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Simone de la Rue, Lacey Stone, and Gunnar Peterson are the most sought-after trainers of today, but it’s a success rooted in blood, sweat, and tears. Well, perhaps not blood. Regardless, to be a fitness professional at their caliber is no easy feat—a true testimony to the power of perseverance, dedication, and focus that we can all be inspired by.
“Nothing glamorous about it other than hard work,” confirms Simone, who trains women we love Chrissy Teigen and Jennifer Garner. “My typical day starts at 5 am, with my first in home private client at 6 am, followed by another house visit and then I check in on both my West Hollywood and Brentwood studios. I will teach class and another private session before going into the office where I will check in with my NYC studio by phone and then spend the afternoon working on building the brand.”
Photos courtesy of @BODYBYSIMONE
Simone explains that the back-to-back training sessions that she begins her mornings with are just one aspect of the job—a successful trainer also needs to spend time running and further developing his or her enterprise. “It’s easy for people to underestimate the physical and mental effort required to run a business,” she says.
Lacey’s day-today reality reflects this split schedule as well. “I usually wake up around 5:30 am. Around 7, I will either lead two 45-minute spin classes in a row or lead an hour-long team bootcamp. I love leading workouts, but I believe the real coaching happens after the class is over, so I usually stick around for about an hour to field questions from my students,” she says about her usual morning. Then, it’s time to switch into business-mode, now more than ever with the new virtual training platform Lacey's built, allowing her to coach women all around the world. “I head home to get on calls for a product I’m endorsing, create content for my launching virtual platform, respond to social media questions, go to an event...”
Photos courtesy of @LACEYSTONEFITNESS
It’s a long and strenuous schedule, but it’s also the norm for their profession. “I don’t know that people process the hours,” explains Gunnar, who works with some of our very own (Emma Grede and Khloé Kardashian, that is!). “Trainers are up and physical for a lot of hours during the day. There are a lot of physically demanding jobs in the world, training blends the physically demanding with mental focus and connecting with whoever you are working with all day.”
But drive, a knack for business and branding alongside physical ability, and an aptitude for early mornings and long nights is still not everything. “That they have to be all in,” says Gunnar of aspiring trainers. “They have to see it as a career, not a job.”
“Exercise is the cornerstone of my life. I start my day with it, I use it to get me out of any rut-mental or physical, and it serves to keep me energized for the next task at hand. As far as instilling that in others-my clients or my kids, I don’t preach it, I just execute and set an indelible example.”
Photos courtesy of @GUNNARFITNESS
Top fitness trainers understand and embrace Gunnar’s key takeaway-- that success requires them to view their profession as an absolute lifestyle. Lacey, too, reiterates the importance of this reality. “Practice what you preach. If you say you're going to eat this and you won't drink and you'll work out hard, you better do that, because then you're authentic and people will believe you. Look the part, act the part, and work your ass off.”
And last but not least, as it goes for any professional trajectory, it really helps to find enjoyment in every step of the process. “I absolutely love my job and would not change it for the world!” says Simone. Lacey agrees, crediting pure passion as the most important driving force behind her successful career. “At the end of the day, when you're tired, and you get knocked down, you get yourself back up and you keep going!”