And the secret behind THOSE abs.
Ex-DJ and fitness expert Leah Simmons gets real about work outs, diets and, of course, those abs.
Congrats on the launch of Body By Leah Simmons! What is your program's philosophy and point of difference?
Basically, the Body By Leah Simmons programs are a comprehensive series of pilates-based workouts comprising of an e-book and corresponding audio program that needs nothing more than a smartphone or mp3 player and a mat.
I have devised 15 different workouts over 3 ability levels so there is an option for the absolute beginner through to the advanced practitioner.
What does a training session with you involve?
Over the past few years I have witnessed “at-home workouts” being taken out of the home and into the gym. Everybody has a smartphone or tablet and nowadays they can basically take their chosen program with them to do when they want, where they want. But having observed people using this technology, I realised that the distraction of having to watch something, press play, press pause, etc was still an obstacle, so I wanted to create something that alleviated that need.
I believe the game changer with Body By Leah Simmons workouts is the inclusion of the audio program. Instead of having to stop and start your workout to constantly refer to your tablet or smartphone for your next move - thereby losing your flow - you can simply listen to me as I guide you through your chosen workout as if you were in a class. Each workout features a custom music mix by me, showcasing the latest releases from Australian / LA record label Sweat It Out.
In essence it means no stopping and starting. No fumbling with a phone in the middle of the gym. No losing your place in your video. You simply download, read the e-book, put your headphones in and press play.
From activewear to supplements and gear - what are a few of your must have wellness items?
I love choosing my workout gear almost as much as I like working out! Every day is different for me and my outfits definitely reflect my moods. Some days I’ll be fierce in head-to-toe black, others I'll want to add in a bold print or a pop of colour. Having fun with my outfits serves as my motivation to get out there and get moving! Here are a few of my “must-haves”:
1. A comfy, supportive crop top - no one wants to be bouncing around more than they have to be if you get my drift so find a great crop that you love and buy it in a variety of colours and prints. I can’t get enough of the Nike Classic Pro Bra.. super comfy and their colours are awesome.
2. A good quality yoga mat. There is nothing more annoying than slipping and sliding all over your mat in a class! You want to encouragethe sweat, not try and avoid it for fear of face-planting out of your downward dog! I have collaborated with Yellow Willow to create a range of mats where the more you sweat the more they grip! And they are all latex, silicone, toxic glue, PVC and phthalates free! You can get them from my website.
3. Vitamin C - the benefit of Vitamin C is immeasurable and we inevitably don’t get enough of it. From helping to lower cholesterol and improve blood flow to reducing the risk of heart disease and maintaining healthy skin, Vitamin C is my “go-to” supplement. I love Amazonia Raw Vitamin C - each serve is a raw and whole Vitamin C Superfruit blend that also contains Aloe Vera and Prebiotics for easy assimilation into the system.
They say “abs are made in the kitchen”- do you agree? How big of a factor is diet in your lifestyle?
100% AGREE! The single most asked question I get is “How do I get a 6-pack?” Well you might be surprised to learn that you already have one... it could be just hiding under a few layers of belly fat! Abs are most definitely made in the kitchen and my diet goes hand in hand with my training regime. I totally have to watch what I eat and drink but I like to apply the 80:20 rule so that I still get to enjoy the odd treat now and again.
A few things you can do to fast-track your way to a sculpted, sexy waistline are to eliminate refined carbohydrates, sugars and processed foods, reduce your alcohol intake, try and follow a largely plant-based diet and drink up to 2L of alkalised water per day. Combine that with an effective core workout (like pilates) and you are on your way!