Fitness Guru Cornell McClellan Reveals The Secret To Michelle Obama’s Toned Arms

Naturally Fit-Cornell McClellanPhoto Credit: Naturally Fit

We have all seen First Lady Michelle Obama’s perfectly sculpted arms and often wondered who was responsible for her toned physique. Meet Cornell McClellan, the Obama family’s personal trainer for more than 20 years, who now wants you to get fit with him.

The former First Family’s fitness guru is just about to launch a four-week exercise series called “The Immortal Body Workout” to help get you stronger in just four weeks. The series is being held at Fitness Snob Studio in Washington, DC, but if you don’t live in the area, you can join the classes virtually starting September 10 (every Monday and Thursday at 6 p.m. EST) via live stream and on-demand.

With a belief that “fitness is the fountain of youth” and achieved through a holistic approach, the certified fitness consultant and personal trainer developed the program designed for all fitness levels with this philosophy in mind. Combined with nutrition, he believes that being physically fit can help people stay mentally healthy while providing the stamina needed to fully enjoy every minute of their lifetime.

We caught up recently with the former member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition to chat about creating Michelle Obama’s perfectly sculpted arms.

How did the opportunity first come about to work with the Obama family?

I have been working with them since 1997 and started with Michelle Obama. I own a gym called Naturally Fit, which is also my tagline. I believe to be fit is to be natural. Michelle was originally recommended to me. That’s really how our relationship began and I have been working with both of them every since.

What was your secret to creating Michelle Obama’s perfectly toned arms?

It’s a holistic approach. I wouldn’t want people to think the key is just to work your arms. Some had to do with her genetics and her whole frame, but it’s a mixture of nutrition and knowledge combined with isolated movements and combined movements along with a combination of things. For example, if you work your back, your are also working your arms. We also targeted her arms and shoulders to give her those accents. We do a combination of exercises to keep it fun. I really believe in keeping it fun. I always tell people the best cardio to do is something you enjoy whether it’s walking around a lake or biking. Then there are things that you need to do and that’s where personal trainers come in.

Can you tell us a little about the President and Michelle’s personal exercise routines?

They are both very eager, motivated and knowledgeable about working out daily. Movement is a part of their life. What I do for them is always find ways to confuse, trick or engage their bodies. You can’t do the same exercise for 20 years. You will receive some benefit, but you won’t always get the best benefit. The former First Family loves to do things outside and inside whether he’s golfing or she’s hiking.

What did you learn from working with the Obama family?

I learned that you have to prioritize your health and self to help sustain everything else in life. I never had to worry about their finding time to exercise or making excuses. Make sure you find that time to exercise whether it’s in the morning or at night.

Tell us a little about The Immortal Body Workout and why you wanted to share this series?

After talking with a friend who is in the fitness industry, he explained to me about the impact of social media and how the work I was doing on the President’s Fitness Council could encourage people to become active. That’s one of the things I always dreamed about – having a country where we all work out daily.

What do you hope people take away from this fitness regimen?

For people who have never worked out at all, I hope it helps give them a baseline of things to use and add to their daily routine. For those who do work out, I hope it gives them a combination of things with a different effect. I really want it to excite, motivate and encourage people to live a healthier life.

Can you tell us what you think are the key ingredients to a healthy lifestyle?

Balance is the key ingredient. I have spoken to people over the years about life balance in general. The number one priority is taking are of your health, which is really your wealth. Make sure you get enough rest and your nutrition is sound. We all find things that are a challenge in life. I also believe in meditation. The quietness allows the body to repair spiritually and mentally.

How do you get people motivated and excited about fitness?

My business is called Naturally Fit and I remind people this is to be your natural state. We are all Olympians and athletes in your own right. You don’t have to be LeBron, but you can be your best self. It’s a gift to be able to move so let’s not take that for granted.