For Lana Condor, Movement Is All About Joy

Once Condor decided she was ready to start working out again, she enlisted the help of Paolo Mascitti, a Los Angeles–based personal trainer. Condor lives in Seattle with her boyfriend, Anthony De La Torre, where they created a home gym. She works out with Mascitti five days a week virtually, mostly focusing on cardio and high-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT. Though their regimen may sound intense, Condor says she and Mascitti have a close, communicative relationship—one that has enabled her to get back to her routine without the type of pressure that would affect her mental health.

“If my body is so sore and I need a day off, he’s so understanding about that,” she says. “My mental health is the priority, and my mental health is always better when I am active. But sometimes when your body hurts, you’re like, I can’t do anything, I don’t want to get up. And so he’s very patient. If there’s a day that I feel the need to be a little bit more gentle with myself, he’s great.”

A recent addition to Condor’s workout routine is jumping rope, which for her, like many others, has become an efficient and effective quarantine tool. Even a few minutes of jump rope can add major benefits to your workout, challenging your cardiovascular system, working the muscles in your ankles, quads, and core, and improving coordination, SELF previously reported.

Condor says she often jumps rope between sets to keep her heart rate up. Plus, it’s just plain old convenient. “I don’t have space to put a treadmill,” she says. Another staple in her HIIT circuits is plenty of weighted squats and lunges. The circuits can be tough, she says. “But it’s worth it, because now I have a booty.”

Condor says Mascitti also introduced her to the slam ball—a weighted ball, typically encased in rubber, that you can slam on the ground or the wall for a resistance workout. “I hate it, but it’s very effective,” Condor says. To warm herself up to the exercise, Condor decided to name the slam ball, like one might do to a pet rock. “I have had to name it Beatrice, because I need to have an emotional connection with [it]. Because every time I see [it], I don’t want to use [it], but Paolo makes me do a ton of exercises with that slamming ball,” she says. “If I’m having a bad day or I have a little aggression, slamming that ball down on the ground really helps me. It always makes me feel a lot better when it’s finished.” The last piece of her quarantine workout arsenal is Bowflex dumbbells, which, like the jump rope and slam ball, are also compact and multipurpose.

Another upside in all of this is that Condor is getting to work out with De La Torre for the first time in their relationship. However, the couple has had to lay some ground rules around gym time. “Anthony doesn’t particularly love when I cheer him on when he’s lifting, because it makes him laugh, and then he drops it,” she says. “So I’m not allowed to cheer him on, but he could cheer me on.”

Though Condor has certainly found her workout groove—through open-mindedness, the ability to work with a trainer, and some trial and error—she’s looking forward to getting back to the group fitness classes she loves most when the pandemic is over. “I always do a little bit better in a class setting or in-person, just because I think that I have a competitive nature in workout classes,” she says. “So I feel like I can really hit it hard.” Her favorites include Pilates Platinum, a reformer studio in L.A. (“It looks like a torture mechanism,” she says of the machine); boxing classes; and hot yoga sculpt.

Ultimately, whether she’s in her garage teasing her boyfriend over deadlifts, or sweating it out in a Los Angeles hot yoga class, movement, for Condor, all comes down to one thing: “I think it’s just about joy,” she says. “It’s showing up and consistency and doing things that bring you joy. Having Anthony be there with me and Paolo is really funny—it makes it a joyful experience. Pre-COVID, I rode horses all my life and that in itself is a workout, but that would bring me a lot of joy. Just to get your body moving—to be happy—is what I really want to focus on.”

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