Emmy Rossum works out constantly: ‘I think you should just do something every day’

I don’t really have an opinion of Emmy Rossum. She seems saccharine but harmless, and while I would never have considered her a “good” actress, she’s getting better-than-average reviews on Shameless, and she’s built a decent career for herself. So that was how I came into Emmy’s Self Magazine cover interview – I thought she was sweet and harmless and somewhat “normal”. But I was sort of taken aback by Emmy’s dieting and workout discussion. I mean, it’s Self so of course their cover star is going to be talking about diet and exercise, but I don’t really get Emmy’s system…?

Her favorite workouts: “I like Physique 57, Burn 60 and SoulCycle or Flywheel, because I get positive energy from the people around me. You just can’t be the slacker. And I raise my hand like an idiot whenever the instructor asks if anyone is new to the class. I’m, like, ‘Yep, I’m the loser who hasn’t been here before.’ At least I’m not going to screw myself up by doing it wrong!”

Her quickie weight-loss workout: “When I want to drop weight quickly, I cut back on my cardio and do a lot of weights instead. It’s counterintuitive, because you would think, I should stay on the treadmill for five hours. I also cut out all fruit and eat a lot of protein and vegetables. My go-to moves are walking lunges, leg raises and my favorite: four sets of 15 ballet pliés, holding 8-pound weights.”

She exercises every day: “If I’ve had a meh workout the day before, and I’m still not feeling it, then I’ll do another meh one that day, too. I think you should just do something every day.”

Her longterm goal: “I don’t want to do the Ironman or run 10 miles, but I do want to go up into space one day. It costs [hundreds of thousands] right now, but I hope eventually it will be $500. And I want to make sure my heart is fit enough to handle the trip when I’m 50.”

Her version of “chaos”: “I don’t always make my bed. If my life is in a state of chaos, then I have to make it. But if I’m happy in my life, then I’m OK leaving a little chaos in my house.”

She has cheat days on her diet: “When I was filming Beautiful Creatures, I ate 1,500 calories a day—nutritionist Carrie Wiatt sent me meals from L.A. But I also gave myself two cheat days a week. I’d eat a steak and fries, an ice cream sundae and then go to Pinkberry. Of course, then I’d wake up the next morning and go, ‘Oh, great, I’m eating one poached egg and a green apple. Shoot me in the face.’ But it was totally worth it. Now I can gain back those 6 pounds that I had lost to do the movie.”

She was raised on a macrobiotic diet: “I was raised on a macrobiotic diet, so I was more interested in eating the junk food that other kids were eating, although I’d have to make sure my mom didn’t know. My mom has never owned a saltshaker. Now I have to sneak these contraband little salt packets from take-out restaurants into her house so that I can salt my food.”

Know your limits: “I’m not going to wake up like Gisele tomorrow. That’s just not going to happen. She’s a genetic freak—and stunning. I’m a human being. I’m fit because I make it a priority and it’s part of my job. I also try to stay confident, so 5 pounds up or down doesn’t affect my brain.”

Must love animals: “I don’t like a guy if he doesn’t like my animals. I have a dog, Cinnamon, and a cat.”

She likes where she is right now: “Right now I’m probably in the best shape that I’ve ever been in, although I don’t consider ‘best shape’ to necessarily mean the skinniest. I’ve been fatter and I’ve been skinnier than I am right now, but I’m more at peace than ever.”

[From Self]

Does anyone else think Emmy might benefit from hiring a trainer who actually knows what they’re doing? It seems like Emmy’s system is half-okay – she’s mixing it up, she’s doing different things, she’s working out different ways and different parts of her body, which is great. But I was always taught that it’s important to let your body have a proper rest, and the idea should be to NOT work out every day. And the best way to be fit and strong is to weight train AND do cardio, and it’s weird that she would lose weight just by weight training. Also – I think that being raised on a macrobiotic diet has really messed up her relationship with food as an adult, which is what I always say about Gwyneth Paltrow’s kids too. Gwyneth is basically pushing her severe food issues onto her children and it will affect their relationship to food into adulthood. Apple Martin will become like Emmy Rossum.

Photos courtesy of SELF.

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42 Responses to “Emmy Rossum works out constantly: ‘I think you should just do something every day’”

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  1. gee says:

    According to my fitness freak brother, your body needs rest every day but that doesn’t mean you can’t work out every day. You need to work out different parts of your body, like arms today, legs tomorrow. So maybe that’s how she does it.

    Also, she is in incredible shape on Shameless, so whatever she’s doing works.

    • chia says:

      I’ve heard the same thing, so you maybe shouldn’t be running every day, but you can run, then swim, then do yoga, and run again.

      And there is mixed evidence about the usefulness of cardio. Strength training builds muscle, which burns calories more efficiently and increases the after burn of your workouts. My trainer used to yell at me for the amount of cardio I did and urged me to do more intervals.

      And, if you ever wear a heart rate monitor during a really intense weight lifting session, you’d be amazed at how many calories you burn.

      • Esmom says:

        Yes I’d heard that but a recent medical study I heard about last week compared people who did cardio, people who did strength training and people who did a mix of both and the people who did just cardio lost the most weight.

