Fans of Nina Dobrev know you’ve gotta hustle if you want to keep up with the actress.
Ever wonder what an A-list celeb’s schedule looks like? Let’s just say it’s not easy to be glamorous. To put my celebrity girl crush devotion to the test, I joined a team of fellow star-struck fitness enthusiasts for a day of sweating the Nina Dobrev way. I’ll tell you this much — downward dog is a lot easier when you’re doing it on the gorgeous William Vale rooftop.
Here’s how Brooklyn's all-balcony luxury hotel, Dobrev and her squad showed us how to make fitness, fashion and fun part of our routines.
Yoga in the sky
To peacefully begin the day, Nina had her favorite Les Mills instructors, James Thomas and Julea Cecil, lead a BodyFlow session on the rooftop terrace. Nina’s 5-month-old rescue dog, Maverick, playfully joined us too. A yoga class with adorable puppies, and skyline views? Name a better duo, I’ll wait.
While the BodyFlow class was no breeze, it was a perfect start to the day. Not too intense, this Les Mills exclusive group fitness class blends yoga and pilates to strengthen and relax the mind and body. (Honestly, just what you need at 9 a.m.) It’s one of the many group classes Les Mills offers, and favorites among Nina’s workout regime.
Refresh and reset
Following our BodyFlow fun, (well, fun for everyone else, and struggling through power poses for me) a brunch and styling session was next on our schedule.
At the hotel’s indoor-outdoor rooftop bar, Nina hooked us up with a stunning panoramic view of the city, along with a sneak peak of the Reebok x Les Mills clothing line. I mean, does this girl know how to dine in style, or what? Oh, and who needs music playing when you can just get Eryn Allen Kane herself to sing acoustic in the background? The only thing missing was the sign-up sheet for celeb perks — maybe at Nina’s next #ultimatestaycation.
While shoveling down the best granola and yogurt I’ve probably ever had (shoutout to Sakara), we got some Q&A time with Nina and her stylist, Ilaria Urbinati, about her nutrition and fashion secrets when it comes to maintaining her A1 bod.
“After a workout, I love having a protein shake, they’re so tasty and easy to make,” Nina shared. Her favorite DIY recipe: almond milk blended with ice, ground cinnamon, protein powder and coconut peanut butter from North Shore Goodies.
Because Nina is “constantly running errands,” she not only needs a satisfying snack on the go but an outfit she can wear all day after getting in those gains. No matter how hectic her schedule is, Nina makes it a “priority” to work out once a day. So, for the days she can’t squeeze in a shower, the Reebok x Les Mills line wears for both the gym and lunch with her girls; it’s the perfect mix of trendy and athletic.
Sporting the Reebok x Les Mills speckled leggings, Nina raves, “I just pair them with a jean jacket or a leather jacket after my Les Mills Grit workout, and it feels like an outfit for my life that I feel great in.”
Shaking up your workout
But we weren’t done with the day yet — or is it the day not being done with us? As I said, keeping up with Nina is no easy task. After our relaxing recovery and much needed girl time (food and clothes, what else), we were onto our next workout.
In a pimped out Reebok x Les Mills coach, we headed to Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 5, where a boat was waiting upon our arrival. Somehow managing to fit our entire entourage, I thought maybe it was a surprise booze cruise (fingers crossed). I mean with barely any room to walk around, how are we gonna do push-ups? Then suddenly, our cruise pulled up to a massive barge in the middle of the Hudson! Les Mills had custom built a floating studio just for our workout, inspired by Nina’s zest for adventure!
While a boat equipped for activities with my squad is not quite within my budget, we can all benefit from the idea of keeping variety in our workouts — not just in how we sweat but where. It's inspiring and pushes limits beyond the usual endurance, like we did working out on deck even with heat and humidity conspiring to push temperatures up above 100 degrees.
Honestly though, our Grit instructors were way hotter. Lead by James Thomas, again, *insert heart-eyes emoji* and bad-ass trainer Lissa Bankston, we were up against 30 minutes of pure HIIT rawness with barbell and bodyweight exercises targeting every major muscle group. But as a fairly fit, 20-something year old, I think emotional and physical beating is a more appropriate description. Cause of death: lifting, squatting and jumping, AKA a full-on sweat fest.
Not to mention, the playlist was straight fire thanks to DJ May Kwok, who was mixing live for us on the barge. And Nina couldn’t resist taking a break or two to drop it low; she even ran through the aisles high-fiving and hyping us up while the trainers kicked our asses.
Although the concise and energetic way James and Lissa taught made it impossible to stand still. Most instructors just spit some motivational facts, but the Les Mills difference is the high level of enthusiasm and clarity used to teach the moves. It’s fool proof — no one’s restrained by clueless attempts at expert moves because everyone’s explosively powering through basic steps. Simple, yet effective, it’s no wonder Grit is Nina’s all-time favorite Les Mills class.
Aside from the calorie blasting and toning, the class is short. It’s a perfect match for Nina’s daily fitness needs and demanding schedule: activity-filled but also relaxed, fashionably chic while dripping in sweat, work obligations plus downtime with the girls.
It’s a balance that’s positively down to earth.