Dowdell’s Secret

Dowdells SecretCelebrity trainer Joe Dowdell, of Peakperformance, NY trains movie-stars, and athletes. And the Victoria’s Secret models. According to John Berardi, Dowdell’s exclusive facility offers the “best workout in New York.”

According to the dozens of VS models, sports illustrated pin-ups and actresses, Dowdell’s take on Body Composition training produces the best results possible for their time-starved schedule of the rich and famous.

For Dowdell, it’s simple.

The biggest mistake most people make, especially women, is overdoing the cardio, he says. Strength training, particularly interval training, will achieve the sleek results most women want without unsightly muscle mass or the dangers of building fat stores in the thighs, buttocks and calves proportionate to the amount of long duration cardio they do.

So if you want a body like a model, the secret lies in Dowdell’s body-composition program – basically weight training combined with interval training. It looks a little like this:

[…] with models, I do not get much time. In most cases they are preparing for a show or a big shoot and will come in for 6 weeks to prepare. I have models that I train regularly too, but for various reasons I will have short term arrangements. The client will come in 3 times per week and we will do a total body workout and the off days will be energy system work (cardio). The strength program may consist of back squats with short rest before a pull up. This cycle would be repeated a predetermined number of times. The next pair could be bench press and hip extensions. Rest can be anywhere from 45-75 seconds rest between sets depending on their condition. I will determine the rest during the first couple of workouts and I will refine it from there as we go along.

Dowdell at Work

“First phase could be 3 sets, 10-15 reps and the speed of movement will determine the number of reps. The goal is to make the set last between 60-70 seconds. More is not better in this situation. I try to educate clients and I make them aware that it is not necessary to do 12 sets for chest. My clients are very busy and we have a limited amount of time to get things done. The three hours I spend with them is more than likely all of the time they will spend in the gym.”

The cardio program never lasts for more than thirty minutes.

“Forget reading a magazine and spending 45-60 minutes on the Stairmaster doing cardio, perform at least 2 high intensity interval training sessions of cardio each week in conjunction with your weight training routine. They may run for 45 seconds at a perceived exertion level of between 75-90%. A rest period of 120 seconds will follow done at 50-60%. I like doing a 5 minute warm down as well.”


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