Thursday, November 12, 2009
CNN 360° host Anderson Cooper has been getting a lot of attention lately for his buff physique (check out this video on TMZ.com). While it may seem like a sudden transformation, in fact Cooper's muscles are the result of two years of workouts with a personal trainer, Thelonious "T.J." Johnson (right).
In addition to getting Cooper and other high-profile clients in shape, Johnson is also an actor and model, with appearances in Vogue Italia, Details, and the cover of Maximum Fitness. His acting credits include roles on Law & Order: Criminal Intent and All My Children.
Johnson, a New York native whose jazz musician father named him after the great Thelonious Monk, was also picked as one of 2008's Most Eligible Bachelors by Extra. He customizes his training sessions to fit the needs and goals of each individual client.
An extreme sports enthusiast, he also specializes in extreme outdoor training, providing fitness sessions that feature mountain-biking, hiking, "tough man" workouts and boot camps. Citing confidentiality he declines to say exactly how he got Cooper so cut, but the results speak for themselves.
For Anderson Cooper, there is no better way to whip your body in shape than to hire a male model.
Cooper's trainer Thelonious "T.J." Johnson has modeled for both fitness and fashion publications and while nurturing a budding acting career he also trains celebrities in gyms across Manhattan.
Johnson has graced the pages of Details and Italian Vogue as a fashion model, as well as cover of Maximum Fitness magazine.
In addition to CNN anchor Cooper, with whom he has worked for two years, his gym clientele has included everyone from "Good Morning America" weatherman Sam Champion to celebrity hair stylists Oribe (whose clients include Jennifer Lopez, Naomi Campbell and Diana Ross) and Roque Jimenez (Mariah Carey's mane man).
Johnson has problems most of us non-models can't even imagine: He has to stay away from weight training, he says, because if he gets too muscular it affects his acting prospects.
"If you are too big you get type-cast as the big guy like the bouncer, and maybe not get the chance to go for a smarter role," he told StyleList. "So I try to stay streamlined and keep myself under 200 lbs."
Johnson says Cooper gets results by "dedication -- the guy tries to be the best at everything he tries." But is he worried that Anderson will have the same problem he has -- that he might get too pumped to present the news?
"No," Johnson laughs. "I think he enjoys getting bigger."
Weight training not your thing? Try this fun fitness idea from our sister site That's Fit.
Thelonious Johnson, better known as T.J., embodies a matchless triple treat, as an actor, model and personal fitness trainer—with elite clients such as CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Roque Jiminez, Celebrity Hairstylist to A-listers such as Mariah Carey. T.J.’s career boasts a wide range of highlights. As a model, he has been featured in leading publications such as Vogue Italia, Details, and scored the cover of Maximum Fitness. He was also featured in a nationally syndicated commercial for Old Spice Hair & Body Wash. His acting highlights include roles on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, One Life to Live, and All My Children. Most recently, he has become the face of Capcom Viral Videos—a series of comedy viral videos promoting the popular video game, Bionic Commando. T.J.’s affinity for fine arts stems from his childhood— his father, a jazz musician, and mother, an artist, emphasized the importance of art throughout T.J.’s upbringing, even naming their son after famed American jazz pianist and composer, Thelonious Monk. Upon college graduation, the New York native sought to pursue his artistic aspirations, focusing his efforts on acting, while maintaining a level of physical activity that met his life-long fitness interests. Thelonious introduces a new approach to fitness training, which he has shared on leading television program Extra. As a trainer, he stresses the importance of preserving the body, and practices the belief that each individual should treat their unique form as a temple. He customizes training sessions to fit the needs and goals of each individual client, providing full-body workouts that target their problem areas to achieve results. Thelonious organizes total, comprehensive training sessions that positively affect the client’s physical form, while helping to instate healthier, happier lifestyle choices into his/her everyday life. T.J., being an adrenaline-junkie with interests such as snowboarding and extreme sports, offers workouts that embody his own interests. For thrill-seekers in search of an action and adventure-driven workout, he also specializes in extreme outdoor training, providing fitness sessions that feature mountain-biking, hiking, “tough man” workouts and boot camps. A renaissance man, who has been named one of 2008’s Most Eligible Bachelors by Extra, T.J. has established himself in many arenas, and continues to prove himself as a sought-after actor while helping individuals reach peak levels of fitness. Click Here To Visit T.J. Johnson.
