Health & Fitness

By Jasmin Guleria

Profile on Elite Personal Trainer: Ovidiu Bucurenciu

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I had always considered personal trainers an over-indulgence used by tabloid-favorites or people too lazy to work out on their own. It was only after I had scheduled my vacation to “beach-bod haven” Los Angeles, did I decide to let go of my fitness DIY ego and see if a could professional help me achieve my goals once and for all.

Based on the recommendation of BN’s resident “Personal trainer/ fitness maven” (aka as MC), I chose Ovidiu (Ovi) Bucurenciu, an elite trainer to the stars and real people like me, to be my very own personal trainer. Out of all the personal trainers available in Manhattan, Ovi was ideal because he wasn’t just a typical certified trainer – he was a professional Olympic athlete, had worked with celebrity clientele (Brooke Shields and Julia Stiles, to name a few), and holds a college degree in Physical Education and Sports. Also, I was very excited to learn that he had previously been a trainer at world famous RADU’s Physical Culture Gym. For those of you who don’t know Radu, he is a world-renown fitness trainer who’s best known for getting super-model Cindy Crawford into runway strutting shape.

During my preliminary meeting with Ovi, he seemed confident that he could get me into swim-suit shape in a month – based on his vast experience, I believed him! Read on to see my experience/results with Ovi, get his exclusive for BN reader training tips, and learn how YOU can get a free session with Ovi, our Elite Trainer of the Month!

Week 1: “Your body is a vessel. The more you put in, the more you’ll have to empty out one day.” – Ovi B.

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Today was the day I would start emptying my cupcake-filled vessel! My first week consisted of scrimmages, sprinting, incline running, squats, judo push-ups, and a special torture – Korean squats! I could feel my body moving, burning, and getting into shape after only 3 sessions. Working out hard had all sorts of positive effects on me; I began waking up earlier and looking forward to eating healthy. When you’re working out consistently, a sugary frosting-laden cupcake can really weaken your endurance. It was a lot easier for me to decline sugary fattening food when I knew I’d have to answer for it the next day with Ovi. By the end of the first week, I had lost 4 pounds! Ovi warned me that the weight would come off easier in the beginning, but a 4-pound weight loss in one week was definitely encouraging.

Week 2: “Sleep is the magic pill. Your body is like a battery that needs to be charged after working so hard.” – Ovi B.

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My workouts were beginning to tire me out, I found myself ready to sleep 3 hours earlier than usual. Ovi told me that my muscles needed time to rest up for the next workout and if I ignored my body’s need for sleep, I’d be doing more harm than good. By hitting the pillow earlier, I began to feel more energized during the day and more pumped for my next workout! After week 2, I finally saw some muscle definition in my abs – on top of that, with all the different types of squats and leg raises I was doing, my behind was beginning to look mighty fine! I noticed that the difference with having a trainer and working out on my own was that Ovi mixed up my workouts every time, so that I was working each body part in an entirely different way during each session – this way I never got bored of my workouts and my body never got used to the motions!

Week 3: “Workout for a quick 15 minutes every day.” – Ovi B.
My results were still coming, but slower than the first week. Ovi mentioned that although I worked out with him 3 days a week for an hour, I should also do some sort of intense cardio for 15 minutes during the days we weren’t meeting. Ovi was a huge fan of incline running – since it requires more endurance and gets the heart rate up faster than running on a flat surface. I began to do incline runs on my off days, and felt more energized than ever before. For a change in pace, I would sometimes swim instead of run. Swimming, according to Ovi, is one of the best exercises because it engages every single body part.

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Week 4: “Weight-loss is 20% working out and 80% nutrition.” – Ovi B.
My workouts were intense, but three 1-hour sessions alone was not going to get my body into the shape I craved. Ovi told me to lay off the refined carbs and sugar. This meant, the foodie inside of me had to limit my Magnolia Bakery and Max Brenner Chocolate cravings. My meal plan consisted of foods such as egg whites, oatmeal, filling fruits like oranges, apples, and papaya, yogurt, veggie wraps, and tons of hearty salads. Carbs are a great source of energy and so opting to eat them earlier in the day when they had a chance to burn helped keep my metabolism going. I also drank only water during my month-long training session, which helped to save thousands of calories (and money at the bar!)

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With my final week of training completed, I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. I had gained a new love for cardio and have learned an entirely different way of exercise. My fear of “drop and give me 20″ boot camp-like trainers had been quickly erased after meeting Ovi and seeing how genuinely passionate, positive, and kind he was in his efforts to get his clients into amazing shape.

After all that hard work, I lost a total of nine pounds and was visibly more toned than before. I learned that ever-changing cardio is essential, moderation of sugary treats is a must, and that a skilled personal trainer is a great asset when trying to slim down and tone up – especially in a short period of time! My final thoughts on Personal Trainers: The RIGHT ONE is a definite DO…OVIDU!

For more information log on to www.bestfitnessny.com
To contact Ovi for a personal training session call: 917-282-7727

!! Super Bonus for our Readers!! – Mention Beauty News and receive one FREE personal training session! Ovi can meet you at your gym, his gym, or even Central Park – ah the perks of flexibility!

Originally published July 2007
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