Jennifer Aniston is a TV legend with a penchant for starting fads. During her stint playing Rachel Green on Friends, she helped launch timeless style trends and the infamous Rachel haircut, which has become a part of television history in its own right … even if the Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning actress is not a fan herself. As Aniston once quipped to Allure, "[That] was not my best look. How do I say this? I think it was the ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen."
Since the Friends series finale in 2004, Aniston has steadily continued working onscreen — and setting trends. These days, she’s admired as much for her acting as she is for her incredible physique, which is made all the more impressive when you consider the fact that Aniston turned 50 in 2019! But that wasn’t always the case. Speaking with Rolling Stone in 1996 (via Harper’s Bazaar), Aniston revealed just how harsh Hollywood was to her when she first arrived. "My agent gave it to me straight … I wasn’t getting lots of jobs ’cause I was too heavy," she said, before admitting, "My diet was terrible. Milkshakes and French fries with gravy. It was a good thing to start paying attention."
Pay attention she did and, nowadays, she’s strictly devoted to healthy eating and working out. Here’s how Jennifer Aniston stays so fit.
Jennifer Aniston is constantly working out, but likes to mix things up
Jennifer Aniston is committed to working out. Like, really committed. "I work out almost every day, at least five or six days a week," she told InStyle in 2012 (via Page Six), revealing that she likes to "mix it up" when it comes to exercise. "I do 40 minutes of cardio: spinning, running, the elliptical, or a combination of all three," the actress revealed. "Then I do Pilates one day a week, and I do yoga in addition to that, three days a week."
As she told Well + Good in 2018, "Keeping your body confused is always the key for me." So she’ll do a spin-yoga class one day, then she’ll go to the gym and get in some "strength training" or cardio "just to change things up." She explained, "It’s really good to get sprints in, to get in that interval training, because it’s monotonous to do one pace."
One of Aniston’s personal trainers, Leyon Azubuike, told Women’s Health in 2020 just how diverse her workouts are, noting, "We box, we jump rope, we do strength training, we do a lot of work with resistance bands … We rotate these things so it’s always hard, she’s consistently being challenged." They also "do a lot of things that stretch the core" and will "use a [sit-up] to shock the body occasionally," but he concluded, "It’s not a major part of our core regimen."
Yoga is Jennifer Aniston’s first fitness love
Despite her self-professed love of shaking things up when it comes to her exercise routine, Jennifer Aniston is a passionate yoga devotee. As Shape noted in 2012, she began practicing yoga with Mandy Ingber — the inventor of the Yogalosophy program — in 2005 and never stopped. Ingber recalled how, when she first met Aniston, the Friends star "hadn’t been exercising much because she was overloaded with work for so many years, so it was really about grounding into her body during a major professional and personal life change."
Over a decade later, Aniston was still following the program, which combines yoga with spinning and promises to "sculpt sleek muscles and unwind your mind." As she told People in 2016, she was doing sessions consisting of "25-30 minutes of spinning and then 30-40 minutes of yoga" three times a week. The following year, Ingber revealed a bit more about the routine she built for the celeb, telling the Daily Mail (via Harper’s Bazaar) that they also "[incorporate] some of my hybrid, which is a yoga pose paired with a toning exercise." In addition to "[doing] some power yoga, vinyasa flow and then some yin yoga stretching," they "then finish with the infrared sauna."
Aniston clearly loved it because, as Ingber added, "we did that for 15-20 years" and only paused in 2017, when Ingber decided to take a "gap year from teaching."
Jennifer Aniston also loves boxing
She may be a passionate yogi, but Jennifer Aniston’s love of working out stretches far beyond yoga. When InStyle asked the Golden Globe winner about her go-to workout in 2018, she couldn’t help but gush about … boxing!
"Last year I discovered boxing, and I love it," Aniston enthused, before admitting, "It’s the longest workout I’ve actually stayed with consistently other than yoga. There’s something about the mental aspect of boxing — the drills, your brain has to work, you’re not just sitting on a bike. It’s amazing." Noting that boxing is "a great way to get aggression out," she added, "You get a mental release of all this crap you’re taking into your ears and eyes every day and have little fantasy moments imagining who you’re punching."
