Jennifer Aniston workout: I tried Friends star’s exercise regime – here’s what happened
Jennifer Aniston’s workout regime tried and tested: PT Lucy Gornall copied
the Friends actress’ weekly exercise plan – from boxing and core work to the elliptical
machine, Pilates and the 15-15-15 routine. Here’s everything that happened
At 53, Jennifer Aniston is practically ageless and her figure seems to defy the test of time. Although good sleep, a well-rounded diet and a myriad of fancy products are no doubt priorities in Jen’s stay-young toolbox, exercise has always been important to the Friends actress.
So, in a bid to be more like Jen, I figured I’d give her workout regime a go for one week, and was surprised by the results.
What is Jennifer Aniston’s daily workout routine?
From yoga through to skipping and from spinning to boxing, Jen’s workout routine is a mixed bag. You could say it is a jack-of-all-trades type of regime. But what’s the reason behind the wide variety of exercises?
Her trainer Leyon Azubuike told Women’s Health US that he rotates her workouts so it always remains challenging. “She’s consistently being challenged – I’m a big fan of switching things up, so the body reacts in a positive way and changes.”
WATCH: Jennifer Aniston kickstarts her morning routine with this health hack
Jennifer herself has spoken out about her love of exercise in the past with boxing being high on her favourites list. “It’s the longest workout I’ve actually stayed with consistently other than yoga. There’s something about the mental aspect of boxing – the drills, your brain has to work, you’re not just sitting on a bike. It’s amazing.”
The actress has also revealed that she’s a fan of stair climbing workouts, telling Well+Good that she likes to “surprise her muscles.”
Friends star Jennifer has always looked after her health
“In Los Angeles, I work out at Rise Nation, which is a fitness climbing cardio class on the stair climber – it’s such a great workout!”
How many days a week does Jennifer Aniston workout?
Leyon revealed that Jennifer trains up to seven days a week. Previously, Jennifer has also admitted to working out almost every day in an interview with InStyle US, or “at least five or six days a week.”
Looks like I will be getting through some gym kit this week then!
How many hours a day does Jennifer Aniston workout?
Jen trains for up to 90 minutes at a time according to Leyon, although this does depend on her filming schedule.
The UK’s NHS recommends that everyone does at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week. This should be spread across the week. I’ll certainly be hitting these targets!
As a personal trainer myself alongside being a health and fitness journalist, I am all for the kind of variety that Jen enjoys; it helps to keep up motivation, which for many people is the key reason why they struggle to maintain a consistent workout routine.
Jennifer rotates her workouts so they’re always a challenge
It’s also crucial to work different muscles in the body – this helps to ensure the body is in balance and allows muscles a break when other body parts are being worked. Jen’s love of yoga, which she claims began in 2005, is also great to help rebalance and realign, and address any muscular imbalances in the body. It’s ideal to help calm the mind and improve breathing, too.
I’m a six-day-a-week exerciser, enjoying a mixture of high-intensity workouts with resistance-based training and a shed load of running. It didn’t seem too different to Jen’s regime. I present to you – a week of exercising à la Aniston…
Day 1 – Boxing and core work
I figured I would kick off the week with a boxing workout, so I opted for the boxing studio at my go-to gym, Fitness First London Bridge Cottons.
Here, I blasted an Avicii playlist and worked in rounds of three minutes, taking a 30-second breather between each round. Jen previously described boxing to InStyle as “a great way to get aggression out’”
Lucy Gornall put Jennifer’s varied regime to the test
“You get a mental release of all this crap you’re taking into your ears and eyes every day and have little fantasy moments imagining who you’re punching.” I hear ya, Jen.
I let loose on the boxing bag for 60 minutes throwing in some jump rope work too. It’s safe to say by the end of it, I was fully drenched.
Jennifer has previously alluded to being a fan of skipping. She once told Shape that “jumping rope is a killer workout.” That it is, that it is. Jen also showed off some jump skills in a video for Vital Proteins.
I wanted to do a full 90 minutes of exercise, so I used the remaining 30 to work on my core.
“She can hold a two or three-minute plank rather easily,” Leyon previously said in a Women’s Health US interview. “We do a lot of things that stretch the core, so we’ll do things where she’s hanging on a pullup bar, then she pulls her knees up and brings them back down. We’ll use a sit up to shock the body occasionally, but it’s not a major part of our core regimen.”
