Tips from the first lady's personal trainer

November 20, 2009 10:33:35 AM PST
Michelle Obama's personal trainer, Cornell McClellan, offers some great ways to get moving and boost your energy in the morning. Cornell McClellan's Tips:

The most important element to energize yourself starts with a sound nights sleep.

It's amazing how much the body can recuperate if given the adequate amount of rest.

The rest comes from good hydration (plenty of water, of course) an exercise regimen that consists of cardio and strength training (2-3 days a week) and finally, stretching.

Strength Training Work Outs:

Set 1:
Single leg step-ups x10

Using a box or elevated surface step up with one leg on the box while opposite knee into the air. Do not alternate legs, do 10 reps with the left leg then 10 with the right.

Split leg Squats x10

Start off in a front lunge position with the right leg staggered in front of the left and squat down as if you were doing a lunge. Instead of stepping through and completing the lunge, come back up into the starting position. Repeat 10 times on each leg, do not alternate.

Sumo Squats 20x20

Take a wider than usual squat stance and execute a squat. The first 20 squats should be until your thighs are parallel with the ground. Immediately after the first 20 reps start another set of 20 deep squats where you go beyond parallel.

Set 2:
Tricep Extensions x15:

Lay flat on the bench (on your back) with light dumbbells. Straighten your arms as if you were performing a bench press, this is your starting position. Instead of pressing the dumbbells keep your shoulders locked and only bend at your elbows as you bring the dumbbells down to either side of your head. Once down by your head press the dumbbells straight up and back to the starting position only bending your elbows and keeping your shoulders locked.

Overhead Kickouts x15:

Using a heavier dumbbell, grab the weight with both hands and bring it directly above your head. Bending only at the elbows bring the weight behind your head and press back to the starting position.

Set 3:
Alternate Step-ups x10

These step-ups are similar to the ones in the first set but without the knee drive at the top and you alternate legs each rep. There should be a total of 20 reps, 10 each leg.

Alternate Lunge x10

Start standing straight up with your feet even. Take a step out with your right leg and perform a lunge. Return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. There should be a total of 29 reps, to each leg.

Split Leg Elevated Squat x10

Similar to the split leg squats from Set 1 except take your back foot and place the top of your foot on a bench. Perform the split leg squat same as before, the elevation helps isolate the quads and hamstring. Execute 10 on each leg without alternating.

Set 4:
Simultaneous Hammer Curls 15-20 (or until you burnout)

Take two dumbbells and point your thumbs up. Curl the dumbbells at the same time (don?t alternate), making sure to only bend in the elbow, all the way up. Execute as many of these curls as you can.

Palms-Up Curls 15-20 (or until you burnout)

Similar to the hammer curls except point your thumbs up or palms out. Keep your elbows locked and simultaneously rep as many as you can.

Variations:
The great thing about this exercise is that it can be performed by all fitness levels.

For Beginners: Make sure you start off doing the lower but sets, sets 1 & 3, without any weight. The body provides enough resistance for most beginners. Make sure you don?t go too heavy with the upper body weights, you should be able to complete the entire exercise at least once without resting or lowering your resistance.

For Advanced Exercisers: Use dumbbells for sets 1 & 3. Try to go through the progression at least 2-3 times to get an added cardio benefit from the routine. Keep track of the weights you used and the time it took you to complete the circuit and set a personal goal of repetitions and times so you have something to shoot for.

Cornell McClellan
Fitness Consultant and Personal Trainer To
First Family of United States of America
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
Certified Personal Trainer
Committed to Total Wellness

Recognition of Achievements

As the owner of Naturally Fit, Inc. a personal training and wellness center, Cornell McClellan is committed to the personal fitness goals of each client that he and his staff serve. His personal and professional philosophy on fitness is that everyone is capable of obtaining it. Being fit, healthy and well should be viewed as an everyday experience, and not an exception-but in fact, the rule of everyone's lifestyle.

McClellan's career in health and fitness began over 30 years ago when he was an

avid student and later an instructor of Karate. Being an accomplished athlete, he earned a Black Belt in Karate in the seventies. During the early 80's he managed a Youth Fitness Program in the Austin community in Chicago, where he also coached basketball. His involvement with the physical fitness of youth continued throughout this decade as he utilized much of his time as a wrestling and fitness coach for neighborhood youth. Still today, he has worked with youth from Whitney Young High School's basketball teams-male and female. He has also given much of his expertise and time to Leo High School, Carver High School, and other youth athletes from all over the City of Chicago.

McClellan began weight lifting and became proficient with the guidance of skilled mentors, such as internationally known body builders, Charles Glass, Mike Christian, Ed Coan (the strongest man in the world-pound for pound), and John Parrillo, who also owns a line of nutritional supplements and exercise equipment. This exposure and training allowed McClellan to prepare himself as a training partner for several enthusi-asts who eventually became champions and won titles for the Illinois Cup, Mr. Illinois,

Mr. U.S.A., Mr. America and Mr. Universe.

Mind Body and Spirit
For 20 years, his commitment to wellness has included the education of clients on how the daily diet is vital to living better and longer. For three years, he served on the inter-national board for Earth Save, an organization founded by John Robbins, author of "Diet for a New America." Their mission is to bring the world closer to a plant-based lifestyle. He was a member of Roots of Peace, a Chicago-based vegan group, whose mission is to educate the children and community about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.

On a Mission . . .
To show clients how fitness can be achieved through a holistic approach that enhances the mind, strengthens the body, and nurtures the spirit. To coach and encourage clients in achieving the proper balance in their pursuit of a totally fit lifestyle.

Cornell's Statement of Commitment
"I want clients to understand what needs to be done, and to commit to doing it.
Living a healthy life is just one way to give thanks to God for the life He has given us."

Recognition of Achievements
The media has covered McClellan's fitness career over the years on WMAQ-TV (Chicago), WGN-TV (Chicago), in Jet and Ebony Magazines, Lifeline Magazine, a pub-lication by the National Black Publishers Association, and the cover story featured in N'Digo Magapaper. He is also a recipient of the "Fit to Serve" Service Award, 2002 (presented by the AAAFP-African-American Association of Fitness Professionals), and the "Award of Excellence" 2002 (presented by Creativity United, Inc. for providing personal fitness training to their staff of models).

Public Service-Public Speaking
He has participated in various seminars with such notables as Howard Lymon, nation-ally known for the legal battle he shared with Oprah Winfrey against the Beef Industry, as well as Robert Cohens, author of many books on the use of dairy products and other natural nutritional issues. In 2002, McClellan was certified in the program, "Food is Elementary." This is a hands-on curriculum for young students, developed by Antonia Demas of Cornell University.

Often invited to serve as guest lecturer and workshop facilitator, McClellan has pre-sented to groups, such as MOCHA (a national stay-at-home mothers' support group), church and community organizations. Most recently, he served on panels for expos sponsored by Chicago Conscious Living and Today's Black Woman.


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