I might be biased, but I think all of the women we feature on our Women We Love series are badass and inspirational and have jobs that make me want to quit mine on the spot. But I am exceptionally excited to introduce this week’s lady boss, Erin Oprea, personal trainer & fitness extraordinaire. She launched her own personal training company, wrote a monumentally successful book called The 4×4 Diet, and has landed some seriously brag-worthy clientele like, um, CARRIE FREAKING UNDERWOOD.
I had the privilege of picking her brain about what it’s like working with A-list celebrities, and even all her tips and tricks that she passes along to said celebrities in hopes we can all look like Miss Underwood, herself. And aside of hoping her expert tips give us those infamous legs, I also poked and prodded about how she launched her own company and then found time to write her own book. If you’re a fitness guru hoping to make it big, or just trying to make your fitness resolutions come to life, this WWL is for you!
You’re a famous personal trainer – what made you decide to get into the fitness industry?
I certainly didn’t go into this trying to become famous. I seriously enjoy working out and trying to stay healthy and my natural personality made my passion shine through in my sessions with clients. It was a very natural progression once I became certified.
Speaking of famous, you’ve been called “Trainer to the Stars” and have clients like Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Nettles – how did you land such big-name clients?
Strictly word of mouth and working hard. I had no intention to garner fame and it showed when I was with my clients. From there, the people that I trained told their friends and some of them ended up being well known!
Speaking of: Carrie Underwood’s legs- we all want them. How do we get ours to look like that?
Hard word and determination, super clean diet and a ton of variations of lunges and squats. Don’t be afraid of weights, weight makes pretty muscles. She has long ago stopped making excuses to why she can’t work out, made it a priority and it shows.
What’s it like working with celebrities?
My clients are all, thankfully, humans. Their bodies work the same as yours and mine, and I don’t care about their fame. I really care about their health and I let each of my clients understand that. Some houses are bigger, some gyms are nicer, but all my clients complain about my workouts the same (haha)!
Problem areas: we all have different ones, whether it be our legs, stomach, arms, etc., How do you approach clients that have such different bodies and goals when it comes to their health and fitness?
Bottom line, no matter what your goal or problem area is, your diet and your consistency will get you where your body needs to be to stay healthy.
What are your top 3 most life-changing fitness tips that you’ve learned throughout your career as a personal trainer?
- You cannot spot lose weight (as in, doing abs all day won’t get you a flat stomach)
- Form is so much more important than anything else
- Weights make pretty muscles- women tend to shy away because they are worried about getting big
What are your top 3 diet tips you’ve acquired over the course of your career?
- You can’t out-train a bad diet
- Hydration/ diet matters so much to how your body performs in each session- not having enough water will make you feel exhausted
- No starches in the evening
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career and how have you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is balancing a crazy work schedule with increasingly busy kids. Oh, and a very needy husband;)
What is your favorite and least favorite part about being a personal trainer?
My favorite is definitely that I get to do what I truly love every, single day and see people’s excitement as their body changes. And I get to see my body change too, which is awesome! My least favorite is traffic- I go home to home everyday and all the other cars on the road can really ruin a day.
What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received from someone else?
Don’t be scared to branch out of your comfort zone, it may one day become the very reason why you succeed.
What’s your ultimate goal for your career? What steps do you need to take in order to get there?
I want to succeed at everything: personal training, CitySTRONG, the 4×4 Diet book and Oprea Personal Fitness. I want to launch businesses and watch them grow! I am passionate about my knowledge and I want to show others how being healthy can be a natural everyday endeavor. Step One: get up and go early and don’t stop. I set my alarm for 3:30am everyday and get back in bed around 10p, exhausted and thinking about what I need to accomplish the next day.