Australian beauty, Kym Johnson is a Three-Time Dancing with the Stars Mirror Ball winner (2 in the US and 1 in Australia) as well as a judge for DWTS in Australia currently. We sat down with this busy dancer to find out about her new fitness program, DWTS and of course her upcoming wedding to SHARK TANK's Robert Herjavec.
ATHLEISURE MAG: We loved seeing you on Dancing with the Stars, how is it being on DWTS Australia as a judge versus one of the dancers?
KYM JOHNSON: I have to work out a lot more when I am being a judge since I'm not dancing every single day I like I did when I was on the show. So you're not getting that workout. But I love being a judge as I find myself dancing along with them under my desk. I really like it as I judge for DWTS in Australia so I get to be at home and see my family. It's 3 months of every year which is not a long time. I enjoy it - occasionally, I am used to being on the dance floor but you can't dance forever, so it's nice to transition into other things.
AM: When you were a dancer on Dancing with the Stars, what was a typical day like from doing your own workouts, preparing dances for each episode and practicing the dances leading up to each night?
KJ: Oh my gosh it's nonstop! When you are a dancer on DWTS you can seriously kiss goodbye a life for those three months, and even more. We rehearse with our celebrities 6 - 7 hours a day and then when we're not with them, we rehearse for professional numbers on the show or we are choreographing numbers for the next week - we do all of the choreography and we plan all of the costumes to fit the music!
AM: Costumes too!?!
KJ: We have an incredible design team, but we have to come up with the concepts and talk to them about to make it come to life. But creatively, it's a lot to do which is great to have that creative freedom. But it is a lot of work so you never switch off really, although it is very rewarding. When you're done, you sort of want to hibernate after!
AM: What was one of your favorite dances that you did on DWTS, favorite outfit and partner?
KJ: Well I will have to say that Robert Herjavec is my favorite partner, especially with how it all ended up!
AM: Watching the show, we felt there was a spark there and that the two of you should totally get together! Now your planning your wedding, it's such a Cinderella moment!
KJ: I know!! I still have to pinch myself and say - like what ... it's crazy! But that's amazing. Jerry Springer was my first dance partner on DWTS in America and I just adore him, he's the nicest guy and it was really a special season and of course I won the first Mirror Ball with Donny Osmond. My favorite dance would be the freestyle that I did with Hines Ford with the half time act during the football game. We had a marching band, we dressed up in the Steelers colors. I got to live this dream as an American cheerleader.
AM: What is a typical day like for you in terms of your fitness routine?
KJ: I work out everyday even if it is a half and hour and I'm traveling. I always fit something in. I really like to do hot yoga barre class (barre in a heated room) which always makes me feel cleansed when I leave. I do this about 3 times a week. I do a fit mix class that is essentially interval running. You run for 30 mins and the other 30 mins is on the pilates reformer machine. You get a bit of the cardio with the strength training. So I mix that up and I still dance. I have my own workout 5678 Fitness - cardio dance routine. It's really fun and I have my own workout. I take the cardio which has a little jive, samba etc., and in between I do strength routines like a 5 mins ab workout and legs. I still workout everyday as I feel better and motivated. I travel a lot and sometimes when I get off a plane I may not feel like it but once I do, it just makes everything feel the way it should. Even if it's a jump rope with interval training - doing 1 min with a jump rope and then a plank for another minute and another 1 min with hip raises. It's important to get that cardio with the strength - it's a great combination.
AM: How did 5678 Fitness and Nutrition Program come about?
KJ: People who watched DWTS would come up to me and couldn't believe that celebrities really lost all that weight on the show. But it's because they are dancing every day and you can see the transformation they have when they are on the show. I came up with 5678 Fitness with the dances that you see from the show being placed in a cardio way. When we did it on cruises, passengers enjoyed doing the steps and I knew I was onto something the way they embraced it no matter the age. You don't realize you're working out because you are doing the steps and enjoying the music - you burn a lot of calories. That's why I wanted to come out with it.
In addition to the fitness component, I came out with 5678 Nutrition because I am not dancing every day and I have to watch what I eat so the diet is important. When I did DWTS, I could probably get away with some fries and hamburgers because I was always dancing 8 hours a day (no one can train 8 hours a day). I still indulge in a burger and fries, but I switch it up where maybe I have some sweet potato fries or a burger without the bun instead. It's about making choices. With the book, I had the opportunity to work with a nutritionist and we came up with a diet that really works well for me. It's not one that you would fall off from - it's more of one that allows you to have an easy lifestyle. It has great exercises and a 14 day diet plan that you can follow along with the exercises as well as the DVD which has the actual workouts. It's also on my website and you can download it from there as well.
AM: How do you balance your busy schedule, staying fit and your upcoming nuptials with Robert (PS we're Shark Tank fans and think you guys are adorable)?
KJ: I love being busy! I would do DWTS for 3 months and then I would take a week off and be totally bored and ready for the next thing. It's essential for me to take time for myself each day whether it's a fitness class, doing a walk or just something where there is time for you. I do it every day.
AM: When you're not busy, what's your go to look that we'd see you rocking to run errands, go to brunch etc.?
KJ: At the moment I am sitting here with white jeans and a white top with my runners. It's a nice hot day here in LA and I thought I would be springy wearing white. I love some jeans or cut offs with a T-shirt. It's all about relaxed and easy.
AM: To get fabulous summer legs like yours, what are 3 workouts we should include?
KJ: Dancer legs are from pulling up all the time. Pilates is great for legs. The ballet barre is amazing as you want to tone your hips and your butt. Hip raises are really good as they work the back of your legs and give you nice definition to keep you long and lean. Any kind of ballet barre where you are pulsing your leg and you are getting the crease behind your butt - in dancing you're constantly engaging your legs and pulling up (all about your thighs and legs being pulled up). That's how you get dancer legs pack your butt under and pulls legs up even do leg lifts.
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