Amanda Russell Talks Fitness Tips, Fashion, and Her Favorite Exercise

Amanda Russell

Photos courtesy of Amanda Russell

Amanda Russell in action.

Spring is looming, and with it, cute, short dresses, bare arms, and high hemlines. All that indulging over the bleak winter months is finally going to show. Do not panic!

We've enlisted fitness (and fashion!) expert Amanda Russell to give you (and us) tips on toning and working out so we can look perfect in our new Spring wardrobe.  Amanda is an Olympic-trained athlete, has her own online workout channel and talk show, and was voted Google's "Next Top Fitness Personality in 2012." And come April, she'll have a fitness show with Everyday Health. She's also doing a Beach Body Bootcamp in New York beginning in May.

Amanda took some time from her very busy schedule to answer a few of our questions about her, working out, and fitness modeling. And be sure to check back for the next installment which includes Amanda's tips! To watch Amanda’s show, visit AmandaRussell.TV and subscribe for new videos and visit for updates.

You are an Olympic trained athlete—what sport were you trained in?

I ran long distance so I started doing cross country and track and field and I specialized in the 10,000 meters. It's mentally and physically the most taxing races there, more so than the marathon.

Did you go to the Olympics?

No I qualified for Olympic trials but got injured within weeks of trials.

You started as a fitness model. What did you learn from doing that?

I started my MBA and was looking at different jobs to pay my way, and within two weeks of looking, I landed the Asics campaign. And I've never been a model, I'm not that tall.

I went to a casting and it was the most degrading experience of my life. That industry was such a different world to me. You picture it one way and it's so much less glamorous than it appears. You're kind of a little piece of meat.

I knew that that wasn't what I wanted to do ultimately. There were two schools of thought. There are the fitness models who are into fitness and health and work hard. And there are the others that are the antitheses of being healthy. And I always worked hard. I always tried to prove myself to editors. Ultimately I wanted to get back into the fitness world that helped people on a big scale. If I can come back into fitness after what I'd been through, anyone can come back.

When did you start getting into training and being a fitness expert?

I got back into it when moved back into New York, and I had to get a real job and I was as working in consulting at a desk job. All of a sudden you go from feeling great to gaining weight and my muscles atrophied. It started wearing on everything but all I knew was running so I had to figure out how to get back.

I started with physical therapy, then swimming, then biking. Then I literally tried everything out there. I wasn't trying to create a program for anyone, I was creating it for myself.

I took all the drills I learned from training and I substituted it in to that framework and was able to get myself back to incredible shape. Once you're very passionate about it, you do it.

Why did you want to start doing the videos?

It was a means to reach a wider audience and give everyone access to fitness - plus online is where it's at right now. I believe this is the future of all media :)

What's a good way to motivate yourself to hit the gym?

That's one of the biggest obstacles. It's 98 percent in your head. For everyone motivation is different. Everyone should take time to reflect on themselves for what drives you.

Have a journal and keep track of your progress, so you're accountable. Another thing is a picture of you in a new bathing suit. Make a great playlist that you're looking forward to. Focus on the feeling afterward.

If there's one thing someone can takeaway from your videos, what would it be?

My mission is to teach you that exercise is so much more than the time spent sweating and working out. It's the catalyst for positive change in your life. It can transform your life. It's as simple as walking away from your computer and going to the gym.

Do you have a favorite exercise and why?

I love the Spiderman pushups. It's a pushup and every time you lower down, your bring  your left knees to your left tricep, and then switch (right leg/right elbow). It's really advanced but there are many ways to modify it and work up to!

How much time should a busy person spend working out a week?

I think you can get an incredible workout in 30 minutes or less a day. You can get a lot more out of a short high intensity workout than from a mundane steady state 75 minute workout. And you can absolutely do it without even leaving your apartment, I promise!

The first 21 days are the hardest. It takes 21 days to form a habit.

Ok let's talk fashion! Favorite designers?

As a girly girl, I've always loved fashion, and there's that myth that as fitness you can't be into fashion.  Fashion-wise I love Tom Ford, Marchesa, and Elie Saab.

Fitness wise, I absolutely love Splits 59, they're very fashion forward, trendy. It's great street wear. And I also adore Sugoi.

You're really into beauty. Do you have key beauty products?

It's brand new, it’s the only thing I put on my face. It's Olie Biologique. They even have a travel line too. It's so clean, not heavy. It literally changed my skin.

For more Amanda, follower her on Twitter and Facebook.