Getting in shape for the Oscars

February 21, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
While many watch the Academy Awards to see the winners, there are those who tune in to see what the stars are wearing.The experts weigh in on what it takes to get red carpet ready.

"Obviously it's a big night for them and they want to look their best. And so yes, they have to go the extra distance," said Kathy Smith.

With 30 years in front of the camera herself, exercise video queen Kathy Smith knows what it takes to look fabulous.

She says one month prior to the Oscars, kick up the cardio to burn off extra fat.

"But then it really gets into that strength training and doing a little more sculpting on the areas that are exposed," said Smith.

With celebs looking for shoulders, backs and buns of steel, trainer Gunnar Peterson who has helped J Lo, Angelina Jolie, Penelope Cruz and others says body type should dictate their program.

"You have to be realistic with your body type. If you're 4'10, 125 pounds you can't come in trying to look like a 5' 9" statuesque less curvy person," said Peterson.

Peterson says the key is mixing it up.

"Remember anything new is going to shock the body. When it shocks it has to adapt and the adaptation equals the change," said Peterson.

Using so called 'compound exercises' that work several muscle groups at a time.

"You get infinitely more benefit from doing big body movements, your calorie burning rate is going to go through the roof and you're going to get better results faster," said Peterson.

One vital component to mastering a red carpet walk is posture.

"Maybe it's as simple as standing up, pushing your chest out, peeling your shoulders back," said Peterson.

Smith reminds not to forget the abs.

"The most important muscle that night is the transverse muscle. And that is the muscle that when you cough or when you have to put on your blue jeans and you have to suck in your belly, that's going to give you that perfect posture and it's going to really make everybody look ten pounds thinner," said Smith.

Along with putting in hard hours at the gym the Oscar gals are going to want to say goodbye to salt, sugar, alcohol and carbs and a big hello to lean protein, produce and fibrous carbohydrates.

"You want to get rid of the excess water weight, so in doing that you're going to cut back on salts," said Smith.

That means white bread, sugar, pasta, and alcohol are all forbidden. Small amounts of fibrous carbs, lean protein, and produce at the proper time takes their place.

"Drop their complex carbohydrates after 3 o'clock, your body's not going to hold as much water. You're going to see more of what you're working on in the gym," said Peterson.

While 'eat less, move more' remains the mantra, clearly there's much more to it. But taking these smart steps down the walk of fame offers long lasting effects for those willing to work it.