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.
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.
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?
- Cry Me a River – Justin Timberlake
- Side Effects – Mariah Carey
- Appetite – Usher
- I Could Have Loved You –Jack Splash ft. Missy Elliott and Jazmine Sullivan
- Oops Ohh My – Tweet
- You Got Me – The Roots
- I Just Died – Amerie
- Bad Girls – MIA
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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