"You get a little spoiled when you have a trainer."
Understatement of 2020 when it comes to working out, right? That's what Kira Stokes, the celebrity trainer who works with celebrity clients such as Candace Cameron Bure, Shay Mitchell and Ashley Graham told us when it comes to working out at home since the Coronavirus pandemic hit.
Fortunately, many celebrity trainers have pivoted to online workouts, including Stokes, who has her own fitness app that offers a free 7-day trial.
Stokes has been honing her unique method for decades, focusing on the mind and body connection and emphasizing transitions between movements.
"I'm very proud of being 45. It's a testament to the method to be able to remain healthy and strong," Stokes told E!. "I really started training clients when I was a sophomore at Boston College. Knowing at that time too that it was my calling, that I would call my roommates into the common area before we go out at night, I'd be like we're going to need to tighten those buns before the bar. I was that girl as annoying as that is in college. I was like, if we're going to drink it we're going to earn it."
And Stokes' celeb clients definitely earn it when they do one of her Stoked Method workouts as "every move has a meaning and purpose," the trainer stressed.
So often, people rush through their workouts without realizing that each section of it are equally as important, from warm-up to stretching afterwards.
"I always say every circuit in the workout is like a chapter in a story. So we can compare a workout to a book, right, every chapter has a beginning, a middle, and an end so there's a prelude and there's a conclusion," Stokes explained. "You realize by the end of the chapter the purpose of each word that you read. The same should hold true for a workout, every move, every circuit should have a beginning, a middle, and an end and every move should make sense with what comes before and after it."
Stokes is all about the transitions between movements, hoping to create major changes in those key moments that so often are overlooked in other workouts. No dropping to your knees in between moves in Stokes' plan.
"Every circuit is progressive in nature, meaning you can't just do a squat then just drop down and do a push up, and then flip over and do a sit up," Stokes said. "There's some transitional element that weaves mobility into the circuit."
As for why transitions are so important, Stokes explained, "Those transitions add a whole different element and what they also do is really foster Mind-Body connection, which is so huge to my method. It's like there's such a massive difference between just going through a movement, or truly reminding your muscle."
Stokes' "star client" is Candace Cameron Bure, who she has been training for six years, and the pair have been hosting Instagram Live workouts every Monday since March, inviting the Hallmark Channel stars' legions of fans to join her training session, filled with laughs, colorful workout leggings and sneaky cardio.
"I've seen her get stronger and better and honestly she's like the female Benjamin Button and I feel like her every year," Stokes gushed. "What she struggled most with is cardio and just making sure that she gets enough cardiovascular conditioning in is, I think, her biggest challenge. I encourage her and she takes a lot of power walks and shorter jogs."
But Stokes stressed that "everybody's body is different" so it's OK if what works for you is different than what works for someone else and that goes for her celebrity clients as well.
"Their programs shouldn't be the same. Shay Mitchell is a beast," she explained. "That woman loves to sweat. She is the opposite of Candace because she's like, 'Give me more cardio, give me!' She has trouble with the strength of her upper body, you know, everybody's struggle is different, everybody has one."
Mitchell gave birth to her first child, a son named Atlas, in October 2019 and the Pretty Little Liars star didn't start training with Stokes again until six months later.
"She did it right. She fully let herself heal and she didn't feel pressures of working out straight away," she said. "I will tell you right now training her now versus before she had a baby it's like with the same exact person."
And model Ashley Graham has also been working with Stokes since giving birth to her first child in January 2020, with Stokes saying, "She's losing the baby weight the right way, not looking for a fad diet or quick fix, actually [in it] for the long haul."
And the long haul is what Stokes is all about, wanting to encourage her clients and their fans to express gratitude during every training session.
"I have everybody take a moment to be grateful for the ability to move and challenge your body because it's truly a gift," Stokes, a self-proclaimed positive person," shared. "So if you can start in and your workout in a way that you're like, truly connected to your body. It's just amazing the difference you'll feel during the workout."
Given the restrictions many have been facing given the Coronavirus pandemic closing gyms and workout studios, Stokes offered up a simple tip she's shared with Graham and her other clients.
"You have got to get outside and take a walk. I think for everyone in the circumstance we're in, the minute you step outside--if you have the ability to do that--and you're out in nature, nature changes everything. It's soul-soothing. If there's ever a time where you're not motivated to work out, take a couple deep breaths, like, you'll make it happen."
You can get a 7-day free trial of the Kira Stokes Fit app right here.