Hilary Duff is having a moment and has been for the past year. In May, she shot some photos nude for Women’s Health, and now she’s on the cover of Women’s Health Australia, showing off her toned body once more. Dominic Leeder, Duff’s personal trainer, shared with Women’s Health Australia his top tips for getting into shape like the star and maintaining.
Don’t try to race to the finish line
Slow and steady is a good way to go about training. Leeder notes that people often make the unrealistic goal of losing a significant amount of weight in a short period of time. He feels this trend is often exacerbated by celebrities. “Reaching your fitness goals is more of a marathon than a sprint,” says Leeder, which means the main focus for his clients is “not just to reach their goal but to keep their goal. And doing it quickly often doesn’t allow them to keep it.”
Get into resistance training
While cardio may seem like the obvious place to put your energy when trying to get in shape, it’s not always the answer, says Leeder. He and Duff decided to focus on resistance training since the goal was to build lean muscle mass and give her metabolism a boost. Leeder is well aware that people often stray away from weights for fear of getting “big and bulky,” but bulking up is not that easy, he says, so go into resistance training without that concern.
Leeder describes supersetting two types of exercises for Duff’s training. “We are looking at around 75 to 85 percent of her one rep max,” he explains. “So, that’s a weight that you can quite happily do eight to 10 reps with perfect form. After that, we would then drop the weight down and do eight reps at a slower rep range.” He says he’s found it to be the best way to gain lean muscle when mixed with the right diet.
Leeder shares an example of a chest superset he would do with Duff. “If you were to perform eight push-ups, and then straight away you get onto a stability ball with some light weights and perform a chest press with the rep range of a 4-2-1 count. That’s four seconds down, holding for two at the bottom of the movement, pressing up for one.” Duff did four one-hour sessions a week, then moved to five sessions weekly.
Keep the carbs in moderation
Leeder says complex carbs are imperative—in his opinion. “If you don’t have carbs, your body will use other things for energy, like protein,” he says. When it comes to resistance training, protein needs to go to building lean muscle. For Duff’s macro split, Leeder had her do “50 percent complex carbs, 30 percent healthy fats and 20 percent protein.”
Don’t let it take over your life
Leeder says that even Duff, who looks incredible and worked hard to get there, feels her family and work are more important. “She wants to spend time with her family because she spends very little time with them when she’s hard at work, so every moment counts,” he says.
Once Duff reached the initial goal the duo had set, Leeder worked on finding a way to maintain what she achieved while also allowing her time to enjoy her life. “I think it’s useful for people to know that it was a struggle,” he says of the balancing act.