A couple of weeks back, StyleCaster associate editor Alyssa Vingan and I had the pleasure of working out with a true industry fitness legend, celebrity trainer Ary Nuez. Most girls would give anything for even a few personal tips and tricks from the woman responsible for Rihanna’s ripped body, but we actually got the privilege of a full 45 minute, one-on-one training session with Ary in her at-home studio.
Three days later, my body was still in massive amounts of pain and that was just from a “mini sess.” Needless to say, there’s a reason why Ri, as Ary refers to her, is in such great shape. “I hate going to the gym and doing it the old-fashioned way. I hate anything that’s too straightforward, too routine, too familiar. I get bored really, really quickly,” Rihanna explained in the April issue of Vogue. Well, Ary’s workouts are anything but straightforward and boring.
She uses innovative and unconventional equipment to give you a unique experience every time think inversion tables, ankle resistance bands, and RealRyder bikes. If you haven’t heard of these stationary bikes, then imagine a spinning bike on steroids. Ary told us that Rihanna actually keeps two of them in her home so that Ary can “suffer” with her.
As you can tell from the slideshow above, I took a lot of amazing fitness knowledge away from my time spent with Ary, but the most important thing I learned was about form. She explained, “Never forget this acronym: HHAA. If you forget, just laugh HHAA. Your head should always be over your heart, your abs over your ass. If you can’t remember that, then remember this: If you think with your head and not with your heart, then you’ll make a smarter decision, and whatever you put into your abs will show up in your ass.” Pure genius! Click through for even more insightful tips from Ary Nuez.
Rihanna Photo: Vogue, April 2011
We start the session with Ary strapping me into this Nike resistance band, her favorite toy in the studio, which I kept on for almost the entire class.
Ary demonstrates the first floor exercise, showing me how to bring my toes all the way up, keeping them pointed and away from my tummy.
Don't let the smile fool you I was scared of what was coming next.
Using this 15 lb ball gave me one of the toughest core workouts I've ever had. But she went easy on me Alyssa's ball was 20 lbs!
Ary has three rules to always remember, warning, "if you dont follow these rules, then it aint gonna happen!"
Rule 1: Technique always comes first
Rule 2: Range of motion (how big you make something)
Rule 3: Speed. If your technique is good, go ahead and make it bigger. If you have the big range and the technique down, then go ahead and speed it up for more of a cardiovascular workout.
Ary getting herself strapped into the inversion table. She was very adamant about NOT try this at home, and never without a spotter!
Some pointers on breathing:
"Unless you're running or swimming, inhale for 3, exhale for 1. Heres another tip for breathing: use your nose and not your mouth. Try to remember 3 for me, 1 for you. At any point, if you're feeling dizzy or light-headed, start breathing with your mouth and just chill out and get some air. And your 3-1 is different than mine, which is good."
She got real fancy with that inversion table!
She jokes, "I want long lean muscle I dont want to look like a little Arnold Schwarzenegger. Thats just not my thing, and Im sure its not your thing. So think long."
Ary demonstrates that there are all kinds of ways to use this machine.
She explains, "Everyone is different and everything is not the same. My body is different than yours and our heights differ, so this has to do with you, everything is custom to you. So the goal here is to eventually lift your own body weight."
And then it was my turn! She has me do a classic dead lift, saying, "the goal here is to strengthen the wrists as well. Interior muscles, posterior muscles and your wrists should all be working."
Ary adds, "Look at your joints all of the answers to life are right in front of you. Your joints will tell you where you need to be."