For half an hour, I worked my abs with a mixture of leg raises, three-minute planks and the odd sit up. Core workouts are key; a strong core helps with posture, day-to-day activities such as carrying bags and it even helps swerve injuries as the core muscles protect our spine too.
Day one exercise, done. Core equals sore.
Day 2 – Elliptical machine
This slightly awkward-looking machine isn’t one I would normally opt for. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I set foot on an elliptical machine. But, in a bid to be more like Jen, I decided to give it a shot.
Speaking to Vogue, Jennifer once said: “I do 45 minutes of intervals on my elliptical. I raise the incline, run for two minutes, walk for one, run for two… and I do it for 20 minutes straight until I’m just drenched.”
Lucy was NOT a fan of the bike or the elliptical machine
OK, so although I’m unsure on the length of Jen’s workout, I opted for 45 minutes. By the end of it, I was brain dead. The only thing that kept me going throughout these 45 minutes was people watching in the gym. Mixing up the intensity of a workout is a great way to boost physical fitness; it’s also ideal if you’re short on time as you can elicit a greater calorie burn and work the cardiovascular system (AKA heart and lungs) much more intensely.
Day two workout complete, and the elliptical machine is one that I never want to have to use again. Onwards and upwards eh!
Day 3 – Climb class
After Jen admitted to loving a specific climb class in LA, I opted for something similar; a 45-minute VersaClimber class at London’s Sweat By BXR.
If you’ve never used a VersaClimber machine, let me quickly fill you in. These vertical, standing machines involve a cross-crawl movement; essentially it mimics climbing as your hands hold on to two handles and your feet are in foot straps moving up and down in sync. I tend to avoid this machine, as much like the elliptical, I find it mind-numbingly boring BUT, Sweat By BXR certainly makes it enjoyable thanks to great music, bright lights and a seriously motivational instructor.
Jennifer incorporates boxing into her weekly workouts
The VersaClimber is low impact, making it ideal for those who suffer from any form of joint pain, plus it’s a great full-body burner, working several muscles at once.
My body did feel well-worked after this climb class, and I actually did find myself spreading Deep Heat all over my knees before bed. Needless to say, I slept well on night three.
Day 4 – Spin and yoga
Another of Jennifer’s trainers (yes, she has more than one – the dream), Mandy Ingber, who the actress has been training with for over 15 years, revealed to Healthista that Jen mixes spinning with yoga.
“I would do 30 minutes of spinning, 40 minutes of yoga, incorporating some of my hybrids, which is a yoga pose paired with a toning exercise. We would do some power yoga, vinyasa flow and then some yin yoga stretching,” she explained.
Now, spinning has never been a favourite workout of mine. In fact, I am usually clock watching from the get-go. And, although I should certainly incorporate it more, yoga is something that often gets neglected. So this back-to-back session was going to be interesting.
Yoga and Pilates are some of the star’s staples
I opted to do 30 minutes on the bike at my gym, followed by a 40-minute yoga session at home using a follow-along workout on Apple Fitness. On the bike, I alternated between sprints (low resistance, fast speed), and hill climbs (slow speed, higher resistance), working for about 2 minutes on each. I then pegged it home to set up my yoga workout.
I actually really enjoyed the mix of sweat vs serene. The yoga session was like a breath of fresh air for me – as someone who rarely relaxes, I found this to be really calming. Plus, every muscle in my body was firing up as I struck various yoga poses.
End of day four and I am feeling very zen.
Day 5 – Resistance band and running
The Horrible Bosses star has often been papped out on runs, but after an injury back in autumn 2020, Jennifer had to swerve the runs, temporarily.
Speaking to People, she explained: “I haven’t been able to run, which is my love. I’m going to slowly start incorporating that into my workouts again.” Just like Jen (swoon, we’re clearly so alike), running is my love too. So, I decided to run for an hour, and then do 30 minutes of resistance band training.
Just like Jen, running is Lucy’s passion
Why the bands? Leyon previously revealed he and Jen were “big on the bands”. Resistance bands are a great, low impact way of working muscles harder, keeping them under tension a little longer, which is key for helping build strength and for toning up. Plus, bands are super portable and can be taken anywhere and everywhere.
I opted for a 30-minute lower-body workout, incorporating the resistance band. Think squats, side steps and hip thrusts; high reps and minimal rest between exercises. This 30 minutes was a little bit like torture for my legs, which had already been on a 13km run. I knew the resistance band could be tough, but not THIS tough. I contemplated calling it a day after 15 minutes, but in the name of work, I continued.
Day fives done, and my glutes feel like they may just drop off.
