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Expert Spotlight: Celeb Trainer Nicky Holender & Our Vegan Challenger

Posted May 19 2012 4:36am

C: Hey Nicky!!! Welcome to Blogilates! I am sooo happy to have worked with you on Everyday Health’s YouTrain workouts!

(If you guys haven’t seen our YouTrain workouts for Everyday Health’s YouTube Channel, check this one above! We’re doing abs!)

The POPsters here are soooo excited to learn more about you, how you keep celebs looking fit, and they want to hear your perspective on going vegan! Could you quickly introduce yourself? (Feel free to brag…you’re a star!)

N: My pleasure Cassey :) You did a great job too on Everyday Health! My name is Nicky Holender and I am a fitness trainer to athletes, sportsmen and women, celebrities and everyday people who want to get into shape. I started out as a professional soccer player in England, Norway, Sweden and then the US. I then crazily became a popstar in Scandinavia, don’t ask me how but there is a YouTube video floating about on it! Haha I then went back to soccer and then finally into training.

C: Hmm, you forgot to mention that you’re also the CW’s trainer for Shedding for the Wedding! 

Anyway, who are some of the celebs you’ve worked with? Are they easy to deal with or are they high maintenance!?

N: I have worked with the Cruise family, the Smith family, Ben Stiller, Gordon Ramsay, Gerard Butler, Gilles Marini, Chris Harrison (The Bachelor host), Kendra Wilkinson, Mel B (Scary Spice), many professional soccer stars in UK such as Stephen Ireland and Salomon Kalou as well as heads of Disney and Fox and other huge companies.

C: How did you “break” into the industry and start training movie stars?

N: I got injured playing soccer and while I was trying to recover my Chiropractor asked if I could train a girl how to play soccer. She ended up being the daughter of a very famous actor and thus started my path into this amazingly surreal world!

C: What’s your overall philosophy on obtaining the body of your dreams? Is it diet? Exercise? Genetics?

N: My philosophy is this, anything is possible in looking great and living in great health. Genetics if bad, only loads the gun…the way you eat and exercise is what pulls the trigger. With good nutrition and exercise, we are not slaves to our genetics.

EPIC LIfestyle’s (Elite Performance Improvement Concepts – my company) motto is “Release your inner athlete” and that in a nut shell is my belief in training. Don’t settle for ok or average, when you workout take it to the max unless you are doing a recovery session.

Try to be strong in all planes of motion. With EPIC training there is no such thing as bad form by the time you reach your goal because you are strong in every motion of your body. You should have full range of motion in all your limbs.

I also believe in busting myths and a good trainer always tell clients the hard truth! If someone asks me what ab exercises to do to get a flat stomach or which glute exercises will help them tone their butt I will alway tell them that it is 99% about burning body fat and that can’t be done by spot reduction it can only be done by getting your body to use body fat as energy and that is done by eating fewer calories and expending more calories. I always tell clients you can achieve any look you want with your body but getting in shape is tough, really tough but if you follow the rules it is ALWAYS achievable.

C: Your fave fat blasting move?

N: Well as I said fat blasting or getting your body to use body fat (which is stored energy) as an energy source is done by exerting as much energy as possible for a duration of time. My favorite way to do this is with burpees or with a interval cardio run on a treadmill or a combination of the 2 things, so interval run to burpee challenge!

C: Oh geez that sounds horrible. How about your fave ab move?

N: My favorite an move is straight leg lifts on a roman chair. It hits the abdominal rectus (six pack), stretches the hamstrings and helps me practice my backflips for gymnastics ;)

C: Let’s talk Vegan. I am so excited to be collaborating with you on our Vegan Challenge which will start Monday May 28th! Why do you think people should give veganism a try? What are the benefits?

N: Me too so excited to see what your followers will make of it. I think everyone who has time should read The China Study – it’s the most important book I have ever read in my life and could literally save your life. I believe very strongly that animal protein which is in meat’s and dairy can cause cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, stroke and obesity if you are predisposed to it through your genes.

As I said if your genes have loaded the gun for disease then I believe animal protein is what will pull the trigger and ultimately get you sick :(:( The good news is a vegan diet can stop all ill health in it tracks and this is what is amazing. You can eat as much as you want and still lose weight FAST! I lost 17 lbs in 3 weeks and I literally didn’t think I had any weight to lose! Weight loss is amazingly easy and quick on this plan but I want to remind everyone you can live very unhealthy on a vegan diet too as most candy and sugared products can be vegan, so I like to call my version of the vegan diet as eating a whole foods plant based diet!

C: When we were emailing back and forth you said that it’d be great to see us do the challenge for 2 weeks if possible! Tell everyone how much weight they can expect to drop. I was stunned when I heard this.

N: I would say that people should expect to lose at least 10 lbs minimum. Try to stay with fresh whole vegetables as much as possible and then add in some whole grains and fruit too but make vegetables your go-to thing, embrace them. Fake meats are ok sometimes but try to enjoy eating vegan rather than fooling yourself into thinking you are still eating meat. EMBRACE THE VEGETABLES. That may be my slogan. Some processed food is cool too but make sure it doesn’t have oil in it or very little anyway. 4 tablespoons of oil is 500 calories and doesn’t fill you up. It would take you an hour to eat the same amount of calories in vegetables.

C: Give us a snap shot of your daily mean plan:

N: I have oatmeal made with water and almond milk, sweetened with Truvia. Then some blueberries and strawberries.

Raw veggies with fat free hummus.

Whole wheat bread with mustard and jicama, cucumbers and carrots.

Small zip lock bag of goji berries and raw vegan granola.

Roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic and small Ezekiel bread croutons that are pan fried with a kale salad and roasted carrots!

C: Oooooohhh!!! Sounds yummy! I cant wait to start this. Finally, give us your FAVORITE vegan dessert recipe…

N: Chocolate unsweetened almond milk with Truvia, stir in chia seeds and keep mixing as it thickens to make a great chocolate mouse!! I’m hungry for it right now!

C: Wow may have to try that with vanilla unsweetened almond milk! MMMM!!!!! Well thank you for sharing all of this great info with us and challenging me to take on this vegan lifestyle for 2 weeks. I originally was going to do 1 week, but Nicky insisted I do 2, so blame him for your extended challenge ;P If you’d like to connect with Nicky, here ya go!


Twitter: @nickyholender

N: I am really excited to see people’s results. Try to be ok with being a little hungry as the calories that you will be eating are very low. Hunger is your body’s way of telling you that you are burning body fat. Embrace it. Leave at least 3 hours between meals and stay away from refined sugar and oils! Drink lots of water and see your weight come down and your health come up. Anyone with high cholesterol – check it after the challenge – you will be amazed!

FYI: For anyone wondering why I am doing this Vegan Challenge…after the Bikini Comp, the amount of crazy high protein I ate left my stomach and intestines very unhappy and backed up if you know what I mean. I found that the more fruits n veggies I ate, the better I felt. So I am challenging myself to fully cleanse out my system, not with the goal of simply losing weight in mind.

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