Interview: Lauren Duhamel

When I interviewed Lauren Duhamel- personal trainer, influencer, and (aptly named) “Energizer Barbie,” I had just been diagnosed with walking-pneumonia. This detail is only relevant because it was a direct display of Duhamel’s ability to “lift spirits,” a catchphrase of hers that appears as her Instagram bio. After training Victoria Secret angel Taylor Hill, Duhamel’s social media following blew up. But her continuous and steady rise in the industry can be credited to her positive vibe and personal connection she tries to make with each and every person that walks, runs, or lunges into her life. Little did I know, she has only been in the biz for a little over a year.

On her daily schedule…“I teach two classes right now, plus collaboration events with cool companies. A typical day, I have around 4 clients, two meetings, and then a small group training. Other days are crazier. The mornings are always nuts. I like to get up at 6 and plow through my day, so I can go home early and have time for other things. I love to cook. A little Lauren time.”

What clients come to her for…“Everybody wants inner-thighs and abs. We want female cores, we want long, sexy lines. There are very specific techniques to doing that. Form is so important… I will literally stop a class if I see incorrect form.”

On working at ModelFit…“I didn’t even breathe for the first hour that I taught, I was so nervous. It wasn’t anything that I had any knowledge of. It was a blessing in disguise because it helped me find my voice. From there, I evaluated what they were doing and people would complain, “Oh, it’s not hard enough. Or, oh, it’s not this. Or, I want a specific class just for abs.” Then I realized that there was this big void in the fitness industry – everything is gender neutral. What will change the female body. So, I started doing research by taking other classes.”

Source: @lifeoflaurenashley

On social media…“In 2013, I went to burning man and back then there was no cell phone service. The biggest, eye-opening experience for me was creating all of these living-in- the-present moments. Real people, real interactions, face to face. Looking at someone and thinking I’ll never forget your name because we are sitting with each other. I deleted my social media [after that]. Getting into it again was really difficult for me. First, I wanted to make sure that I was authentic. Everything that is on there is from the heart. It’s time consuming. I’d rather not write if it doesn’t provide some kind of value or representative of who I am. I think it is the key to business right now. I don’t have an agent. I’ve had many different offers. I’m a mess most of the time. I think being relatable is important.”

“I deleted my Snapchat. I don’t have Facebook. I think one form of social media is plenty. I think the problem with social media is that it gets very addicting. It takes a lot of time to build an authentic following. You’re the one doing all the liking and researching. I don’t pay for any services.”

“It’s definitely a tool to bring people together in a big world. It’s not about me, it’s about everyone else. I don’t want people to think it’s all about me; it’s all about the tribe. Find them, love them, support them, lift each other up, that’s the whole point. The less focus on me the better. Obviously, there are days where that’s just what it is, but the community is much more important that yourself.”

 On misconceptions about her job…“I don’t eat anything bad… that I eat vegetables all day and lean protein. I’m not encouraging people to eat badly; I just want people to find balance. That part is challenging. I also think that eating is very personal. So, I could give advice to someone but it’s not necessarily going to work for them. [Another misconception] is that since I teach fitness, that’s all I do. That I spend my whole day in the gym. [Although], I’m sure it looks that way. Am I really working out all day? No. I take my hour class. I take my weekends off. I need it, my body needs rest.”

“People say to me that they are nervous to meet me. They think I’m intimidating. I think fitness itself can be intimating… walking into any class.”

On diet tips… “My big thing is portion control. If I slow down my eating, I realize that I’m full way sooner than if I started housing my food. Sit down, take a minute, and enjoy your food. Just eat less. I love vegan ice cream, Van Leuween peanut butter with dark chocolate, I die. Halfway through, I’m usually good [and stops eating it]. Treat yourself but within the right means. You don’t have to overindulge all the time. And that goes with drinking or everything I do that’s a little outside of the box in terms of fitness. It’s all about moderation.”

“I think that people don’t realize that sugar and calories sneak up on you. Sneaky sugars – what fruit are you eating, apples have a ton of sugar. The juice world for example, I think it’s bullshit. I think you’re completely ruining your metabolism and I think it’s completely insane. Fake food, like protein bars, etc. you need to sit down and eat real food. Food is fuel for the body.”

“You can eat these things [red meat], but know what you’re getting yourself into. Grass fed.. Don’t go to Peter Luger’s where its slathered in butter. Go buy and take the time to make it at home.”

On morning routines…“I typically get up at 6:30 during the week. Fridays, I try to not have a 7 am start, so I’ll sleep in a little bit. On the weekends, I’ll sleep as much as I want. I try to catch up. I usually don’t go to bed before midnight, which I’m not recommending. I’m a place in my life where I’m excited to be alive. And I like to sit and reflect on my day.”

“If it’s a 6 am day, my Nespresso machine is my savior. I like the purple and the blue Nepresso capsules… just plain black.”

On supplements…“I’m not a supplement person. Every now and then, I’ll throw an electrolyte packet in my water but not normally.”

On breakfast…“I don’t like breakfast food that much. Breakfast is just not my jam. (NPI) I do love natural coconut yogurt – Anita’s – very high in fat. That and berries in the morning would be my number one go to thing. You do berries, do some paleo granola, that would be a breakfast that I eat for sure.”

On cheat meals…“Yes. I’m half-Italian, so pasta. I like Rubirosa, I like Sauce. I enjoy making Italian food. Eataly is six blocks away, so…”

On alcohol…“I like wines from Burgundy, France, red or white. I know that’s probably a little snobby… but If I was going to have one drink during the week that would be it. Or otherwise, I’ll do a mezcal on the rocks with some lime.”

On cardio…“It’s good for your heart and for your health. I don’t think you need to do it everyday. But find something you love, for me, I love boxing. I’m not big on running. Boxing is great for your core. I see results quickly, like did it this morning and I’m dead right now. It’s great for your mind and that mind/body connection. Boxing is a dance. You’re using your footwork. It’s very personal, it’s your time.”

On workout classes…“Ashley Wilking Barry’s Bootcamp any day of the week. She just started there full time. I do private lessons at Overthrow with Julian Herrera. I train 1x every 10 days with this guy Nick at S10. It’s very opposite what I normally do. They’re great, because they teach form. I think it’s good to get out of your comfort zone.”

On workout schedule… “I work out 4-5 days a week for about an hour.”

On hair and skin maintenance…“I will try and keep my hair unwashed for 3 days. My hair was taking a beating and something had to change. I do suffer from breakouts. I keep makeup wipes in my bag when I’m really busy. I’m big on purell. Everyday I put on a tinted moisturizer, lip-gloss, and curl my eyelashes.”

On NYC brunch…“abcV is amazing. I also like Souen. Those are my two go-tos.

On eliminating foods…“I don’t eat dairy because I have hormonal breakouts. I’ll have pizza every now and then, but on my normal schedule no.”

On NYC nightlife… “My favorite bar is Tom & Jerry’s. I’m a home person. I enjoy hosting people. Something about seeing all my friends in my home makes me really happy. Hosting a dinner party… that’s all I need. My people, my music… I like to be a curator.”

On workout gear…“If I’m feeling sassy, I’ll wear Michi. I really like Port de Bra, super comfortable, really girly. Sometimes motivation for me is looking in my closet and being like, ‘that’s sparkly. That’s what I need right now.’ I’m not partnered with brands… if I like it, I let people know [through tags on social media].”

(Featured Photo: The Coveteur)

Find Lauren @lifeoflaurenashley on Instagram and on her website.




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