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Meet Katie Johnson of Physique 57, our number 9 Hottest contestant. After attending Harvard and landing a job on Wall Street, she jumped ship for her current career. The former ballerina spoke to Racked about phoning it in (a workout no no) and her favorite athletic gear.
How did you get into training?
"I went to work on Wall Street after I graduated from college. Then I realized I needed more time to find out what I wanted to do with my life. The bank I was working for gave me a year to figure myself out. I had read an article in Vogue about Physique 57 and I was really excited to try it out. I signed up for a class with Tanya, who is the co-founder, and she offered me a job and I started the next day. That was almost five years ago. I was a professional ballet dancer for most of my young adult life and when I wasn't at the studio I was at the gym cross-training or at physical therapy. So movement and fitness had become ingrained from a really early age."
What is the hardest thing about the job?
"Probably the early morning hours. It's still painful when my alarm goes off at 4:45am. Usually my first class is 6:30am, so I'm at the studio by 6am. It's not terribly early, but still, you have to be up, caffeinated, ready to go, chipper and [able to] get people moving and motivated. And you know, I love it. The guys at Starbucks are my new best friends."
What's the most rewarding?
"Seeing my clients return to the ballet barre everyday. My nickname at work is 'Killer Katie' because I really am ruthless [laughs]. But my clients are so strong and brave and really game for whatever I throw their way. So they push through and their lithe, beautiful bodies are proof that hard work pays off."
Do you have any tips for people who are new to this type of workout?
"75% of the battle is just walking in the door. And once you do that, I've got your back. If you can put it on your calender, plan your workouts ahead of time or coordinate with a friend, you're more likely to stick with it. But I think the hardest part is just walking in the door. And once you're there, you're golden."
What mistakes do you see people making when working out?
"Probably phoning it in. If you just go through the motions you're not going to see any results. Your perceived limits are always more flexible than you think. Surprise yourself, because there's always more you can give."
What do you think the secret is to a perfectly-flat stomach?
"Physique 57! And cutting out white foods [like white rice or flour] that can cause belly bloat. We actually just revamped some of our ab sections to help clients see faster results."
Where do you like to shop for workout gear?
"Lululemon. I love it. My wardrobe is almost completely Lulu. Not only is Lululemon a block away from Physique 57's Beverly Hills location, but we also sell it in our boutique. I'm totally that girl who goes to dinner in spandex. I also love Michi NY. And then there's Stylefirm. They make the most amazing, supportive leggings that suck everything in. I can't wait for my Stylefirm leggings to get out of the wash. I also love, love Lucas Hugh. He has a website but it's also available on Net-A-Porter. It's super-chic."
What do you like to do in your off time?
"This probably is cliche but I like to enjoy LA. I'm still kind of new to this town; I moved here from New York. Just being able to get in the car and drive to the ocean [is amazing]. In New York we'd get in the car and sit in traffic for four hours and then pay $40 to look at the beach. Whereas here, there's such freedom. Because I'm new I can do all the nerdy touristy things."