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What if we told you the secret to better health starts with a shake of the hips…and a smile? That's what Dancing with the Stars pro Louis van Amstel preaches in his signature dance party-meets-fitness program, LaBlast Fitness. Through his 10-season-long career coaching novice celebs like Paula Deen and Kelly Osbourne to grace the DWTS stage, being in great shape isn’t just expected — it’s a necessity. But the three-time world dance champion chooses the salsa, rumba and jive over treadmills and weight machines every time — and here's why: "Fitness should be fun," he says. We totally agree, of course.
This week, the Dutch-American ballroom star teamed up with Daily Burn 365 to share a limited-time only, total-body workout (that doesn’t feel an ounce like work). Check out van Amstel’s high-energy, cardio-blasting routine below — and read on to find out what keeps him moving every day (hint: passion, purpose and ice cream). Yep, you can count us in!
The Louis van Amstel Dance Workout You Need in Your Life
From Dancing with the Stars to Your Living Room
On getting started: “My grandparents had me start dance because they believed it was important for my social etiquette. But it only took me one year to know that this was going to be a huge part of my life. I’m forever indebted to them for that.”
On people with two left feet: “No such thing. My motto is if you are ready to give up control and get out of your head, you will be able to learn to dance. Dance is based on logic. If you can clap the rhythm, then you can dance it. I say, ‘Stop thinking and start watching and listening. If you see the person in front if you goes forward with the left foot, don’t think about it, just do it!’”
On committing to fitness: “I want to feel as good on the inside as I look on the outside. I can go to the gym for the sake of working out, but if I don’t walk out of there feeling good, I won’t go back the next day. That’s the problem: People feel obligated to go to the gym but you have to first determine why you want to go to the gym. Why do you want to sign up for Daily Burn? Why do you want to become a LaBlast member? Determine your ‘why,’ set your goal, and be prepared to do whatever it takes.”
On bringing sexy back: “Just because you only see the front of your body when you look in the mirror, doesn’t mean you should forget your backside. It’s so important to think holistically, and work the whole body — front, back, top to bottom. I’m a big believer in full-body workouts.”
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On the Viennese Waltz — with weights: “We have 19 dances as part of the LaBlast program. And in the Viennese Waltz you get it all. People might say, ‘Wait, that’s an elegant dance, why would you do that with weights?’ But afterwards they thank me! They say ‘I never would have thought that this would give me legs, posture, arms and upper body all in one song.’ Three minutes. And that’s just one dance. We also do Paso Doble for muscle endurance. Then Jive for cardio, so you’re covering cardio, muscle endurance and weight training.”
On (not) dieting: “I’m a conscious eater — and that’s the only thing I will promote. I believe it’s important for people to understand that if there’s something you crave, that’s not bad. You just need to be conscious of it and day ‘OK, not every day, not too much.’ It’s all about learning a little more about food. What are carbs, what are proteins, what are saturated fats, for me it’s all about awareness.”
On chocolate and ice cream: “Yes and yes. I love it all, but you can bet I’ll be in the gym the next day!
On his favorite DWTS pairing: “Kelly Osbourne. When we started out, she didn’t think she could dance; she was out of shape. But by the time she made the finals she had lost 35 pounds. She was confident, she was happy from inside out, and she felt accomplished. It’s why I do what I do.”
On being kind to yourself: “Transformation happens over a long period of time. When it comes to weight loss people give themselves a week. But think about it: You’re on the planet let’s say for 80 years, so why not give yourself more time? That way you don’t ever have to feel pressured. Plus it’s way healthier and more sustainable in the long run.”
On the secret to success: “There are no shortcuts. Right now I feel I’m on dream number four. The secret is looking at the long haul. Set a goal, work at it, and enjoy what you do. And most of all, don’t take yourself too goddamn seriously.”
Exhibit A: THIS tongue-in-cheek routine with his Dancing with the Stars Season 21 partner Paula Deen:
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