As part of our guide to achieving a leaner, sexier mid-section, celebrity trainer & lifestyle expert ASHLEY CONRAD will show you how to banish the bloat, boost your metabolism & shed the fat to reveal your very own A-list abs. In Part One, she reveals the first two steps of her specially devised ‘Clutch System’, whose devotees include Kate Hudson, Penelope Cruz, Kristen Bell & Victoria’s Secret models. Conrad devised the system to help her celebrity clientele change their bodies – fast. “[In L.A] nobody can wait 3 months to get in shape – the phone rings and you’re booked for a movie role or a photo shoot and you have to be ready.” Conrad’s approach transcends simple diet and exercise – it’s a total lifestyle program. To reap the full-body benefits, turn a new LEAF – and by that we mean: Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, and Food.
EXERCISE – WORK IT OUT LIKE AN ATHLETE With her athletic background, Conrad likes to challenge her clients with high-intensity workouts that combine cardio and resistance. “I like to hit it all in one go. I’ll mix up the exercises so you’re not overtraining. One day it may be cardio, or boxing, or a track workout or stairs.” On other days, take it down a notch with an easy hike, stretching or an ‘abs & core’ class. The key is saying no to predictable, repetitive movements. But do the same principles apply when she’s training Victoria’s Secret models? “Absolutely!” says Conrad, “I just alter certain elements: if [client] Bradley Cooper is trying to bulk up for a role, his diet is going to very different for someone who walks down a runway.”
ADOPT A STRESS-FREE LIFESTYLE TO BURN MORE CALORIES Hectic work-days followed by punishing sessions at the gym to try and drop weight could actually be the cause of why your stomach never seems to get any flatter. “That belly area is directly related to stress,” Conrad says, “your cortisol (stress hormone) levels get raised and it triggers your body to start storing calories, rather than burning them.” It’s very important to take stress-relieving measures each day, says Conrad. “Take those [off] days to rest and relax. Breathe deeply, and get 8 hours of sleep.”
“That belly area is directly related to stress,” Conrad says, “your cortisol (stress hormone) levels get raised and it triggers your body to start storing calories, rather than burning them.”
CUT THE SALT TO BANISH THE BLOAT If your lifestyle involves dining out much of the time at restaurants, you may want to re-think what else you’re ingesting into your system. “If you eat out a lot, there is a lot of added sodium in food, even if you can’t taste it. That salt retains a lot of water and is stored underneath the skin.” Conrad advises her clients to drink ample amounts of water (100 ounces per day) to help flush any excess sodium out. “People underestimate their level of dehydration, especially during the summer and how that plays a role in water retention.” Amp up the detoxing effect by adding 4 lemons to the water you drink every day. The natural superfood is a stimulant-free natural diuretic that detoxes the liver and makes skin glow.
Get PART TWO OF OUR GUIDE here: learn more on how to flatten your stomach and reduce bloating through simple nutrition tips. Conrad also shares what your body fat percentage should be, and how to gain a healthier persepctive on your body and enjoy your new lifestyle for full-body fitness.