Fitness Pioneer Q&A: Andrea Lawent


Photograph by Chris Gash

Age: 52
Made in L.A., Hollywood

How did you enter the fitness world?
I came into it kicking and screaming. I was trained as a dancer and then was a successful choreographer. I was like, “I am a dancer. I am not teaching aerobics.” One of my mentors, choreographer Billy Goodson, literally put me on his shoulder and carried me to Voight Fitness Center in Venice. I started teaching there. Then I taught spinning at Todd Tramp’s studio. I never looked back.

Your gym has an unusual rock and roll vibe.
There are a lot of huge, fancy gyms. People come here, in this little corner of Hollywood, and feel safe. They hang out. It’s home. It’s like Cheers. Anybody who’s rude is out. I don’t like drama and I don’t like bullshit.

What do people need to be wary of?
They say, “I’m gonna do it all. Now.” With that attitude, you’re gonna freak yourself out. I tell them, “Don’t scare yourself. Just set a goal for today.” It doesn’t make sense to beat yourself up. Be gentle. Why do they get so worked up about working out? I get it because it’s my nature. I’m a recovering addict, ten years clean. I know that anything to any extreme isn’t healthy. But if you have a choice between a needle and four hours in a gym, I would say take the latter.

Your definition of fitness?
We all want to look good. We all want to have a good ass. But if that’s all you’ve got, then you’re just an ass.


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