The very location evokes dreams of sun and freedom. In front of a Bauhaus-style jet set villa in Sol de Mallorca, John Anderson works out with his personal trainer Iris Rössner. During the sparring exercises, their shadows are mirrored in the swimming pool of this postmodern estate. It’s a scene that could as easily take place in Beverly Hills with Madonna, Sylvester Stallone or Demi Moore.
The US male fitness model Anderson has engaged the German fitness specialist to get him into top condition for new photo shoots. “For me, there was no question of whom to turn to because Iris is simply the best on the island,” declares the fitness enthusiast. The sequences of small bouts of boxing, kickboxing and gymnastics are an elaborate scientific training concept.
With the personal trainers help, after a precisely measured number of training days, the model will be able to face the cameras with his ideal weight and in the best of shape. Enormous expertise and experience are necessary for a personal trainer to deliver such a service in a measurable and goal-oriented way.
Personal trainer Iris Rössner, an attractive 41 year old from Munich, has become the institution for personal training internationally. She has been working for some years, and her clientele is growing steadily.
Iris Rössner explains: “As confidence is essential, word of mouth is highly important.” This seems to work especially well between women, who make up 70 per cent of her clients. They want to reduce weight, shape their body or just keep fit – and be instructed by someone who really knows how to achieve results. And they tend to stick to the training – 90 per cent of them are regulars.
For a number of reasons, Iris Rössner knows with scientific exactitude what perfect personal training should be like. As a girl, she already practised various sports, some of them competitively: horse-riding, swimming, high-diving, golf, and tennis. Twenty-one years ago, she prepared a group of models in Munich’s renowned “Leo’s Health Club” for a photo shoot using personal training, which back then was completely unknown in Germany.
When she later studied the science of sport at the Technical University Munich, she also learned the theoretical basics of training methods: biomechanics, psychology, orthopedics, health promotion and much more. In co-operation with two teachers, in 1996 she developed a concept for the faster rehabilitation of patients who have had an operation. Her method soon proved to be successful and for three years, until 2001, she co-ordinated the rehabilitation department in a hospital in Munich.
Her clients were, among others, professional football players of the Bundesliga, professional boxers, and the male German national golf team. They all came to appreciate a universal training comprised of elements of totally different disciplines, such as ballet, gymnastics, athletics, boxing, Asian martial arts, as well as yoga, Pilates and massage.
After several years in the area of professional rehabilitation, personal trainer Iris Rössner took the plunge overseas – to Los Angeles and Hollywood. During one year, she toughened and shaped executives, artists, musicians and models in Beverly Hills: “an extremely instructive experience.” It also was her coming-out as a personal trainer. Now she was positive that she “could make it anywhere.” Her success in the world of the glitterati also showed that she has the right personal skills for this difficult job: the ability to motivate and convince others, exemplify a life dedicated to fitness and a strikingly likable, friendly manner. She has learned to “measure up” people in their circumstances and give them a general body diagnosis.
Iris Rössner explains: “It’s my job to begin, where people have already reached the top of the iceberg.” In other words: people who have achieved everything professionally and financially tend to turn to themselves and to rediscover the value of their health. For some top level executives or actors, every free hour is a big sacrifice. That’s why they want to use their time efficiently.
“I am very proud that people from Germany and the US personally try and get an appointment with me,” admits Iris. She won’t and can’t give names, but here is one example: not long ago, a businessman called from Tokyo to get an appointment with her.
One example of a famous client is Britain´s fitness queen Nell McAndrew. Recently trained for several days with Iris in Mallorca. Soon the Ex-Tomb-Raider-Model Nell wants to produce new DVDs of her fitness program “Cardio, core and stretch” together with Iris in England.
Renowned magazines like “Glamour” and “Vogue Business” have asked the personal trainer for expert advice, and the German edition of “Elle” (May 2008) features an article on fitness written by Iris Rössner.
At first, she trained her clients – who are almost exclusively millionaires – in their stately villas and fincas in Mallorca. However, things have changed: Iris uses a studio and the clients come to see her. This home advantage helps her to get better results: “Very rich people often rely on their power and their property. But in my studio, they just have their tracksuit and have to put their cards on the table.” It is her aim to “transport professional parameters of success like discipline, persistence, motivation and ambition into the physical.” But while she can show the way, to move and work out, it is still up to her clients.
Photographer: Thomas Baar