16 May 2019
Hollywood’s Top New Personal Trainers: Virtual Instructors and Stuntwomen “Who Kick Ass for a Living”
A-listers including Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon and Hugh Jackman are getting a “powerful shot of motivation and happiness” from at-home equipment like Peloton, Mirror and Tonal and a new line of workout videos.
“The right words at the right time gave me a powerful shot of motivation and happiness,” tweeted Shonda Rhimes recently of what fitness instructor Robin Arzon exhorted via the showrunner’s Peloton bike screen: “Put your crown back on your head and remember who you are!” Reese Witherspoon, Richard Branson and Hugh Jackman are also devotees of the at-home cycling cult that is reportedly on the verge of going public. Financiers have estimated Peloton ($2,245 for the bike, plus $39 monthly subscription), which streams 24 hours of live digital content around the world daily, to be worth $8 billion. Together with other at-home equipment like Tonal and Mirror, these tools are changing the way Hollywood stays fit.
Tonal, which just received another round of funding from investors including Serena Williams, has infiltrated sets, too. Its AI-powered setup, which uses electromagnetic resistance instead of weights, was brought on location for Will Smith’s comedy Bad Boys for Life. Neil Patrick Harris and NFL, NBA and MLB athletes are fans of the $2,995 machine (with $49 monthly subscription) that fits into a wall and uses algorithms to personalize workouts. “We didn’t just put a sensor on a weight system,” says CEO Aly Orady. “We’re fundamentally reinventing strength training.”
Judd Apatow, Alicia Keys and Olivia Wilde have become fans of $1,495 Mirror (plus $39 monthly subscription), which personalizes workouts using biometric data. Says writer-actress and brand adviser Erin Foster: “I use the Mirror on my off-gym days — there are four days a week I’m sitting at my desk for long stretches of time. Sometimes I will turn around, turn it on, and do 20 minutes of yoga. Then I realize I want to do more, so then I’ve snuck in a full workout.” Of the technology that just announced its first partnership with fitness pioneer Tracy Anderson, Foster adds: “It makes sense that a beautiful-looking mirror that has every type of popular workout inside of it would be a hit with celebrities, who are used to everything being on their terms and on their schedule.”
As for plain ol’ workout videos, the latest instructors are now the fittest members of the industry: stuntwomen. Amy Johnston (Deadpool), Michelle Jubilee (The Fate of the Furious) and Caitlin Dechelle (Wonder Woman) lead a series out May 1 on streaming platform Openfit ($39 for three months). Jubilee says the workouts are “designed by women who kick ass for a living” who “use these moves … [to] feel powerful.”