        It seems like conventional wisdom constantly changes, so I guess the key is to finding what works for you, even if it doesn’t work for others.

        I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing something every day, especially if it’s something moderate and low-key. That seems like decent advice and better than doing nothing at all.

      • Rachel says:

        @Esmom, of course people who do only cardio are going to lose the most weight. Because they are not building muscle mass as they’re losing weight, and muscle weighs more than fat. So people who only do cardio are burning fat, but not building any muscle. That doesn’t make them healthier. The proper measure isn’t the number on the scale, but lean mass v. fat.

      • the original liv says:

        muscle does not weigh more than fat. a pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat…a pound. however, muscle is more dense than fat, so it takes up less space. that’s why two people can weigh the same, but not look like the same “weight”

      • Steph says:

        That’s why I weigh so damn much. I never put 2 and 2 together, and realized that its because I’m quite muscular despite my petite frame.

    • A says:

      This. The human body is ment to endure a lot.

  2. E says:

    Sounds about right, honestly. Yeah, she shouldn’t be strength training everyday, but to sounds like she isn’t unless she is trying to lose a few pounds. She sounds like she has a good head on her shoulders. I’ve lost 100 pounds and much of what she said resonates with what my trainers have told me & what my own body has responded to. But I’m also very meh about her… I’ve seen her everywhere & she’s very pretty, but I’ve never even seen her act! I feel old.

  3. Barrett says:

    Every response seemed a bit nutty and OCD. I think she has psychological issues with her body and daily activities but she doesn’t realize it.

    • Esmom says:

      I had to laugh when she described her unmade bed as “chaos.” If she could see my tween and teen sons’ rooms, she’d probably keel over.

  4. poppy says:

    if you “work out” in a gentle way, (walking or yoga, just a work out to be moving or stretching) every day is a great thing unless you are sick. not for hours, not pounding, not maniacal, not trying to exhaust or kill yourself. an easy 30 minute walk is good for just about anyone.

    • lem says:

      exactly. active rest days are great if you’re the type of person that psychologically feels the need to move every day (I’m one of those). And active rest can be as much as paddleboarding, or as little as a 30 minute stretch in front of the tv. it’s really all about listening to what your body needs instead of following some schedule that someone puts out there for you.

      • Lisa says:

        Sound comment! I can’t sit still for very long either. I don’t have nervous energy or anything, I’ve just always been that way.

  5. Annabelle says:

    I think that’s a somewhat sad way to live. It doesn’t feel like she embraces or ever indulges in some of the more luscious things in life. Such a dedicated existence is admirable, but not for me.

  6. Mrs. Ari Gold says:

    I agree with Kaiser that being raised on a macrobiotic diet gave her some severe food issues. I’ve been macrobiotic at times for serious health reasons. Really not fair of her parents to do that to a kid. This article reeks of serious body issues that she’s trying to deny.

    I feel kind of bad for her.

  7. lucy2 says:

    Given that it’s in Self magazine, I can understand that’s all she really talks about here. If it’s all she EVER talks about, like Goop, then I’d think she had issues.

    • V4Real says:

      I like the way you stated that.
      I was reading a blind about Emmy that said she has developed a bit of an ego problem now that she’s on a hit cable show. She was having one of her diva moments on set and her co-star William H. Macy called her on it in front of the entire crew; way to go Macy.
      But I really do think Emmy is beautiful in a not overly done kind of way.

  8. D'Oh! says:

    The only comment I have is about how her face is messed with on the cover. Specifically her eyelids (they lowered them) and eyebrows (lowered them, too). The woman is gorgeous yet even she can’t escape the unnecessary retouching because some idiot at Shape decided she’s not perfect enough for their shitty cover. Ugh…

  9. Lemony says:

    I’m not very familiar w/ her acting but her pics here are very pretty & she is a talented singer. I did recently see an article about her in which she seemed to be complaining about her beauty affecting her ability to get roles. Hopefully she won’t continue that dialogue (Jessica Biel) cuz that’ll be too annoying!

  10. Lemony says:

    As far as the exercise, you shouldn’t be doing hardcore cardio or intense weightlifting every day….but you can do light things on the days in between, like walking, gentle yoga, etc. Hopefully that is what Emmy meant.

  11. YummyMummy says:

    She totally has food issues the way she describes overdoing it one day and then an egg and apple the next day.

  12. Feebee says:

    She might be right about daily exercise but space travel will never ever ever be $500. You can’t even do coast to coast for that.

  13. Jess says:

    Her body is unreal on Shameless. Very shapely and meaty where it needs to be. She’s just so gorgeous, it’s unfair. They make her look like hell on the show, and she’s still so stunning.

  14. celebgossipgirl says:

    I’ve always thought Emmy was gorgeous, but her responses seem a little neurotic. Girl, CHILL and eat a cheeseburger! Life shouldnt always about working out or counting calories. Good for her though, she looks bangin’!

