"The Bachelor's" secrets for getting camera-ready
Kirkland's Jason "The Bachelor" Mesnick was already in great shape, but before filming the ABC reality show he went to a Bellevue personal-fitness studio and began circuit training to get camera-ready.
Seattle Times staff reporter
"Sweat for your Sweet Heart"
Remix Workouts, a North Seattle fitness company, will conduct a one-hour fitness camp at Carkeek Park on Feb. 14 to benefit the American Heart Association, help raise heart-health awareness and get people looking good for Valentine's Day.
The 10 a.m. class will include cardio, strength, balance and flexibility exercises.
All fitness levels are welcome. Participants are encouraged to consult their health provider and must register before Feb. 13 at www.RemixWorkouts.com. The cost is $11 per person with all money going to the American Heart Association.
Tonight in Prime Time
Kirkland's Jason Mesnick was already in great shape when he decided in August — two months before filming ABC-TV's "The Bachelor" — that he needed a better physique. Trying to find a wife on national television can be a powerful motivator.
So Mesnick, 32, decided to go through a tough exercise program at Elite Fitness Training, a Bellevue studio. He spent an hour a day, five times a week, sweating through private, supervised workouts designed to add lean muscle to his body. He also heeded the studio's nutrition advice and jogged on his own.
"I've been working out since I was about 13 years old, but I've always just been doing my own thing," he said. "The last 10 years I never pushed too hard. I figured getting 45 minutes to an hour three or four days a week was good enough.
"But working with these guys changed everything, not just the physical stuff, but how I look at exercise, my whole approach."
The studio employs a method known as circuit training, which entails stringing together a series of cardio, resistance, balance and flexibility movements into one quick-paced workout. Trainers say diversity of movement and ever-changing routines provide greater mental challenge and physical progress.
Circuit training has been around long time, but is becoming increasingly popular as fitness trainers promote their own particular take on it. The overriding goal is to build balance between strength and flexibility and to prevent injury.
"I don't think I went through the same circuit twice," said Mesnick. "They kept my muscles guessing, and I saw results in about 10 days."
Before starting, Mesnick, an account executive, told trainers he didn't want to get too bulky and look like a weightlifter. He had gone through a hard-core lifting phase a decade or so ago and felt clumsy because of it.
So trainers put him through "functional strength" exercises designed to give him a more tapered, athletic look. In the two months he spent with Elite before the show, his body fat percentage decreased from (an already-excellent) 8.4 to 6.7. He gained a few pounds, but it was lean muscle.
ABC was so keen on keeping the bachelor's body photogenic that it flew Elite's co-owners, Dave Johnson and Alex Wasserman, down to Los Angeles to make sure Mesnick stayed buff during the rigors of filming, which included "dates" and stressful late-night "rose ceremonies," in which one or more women would go home feeling rejected.
The trainers couldn't bring much equipment, so they depended on tried-and-true movements.
One sample workout: a half-mile jog; eight sprints up the quarter-mile inclined driveway of the bachelor's temporary L.A. home; five sets of 10 pull-ups, 20 push-ups, 20 full sit-ups. And various other forms of high-intensity intervals.
"Some days we had a very small window of time to train, so we'd try to squeeze inasmuch as we could," Johnson recalled. "Or other days we had more time, so we'd finish with 40 minutes of flexibility."
The trainers also insisted Mesnick eat a big breakfast that involved oatmeal, egg whites, blueberries, whey protein powder and almonds.
The women vying to be Mesnick's wife seemed to approve. The producers apparently did, too, because Mesnick seems to be taking off his shirt during every show (which airs on Monday nights) — as he lounges by the pool, flirts with the women — even while building ceramic busts during a "group date."
While proud of the shape he is in, he seems embarrassed by the fuss. "They must have filmed about 1,000 hours and about 30 minutes of me with my shirt off, but it seems like they put all 30 minutes on screen," he chuckles.
Johnson said his studio not only changes routines, but rotates trainers, too, so a client doesn't fall into a pattern that stunts physical progress and becomes boring. It incorporates kick-boxing, exercising outdoors, doing push-ups and sit-ups, running stairs and basketball drills and playing games that boost cardiovascular exertion.
Whomever the client is, says Wasserman, motivation is the key.
When Janine Williams, 43, of Newcastle, went to the studio, her goal was to lose 100 pounds. She has lost about 60 so far and realized along the way that short-term goals help her to stay motivated. She hopes to complete the Danskin Triathlon in August and completed the Seafair half-marathon last summer.
She wears a heart-rate monitor throughout her workouts so trainers can make sure she is pushing herself safely. She also e-mails weekly food logs to Johnson so he can help her stay accountable on her nutrition plan, too.
"I expected the weight loss to happen, and expected to feel better," Williams said. "What I did not expect was the confidence, and new found 'gutsy-ness' that I would develop."
Mesnick's motivation was a much shorter-range goal: find a wife and look good while finding her on national television. But he, too, sees long-range benefits.
"It's a fun way to exercise," said Mesnick. "I eat better. I need less sleep. I just feel better."
Richard Seven: 206-464-2241 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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