We asked the digital fitness superstar for her perfect summer day and go-to summer workout.
This summer, we’re bringing you inspiration from some of the top celebrity fitness teachers and athletes and sharing their summer workouts, power songs and more. Your dream summer starts here.
What do you call an individual who is able to not only deliver in front of the camera, but also direct the crew, write the workout, train the talent and perform the moves to perfection? A fitness legend.
That sums up Lisa Wheeler, who has been moving the fitness industry forward in her various roles for decades. She is the force that has mentored or choreographed some of the biggest names in the industry. Wheeler now focuses her talents as the VP of Fitness at Daily Burn, and with the Daily Burn team delivers DB 365, the daily live-streaming show which spreads the passion of movement to viewers around the world every day.
Daily Burn produces some of the world’s most popular streaming workouts. Every day, you receive a new workout that you can perform in a 24 Hour Fitness club, at home or anywhere. You can also select from an extensive video library of workouts tailored to your fitness level and interests. From yoga to dance to HIIT cardio, access hundreds of workouts anytime from any device, including your smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop or smart television.
24Life: What’s your go-to source for inspiration?
Lisa Wheeler (LW): Inspiration hits me from every angle, every source, every person. Currently, I am taking inspiration from my colleagues who are doing amazing things in the world of behavior change, brain science and mindset. I think the most important inspiration I am resonating with at this very moment is the movement in business, politics, education, science, motherhood—and almost everything else—that is being led by women. That has my juices flowing and my heart pumping.
24Life: What do you teach? Why do you like those formats?
LW: I currently do not have a regular class on a schedule but I do enjoy teaching a good, old-school rhythmic cardio sculpt class or a dance-based class. Those are my roots. Currently, I am mentoring instructors. I think it is my calling to help develop the potential I see in others—how to find their unique voices, how to develop their unique and authentic skills that make them want to get up every morning to serve others. That is my joy, my passion.
24Life: Why is fitness so important to you?
LW: My inspiration is my mother (she passed away in 2005) who had polio when she was 18. Movement was hard for her, so she never took it for granted. She would swim. She would walk. If she could move, she would. In her later years she would even be on an exercise bike with her oxygen tank. I see movement as a blessing, as a gift.
24Life: What is your ideal workout (that is 24 minutes or less)?
LW: As I have gotten older, I value mobility and quality of movement more and more. I don’t feel the need to kill myself in a workout anymore. I prefer total-body, functional movements that also get my heart rate up and that use body weight so I can do them anywhere. I start with a warm-up that moves me in all planes and dimensions. Then I will do a circuit of five moves that push, pull, move forward/back (locomotion), move up/down (center of gravity) and rotate. I do each of these moves for one minute each, recover for one minute, and repeat—for three rounds total. I finish up with yoga and I am good to go. If I am really crunched for time, I can get an intense, quickie workout with one of our DB10 workouts. I can do one, or stack two or three together. So fun!
24Life: Share a go-to movement that you use often in your training.
24Life: What’s your greatest passion, outside of the work that you do?
LW: Travel and theater. I love to explore places, cultures, people that are new to me. And the theater is like traveling to a unique place. It transports and transforms me.
24Life: Describe your perfect summer day.
LW: I think I had the perfect summer day today! I woke up at our lake house and sat out on the porch with a lovely cup of tea surrounded by good friends. After watching the birds and a few kayaks go by, we gathered ourselves and went on a two-hour hike in the woods. Divine natural beauty. Sun, air, water, trees … what could be better?! Then back to the house for a light lunch before everyone did their own thing—writing, sitting in the sun, listening to music, paddle boarding (that was me!). Later we had happy hour (yes, I enjoy a good cocktail and a glass of wine!) before cooking dinner. All hands on deck, as we sang and danced to new and old music. Laughter filling the kitchen. I made my famous deviled eggs! After homemade pie for dessert, we return to the deck to watch the sun set and talk of life, love, politics, movies and above all, friendship. I’ll go to sleep happy, full and loving life!
24Life: Do you have a power food, and what is it?
LW: It’s a cliché by now, but I just love avocado. Everything avocado. Could eat a whole one every day.
24Life: What’s your number-one stressor and your surefire stress-buster?
LW: I am a people pleaser and I try so hard to make everyone happy, but I know that is impossible! But it still stresses the heck out of me. I need to control that, as my stress starts to impact others and that ain’t cool. And my surefire stress-buster is a wonderful yoga class (especially if Lashaun Dale teaches it!) or time on the paddle board at the lake. If I don’t have time for either, just breathe!
24Life: What is one thing your students/fans/friends don’t know about you?
LW: I had severe food allergies as a kid and prior to my parents figuring it all out, I went deaf at four years old. I am not sure how it affected me as I don’t have much of a memory of that time, but it terrified my mother!
24Life: What’s your secret to getting stuff done?
LW: I am a bit of a workaholic but also a procrastinator, and that is an ugly mix. But I find if I make a list, prioritize and chip away at each task, I get it done. The most important thing I have learned recently is to take time to step away and unplug from work to be more productive. It is counterintuitive for me, but it works.
24Life: What is your theme song/power song for summer?
LW: My friends keep me up to date with music so I am loving “Rippin Kittin” by Golden Boy and Miss Kittin, “Kissing Strangers” by DNCE and “I Feel It Coming” by The Weeknd (thanks Rachel Sibony!). And if I go retro, my summer song is “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” by The Gap Band.
24Life: What book is on your night table?
LW: Right now I am reading “The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay Stainer.
24Life: What’s your secret for a great night’s sleep?
LW: My husband calls me The Super Sleeper as I have no problem sleeping. But I do know if I can get off of the computer and social media earlier in the evening and just relax that I feel more refreshed in the morning. I like to get 6-8 hours. I need it.
24Life: Any inspirational quotes or advice you would like to share?
LW: I am a sucker for Dr. Seuss! It’s a quote AND advice: “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!”
Lisa Wheeler is owner of Wheels In Motion Productions and is currently the VP of Fitness for Daily Burn, where she heads up content and trainer development as well as fitness production elements. She is a 2016 Daytime Emmy-nominated Executive Producer for her work on Daily Burn 365. Prior to Daily Burn, she was the Director of Group Fitness Development for Equinox, Education Manager and Global Master Trainer for Reebok University and Education Manager for Crunch and Club Med. Behind the camera, she has worked as a program design consultant, choreographer and camera coach for more than 400 programs (DRTV, retail, digital media) for major distributers and companies. Her clients and projects include Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels, Richard Simmons, David Kirsch, “Dancing with the Stars” and “The Biggest Loser.” Wheeler is the co-author of “30-Day Jump Start” and “Six Weeks to a Healthier You,” both on The New York Times’ bestseller list for nonfiction.
Photo credit (top to bottom): Ryan Kelly; courtesy of Lisa Wheeler; Ryan Kelly