On Daily Routines, we profile successful leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, executives and athletes to explore their routines, schedules, habits and day in the life.
In 2013, Kim Kardashian’s personal trainer Melissa Alcantara was, according to an interview with CNBC, an “unfit, super broke” waitress living in Brooklyn, New York. As a new mum, Alcantara was starting down her fitness journey with the primary goal to lose the 70lbs (31kgs) she gained during and after her pregnancy.
“My entire life I’d been yo-yo dieting,” she said in an interview with Joe Wicks. “I always had low self-esteem. I was big, then small, then chunky. I would starve myself. I didn’t do it the right way.”
So she dedicated herself to changing her lifestyle, waking up at 5am every day to exercise. She tried a variety of fitness programs and regimens, from Weight Watchers and Crossfit, to Jiu-Jitsu and Yoga, before committing herself to bodybuilding.
“It morphed from me just wanting to have abs to me saying ‘yes’ to myself, choosing myself, and putting love into myself every single day,” she told Women’s Health. “And that was a whole new ball game for me.’”
In 2017, after spending a few years posting about her fitness journey on Instagram (she goes by the handle @fitgurlmel), Alcantara was contacted by Kim Kardashian, who wanted her to come out to Los Angeles to become her full-time personal trainer.
“She realized she needed a change — a real change,” the personal trainer recounted about her first interactions with Kim via instagram. “She needed it as a lifestyle. One day while browsing through Instagram at like 4 a.m., she found one of my transformation images. Something told her that she needed to contact me. Kim wanted to be strong and healthy and do it the right way — AKA, the hard way. Three days later, we were chatting at her apartment in New York City.”
Since then, Alcantara has been a staple of Kim Kardashian’s daily routine, travelling around the world with the reality superstar and training her five to six times a week. In addition to training Kim, Alcantara has also written a book, Fit Gurl: The Total-Body Turnaround Program, and launched her own brand, Fitgurlmel, where she sells nutrition guides and training programs.
I never set out to be a trainer or social media fitness chick, I did all this because I wanted it for me. I wanted to be legitimately healthy, honestly strong, see what my body was capable of, and be the best version of myself. I’m still deep in this pursuit: to create the best Melissa I can be regardless of my past or present.Kim Kardashian’s Trainer Has Some Refreshingly Realistic Opinions on Nutrition | Instyle
Melissa Alcantara’s training routine & diet
On a typical day, the celebrity personal trainer is up super early — at 4am — and the first thing she does is make herself a pour-over coffee. This is followed by her reading a passage from her favourite book, Living a Life of Awareness: Daily Meditation on the Toltec Path, which helps her “start the day off right.”
The very, very early morning is my favourite part of the day. That’s when I’ll go take a ride [on my motorbike] and do something outdoorsy, before everyone else is up, before the text messages come in, before the emails. I feel like I’m the only one who exists. Wake up at the crack of dawn and take a couple of hours for yourself.Melissa Alcantara: Nine things we learned when she chatted to Joe Wicks | The Joe Wicks Podcast
For a fitness professional, Alcantara doesn’t have much of a structure to her eating habits, although she does like to intermittent fast. “I like to fast during the day because I tend to eat more late at night, when I get especially hungry,” she said.
The one thing she makes sure she does every day is drink a gallon (3.7 litres) of water. “It sounds like a lot, and you’ll likely spend more time in the bathroom than anywhere else, but you eventually get used to it,” she said. “Drinking lots of water is one of the best things you can do for your body.”
On the subject of dieting, the celebrity trainer has a tip for those people scared of including carbs in their meals. “Carbs are needed, and some people actually need a lot more carbs than others depending on certain factors such as their genetic type, etc.,” she told InStyle. “But, I’m talking about real carbs like sweet potatoes and quinoa, rice cakes and fiber crips are NOT carbs, they’re just processed food.”
At around 6am, Alcantara will arrive at Kim’s house in Calabasas (a 45-minute drive from her home in Venice) to begin their personal training session. Once she’s done with Kim’s workout, Alcantara will head to the gym for her own weighlifting session for the day. “I usually do legs twice a week or every three days,” she revealed, “but it’s usually the same thing every week.” While she doesn’t have sessions dedicated to cardio, Alcantara aims to get in 10,000 steps a day (”That’s pretty much my cardio”).
After the gym, she’ll work on her own brand, FitGurlMel.com, and will go grocery shopping to make sure her home is always well supplied with staples like bread, eggs, chicken, rice, beans, fish and vegetables.
The one thing Alcantara is trying to improve in her daily routine is the amount of hours she sleeps per night. On average, the personal trainer is getting between 5-6 hours a night, well below the recommended 7-9 hours. “It’s not like I get 10 hours of sleep a night,” she admitted to CNBC. “My nighttime routine could use some improvement. I’m working on it.”
Before you go…
Check out more daily routines from Barack Obama, Joe Rogan, Jeff Bezos, Michelle Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and plenty others.