Just because bikini season is over, don’t slack off on your healthy eating habits and switch to comfort food, or skip the gym because of the shorter, darker days. Holiday season will be here before you know it, and you want to look hot for all the Christmas parties!
A celebrity trainer shows you how to be fit and fabulous
New York-based celebrity trainer Thelonious 'T.J.' Johnson (below, right), who keeps CNN host Anderson Cooper in muscle-rippling shape, shares his top tips for getting - and maintaining - a great body.
• Timing is everything. While people generally fit workouts into their schedule whenever they can, T.J. says doing cardio in the evening is most efficient because it burns off the calories that you ate during the day.
• Go beyond the treadmill. A sexy body isn’t just skinny, it’s toned. T.J. suggests doing strength training sets as well as cardio intervals. For example, run one mile on the treadmill at the speed that’s right for you, then do a set of 12 push-ups. Get back on the treadmill for another mile and follow with another set of 12 push-ups. Keep alternating. Your ultimate goal: go a total of five miles on the treadmill and an equal number of strength training sets. That’s one tough workout that will change any body!
For Anderson Cooper , there is no better way to whip your body in shape than to hire a male model. Cooper's trainer Thelonious "T.J." Johnson has modeled for both fitness and Fashion publications and while nurturing a budding acting career he also trains celebrities in gyms across Manhattan. Johnson has graced the pages of Details and Italian Vogue as a Fashion model, as well as cover of Maximum Fitness magazine . In addition to CNN anchor Cooper, with whom he has worked for two years, his gym... Read full story at StyleList
Photo: USA Weekend, Flickr
Anyone can tell just by looking at CNN anchor Anderson Cooper that he's in great shape. His lean physique and strong biceps tell us he's doing something right. That's Fit recently had a chance to catch up with Cooper's personal trainer, T.J. Johnson, who has been whipping him into shape for the last two years at their local New York City gym.
That's Fit: Cooper's a busy guy. How does he stay in shape with a job that is so demanding?
T.J. Johnson: Cooper trains five days a week for at least an hour at a time. Some days he does two sessions. That's how dedicated he is. We focus on one or two muscle groups a day for strength building and at least two days a week for endurance. A typical gym workout includes a lot of variety. For example: a 1K run, 50 pull-ups, 1K run, 50 box jumps, 1K run, 50 body slams, 1K run, 150 push-ups and another 1K run. When he's on the road, it's running, push-ups and pull-ups. Anything to keep moving.
TF: What are Cooper's likes and dislikes?
TJ: He likes upper-body work and running; his least favorites are legs and squats, but nobody really likes these. Cooper does everything, though. He's not a whiner. He doesn't complain.
TF: With the NYC Marathon coming up, will Cooper be inspired to complete this race some day?
TJ: His main goal is to stay fit and build muscle right now, but you never know. I may get him out there to do a marathon some day -- or even a triathlon. He already likes running. He rides his mountain bike around the city, and he even swam with Michael Phelps before. So there you have it: All three sports for a triathlon.
That's Fit: What is your one must-do move?
TJ: The squat-clean-press with a barbell. It's a full body exercise that works every major muscle group. The most important thing is just getting out there every day and doing something. I tell clients that a bad workout is always better than no workout. You need to have fun, too. Cooper likes to joke around, so I'll add some digs and fun competitions to keep it interesting. I'll say, 'so-and-so just lifted this much, or let's see if you can do more than me.'
Johnson's advice to others wanting to get in shape like Cooper: Get yourself a carb chart, eat clean and avoid processed foods. "A lot of people set limits for themselves, but there are no limits," he says. "It's as far as you can take it." With his impressive shape, Cooper is obviously listening to his trainer and proving him right.
For biceps like Cooper's, check out some other must-do moves.