Aniston was introduced to boxing by her trainer, Leyon Azubuike, who owns boxing studio Gloveworx in Los Angeles. Explaining why he’s a firm believer in the benefits of boxing, he told People, "It’s very interactive, and the best part … is that it’s infinitely progressive. We can regress the workouts as much as we need to accommodate anyone from beginner to Olympian, and in the same sense, we can progress enough to where you’re learning something new every single time you put on a pair of gloves where you step in the gym."
Jennifer Aniston’s not afraid to try something new
It seems Jennifer Aniston’s love of staying fit knows no bounds. In fact, she’s game to try anything! While speaking with Shape in 2017, she revealed that she had just discovered yet another workout obsession thanks to her pal and fellow actress, Emily Blunt: interval training.
Noting that she still loves yoga and cardio, the actress sang the praises of her new fave workout, noting, "I think muscle confusion and switching it up is important. I work out at Rise Nation and with my trainer [Rise Nation founder] Jason [Walsh] who just has me carrying really heavy ropes around and throwing medicine balls against walls and stuff." Aniston admitted, "I’d never really done anything like that before, but I love it."
She also subscribed to The Class by Taryn Toomey, "which [she’s] in love with because it’s sort of a fantastic moving meditation." Aniston went on to gush, "You get your emotions out, you get your psyche cleaned, you get your body sweating-it checks a lot of boxes," adding, "You feel the power of the group energy — it’s kind of an extraordinary experience. Not to expose too much, but the first time I did it I was in tears!"
Jennifer Aniston’s a ‘natural athlete’ who relies on ‘periodization’
According to Jennifer Aniston’s trainer, Leyon Azubuike, the actress was pretty much born to exercise. Speaking with People in 2018, he said that having Aniston as a client has been a "great experience" because "she’s very diligent." He told the mag, "She is ready to work out hard, every single time she hits the gym … Whether it be a 45-minute session, whether it be a 2-hour session … and that makes my job a little bit easier."
Concluding that "she’s a very good, natural athlete," Azubuike also told Women’s Health that there’s nothing that scares Aniston in the gym. "Every exercise I throw at her, she dominates it," he revealed. "She can hold a two- or three-minute plank rather easily."
Even so, her work schedule means that Aniston can’t always be working out, which is why Azubuike uses "periodization." As he explained to Women’s Health, he builds workouts in phases that can last weeks, months, or longer, and are tailored to Aniston’s ever-changing schedule. That means she’ll work out anywhere between three to seven days a week in sessions that last 45 minutes to an hour and a half. "Where we are in a cycle dictates the duration and intensity of Jen’s workout," Azubuike said. "If I know Jen isn’t filming anything, it’s a different phase than if I know she’s going to be walking up to receive an award — I’m not going to destroy her legs in the gym the day before."
Jennifer Aniston talks herself into staying fit
It’s clear that Jennifer Aniston is devoted to fitness, but that doesn’t mean that it comes easy. As she herself has admitted on numerous occasions, she’s not immune to losing motivation. Speaking with Women’s Health in 2014, Aniston revealed she’s never done the same workout too many times "because you eventually stop doing it, and you just get lazy." She added, "Mixing it up is always fun because that way you know you’re excited, and it’s muscle confusion. It keeps your body awake."
But even when she’s keeping boredom at bay, she confessed to the mag, "There are days I go ‘I can’t’ and ‘I don’t want to,’ and I think you just have to listen to your body. So sometimes you just don’t work out." Aniston added, "And then there are times when you go, ‘Really? Do you really not want to?’ And then if you just say, ‘OK, I’m going to get on some machine for 10 minutes,’ you just start to get the endorphins going. Then you feel great, and you just keep going. So sometimes you can actually override the ‘I don’t want to work out.’"
It’s not always fun, but as Aniston told People in 2016, you just have to "bite the bullet" and push yourself. "Once I’m back into it," she proclaimed, "I love it and I crave it."
You too can have Jennifer Aniston’s toned arms
Jennifer Aniston has created many trends over the years (lest anyone forget the Rachel haircut), but one of the things that has consistently drawn praise from her fans are her toned arms. According to The Morning Show star, it’s all about yoga and weight training. "Lifting your own body weight" is effective, she told People, adding, "When I’m at the gym, there are the ropes. Grab little five-pound weights if you have nothing else and just move them around."
