fashion Icon dancer and phenomenal actress . The future generations need be exposed to her artistry and pay homage .#FreeAaliyahMusic

— Black Clover (@la_alchemist) March 29, 2020

Her first #1 solely based on AirPlay! She was the first ! #FreeAaliyahMusic

— (@hodeciii) March 29, 2020

Makes no sense for someone still so influential to be hidden. Many try to emulate her. On Spotifys This is Aaliyah playlist, theres some great tracks not on her main Spotify #FreeAaliyahMusic

— Blackity Black⁷ (@ClaudBuzzzz) March 29, 2020

Aaliyah is trending once again. She deserves endless flowers. This is true impact y’all. Her voice, her sound, her music...She’s been gone for 2 decades and y’all see the love for her is even stronger! We miss you baby girl! #FreeAaliyahMusic

— A A L I Y A H (@forbbygrlaali) March 30, 2020

Aaliyah said she wanted to be remembered for her music and yet most of it is not on streaming services #FreeAaliyahMusic

— RJR (@MyNewEssence96) March 29, 2020

aaliyah’s gems like more than a woman deserve to be in streaming sites #FreeAaliyahMusic

— k (@grandexrocky) March 30, 2020

I saw #FreeAaliyahMusic and IMMEDIATELY jumped into action! I can’t express how betrayed I felt when we were supposed to have all her music on Spotify by her birthday. Her discography is deeply underestimated and we need to make it right for our babygirl!

— jerrica✨ (@jerricaofficial) March 29, 2020

Before Megan The Stallion drove the boat...

Aaliyah rocked the boat...


— Al’Bei (@_albei) March 29, 2020

i think we should have that conversation #FreeAaliyahMusic

— AALIYAH LEGION (@AaliyahLegion) April 1, 2020

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Singers Adrienne Bailon (L) and Kiely Williams of the 'Cheetah Girls' pose for photos around Mercedes Benz Fashion Week held at Smashbox Studios on October 18, 2007 in Culver City, California.
Katy Winn/Getty Images for IMG

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Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

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Symonè and Houghton also reunited at the Women's March in Los Angeles in January. During Bailon's performance at the event, the two briefly performed the Cheetah Girls' classic, "Together We Can."

Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

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Kelis Announces ‘Cooked With Cannabis’ Show Will Premiere On Netflix

Kelis is taking her chef talents to Netflix. The musician will host a food competition show titled Cooked With Cannabis that’ll premiere on the very-fitting April 20 (4/20). According to NME, the show will span six episodes and be co-hosted by chef Leather Storrs.

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I'm really excited to announce my new show, Cooked with Cannabis on @Netflix!! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my Netflix, so this is a dream come true. Interestingly, this was one of those things that I didn't go looking for, it kind of came to me. As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today's society. In this country, many things have been used systematically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together. I hope you all will tune in, it's definitely going to be a good time! We launch on 4/20! XO, Kelis

A post shared by Kelis (@kelis) on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:57am PDT

In a previous Lenny Letter profile, Kelis shared she comes from a line of culinary influences beginning with her mother who owned a catering service. In 2008, the “Milkshake” singer sought to refine her cooking skills by enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu school. Receiving a certificate as a trained saucier, the New York native put her expertise to the test during pop-up restaurants in her native city, created a hot sauce line, and co-owns a sustainable farm in Quindio, Colombia.

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