I'm happy to introduce this month's FitStar—none other than Miss Buns and Abs of Steel Tamilee Webb. I probably don't need to give her background as she's well recognized as the pioneer of fit butts and abs everywhere, but let me give some facts, just because it's impressive.
Besides a successful repertoire of workout DVDs under her belt, Ms. Webb has written books ( this one and this one, in addition to others), been a co-host on FitTV and been featured on just about every major media outlet possible. Oh, and did I mention that the Buns of Steel series sold more than 10 million copies and may have single-handedly taken the fitness leotard to new workout fashion heights (she has an awesome sense of humor about this, by the way)?
With that, I give you Tamilee Webb in all her glory. And dang is she glorious! (According to Wikipedia, Tamilee was born in 1960?! Can you believe that?! She looks like such a spring chicken!)
FBG: As one of the pioneers of fitness, how did you first get involved with working out and bringing fitness to the masses?
TW: Being raised with brothers, being fit and strong was always my personality. I had to keep up with my brothers. When I went to college, I decided I wanted to be in the health and fitness industry. Lucky for me, it was the beginning of aerobic dance, and by the time I graduated with a B.A. in P.E., the college offered a Master's degree in Exercise Science, which I got. It was in college that I found the weight room and began body building (when women looked like women) and did my thesis on Women's Bodybuilding! I started a couple of classes for the student body, "Super Abs" and "Aerobic Dance," which I enjoyed doing. After graduation, I moved to San Diego and started teaching at a club, then at the Golden Door Spa. Once I presented at [my first fitness] convention, I was on my own, traveling the world teaching other instructors.
ESPN asked me to audition for a new show called "Fitness Pros," which I got about the same time I was recommended to do a video called Buns of Steel. The rest is history.
FBG:Buns of Steel is iconic and a catch phrase in our culture today. How did the title come about?
TW: From the story I've been told, it was a student of Gregg Smithy that said to him one day "You've got buns of steel." It was he that took off with the title and produced the first video with him on it. I was brought in on Buns of Steel 3 and did a total of 14 titles.
FBG: Wow. What is it like to know that your DVDs are in the homes of more than 10 million?!
TW: Thanks to Buns of Steel, I am in millions of homes, which I'm very grateful for, but it's up to me to continue to make quality workouts that they'll continue to enjoy.
FBG: The 1980s and early 1990s were quite the time in fitness fashion. Do you still have your leotards from then?
TW: Ha! The only one I kept was a special-made silver leotard that we used on the Platinum Series!
FBG: Fitness trends have really changed over the years. Have your own personal workouts changed since the first edition of Buns of Steel? What was a typical workout for you in 1992 and what is it today?
TW: No thong leotards, tights or leg warmers! I am also not wearing my hair like Pebbles. I don't really see a big change in workouts from '92 to today expect for all the yoga, Pilates, belly dancing, pole dancing and other new programs offered. As for myself, I like spin, muscle, dance, yoga, will do Pilates sometimes, and I play tennis.
FBG: Your recently released Best of Tamilee Webb series (to be featured and reviewed tomorrow on FBG) features exercises from the original Buns of Steel series. How did you go about choosing the exercises that you wanted to feature again?
TW: I took most all of the exercises from the original Buns of Steel and condensed it into a 15-minute workout, but this time I used a step and hand weights, making it more challenging.
FBG: How do you manage to still look 25, even though mathematically that's not possible?
TW: I only use pictures from when I was 30-something on my site...It's all touch up and Photoshop. If you saw me first thing in the morning you wouldn't be saying that! But thanks.
FBG: If you were to give women one piece of advice about being healthy and fit, what would it be?
TW: Just to know that you CAN be fit and healthy if you really want it. You just have to make up your MIND first—then the rest will follow!
FBG: What's next for you and your career? Can we expect to see more DVDs?
TW: I'm producing for other fitness professionals, which I really enjoy doing. Yes, there will be more DVDs! I'd like to speak more to women's groups, too!
FBG: Any other thoughts or advice? Anything else you'd like to say to our readers?
TW: We sometimes think it's a video, equipment, supplement or trainer that will get us the body we want, and it might work for awhile, but until you make up your mind that you want to be fit and healthy and really believe it's a body and lifestyle you can live with, you [can't] do it. [Once you do] that's when all the other stuff can help. Believe in you!
Talk about a Fit Bottomed Girl! Tamilee Webb, we heart you! A big thanks for doing the interview! Stay tuned for tomorrow's review of Tamilee's latest Best of DVDs! — Jenn