Day 6 – Pilates
Jennifer has openly discussed her love of Pilates; a restorative form of exercise. During her period of injury, she admitted that Pilates became a love of hers.
Speaking to Well + Good last year she explained: “I went from being so physical to then not being able to move, and the only thing I was allowed to do was Pilates, which became one of my favourite things. Not only is it a really wonderful form of exercise because of how it rehabilitates the body, but it’s really been transformative.”
Much like yoga, Pilates isn’t something I’ve done a lot of, but I’m always happy to give it a go. I headed to a studio not far from my home for an hour-long session. I was so engaged in the class that I actually completely lost track of time, and before I knew it, 60 minutes was over. I can quite happily say that Pilates will be something I do again. My upper arms have never felt pain like it, as they were kept under tension for so long. And, like I always say to my clients, it’s not the number of reps that you do, it’s the time that muscles are kept under tension that will spark the biggest change in strength and tone.
End of day six and I feel pretty champion.
Day 7- Spin, elliptical, run
Jennifer told InStyle of her 15-15-15 routine last year: “I’m going back to my 15-15-15, which is a 15-minute spin, elliptical, run.”
One of the great things about doing just 15 minutes on three different workouts is that it helps to avoid overuse injury, something that can become a problem if you repetitively do the same workout again and again, such as running for example. So, back to the bike I went for a quarter of an hour of cycling. Followed by the elliptical (my favourite…) and then the run (my actual favourite favourite).
Jennifer is a fan of the 15-15-15 routine
I made sure to go fairly hard on each to really get the most out of each block of work. Surprisingly, the bike and elliptical were far more bearable this time; working for less time on one machine really does help time to go quicker. After 45 minutes, I was done, however it felt like I had only been working for about 10 minutes thanks to switching it up so often.
Day seven done and my body feels like it’s been worked, without feeling too sore or overly tired.
What did I learn from a week of training like Jennifer?
1. Her routine is doable
We so often hear of celebrity workout routines being somewhat like torture. Take Adele’s three-workouts-a-day routine for example. And although we’d like to try them out, there just aren’t enough hours in a day. Plus, who has the mental capacity for such gruelling regimes!?
On the flip side, Jennifer’s week of workouts was actually very doable and nothing was too eccentric. Skipping can be done at home, as can exercise with a resistance band, whilst running just requires a pavement and a pair of good fitting shoes. Of course, boxing, spinning, elliptical and the VersaClimber do require gym equipment or a class, but they’re all totally within reach. All hail Jennifer, who has proven that you can have an A-list body without going OTT on workouts.
2. I felt calmer
Yoga and Pilates are two workouts that I never incorporate into my regime, however, they really did make a world of difference to my mental health. In our busy worlds, so many of us rarely take time out to just chill, but this week, I was forced to. Plus, if you’re anything like me, throwing in high intensity workouts alongside a hectic work and social schedule just leaves your mind whirring constantly.
3. I still despise spin
Sorry, but nothing will make me like spin. I’ve tried everything from Britney Spears themed classes through to spin classes in a nightclub. Nothing can make me enjoy the bike. So, Jen’s 15-15-15 workout was actually a breath of fresh air as 15 minutes on the bike is JUST about bearable.
As a trainer, I always encourage doing what you love. Otherwise, you just cannot expect to maintain motivation. Or, try to find ways to make that workout more enjoyable. Often, it’s a case of trial and error; going to different classes and sussing out what’s right for you. Spin isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so if you don’t fancy it, choose something else. There are a hundred and one ways to workout and spin does not need to be one of them.
Lucy was starving after seven days of training like Jen
4. Mixing up my workouts kept me motivated
Such a varied week of workouts was actually really great. I wanted to get up every day and workout, which in fairness I usually do anyway, but I REALLY wanted to get up and workout this week. Knowing that I was doing something different to the previous day definitely left me excited.
5. HIIT makes you hungry
Aside from the yoga and Pilates, all the workouts I did were of a high intensity, making me sweaty and exhausted. In turn, this left me ravenous. I have a bottomless pit of a stomach at the best of times, but this week I was starving. Nothing filled me.
Jennifer claims to be a fan of intermittent fasting, opting to skip breakfast, but although this was tempting to follow, it was a no-go for me. I needed food and I needed it all day, breakfast included. If I had taken a rest day this week, it might have reset my appetite a little, but I threw in these high intensity workouts amid my already hectic life and I really felt as though inhalation was the only way to eat.
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