What Is Jennifer Aniston's "15-15-15" Workout Plan—and Is It Healthy?
Jennifer Aniston is a remarkably loyal Friend. She's hopelessly devoted to her collagen peptides and proudly starts each morning with a glass of hot lemon water. (See the complete dish about what Jennifer Aniston eats in a day here.)
She's also a creature of habit when it comes to the core components of her fitness routine. In addition to her yoga practice …
… the 53-year-old actress swears by and sticks with something she calls "my 15-15-15," she explains in InStyle's September 2021 cover interview.
What Is Jennifer Aniston's "15-15-15" Workout Plan?
No matter how she moves her body, though, Aniston says it's a must on the daily: "I need some kind of movement, even if it's just 10 minutes a day on a trampoline," she adds to InStyle.
This plan, among her favorites, involves "a 15-minute spin, elliptical, run." And after that, it's "just old school: I can chase myself around a gym," Aniston continues.
Three sets of 15-minute shifts on different cardio machines seem surprisingly doable, even for those of us (✋) who aren't quite as regimented as Aniston. Cranking this out daily, or even four days per week, would meet the World Health Organization's physical activity guidelines, which suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week. (They also recommend two days of full-body strength training—read on for more on that topic.)
So Is This 3-Times-15 Plan a Wise One?
"I love the 15-15-15 method on your cardio day," says Lauren Reid, a certified personal trainer in Orange County, California, and a Stride Xpro for Xponential. "This is a great way to minimize impact, challenge different muscle groups and keep your workout fresh so that you're not burning out on 45 minutes of straight cardio using one modality," such as just the treadmill or rowing machine.
The cross-training style is also a bright idea if you're aiming to reduce the risk of injury. By mixing things up, you'll not only challenge a wide variety of muscle groups, but you'll also potentially curb overuse issues that can arise if you're, say, pounding away on the treadmill or road for 45 minutes day after day.
It can also be beneficial mentally if you find it challenging to feel motivated to exercise. Breaking up the cardio into three 15-minute "nuggets" likely feels much more achievable than completing the same challenge for 45 minutes without stopping.
As much as trainers dig the 15-15-15, it does leave some things to be desired.
What's Missing from the "15-15-15" Workout
Aniston nods to the idea of lifting weights with that "chase around the gym" comment, and fitness experts agree that's a wise—and necessary—addition. (ICYMI, weight training might be even more important than aerobic activities for your heart health, cancer risk and any possible weight-loss pursuits.) So mixing in workouts like these 10 confidence-building moves can be a boon for your posture, your strength and your longevity.
We tapped Reid to design her ideal weekly gym or at-home workout program that utilizes Aniston's BFF body challenger:
- Monday: 15-15-15 cardio
- Tuesday: 30 minutes of resistance training
- Wednesday: 30 minutes of yoga
- Thursday: 15-15-15 cardio
- Friday: 30 minutes of resistance training
- Saturday: Active leisure day (for example, gardening, walking, a golf or tennis match or a hike)
- Sunday: Complete rest day
No elliptical, spin bike or treadmill? No problem; this same philosophy can be customized with other aerobic options like jumping rope, biking or running outside, alternating minutes of jumping jacks, push-ups and squats (5 rounds of 1 minute each) or any other cardio pursuit you enjoy.
Keeping an open, flexible mind is also crucial if you're just dipping your toe into working out. A full 45 going all-out is also a lot for a beginner.
Similar to our walking workout for beginners, Reid suggests that newbies "find a comfortable base pace and then integrate some light intervals. Try 1 minute at your comfortable base followed by 30 seconds at a medium-hard effort. Repeat this 10 times, then move to the next machine [or alternate cardio method] and do the same," she says. "If you need additional rest, you can lengthen your base efforts. Interval training will not only make the workout fly by, but it will also maximize your results."
As you build on that cardio base, up the ante by alternating 1 minute at the regular pace, followed by 1 minute at a tougher pace. Repeat seven times, then finish with a 30-second all-out sprint before catching your breath with a 30-second rest before rotating to the next cardio option.
"You can follow this same pattern with any aerobic activity, and you'll be toast (in the best way!)," Reid advises.
The Bottom Line
Similar to those retro commercials that tout cereal as being "part of a complete breakfast," Jennifer Aniston's 15-15-15 workout can be part of a complete workout routine. If you're exercising for optimal health, strength, flexibility, longevity and injury prevention, though, it's also important to mix in flexibility and resistance training—and rest.
The mix-and-match program Reid designed (above) "provides a combination of efficient cardio and strength training that is hard to beat when you're looking to build a strong yet lean physique. The most important thing is to not get complacent with easy, boring cardio," Reid says. "You need to mix up paces and modalities in order to efficiently burn calories and torch fat. There's little worse than doing cardio and not getting the results you're after!"