In her InStyle (via Page Six) interview, Aniston advised that it’s also important to keep the arm exercises going at all times. "I take eight-pound weights with me whenever I’m staying in a hotel," she revealed. "… It’s always good to do arm exercises when you’re watching television or talking on the phone."
According to another one of Aniston’s trainers, Danielle Lagree of Lagree Fitness Studio, who spoke with InStyle, the actress has a couple of go-to moves, including a chest press with a resistance band. "You want to wrap the resistance band around your hands," Lagree explained, while demonstrating how to set up the move by wrapping the resistance band around her back "right underneath [the] bra strap." For two minutes, she added, "You’re going to push your hands out and then criss-cross them."
Jennifer Aniston mixes a strict diet with intermittent fasting and cheat days
Jennifer Aniston isn’t just serious about exercising, she’s also committed to a strict diet. Speaking with htcafe in 2015, she revealed, "On Sundays, I eat whatever I want. Otherwise, I stick to a low-card, gluten-free diet with lots of protein and vegetables." Her go-to snack includes brown-rice bread with "a little coconut oil and sea salt on top," which she gushed is "delicious." In addition to watching what she eats, Aniston also told Radio Times (via Women’s Health) in 2019 that she’s become a firm believer in the benefits of intermittent fasting. "So no food in the morning," she explained, adding, "I noticed a big difference in going without solid food for 16 hours."
She does have her cheat days (apart from Sundays), though. In 2012, Aniston told InStyle (via Page Six), "You’re told to avoid fried food, but I don’t always. I had Mexican the other night and ate everything you can imagine." More recently, however, "pasta has taken over as my new favorite go-to-town food," she told Elle in 2016. All because her then-husband, Justin Theroux, "brought the pasta back into my life," she said, quipping, "I don’t know whether I should thank him or hate him for that."
Here’s what Jennifer Aniston eats in a day
Speaking with Elle in 2016, Jennifer Aniston delved further into what she eats on an average day, and it’s all about making the healthiest choices. "When I wake up, I have warm lemon water and then I have a shake or avocado and eggs, which is one of my favorites," she began, adding, "I sprinkle a little coconut oil on that." Alternatively, she’ll opt for "a puffed millet cereal with a banana or I’ll do oatmeal with an egg white whipped in at the end." Explaining the unconventional mix, which she learned from then-husband Justin Theroux, Aniston added, "Right before [the oatmeal] is finished cooking, you just whip in an egg white and it kind of gives it this fluffy texture that’s delicious."
Aniston revealed yet another breakfast fave to Shape in 2017, saying she loves "a quick shake with protein powder, spinach, maca powder, berries, and vitamin C powder." Other times, she won’t have any breakfast at all. "Sometimes I do a fasted workout and just have a cup of coffee and then go and work out," the Dumplin’ star added.
As for lunch, Aniston told Elle it’s usually "some form of vegetables or salad with protein — pretty basic," and for dinner, well, it’s "probably the same." What about snacks? "Maybe an apple and almond butter," she said, or an apple and nuts.
Self-care is just as important to Jennifer Aniston’s fitness as diet and exercise
Jennifer Aniston doesn’t just work out and eat right, she also puts emphasis on taking care of her body and mind through self-care. Sunday, for example, isn’t just her cheat day, it’s also her "spa day." In 2017, she told Shape, "I usually do a little mini facial time where I just give myself a good scrub, use a mask, and then the new Aveeno hydrating facial."
When asked to share her "can’t-miss wellness ritual," Aniston also revealed that BFF Courteney Cox had introduced her to the magic of portable infrared saunas. "It kind of looks like a little igloo," she said, noting, "It’s such a game changer in terms of your skin detoxification and cell rejuvenation. So that I do a couple times a week right after I do the gym." Aniston gushed, "I’ve noticed a real change in my energy, and my sleep, and my skin."
The TV star has also tried her hand at a technology detox. "I have been really trying recently to do the Sleep Revolution that Arianna Huffington wrote about — leaving your phone outside of your bedroom," she told Shape, saying that it works for her. "The times I’ve been good at doing that, I have had better sleep. And you don’t wake up to emails and dings," Aniston concluded.