Molly Sims Says It's 'The Best Workout I've Ever Done' -- All About the NW Method
Celebs have access to the most intense and exclusive workouts in the world. “I’ve done it all,” model, author and wellness blogger Molly Sims, 43, tells PEOPLE. “And I love to mix it up.” But even she has a go-to: dancer Nicole Winhoffer, the creator of the NW Method. “She’s is the one trainer that really makes me so excited to work out,” she says.
Winhoffer, 31, first made a name for herself as Madonna‘s personal trainer and Creative Director at the pop icon’s Hard Candy Fitness gyms. But the self-proclaimed “fitness artist” has done well on her own, earning more than 77,000 followers on Instagram thanks to her innovative dance moves and the inside looks at her group classes.
According to Winhoffer, her program serves as “a way to combine the mind body and soul through movement and dance and also targeting muscles you don’t use in everyday life. If you think about everything we do: Walking forward, saying hi to our friends forward, talking to camera forward, everything has this forward momentum and we neglect rotational movements.” So, expect out-of-the-box moves that go beyond the standard “bend and stretch.” Those targeted toning moves, combined with dance cardio choreography set to killer playlists, make up her method.
“She’s a spiritual girl, “says Sims. “And she works you hard!” Sims recently tapped Winhoffer to help her get in shape before she underwent foot surgery in January. “I did a two-week detox with her right before my foot surgery,” she says. “We worked out every single day, and I’d be like ‘I physically can’t do it,’ she’d just be like, ‘You can.'”
“Each day for 12 days we did a different workout where I’d focus on one specific body part,” explains Winhoffer. “Day one was the hip area, where digestion happens and where our sexual organs are. That’s an important place for a woman. So all of the movements were geared towards that area for an hour and a half. I just made that area really really tired, hitting every angle and every rotation, not just squats. And then we did sit-ups for 10 minutes. The second day was focusing on the backs of the arms, and so on.”
“I also focused on the lymphatic system,” she continues. “Just like in acupuncture you have trigger points. I would hold my two fingers down on a point as she repeats a movement, so I can feel it the second that muscle releases and the energy releases,” says Winhoffer. “It’s all about getting into the skin and the fascia, which lays under the skin. And after each workout I would massage her, just to get the blood flowing. I’d focus on that area by the traps [at the neck], where you hold a lot of stress.”
“A lot of the work I do is about taking the time for yourself, because we all have much responsibility as women,” says Winhoffer. So she creates an environment primed for you to let loose: She dims the lights and makes the workout feel like a dance party — the best dance party you’ve ever been to. “I teach real choreography as if I were working with Madonna or Rihanna,” she says. “I’ll think, ‘Would they find this cool? Would this be lit?'”
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Winhoffer also works out with her hair down and often wears unconventional workout gear, like one-piece bathing suits with little shorts. “A woman needs to move her body to feel sexy and let her skin breathe… Wearing your hair down and showing skin helps you let go and have fun,” says Winhoffer. “I have clients in their 50s wearing crop tops!
If you want to get that same experience, Winhoffer’s classes are open to the public. She teaches in New York City at The Standard Hotel (this shoot took place at The Standard’s East Village location!) and at Equinox’s Soho location. But soon you’ll be able to take the class at home if you’re not based in New York: Her online video service launches on nicolewinhoffer.com in June.