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A Day in the Life of Tony Little
by Evan Mestman, MS, RD, CDE, CDN with Lori Cascone
As America's Personal Trainer, Tony Little has become an icon in the health and fitness world. As a certified personal trainer, physical fitness specialist, and former national bodybuilding champion, Little has sold more than 15 million copies of his exercise videos worldwide, and has developed his own line of exercise equipment, apparel, vitamins, and a magazine.
We caught up with him recently had to grab him in one of his rare moments of solitude and inactivity to discuss how he spends a typical day.
Q: What time do you start your day?
A: I wake up at 5:30 a.m., and I'm at the health club at 6:00. I don't take any business til after 10.
Q: What is your workout routine?
A: I do 40 minutes of cardio and six to eight sets of abs in the morning. At night, around 5 or 6 p.m., I do 30 minutes of cardio and 45 minutes of weight resistance [progressive push-pull exercise].
Q: Do you eat breakfast?
A: I don't eat anything before I work out ... I eat around 10:00. For breakfast, I have three poached eggs, a bowl of oatmeal [two cups], and two slices of whole wheat toast, dry. Sometimes I switch from oatmeal to pancakes.
Q: So what is your power meal, the most important meal of the day?
Q: You're not a coffee drinker?
A: Yes, I am. I'd like to have a picture taken with me and Juan Valdez saying, "And you thought it was energy!"
Q: What is the most important part of your day, when you have the most energy and do your most creative thinking?
A: Morning. I come up with 80 or 90 percent of my goals while I'm on the treadmill. It's the best time for planning and creative thinking. When you walk, it tends to stimulate creativity. Your mind just goes everywhere.
"I'd like to have a picture taken with me and Juan Valdez saying, 'And you thought it was energy!"
Q: What is your healthiest habit?
A: I go by the "temple theory," where your body is a temple five days a week, and for two days, it's for amusement. On Saturday and Sunday, I do whatever I want and eat whatever I want. But five days a week, I work out.
Q: What is your weakness, or worst habit?
A: French fries and cheesecake. Oh, and my personal female relationships I miss having one [when traveling extensively].
Q: What do you do to relax?
A: I'm with my two kids [on weekends]. I go horseback riding with my daughter or play baseball with my son, or we go to amusement centers. They're 12 and 13 years old.
Q: Do you ever sit on the couch and veg? Watch TV?
A: I'd rather read. I like "escapism" novels mostly Dean Koontz. It takes me out of reality.
Q: We know you travel extensively. How do you maintain all those healthy habits when you're not at home?
A: The hotels have to have good gyms more than two treadmills. That's a priority. And when you go to a restaurant, they're supposed to service you provide you with customized cooking. You have to ask for what you want.
Q: What advice can you give people who want to start taking better care of themselves?
A: If you can afford it, find a personal trainer who can give you the right input ... it's more customized to you and your needs. A highly motivated trainer is better than a technical trainer.
Q: If someone just wants to kick-start a healthier lifestyle, such as getting more sleep or avoiding junk food, what do you suggest?
A: Get some type of recreational activity, such as walking. Start small and take realistic steps.
Q: How do you think cyfit.com can help people make a commitment to healthier living?
A: I think [cyfit.com can help] because of its interactiveness. The interaction with a personal trainer increases effectiveness.
I suggest working out in the morning. You have energy for the day, and you don't have to worry about it later on. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions. They're [cyfit.com's trainers] there to help you.
Evan Mestman is a registered dietician at cyfit.com.