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Meet the new face of Get Fit 4 Free: Simone De La Rue

posted on Thursday, 27th August 2015 | find under Fitness
Sweaty Betty’s latest Get Fit 4 Free partner is Simone De La Rue, Australia-born, LA-based fitness icon and the real face and body behind the celebrity-loved dance cardio workout Body By Simone. Her long list of clients (among which are Reese Witherspoon and Sandra Bullock) love her for her trademark ‘sim-shimmy’ – a light-hearted shoulder shake to end every workout and leave you feeling fabulously happy for hours after. “I operate from the heart,” says Simone De La Rue, and her endless passion and infinite love for others is evident in everything she does. A tight-knit family united by endorphins, Body By Simone’s LA and NYC studio regulars look to the founder as a role model in both fitness and attitude.

A former ballet and theatrical dancer of 18 years, Simone keeps technique at the core of every programme. She uses high-energy contemporary music and an effortless flow between exercises to work the body from head to toe using nothing but the body’s own resistance or small hand weights. It’s the only exercise Simone does to this day, and her toned physique and unfaltering energy set an inspiring ideal. “People always ask, how do you get the body of a dancer?” says Simone. “The answer is simple: just dance!” 

Here Simone gives Sweaty Betty a little insight into her fitness history and incredible LA lifestyle.

Simone De La Rue

As a professional dancer in the theatre circle, how did you manage to avoid injury and stay healthy? 

I had strict ballet training from the age of 3 so my focus on technique and form began very early. Classical ballet in particular is very intense. I took care of myself – made sure I had correct footwear, stretched after workouts and iced sore muscles. I was always very aware of my body and how far I could push it.

How important is anatomy study to dance and the dance-inspired workouts you teach?

Understanding posture and correct form is very important to me, so anatomy is central to Body By Simone workouts. I try to teach my clients that one quality rep is more effective than hundreds of poor quality reps. 

What does a week in workouts look like for you?

To motivate my group classes and 1-to-1 clients, I train alongside them. That means on a normal working day I could do anywhere between two and five hours’ exercise, so that’s all I need to do! 

What qualities or signature style defines a Body By Simone workout?

Music is really crucial to every Body By Simone programme – we have really kickass music to keep motivation levels high and maintain the energy and rhythm of the class. There’s always a natural flow between exercises too, so the body never stops moving.

Growing up in Australia, did the adventure-driven culture influence your current lifestyle? How does it compare or contrast to your LA lifestyle? 

LA is home for me now, but it certainly reminds me of Melbourne and Sydney at times. Across all three cities, people are very health conscious. Hiking, swimming, surfing and running are just part of the everyday culture. As the weather tends to be quite warm year-round, you’re also conscious of making healthier choices with your food and feeling confident in your body.

This season you’re Sweaty Betty’s role model for the ‘California Girl’. What does being a California Girl mean to you?

Being a California Girl to me means waking up to sunshine and palm trees. When that’s how you start your day, it’s hard not to be in a good mood. The pace of life is a bit slower compared to cities like London and New York, so it also means taking time to slow down and appreciate the most simple joys of life.

How do you keep your energy levels up during busy days with back-to-back clients and classes?

I sleep a lot. I always get eight hours a night, and try to sleep as much as I can before midnight to maximise my time in the deeply restorative REP cycle. When it comes to nutrition, I look at food as a necessity to fuel my body rather than a response to hunger. I choose tasty things, but think about how that food is going to make me feel. I typically follow the paleo way of eating, prioritising lots of protein, fruits and vegetables. My body processes it really well and it helps to repair my muscles after training.  

Can you share your favourite go-to weekday meal? And weekend meal?

During the week, a typical lunch or dinner will include chicken or salmon with lots of leafy greens. On the weekend, I’ll throw in a sweet treat – I’ll always choose a dessert over a more indulgent main course. As a chocoholic, I count down to my trips to London just for the Galaxy chocolate! 

Describe the perfect Sunday…

I’ll lie in until 8 or 9am, go to Soho House for all-you-can-eat brunch, read the paper and enjoy a mimosa. In the afternoon I’ll walk along the beach, go to a flea market and hang out with friends. I love Sunday night TV and early nights. 

If we were to take a peek inside your gym bag, what would we find? 

Newton running shoes, a change of Sweaty Betty clothes, a water bottle, rose spray face mist and dry shampoo. And my iPhone charger, just in case!

We’re still snooping… what labels will we find in your wardrobe?

I love a lot of British brands. All Saints’ jeans and a leather jacket will be a go-to outfit for me. Helmut Lang and Rag & Bone are also all-time favourites. Comfort is a priority for me, so easy layers are key.

Are there any fitness or wellness professionals you look up to as a personal role model?

I’m a big fan of Jane Fonda. I think what she’s doing for women’s rights is great. She really paved the way for us – all the way back to the leotards and leg warmers! In the world of dance, Mikhail Baryshnikov is still one of the most beautiful performers ever. I also love what Jillian Michaels is doing to inspire the youth to be active. 

What one personal trait would you relate to your success in work, fitness and life?

Everything I do comes from a place of love, and I don’t try to take myself too seriously. I think as long as people feel comfortable around me, I can be myself and achieve my goals while helping others on the way to theirs. 

Try the exclusive Sweaty Betty x Body by Simone workout video at sweatybetty.com/workoutvideos
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