Fitness guru and reality TV star Katrina Scott was born and raised in New Hampshire and earned her bachelor’s degree in Health Science at Keene State. She became an elite personal trainer in Boston and produced her own fitness and cooking videos before moving to California. There, while working at Equinox, she met her business partner, Karena Dawn, with whom she developed the wildly popular fitness website ToneItUp.com and starred in the Bravo series Toned Up. This month, they released their first book, Tone It Up: 28 Days to Fit, Fierce, and Fabulous. She lives with her husband, Brian, in Manhattan Beach.
Katrina Scott: [Laughs] Absolutely not. No. I think the beauty of Tone It Up, and the reason it’s been so successful, is that Karena and I aren’t perfect. We never really talk about ourselves or our bodies. We talk about other people’s bodies and say, “Come work out those gorgeous legs.” We don’t put anyone down, and I think people know we’re not stick figures or size zeros. People can relate to us, and we’re like their girlfriends they work out with.
Definitely dark chocolate, rosé or a nice malbec.
Favorite workout? I love kettle bells and HIIT—high-intensity interval training. I do love doing yoga, too, especially because I can’t bring my phone in with me. That’s the only time I can really step away from work, and it makes me feel more centered.
I hate burpees, but I do them, and I make other people do them. But I say beforehand, “I hate them too, but the results are everything, so let’s do them together.”
Pet peeve at the gym? My first job out of college was at Boston Sports Club, and to this day, I really don’t like when people don’t wipe off a machine after they’ve used it.
I think some people think they have to work out for several hours a day to see results, but with HIIT it’s really only 20 or 30 minutes. Then you can do some of our toning exercises. Nutrition is also key. You can kill it in the gym, but if you go home and eat crap, your body isn’t going to respond to the workout.
What do you think of New Year’s resolutions? I love them, because people really want to set a goal for themselves. We all have something we want to improve on. But I tell people to set a goal for Valentine’s Day, because it’s only six weeks away, as opposed to a whole year. Make it something you can stick to. Any kind of goal-setting is great. When I worked at gyms, people would get really frustrated with the New Year’s rush. I would tell everyone that it’s actually a good thing these people want to be healthy, and if some of them stay, and this gym needs to expand, it will improve the facility. I would tell instructors, “If you see someone new at the gym, introduce yourself, encourage them, and make them feel welcome.”
When was the last time you ate a cheeseburger or a donut? I had a donut last weekend at one of my favorite restaurants where they served honey-glazed donuts, chocolate éclair donuts and everything. We all split it. So I do have my cake.
What do you think is your best feature? Maybe my hair? [Laughs]
Is all that hair really yours? Yes! I have really puffy, frizzy hair, and there’s a lot of it, and I used to try and get it cut and layered and thinned out, but now I’ve embraced it.
What’s your favorite feature on a man? I love a big old smile. That’s super sexy. But for muscles, I like strong shoulders.
I think it’s fine, because people who are trying to date and be healthy spend their evening at the gym instead of, say, at a bar. Where would you rather meet the person you’re going to share your life with? If you’re single, I think the gym is the perfect spot to look for someone. If you meet at a bar, you might end up marrying someone who never leaves the bar.
What would happen if your husband got fat? Oh my God, he has. And I said, “Honey, you’ve gotta start working out.” He refused to do our workout and instead did Insanity by Beachbody. Now Brian’s all excited, because we’re doing a workout on the beach with Shaun T., the guy who developed it. I’m like, “You’re more excited about meeting Shaun T. than about the fact that we’re teaching a workout with Shape Magazine,” and he’s like, “Yup. So what?”
How much of a hard-body is Brian? I don’t like guys who are too ripped or too big or too muscular. He’s the right combo.
So the widely publicized proposal: Was that 100 percent real? If you’ve seen the video, it happened at my parents’ lake house at Winnipesaukee. Most girls have an inkling about when a guy is going to propose. I had no idea. I had chipped teal nail polish, which is so embarrassing. It was raining. And Brian proposed while my brother filmed it. Then he jumped into the lake and came up with the ring.
Is your celebrity a surprise or something that you consciously worked toward? I don’t see myself as a celebrity. Every day I do feel humbled and blessed, but when we go places, people don’t approach us like we’re celebrities. They approach us like we’re their best friends. We have half a million women on our program and maybe 5 million visiting our site. And everywhere we go, people will come up and give us hugs and tell us all about their progress, and they talk to us as if they know us. I don’t think people feel that way about Jennifer Aniston.
So you’re not trying to become Jillian Michaels. No. I really like her, though. She puts on a tough act, but she’s really sweet.
You worked with Jane Fonda on her Prime Time DVDs. Is her shit still that tight? She’s amazing! When she walks into the room, she lights it up she’s so beautiful. She has fantastic energy. She’s brilliant. She’s definitely taken care of herself.
Obviously, working out. Being active every day. I don’t really take a day off. If I don’t go to the gym, I might go for a run or a hike, or to yoga, or even a long walk. So making physical activity a part of your day, every day. If you take three days a week off, that’s almost half your month. Number two would be nutrition. Making sure you exercise portion control, and everything in moderation, and eating healthy and clean. Being realistic about it, too. Thinking about the week—birthdays, holidays, everything—and setting yourself up for success instead of making a last-minute decision at a bachelorette party or whatever. And finally, accountability. I believe in finding someone who will support you in your goals—a best friend or someone to hold you accountable. Someone to push you.
Thoughts on the cult of CrossFit? I love CrossFit, because they push exercise, healthy nutrition and accountability. It’s a community, not a cult. They do a lot of power lifting, and I’ve seen people jump into that without the proper training, but CrossFit is working really hard at getting the right instructors in there, so that if a beginner comes in and wants to do a hang clean, or a dead lift of 200 pounds, someone can help them. The bad rep comes from people overdoing it, and there’s only so many fitness experts who can be at one CrossFit gym and paying attention. But I think what they’re doing is awesome.
Athlete you admire the most? I’ve always looked up to my dad. He was a super dad. He could go running, or water skiing, or snow skiing, or whatever, and he was really healthy and fit. He taught me how to eat really well.
Yeah. There’s no limit to potential. I was pretty heavy until the age of 12. I was actually considered obese. My mom lost 60 pounds at 60 years old and has maintained it. I don’t think there’s any limit to health or fitness.