- Lift Your Butt Like a Brazilian
- The Supermodels' Secret to a Perfect Butt
- Climbing Michi's Ladder: Artichokes
- Recipe: Thin Mint Treat
Look at me and tell me if I don't have Brazil in every curve of my body.
Lift Your Butt Like a BrazilianBy Steve Edwards
"Butt is the new abs," says Brazil Butt Lift® creator Leandro Carvalho. "Look at the latest group of Victoria's Secret® Angels [models]; 17 of the 28 are from Brazil. The reason is because they have beautiful butts."
For Carvalho, this is more than a casual observation. His training techniques hit the mainstream when he began transforming waiflike runway models into bootylicious supermodels. Now you're fortunate if you can find a spot in one of his classes, which are taught exclusively at Equinox Fitness Clubs in New York. Luckily, he's gone viral, and now you can do his classes in the comfort of your living room. I sat down with Carvalho recently to chat about Brazil Butt Lift and came away with a lot more: a story about a guy who has always followed his dream, arrived in America without knowing anyone or speaking the language, and is now a celebrity. Today, in part one of this interview, we'll hear about the history of Brazil Butt Lift and why not being able to "spot train" is a myth.
"Five years ago, I met Alessandra Ambrosio, the world-famous supermodel, at a party," Carvalho began our interview. "She didn't like her trainer because she was putting on more muscle than she wanted. She only wanted to work on her waistline, her butt, and the inside and outside of her legs. I knew that by combining dance, Capoeira, and what I had learned as a trainer [that] I could get her the results she wanted. As soon as I did, she began telling her friends, and things escalated from there."
I asked about spot training, which is often considered a myth among trainers, to which he replied, "Those people haven't been to Brazil. We [Brazilians] love to dance and celebrate. In fact, we celebrate just about everything with dance. Not just special occasions. We dance at church. We dance at sundown. We just dance constantly, which works the legs, the abs, and the butt. This is why our beaches are so famous. Everyone looks great from dancing, both men and women."
"And you can translate this into specific training. Of course, squats and lunges [the standard leg exercises] are great, but if you do too much you also bulk up the legs, which is especially true when you start adding weight. I had to work the butt without bulking the legs. So I combined squats and lunges with Afro-Brazilian dance. That's the 'secret.'"
"After my success with Alessandra, I needed something to call it because all the clubs in New York wanted these workouts. I was watching Extreme Makeover. There was a doctor on who was doing some sort of cosmetic surgery that he called a Brazilian butt lift. I thought this was a great name for my class. Equinox loved it and signed me to an exclusive deal to teach for them. They gave me a lot of press. TV, magazines, everywhere. My classes have been packed ever since."
As Beachbody's science guy, I was eager to hear about this angle. Certainly, there's more to it than dance, I asked. "Most trainers focus on the large muscles, like the gluteus maximus. But the glutes are three different muscles: maximus, medius, and minimus," stated Carvalho, now sounding like the guy I knew had a degree in exercise physiology and had been at this for decades. "You need to train them all. Not only that but you need to hit them from various angles to strengthen the head of each muscle. In total, we're looking at 12 different angles you should hit in order to create a round butt."
Before I even got a chance to ask about men, Carvalho beat me to it. "Even though it was created for women, it's important to say it's not just for girls," he said. "I worried that men won't want to do it, but it works very well for them. Men like having great butts, too, and women like looking at men with great butts! Back in Brazil, I used to train police and firefighters, and we did a lot of the same movements."
I brought up some training sessions I'd read about when he was working with John McEnroe, the professional tennis player who was famous for his bad temper. Certainly, I think, if McEnroe wasn't yelling "you can't be serious," the workouts must pass some kind of macho test. Unfortunately, at least from my angle, he seems to have mellowed with age.
"Well,Trudie [Styler] had hired me, and I had no idea [that] I was teaching anyone else. All these other people just showed up, including Sting [Styler's husband], Tom Hanks, McEnroe, and others. We all trained on the beach. McEnroe was pretty conservative. The actors, guys like Hanks, were more willing to dive into the dance moves, because they're more used to being outside their comfort zone. That seems to be the same thing with my classes. Guys are more reserved about taking any exercise class. But when they do show up, they love it."
Next time, we'll dig deeper into Carvalho's background; Brazil Butt Lift's science and nutrition; and what it's like to juggle teaching sold-out classes, filming a workout video, and training 26 supermodels.
Got something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, December 28th, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chatroom!If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at email@example.com.
Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope.
Climbing Michi's Ladder: ArtichokesBy Denis Faye
Considering how ubiquitous and fun to eat artichokes are, the amount of people who've never tried them is surprising. There are several varieties, the most common being the globe artichoke. The round, prickly thing with the thick leaves that you peel off and eat is actually the bud of an artichoke flower. And in addition to being a great source of fiber and minerals, that process of peeling off the leaves one by one slows down eating. Not only does this make digestion easier, but it can create a feeling of satiety from what's actually very little food.
The (nutrition) facts
A medium-sized globe artichoke has about 60 calories, no fat, 13 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fiber, and 4 grams of protein. They're a good source of vitamin C with 25 percent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA)*, vitamin K with 24 percent, folate with 22 percent, magnesium with 19 percent, iron with 9 percent, manganese with 16 percent, potassium with 14 percent, phosphorus with 14 percent, and copper with 15 percent. You also get a little thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, and zinc.
How do you eat this thing?
Although boiling is the typical way to eat an artichoke, you'll get a lot more flavor and a lot less sogginess if you steam it for about an hour. But before you do that, cut off the bottom right at the base. Some people also cut the top off each leaf, but you only need to do that if the tips are especially prickly.
Once it's cooked, eat the meat off the base of each leaf individually. Eventually, the leaves become wispy and inedible. At this point, cut off the remaining leaves and the fuzzy bit under them, revealing the heart. Some connoisseurs, including my 5-year-old, consider it to be the best part.
Artichokes themselves are nothing but healthy, but the sauces most people choose to dip them in? Not so much. Avoid butter sauces and mayonnaise. Instead, try vinaigrette with a few extra dollops of mustard, so it really sticks to the leaves. Hummus is another great option.
1 medium globe artichoke
- Calories: 60
- Protein: 4 g
- Carbs: 13 g
- Fiber: 6 g
- Fat: none
Got something to say? Chat with the writers and other readers this coming Monday, December 28th, at 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT, in the Beachbody Chatroom!
Recipe: Thin Mint Treat
Want a chocolaty, minty treat this holiday season without getting a Santa-like figure? Try this yummy Shakeology® recipe straight from the Beachbody® kitchen. You'll be able to satisfy your sweet tooth without ending up on the naughty list!
- 1 scoop chocolate Shakeology powder
- 1-1/2 cups cold water
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract
- 1 cup ice (or to taste)
Blend till frothy and enjoy!
- Calories: 152
- Protein: 17 g
- Carbs: 17.5 g
- Fiber: 3 g
- Fat: 1 g
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*Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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