As the multitalented Ms Klass launchesher new workout programmeMyBody by Myleene, we talk to the starabout how she juggles fitness andmotherhood with her career – and howshe’s helping other women do the same.
Look, this is why I struggle withweights,’ says Myleene Klass asshe pushes back a sleeve on heroversized grey onesie to reveala slim arm that she extendsoutwards, at shoulder height. Myleene’selbow appears to bend the wrong way,her slender forearm arcing down to thefloor unnervingly as she explains that shestruggles to control her hyper-mobilejoints when she’s working out. Yet ithasn’t deterred Myleene from includingthree strength workouts in her newfitness programme, MyBody by Myleene(MyBodyByMyleene.com; £49.95),in which she performs increasinglydifficult exercises with a sandbell(sand-filled pouch).It’s both impressive and typical ofthe former Hear’Say singer, whosesheer determination (combined withintelligence, charm and a hefty helpingof talent) has seen her overcome physicaltrauma (a go-karting accident in 2006damaged discs in her spine) to becomesomething of a superwoman – classicalmusician, mother to daughters Ava, 10,and Hero, six, TV and radio presenter,model, fashion designer, charityambassador and now fitness queen.
Body by Myleene How To Stay Fit Photo Gallery
‘I LOVE BOXING AND THE RELEASE YOU GET FROM IT. EVERYBODY WANTS TO FEEL ALITTLE BIT ROCKY!’
‘I’ve been asked to do a fitness DVD orjournal at least once a year for the past 10years but it’s never been the right time untilnow,’ says Myleene. ‘I’m on the cusp ofturning 40, and realise that I need tomaintain my strength to keep up with mychildren and to enjoy my life to the fullest– and I know there are thousands ofwomen out there in the same boat, who arebusy with careers or families or both, andwant to reclaim some time for themselvesand regain their confidence and strength.’
Fitness for all‘
I put the DVD together with my friends inmind; some have had loads of kids, someare career women with no kids, some arestay-at-home mums: I’ve tried to make itaccessible and feasible. There’s a weeklyplanner so you can tick off your workouts– tracking what you’re doing to boostyour motivation.’Ever since appearing on our screens inthat white bikini in the jungle on I’m ACelebrity… Get Me Out of Here back in2006, Myleene’s body has been thesubject of dozens of articles charting herfluctuating shape, from her pregnancies toher willowy post-break-up frame. But herability to look sizzling hot in a bikini hasnever wavered.‘Every time I’m a Celebrity… is on, I’masked, “How do you get into a bikini? Howafter two kids, do you still get into yourbikini?” So I felt like this was the right timeto show people this is how I do it – thisis how I stay in shape.’ The result is a12-week functional fitness programme andDVD featuring two types of 30-minuteworkout – MyStrength (loaded movementexercises) and MyPower (fat-burning cardioboxing workouts) at three increasing levelsof difficulty – plus a shorter MyCore section(ab work with adapted Pilates and yogamoves) at two different intensities.
The idea is to complete one workout aweek from each section for four weeksbefore moving up to the next level, all whilecharting your progress on a weekly plannerincluded with the kit. After a viewing, I canconfirm that the workouts are tough andthe continuous cardio moves are sure tochallenge even her fittest fans. It’s nowonder Myleene rocks those bikinis!Yet chatting to Myleene after she’s comeoff set from H&F’s covershoot, it’s clearthat although working out helps her lookphenomenal in every outfit she models (shehas her own clothing range at Littlewoodsplus a kids’ one at Mothercare), keeping fitis about far more than appearances.‘I hurt my back in a go-karting accidentabout 15 years ago and having twochildren exacerbated the injury so I’vegot to look after myself,’ says Myleene.‘Plus, my workload hasn’t slowed down;if anything, it’s ramped up more than everAnd as a very, very busy working mum,I have a lot of people depending on meso I need to keep everything well oiled.‘Although fitness has always been a partof my life, it’s really stepped up in the pasttwo years. I’ve always been able to dip intoit to help me get in shape for a new job,but a switch has clicked and I’m now tryingto incorporate exercise into my life everyday. It’s a new way of living.’
