Tips From Trainer Cheryl Ingram

As a busy mom, wife and public speaker, Leeza Gibbons has little time to waste. So we sat down with the woman who gets this superstar up and ready for her day.

Cheryl Ingram has been training Leeza for years and offers some tips on how to keep in shape despite a busy lifestyle:



Q: So what is Leeza's routine like each day?

A: I see Leeza three days a week — Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings — and because she is so busy, we work out from 6-7 A.M. She wakes around 5:30 A.M. She normally spends 20 minutes doing some kind of cardio before I see her; she walks on a treadmill or she does the elliptical machine.

Q: What if you don't have such equipment or can't get to a gym?

A: You can get up and actually walk at a brisk pace a mile and a half, on the low side, in 20 minutes. A brisk walk can get your heart rate up. And you can do that anywhere — especially for women — that will warm your metabolism up right away. It just wakes us up and gets us going.

Q: So what types of exercises do you do after the warm up?

A: We workout for an hour together, and since I see her three days a week, I will isolate her workout. For example, with her arms or perhaps her mid section — because she's so long and lean — we do a lot of work in her center section. After having three children it's an area people have to work at. Then we'll mix that up between arms, midsection and abdominal work.

She doesn't know what we will work on each day. Wednesdays we will hone in on her legs and stomach. Friday I will do a circuit with her where she will literally be doing about 45 minutes of cardio — along with the 20 minutes she does I will incorporate about 25 mins of cardio.

For someone at home, that would be doing some free weights with arms or jump roping for a minute, and then going back to another set of exercises. Incorporating all the things we have done during the week — the arms, legs and stomach — that gives her a final push for the week.

Q: What about women who don't have a trainer? Aren't they expensive?

A: I think from a motivational aspect people can identify their type of personality and decide if they can be self motivated. Or sometimes you can find a partner, a neighbor or a roommate and set a time. That requires validation: that you show up. If it's only you, then it's a little easier to say "I'm gonna to stay in bed."

There is a cost factor to working with a private trainer, but I think it's important that if you start a fitness routine — if you haven't worked out in a long time — seek someone out who is a professional and set aside a certain amount of money to work with them twice a week for a month. That way you get a foundation and have the basics of proper form and your muscles start to engage from a foundation level.

Then train with them once every two weeks, then maybe once a month, so you are weaning yourself from the trainer. That first month is gonna get the ball rolling, and if you lose a couple of pounds, that will keep the excitement going. Just be up front with the trainer in the beginning about it.

Q: Can your husband be your motivator? I know Leeza works out with him too.

A: Absolutely, and your children can too. One of Leeza's true motivations is her children. She has three — ranging from ages four to 12 — so they keep her really busy. All of her children are very active in sports and dance too. So for her to have a full professional day and then be a full-time mother and wife, you're busy. And to have that stamina, you need to allow yourself a piece of time during the day that's yours and your children and/or your spouse certainly can be your motivator.

Q: Leeza had to sit a lot on Entertainment Tonight. What can be done to keep your backside in shape?

Q: Leeza had to sit a lot on Entertainment Tonight. What can be done to keep your backside in shape?

A: I have just the thing. You can do it at your desk, and that is to literally sit very straight in your chair. Push your lower back against the back of the chair and squeeze your glutes as tight as you can then release, and squeeze. Do a set of ten. Throughout your day you can do it. It actually increases the circulation. I have Leeza do it when she sits in traffic.

Q: What is Leeza's best results routine?

A: The ball. You can start to do very basic abdominal, stretching and leg work on the ball no matter what type of shape you are in or how old you are. When I started with Leeza we did a lot of foundational — she is tall but petite — so we started with her core interior muscles and now we have moved on to advance work with the ball. It has helped her see results with her stomach, her legs and her glutes.

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