Is that Kim Kardashian? Or is it Lyzabeth Lopez, Toronto-based fitness trainer and creator of the Hourglass Workout? It’s pretty tough to tell:
Lopez started lifting at age 12 when a trainer at the YMCA volunteered to show her (and six boys she hung around with) proper form.
By 15, Lopez started gaining weight and didn’t fully get why, which led her to develop anorexia and body dysmorphia that took years to overcome. In her 20s, she sought out information about nutrition and fitness to understand her body. More than 20 fitness and nutrition certifications later, she figured out what works for her and founded the Hourglass Workout, a holistic approach to fitness that embraces curves, heavy weight lifting, Pilates, and other fitness philosophies, and teaches women how to eat healthfully without counting calories.
It was through learning about nutrition and fitness that she learned to appreciate her body: “I’m a thick girl, and I have to work with it, and not battle it,” she says. “I’m never going to have a Kate Moss shape, so I’ve learned to train for my body type.”
Cosmopolitan.com talked to Lopez to find out more:
How do you maintain your amazing shape?
My goal is to work out five or six times a week, sometimes four when things get crazy. I do 20 to 40 minutes of cardio (depending on how I feel), then weight train for 40 minutes if I’m doing upper body, or up to an hour and 20 minutes if I’m doing lower body.
Because I had an eating disorder, I try to shy away from macronutrients and calorie counting, and eat real, whole, healthy foods. It reduces bloating, improves my skin, and gives me energy. If there’s fat in something healthy, I’m OK with it. My philosophy is that if you want a cookie, have a cookie that has real ingredients it, instead of a whole bag of diet cookies.
Is your butt a product of good genes or hard work?
Everyone is a mix of genes and work. While some people say it’s 70 percent eating, 30 percent training, I say it’s 50 percent genetics, and 50 percent eating and training. The breakdown depends on the person.
I’ve been building my butt since I was 16. It’s a ton of hard work, but it’s always been an obsession for me. I see the body like piece of clay: You start with the original shape, and mold the clay to reach its best potential.
You’ve said that you’re into lifting heavy weights. How heavy are we talking, here?
I use the whole stack of weights with the abductor machine, which works the outside of the butt. It’s probably 250 pounds. I can deadlift [the exercise where you bend from the waist as you hold a weight at shin level, then engage the backs of your thighs and your butt to lift the weight up to your waist as you stand]155 pounds.
On areas I want to grow, I use heavy weights. On areas I don’t want to grow, I just use my body weight. So for instance, I do side planks without weights because I don’t want to grow my waist. And I want feminine arms, so I do push-ups instead of weighted arm exercises.
The bottom line is that doing, say, lunges with soup cans in your hands is a good concept that will help you tone up. But using heavy weights is how you build a new shape.
Is your butt your favorite feature?
My favorite feature is feeling comfortable in my own skin. It’s been a long journey.
Does anyone ever tell you you look like Kim Kardashian?
Maybe the body! But not the face. I’ve heard it from people in the fitness world, and I just say thank you. It’s quite the compliment — I’m a fan! I’m flattered. She’s pretty and pretty awesome.
Has Kim’s fame changed the way you feel about your body?
I wouldn’t say her in particular — Jennifer Lopez more, as she opened the door for butts to be OK and for Latinas to be cool. J.Lo and Kim, Beyoncé — all these curvy women open up door to say, “Hey, curves are where it’s at. It’s OK to be thick.” They started the fit-thick craze, the booty craze. I’ve never been skinny, so it was a really big deal that they made all that cool.