Officially, Elana Drell Szyfer—executive VP of global brand strategy for Kenneth Cole Productions—is a super high-powered 20-year veteran of the fashion and beauty worlds. She’s served as CEO of the Dead-Sea-mineral-laced skin-care brand, AHAVA, and has worked for the likes of Estee Lauder and Chanel. Maybe you’ve heard of them?
Off-resume, however, Drell Szyfer is a 20-year veteran of the fitness industry. “I’ve been working out regularly since I was about 22-years-old,” says the New Jersey native. “I think I’ve done it all—running, walking, Spinning, Pilates, Exhale Core Fusion, P90X, personal training, Bikram yoga…hot vinyasa yoga.”
With three daughters to raise, and lots of work to be done, “workouts have to be planned and closer to home,” Drell Szyfer explains. But even when she’s jetsetting for business, the fitness fanatic is never without workout clothes in her carry on, so she can grab them the second she lands.
Here’s what a whirlwind week of workouts looks like for this fitness-loving fashion and beauty exec during the most grueling time of her life—Fashion Week. —Jamie McKillop
Saturday: I’ve been traveling for work, so I’m trying to get back into a more formal exercise routine. Today, I have an 8:30 a.m. Bar Method class. It’s a great combo of ballet, Pilates, and strength training, mixed with stretching—all with high repetition and low weights. It’s hard—makes your thighs shake, literally. But the results are the best bodies I’ve seen on women of all ages anywhere. For the rest of day, I’m heading to Fashion Week with my family (Kenneth Cole show), then a walk on the Highline, and home for a party.
Sunday: 7:30 a.m. Bar Method class—there’s nothing like the satisfaction of knowing you’ve gotten your workout in by 8:30 on a Sunday morning. I have tons of work phone calls today, so I put on a headset and walk around the house to gain steps. Later, I take a short bike ride with my daughter Paloma, who’s 7, and a walk with Isabella, age 10.
Monday: I don’t even try to work out on Mondays anymore, because I always failed and felt like I was doomed for the week—there’s just so much else going on. This is my day off, always.
Tuesday: I’m traveling today, so I don’t go into the office. I manage a walk on my treadmill before the kids wake up. I take everyone to school, come back home, take calls, and shut the phone off for 10:30 a.m. Bar Method class. I’m home by 11:45 a.m. and walking out the door by 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday: I slip in a one-hour cardio session at the hotel gym between work commitments—30 minutes on the treadmill, 30 minutes on the elliptical, and stretching.
Thursday: After 24 hours with little sleep, I have a 7 a.m. flight (and a 5 a.m. pickup!), then I’m back at work in New York City. I saved my exercise for tonight, but being so tired it’s just 100 jumps with my jump rope and a 30 minute ride on my home spin bike before I collapse into bed.
Friday: Finally—Friday. I revel in the opportunity for a private Pilates session—it put all my parts back in their general vicinity after I had my third daughter. I love the feel of the stretching, and it challenges my core in a way nothing else does. At 5’3″, I need all the help I can get to look taller.