- I had a personal training session with Monique Eastwood via Zoom, and it was a lot harder than I expected.
- Eastwood has trained actress Emily Blunt since 2013, and actor Stanley Tucci credits her with his biceps.
- A former dancer, Eastwood’s workouts are pilates and ballet inspired.
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Actress Emily Blunt calls her trainer Monique Eastwood a “hardcore sweetheart.”
After trying one of Eastwood’s pilates and ballet inspired workouts, I definitely understand her description, especially the hardcore part.
Eastwood’s workouts are not for the faint-hearted, and her expertise has earned her a legion of loyal fans, ranging from actors and athletes to regular folk.
She’s trained Blunt, best known for her roles in “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Mary Poppins,” for eight years. The actress recommended the trainer to her brother-in-law, fellow actor Stanley Tucci, who was initially skeptical about Eastwood’s methods but was quickly converted—he credits her with his biceps.
The former dancer has 25 years on me (“You’re a spring chicken!” she exclaimed when I was struggling to keep up), but is fit as a fiddle with the physique to prove it.
Perhaps naively, I presumed it would be a light workout that I, as a fitness aficionado, would find easy. But I was wrong.
Blunt says Eastwood got her in the best shape of her life during the pandemic
Eastwood trained as a ballet dancer in her native South Africa and then worked in cabaret shows, gyms, and dance studios before devising her own method.
Blunt (whom Eastwood calls “super strong and very disciplined”) has been a client since she filmed “Edge of Tomorrow” in 2013. During lockdown, Blunt had three to four
sessions a week with Eastwood and said just looking at the trainer is the inspiration she needs to workout.
“She pushed me, made me sweat buckets, laugh a lot and released so much stress,” Blunt said in a testimonial sent to Insider.
There are no breaks in an Eastwood workout
Eastwood deliberately keeps her clients moving around so they have to keep their brain engaged.
Her workouts involve multi-directional movements to work as many muscles as possible at once, and the method is designed to improve mobility and strength, develop a lean physique, and prevent injury.
Every movement should be controlled, but that doesn’t mean it’s low intensity or easy.
In my one-on-one Zoom class with Eastwood, I performed ballet-inspired movements like plié jumps, skater jumps, and curtsy lunges into single-leg relevés (rises).
Eastwood very quickly identified issues and weaknesses in my body, such as my lazy left glute and hyper-mobile joints, and gave me personalized versions of exercises.
There were no rests, which Eastwood said comes from her dancer mindset of wanting to keep moving for the entirety of a workout. I have dance training too, but I’d certainly have welcomed a breather (I am very much guilty of asking questions purely for a rest).
We generally performed about 10 reps of each move, which sounds easy — but it was far from it. I was really glad my workout was 45 minutes, not an hour, and also relieved that I wasn’t doing one of Eastwood’s high intensity workouts.
“We’re meant to be challenged,” Eastwood said. “We’re meant to stress our muscles out, they don’t change without that stress.”