Cruise Control: America’s Top Celebrity Trainer Keeps It Simple for Success


“I don’t have time.”

That’s the top excuse that Jorge Cruise has been hearing for more than 20 years as a celebrity trainer. He’s written more than 30 books that have sold more than 8 million copies, appeared countless times on national television and, most recently, created “Just 2 Moves,” a daily streaming eight-minute workout.

Just eight minutes? Cruise is friendly and funny, and his fans adore him because he gets it: While a slim, trim body does wonders for our self-image, good health does more, and life is complicated! What’s keeping us—and his clients—so busy and stressed out is hard work in our 30s, which turns into “sandwiched” stress (between our school-age kids and aging parents) in our 40s and 50s, and then evolves into survival stress over finances and retirement in our 60s.

Cruise can relate. His days are packed with clients, “Just 2 Moves,” new ventures, and that “sandwiched” stress of thinking constantly about his 87-year-old father and his boys—a 13-year-old going into high school and a fifth-grader. We visited Cruise recently to find out how he manages all of it, and he summed things up just the way we hoped he would when he laughed and said: “My day starts early and goes kind of late, but I only eat two meals a day and just do two moves a day, too. I think if you can keep things simple, you can do it long term.”


Read on to find out how Cruise manages, and pick up some tips from a day in his life.

24Life: How do you start your day?

Jorge Cruise: I try to make myself my first client. It’s funny, but [many of my colleagues] usually don’t work out themselves, as celebrity trainers. So I wake up around 4:30 every morning, and at 5 a.m., I hit the gym. I do an eight-minute workout, some cardio and a lot of stretching.

24Life: Do you have a mindset ritual for your morning?

JC: I love music. I listen to soundtracks, usually from films. And I’ll sit down with my iPad—it’s my journal—and write. I recommend all my clients use that morning time to connect to what they’re going to do that day for themselves. Just take a few minutes to say, “All right. What’s my goal today? What’s my outcome?”

Then by 6 a.m., I’m back in my office and then seeing clients. I usually will either travel to their homes in Beverly Hills or they’re here in Malibu, or we’ll do a FaceTime or a Skype workout because my workouts are truly just eight minutes. (That’s the part of my workout where they do the sweating!) Then we do stretching, mobility work, and I also work on their nutrition. I kind of snoop in their refrigerators, too! They all want that accountability.


24Life: And how do you fuel up yourself before your client sessions?

JC: I’ll have my first meal of the day at lunchtime. A lot of people think, “Jorge, you can operate your whole day without eating in the morning?” Well, one of my methods that really helps people [like me] in their 40s to reset their metabolic clock is fasting for 16 hours. If you can allow your body to not eat for 16 hours, science has shown it helps restore mitochondria health [at the cellular level]. It helps restore your body, and of course, you’ll lose weight doing it.

But here’s the thing: Most people hate fasting. So a little trick that I learned a few years ago is using coconut oil or MCT oil, which is a refined version of coconut oil. Just a tablespoon (or two or three) in your coffee in place of cream—and you can use stevia or xylitol—makes a delicious morning beverage. It will suppress your appetite for two to three hours, give you that energy you need for brain function so you feel good in the morning, and research has shown you’ll burn that stored visceral (belly) fat.

24Life: So how do you nourish your body the rest of the day?

JC: I’ll have my first meal around 1 p.m., usually an anti-inflammatory Mediterranean meal. I’ll always have good protein like chicken or fish, a salad, a lot of steamed vegetables. If I eat grains or starches, I try to be gluten-free and avoid rye, barley and wheat, so I’ll focus on couscous or other ancient grains. I’ll try to do a collagen shake somewhere in the day, as well, for my joints, whether it’s before or after a workout, or as a snack because it’s a very powerful restorative for the body.

Usually, I have dinner around 6 or 7 p.m. I usually have some sort of grilled chicken with rice. I love cauliflower rice or spiralizing noodles from zucchini. I get some good fats, whether it’s olive oil or avocado oil. You can have a glass of wine a night, you can have a little dessert, but if you cut off your eating by 8 p.m., that’s the trick. I tell my clients to stop eating around 8 or 9 p.m., because if you do that and count out 16 hours, that takes you to about noon or 1 p.m. the next day. That’s probably the hardest thing, stopping after dinner and not eating more. We watch TV, and we get into that place where we want to nibble on stuff. I’ll suggest my clients have decaffeinated teas, herbal teas with stevia or xylitol, or hot water with lemon.


24Life: Tell us about your regeneration regimen.

JC: I’m usually in bed by 10 p.m. Sleep is so important. We need it to restore hormone health, especially if we’re over 40. Human growth hormone is only produced when you sleep, so a lot of us lose that and therefore lose our muscle mass—and it’s not because we’re old but because we don’t sleep enough. A lot of my clients are stressed out at night over their kids, their aging parents or retirement, so it keeps them up at night.

Better than a glass of wine is an eight-minute [“Just 2 Moves”] routine. If you can’t stop thinking about your iPad and your iPhone and texting someone, and work, it breaks your pattern and it makes you calm down. If you do it even an hour or two before bed, it puts you in a great place for good sleep.

Photo credit: Tom Casey, box24studio.com
Grooming: Chanel