Even the President and first lady need a little direction when it comes to staying in shape. Self magazine recently got the chance to speak with the nation's "first" personal trainer, the Obamas' fitness consultant Cornell McClellan. He shared the scoop on the First Family's fitness routines ... and yes, the first lady works hard for those toned, sculpted arms!
How did you end up working with President Obama and the first lady?
I joke sometimes and say I had a crystal ball. I started working with the first lady about 14 years ago and the president about 11 years ago. They were always very concerned about health and fitness and it is certainly their lifestyle -- that's how we started our relationship. I owned a personal training and wellness facility in Chicago; they were members and they asked me to think about coming to the White House. I thought: This is my duty. This is something I must do.
Does the first couple work out together?
They work out together sometimes; they're both on separate regimens. They do some similar things and some different from one another. We do a lot of strength, interval stuff, yoga, boxing, all kinds of stuff.
Does Mrs. Obama focus on cardio, weight training or both?
I believe in cross training. I wouldn't want her or anyone stuck to any kind of cardio. We do many separate things.
So how does she get those famous arms?
Certainly one of the things we do is make sure she works her entire body so she's not only strong, she's symmetrically toned and fit.
Does she work extra hard when she has a special event coming up, or wants to wear a certain dress?
Not in particular -- we work extra hard all the time.
President Obama loves basketball, and you were a basketball coach. Do you incorporate that into his workouts?
Not much, because when he finds time, that's something he'll do on his own.
Do you ever have to give the first couple a "push" when they don't feel like exercising?
One of the things I say about them is they're the best clients -- they're always motivated.
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