Christine Bullock is one of the most inspirational celebrity fitness trainers in Los Angeles with a wealth of knowledge regarding exercise, health and nutrition. I recently met her at a press event in Santa Monica earlier this summer where she taught an incredible fitness class followed by a Q and A session on nutrition and healthy living. I learned so much at this event and was able to easily apply the information to my own daily life. Christine also introduced her new DVD, "Evolution20," a 60-day high performance fitness and nutritional program. This series of exercises offers the most effective way to get lean in only 20 minutes a day with no equipment needed. Christine is a beauty from the inside out and her zest for life and passion to be healthy are truly motivational. I caught up with her so she could share some of her tips and tricks on how to lead a healthy lifestyle, eat well and get in great shape!
Melissa Meyers: What are your top five most effective exercises to sculpt and slim down the body?
Christine Bullock: With the right exercises you can truly sculpt and shape the body. Like most ladies I love a feminine, hourglass shape. We can achieve that corseted look by tightening the inner and outer obliques so that they wrap tightly around the waistline from 360 degrees. My Sweaty Angel and Yogi Bicycle exercises are rotational core movements, so they work the muscles that squeeze around your waist. These moves are extra effective and intense because they require you to use the entire body. I love to use the whole body when focusing on working arms and back (with my plank swimmer) and toning legs (with my Leg Pull) as well. Lastly, you can't neglect the butt. I always make sure to get explosive exercises into my workout -- not only do they shape the tush quickly, but jumping moves also ward off cellulite! I make an effort to throw a few Plie Jumps into every workout session.
Begin lying on your back with your arms extended in a t-shape, your legs long and your feet hip width distance apart.
Engage the core, as you lift your right arm and left leg. Rotate your torso toward the lifted leg as you float your chest and head off the ground.
Twist deeply through the core as you reach opposite arm and leg together, while lengthening through the leg.
Slowly roll back down through the spin to start position. Complete 15 times on each side.
Begin on your back, legs extended straight up over hips and arms extended straight up over shoulders. Clasp your hands together in a steeple grip and engage your core to float your head and shoulders off the ground. This is your starting position.
Crunch up and reach your hands forward and to the outside of your right leg while you lower your left leg to a hover above the ground.
Return to start and alternate legs. Complete 15 times on each side.
Begin standing with heels together, legs slightly turned out, hands on hips. This is your start position.
Bend your knees, pressing into feet, and jump into the air as you extend legs open. Land in a plie with legs slightly turned out and wider than hip distance. Press off the floor again, drawing legs together, returning to start position. Repeat.
Begin in a plank position, hands shoulder distance, feet hip distance and core braced. Float your right arm forward along the ear.
Now like a swimmer, sweep your right arm in a large controlled circle -- reaching back towards your toes, then towards the sky and then along the ear again.
Try not to let your hips move at all. Return your right arm to the ground and repeat the move on the left side, continue alternating sides.
Sit with legs extended. Take hands behind you on the floor, fingers facing the back. Press into arms and feet to lift the glutes and legs off ground into a reverse plank. This is your start position.
Press into left foot to kick the right leg straight to sky. Lower the right leg to the ground. Repeat with the left leg. Alternate kicks.
MM: Tell us about your new DVD, Evolution20 and why it is so effective.
CB: Evolution20 was developed from years of working in the fitness industry and discovering what worked best. I'm in better shape every year because I learned to add diversity into my workouts while keeping them short and efficient. There are 10 different workouts in Evolution 20, broken into 2 phases which increases in difficulty. Each workout is only 20 minutes for two reasons. First, everyone can fit 20 minutes into your schedule -- so you can make fitness a daily habit even with the craziest schedule. Second, an effective 20 minute workout will have better and faster results than a traditional 60 minute workout. I provided a 60-day calendar so each day has a different workout, reducing any plateau in your results. In addition, it's a complete health program because I have added over 43 recipes laid out in a 60-day program, including variations on pizza, burgers, chips and even chocolate! Combining effective innovative 20-minute workouts and 20-minute delicious meals and you can achieve the figure of your dreams.
MM: Any tips on on how to stick to your goals?
CB: Know your large goals and make them achievable, but focus on smaller goals that will add up to your main dream. Hate to break it to you, but, "Oprah wasn't built in a day." It takes time to achieve any dream. If you falter, as we all do, don't give up just get back to it. Hang around with family and friends that support your dreams and have similar dreams to re-inspire you when you are having a down day. Don't focus on anyone else's dream or compare your results, we all have a different path. Yours is special. What may look like a set-back is actually a blessing waiting to happen.