  15. Chordy says:

    If I remember correctly, I believe Emmy is a dancer? I grew up dancing and danced professionally in my 20s, and I have a really similar work out style to her. I do yoga and ballet consistently, but then I’m manic as hell and do every fun class I can find. In fact, I related to her a lot in this interview, so I’m a little concerned that everyone thinks she’s nuts. Time to call the shrink!

  16. annaloo. says:

    Emmy Rossum is an annoying person IRL. She snaps her fingers when she wants your attention and she’ll take your laptop and use it without asking. That’s how she is on the set. I also recall reading an online article about how she asked to look at a stranger’s magazine and then proceeded to tear an article out of something that didn’t belong to her. That sounds like her. She’s an entitled saccharine doily, and I can’t believe I’m here reading about her freakshow food obsessions. I am bitter that people like her are rewarded in this world. Ugh, shoot me.

  17. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    I had to reread ‘Apple Martin.’ I read it as ‘Apple Martini’ at first lol..poor girl.

  18. Seagulls says:

    She’s irritated me since she first became famous. She’s as annoying as Anne Hathaway.

  19. mac says:

    I just started watching Shameless and I have to say she is very fit and is really good in the show. I wasn’t a fan of her in Phantom of the Opera but she pulls off an excellent Fiona Gallagher.

  20. RobN says:

    Mankind evolved walking everywhere, chasing food and literally fighting for survival every single day. I’m amused that so many people think you should always have a rest day. An hour a day doing cardio and lifting is not something the human body needs to take a day off from. People didn’t skip a day of farming or a day of cutting wood because they farmed or cut wood yesterday.

  21. Katija says:

    Nothing about this sounds obsessive to me. She has two cheat days a week, and she admits that sometimes her workouts are “meh,” but she does them anyways. Sounds totally healthy to me.

  22. Jannie says:

    A few things, based on the article and comments I’ve read here:

    1) There is no “right” way to diet and exercise (there are however many “wrong” ways). The best approach is to find something that works for you, and do it consistantly. Emmy says that she’s not gung ho in her workouts every day. She admits to having “meh” days. She just makes the effort to do something every day. That makes sense. If she takes it easy on the days when she’s not up to anything too taxing (does some stretching, gentle yoga, takes a relaxing walk/swim) and saves the more intense cardio/strength for when she feels more energy, then she most likely ends up with a pretty well rounded exercise routine that works for her.

    2) Regarding her relationship with food, she seems very honest. She’ll have a cheat day, indulge and feel guilty afterwards. Is it good to feel that guilt? Of course not. But I feel the same way when I indulge. I think a lot of people do. She does admit that for her job she needs to look a certain way, and maintain a certain physique (actually I believe that she was speaking about filming a movie for which she had to loose a few pounds when she made those comments about feeling guilty for indulgences). She admits that she works hard for it, and it sometimes involves a bit of sacrifice. Personally I find that a refreshing change from all the starlets who claim they never diet or workout, and they just look perfect naturally!

    3) Several people have commented about Emmy having an attitude or being stuck up. I met Emmy on two occasions, and both times she was absolutely lovely: friendly, down to earth, and without a hint of diva.

    4)If you haven’t watched Shameless you should. It’s an entertaining show with some nice social satire as well as some compelling drama. Emmy positively carries it: she disappears into her character and handles both comedy and drama with ease.

    Nothing she’s said here sounds out of the ordinary though. I’d venture to guess that her relationsahip with food and exercise – at least based on what she says here- is probably much healthier than a lot of celebs!

  23. Lisa says:

    Lord, call the Literal Police on this one. She just means that you don’t sit on your duff on non-gym days. Get up and clean, take a walk at night, take five when you’re watching TV.

    I’ve noticed that CB can be really bitchy about exercise. It’s the same sort of misguided feminism that Jez gets into that is misinformed and puts people off. OMG SHE’S WORKING OUT AND ENJOYING IT. SHE’S CAVING TO PATRIARCHAL HOLLYWOOD.

  24. dread pirate cuervo says:

    I like that she wants space travel to cost $500. That’s something your average person could afford. & that she works hard to maintain her figure. Because its her job. *cough*Mila Kunis*cough* Could she maybe be not as hoity toity as I though?

  25. pato says:

    I like her honest answers. She acknowledges she works out evry day because it´s part of her work and that she eats. not like others that say they eat a lot everyday and almost don´t work out but they are “fit” (read scary skinny or skinny).

  26. kay says:

    um no. it’s recommended by doctors to try and incorporate 30 minutes of exercise into your routine every day, even if it’s just walking. you shouldn’t do extreme cardio, or running, every day because you can wear out the joints. But walking, swimming, cycling, all good to do every day.

  27. Faye says:

    I’ve seen pics of Emmy Rossum in the media for years now, and she’s always looked healthily slender and fit, with very little (no noticeble) fluctations in weight. To me, that indicates she’s healthy. Her diet and exercise philosophy sounds pretty sane to me.

  28. Laura says:

    I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t lift weights every day, but cardio every day is fine (I run six days a week, which works out to 50+ miles, and lift weights three times a week). Also that weight lifting doesn’t burn as many calories as cardio, but builds muscle mass, and muscle burns more calories even at rest than fat. *shrug* what I do works for me. You mileage may vary.