A family affair
This new way of living includes working outin her living room with her PT Louis, herDVD co-presenter, where they are regularlyaccompanied by her daughters andMyleene’s boyfriend, who incidentallylost a stone and a half after following theworkout plan.Fitness is evidently a family affair in theKlass household – Myleene and her children go for runs every Saturdaymorning and also enjoy swimming together‘I work out with Louis, who is justbrilliant because he puts the fun into it.I told him before we filmed the DVD thatI wanted something that mums coulddo with the kids running around and wetested it at my house – with my girls joiningin wearing their Cinderella or WonderWoman costumes.‘Being a mother is an extremely physicaltask and I think a lot of people forget thatI used to love being able to dance a routineand not break a sweat. Now, fitness meansI can still lift up my children, race them inthe pool and be present in whatever it isthat they want me to be present in becauseI’m not too tired.’By releasing this programme, Myleenealso hopes to set the record straight anddispel any illusions that she is naturallysvelte. ‘People often say to me that it’s easy for me [to stay in shape] and that I can eat what I want, but it’s not the case. I have to maintain my figure and I wanted to show that nothing worth having is easy – I do work at it; it’s a fact.’
But Myleene’s at pains to point out that toget results, exercise doesn’t have to takeover your life. ‘I want women to feelempowered and good about themselveswithout having to be Olympians. Theywon’t have to train for hours and hours– it’s about little sessions done by verybusy women. So I’ve made the workoutsmanageable and broken them downinto three disciplines, two of which(the MyPower and MyStrength) canbe shortened.‘There are sections where I say, “Right,if you’ve done your 10 minutes and you’vegot to dash off on the school run, go now.But if you can stay another 10 minutes, onwe go.” I’ve made it work for people’s lives.But it’s still effective. I want fast results – I’drather do 10 minutes of non-easy than anhour of so-so.‘Ultimately, it’s about women takingownership of their happiness, their fitness and their bodies. It’s about getting a littlebit of power back and incorporating fitnessinto your life.
Myleene cites boxing as her favourite workout, partly because she likes to feelstrong and because ‘it helps you get out the frustrations of the day – whether you’reannoyed because someone took yourparking spot or feeling overwhelmedor disempowered.’Then there’s her ‘evil thing’, weighttraining. ‘I find anything with the sandbellreally quite challenging because my jointsare hyper mobile. But I do find afterwardsI feel like J-Lo and I’m ready to take onVegas! It’s a dichotomy – I love the strengthlifting weights gives me but, while I’m doingit, I find it so hard.’ It’s a sentiment mostwomen can relate to and it’s Myleene’sability to connect to us that gives her DVDan authentic edge.‘I’ve shown myself getting things wrongand having to be corrected. I didn’t want tomake it seem too easy – because it’s not– and I didn’t want people to think I coulddo it all perfectly.’ As an example, in thecore workouts, there are two options, onefor those with strong backs, led by Louis,and a moderate version for those, likeMyleene, with weak backs, which she isable to perform.
But don’t be misled, Myleene’sback might be the only part ofher lacking strength; her legsare powerful, her arms, despitethe bendy joints, capable ofsupporting her honed5’5” body in planks andpress-ups, and her abs,which she says ‘camequite late in life; they’vebeen cultivated in the pastfive or six years’ are thestuff of Instagram dreams‘My body has changeda lot with everythingthat’s been thrown at ityet it’s still here and hasmade two beautifulbabies – so now it’sabout supporting it.’The notion ofacknowledging her bodyfor what it has withstoodand achieved doesn’t end withexercise; Myleene firmly believesin eating sensibly. ‘As soon asyou say, “you can’t have a, b, or c”,you want it. I try to make everything asbalanced as I possibly can – I’m foodaware but not so militant I’ve becomeobsessed. Portion control is importantfor me – when I’m happy, my platesize doubles – but it doesn’t stop mesocialising; I see friends for dinnerevery Friday night.’Myleene has a similarly unfussy approachto her health and beauty routine. She’snot ‘crazily into supplements’, and isn’tgenerally fussy about the products she ‘But at the moment, snuggling up on thesofa makes me happy.’ That said, she triesto schedule in a weekly date night withher boyfriend (fashion PR Simon Motson),which ‘usually involves a cocktail. I’mnot a big drinker but I like do like sweets.And curry.’ Does she indulge her vices?‘Absolutely! I do all this hard work so I canlive the life I want to live and enjoy it.’ Andthat’s exactly what she’s doing.
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