MM: How much does diet affect your weight vs. exercise?
CB: Diet is the main component. You are what you eat -- literally. You eat 3-6 times a day and every bit of nutrient or trash you put in your body creates your organs down to your cells. Fitness assists the biological process after you create your chemical makeup with the foods you consume. You can eat healthy fats like avocados, that will create a cellular lipid layer allowing toxins to leave and nutrients to enter or you can eat unhealthy fats like grease and create a lipid layer that is clogged and inefficient. Not only do the wrong foods add weight, they age you rapidly. Eat vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, seeds, nuts, and grains to create the body we were meant to have when we lived off our own lands instead of on fast-food. You have to take charge, because big companies are only concerned about making money not your overall well-being.
MM: What kinds of foods do you eat on a regular basis?
CB: I drink a smoothie for breakfast, so that my first meal is filled with nutrients that are already pre-digested and more bio-available. I add alkaline greens like spinach, spirulina, chlorella, along with super foods like acai, bee pollen, and gogi berries. I top it off with fats from coconut and complete proteins from pea, brown rice, potato and hemp seeds.
I like to have a salad or soup with a protein source for lunch and steamed vegetables with protein for dinner. I snack on a piece of fresh fruit, seeds, or nuts.
MM: What is the best way to prevent and keep away cellulite?
CB: I combat cellulite with diet, exercise and topical treatments. As far a diet, it is so important to cut way back on sugars and processed grains. You can do this by choosing simple whole foods over complex processed food -- think watermelon juice instead of canned fruit punch and baked potato instead of chips. Plus, I sip on real bone broth. It is essentially an easy way to drink and ingest natural collagen. You can make a big batch or buy this frozen at your health food store. For the exercise component I make sure to get my heart rate up every day -- increased circulation prevents cellulite from developing. More specifically, jumping exercises like star jumps and plie jumps are great for working into problem areas. Lastly, I dry brush daily for cellulite reduction and smooth skin. It's a five minute step added onto the beginning of your shower routine that involves brushing the body to stimulate the lymphatic system, increase circulation, and combat cellulite.
MM: Tell us about the importance of digestion and detoxification.
1. Eat pre-digested foods like smoothies and soups to give your digestion a break
2. The body is made of more bacteria than cells! But you need to make sure it is the good bacteria. Eat or drink your probiotics (good bacteria) in fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, and kombucha.
3. Repair the strength and health of the colon wall with bone broth.
4. Lubricate the digestive tract with Aloe fillet
5. Eliminate processed foods, gluten, dairy, and sugar.
MM:What foods make the best and healthiest snacks?
CB:Fresh wholesome food makes the most optimal snack for energy and nutrient consumption. Eat in season organic fruits, fresh raw or steamed vegetables with a dip, or seeds and nuts.
MM:What is your best advice in terms of eating for bikini season?
CB: Eat like you would in any other season. Consume in season organic wholesome foods. Reduce bloat by starting the day with a smoothie so your digestive process doesn't get overloaded with work. Eat steamed vegetables instead of a raw salad because it can be more difficult for the body to digest. Stay away from processed foods, gluten, processed salt, dairy and sugar. Drink lots of water and use my new line of body skincare products, Kayo-Better Body Care for a quick tone-up which will be launching soon!
MM: What inspired your passion for health and fitness?
CB: I realized from a young age that I could use fitness to reduce stress from external sources, experience my true power in a physical form, challenge myself to perform what seemed beyond my strength, and use these examples to translate success into other areas of my life. As a young ballerina I would leave the stress of my parents divorce or school bullying at the ballet barre and find my personal power. As an adult I use nutrition and fitness, to develop the energy and strength I need to perform at peak performance in my job, my family and eventually my children.
Christine has been teaching fitness from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles for over a decade, although she has been in the fitness world her entire life. She began as a ballerina for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre but she wanted to study a wider range of fitness methodologies and started teaching yoga while attending college. Since then she has gone on to earn a Bachelors in Psychology and Education, appear as a finalist in Women's Health Magazine's national search for "The Next Fitness Star", and has become an ambassador for fitness fashion clothing lines. Christine is also the go-to wellness expert and contributes to many publications like Yahoo Health, Style.com, InStyle Magazine, Women's Health Magazine, In Touch Magazine, Life & Style and many more. Christine enjoys paddle boarding, gardening, walking her two puppies and beating boys at push-up competitions. She is currently writing a book on healthy living and will be coming out with a skincare line soon!