Erin O’Brien

by Charles Platkin, PhD

Name: Erin O’Brien

Birthday: October 15, 1964

Location: Los Angeles, CA


Diet Detective: Hey Erin, thanks again for agreeing to answer several questions for our readers. I’m wondering, what inspired your fitness passion?

Erin: I owe it all to my parents — they were and still are very active and had us playing sports our entire lives. I have four sisters, and both my parents were coaches for our teams as well as being our biggest supporters. I think as a child when you see how important fitness and sports are to your folks, you naturally consider it an important part of your life.

Diet Detective: You’ve become a real expert in pre– and post–pregnancy fitness — aside from having children yourself, was there another trigger or driving force?

Erin: As I was working as a personal trainer in Los Angeles and New York, I found most trainers were afraid of training pregnant women — so I decided to get educated in pre/post natal fitness. My business exploded because the gyms would send all the pregnant ladies to me.

Diet Detective: Best advice for new moms wanting to get back in shape fast?

Erin: Schedule your workouts like you do your kid’s doctor’s appointments. Too often we have good intentions, but then as the day progresses, Mommy’s workout always seems to be last on the “to do” list. As I say in my DVD, “Just do something, today.”

Diet Detective: Where do you get your inspiration for the routines in your DVD’s?

Erin: I get all of my good ideas and choreography when I’m jogging in my neighborhood.

Diet Detective: Where you like to do your workouts?

Erin: I prefer to work out in a gym…a clean gym.

Diet Detective: You’re favorite core exercise? How do you do it?

Erin: I really enjoy working my core on the Bosu ball. I was very fortunate to have trained with Keli Roberts for a while, and she made me do full range of motion abs on the Bosu — It killed me!

Diet Detective: Best flexibility exercise? How do you do it?

Erin: I love “Downward Facing Dog” in Yoga. It feels so good on my calves, hamstrings, lats, shoulders, and lower back. If I haven’t done Yoga in a while, it’s excruciating.

Diet Detective: Best strength training exercise? How do you do it?

Erin: I love doing unilateral pec flys. You lie on your back with your feet off the ground and fly one arm at a time without rolling off your center. It’s a great way to work your abs as well.

Diet Detective: Worst strength training exercise?

Erin: Push–ups. I hate them.

Diet Detective: Your typically day?

Erin: My husband, Jamie, and I usually get up with the kids around six a.m. We have a relaxing morning with the LA Times and a cup of coffee, then it’s off to our various activities. I usually teach in the morning, and if not, I’ll either go to the gym or go for a run. Then, I take my kids to a class or a play date. In the afternoon we go for a swim, and then while I’m making supper, Jamie usually takes the kids out in the back yard and plays baseball or pushes them on the swings. After dinner, it’s bath, books and bedtime. Jamie and I will stay up and watch the Dodgers, or something on TV.

Diet Detective: What’s in your refrigerator right now?

Erin: Organic milk, lots of fresh veggies, eggs, meat (we’re big meat eaters), cheese, Dr. Organics Body Shot (a great vitamin boost).

Diet Detective: Okay now a few very quick one–word or one–sentence answer.

  • Yoga vs. Pilates vs. Stretching?

    Pilates for sure.

  • Free weights vs. Machine?

    Free weights.

  • Cardio vs. Strength Training vs. Flexibility/Core Work?

    I prefer to do it all at once.

  • Swiss ball/Physio Ball vs. Exercise Bands?

    Swiss ball.

  • Treadmill vs. Walking Outdoors?

    Walking outdoors!

Diet Detective: Your favorite “junk food?”

Erin: Chips and Salsa.

Diet Detective: Your favorite healthy breakfast?

Erin: Eggs with whole grain toast.

Diet Detective: Which historical figure can you relate to most?

Erin: Nadia Comaneci was a true inspiration to me.

Diet Detective: Who’s your hero?

Erin: My Grandma Bernin. She scrubbed floors for a living and was the most extraordinary woman I’ve ever met.

Diet Detective: Your worst summer job?

Erin: Picking up trash at Valley Fair Amusement Park in Shakopee, MN.

Diet Detective: What’s your motto?

Erin: “Helping Women Define Themselves”

Diet Detective: As a child you wanted to be:

Erin: Really good at sports. Unfortunately, I stopped growing at five feet, so by the time I was in high school, I wasn’t very good.

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