My Weekly Workout: Preston Bailey

Meet the athlete who also happens to plan the biggest weddings and events of celebrities and royals.
All in a day for celebrity wedding planner Preston Bailey? Transporting bespoke floral arrangements and squeezing in a couple of workouts or maybe a mini triathlon.

You know Preston Bailey‘s name. He’s the charming maestro known for orchestrating some of the most magazine-worthy weddings and events world-over. (He’s the event planner for the Trumps, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Hudson, and international royal families galore.)

Bailey’s day doesn’t quite sound like it allows for sneaking off to the gym. Meeting a new bridal client in the morning, overseeing an event installation at noon, transporting a precious flower arrangement over lunch, to designing a celebrity’s surprise birthday party in the afternoon, and attending a charity event in the evening.

What grounds Bailey? His daily workouts. You could say he’s religious about them, even doing two-a-days when he can. (One to wake up, one to unwind.) He loves weights, running, swimming, and a little yoga—and virtually every gym in town. He has several memberships.

What’s also impressive? This urban athlete is in his sixth decade—and shows no signs of slowing down. On the treadmill or otherwise. Here’s Preston Bailey’s (super athletic) workout diary. —Melisse Gelula

Monday: Having just returned home from working in Europe, I spend most of my night tossing and turning in my bed. At 2:30 a.m., I decided to just accept that I was not going to sleep and go for my 5-mile run a bit earlier than usual. I put on my shoes and grabbed my iPod and walked out of my building. The streets of the city were silent—a romantic sight—but there was something invigorating about it which shocked me. I was both exhausted and exhilarated, a common combination here in New York City. I ran along the East River, which was a little scary, but the thing about being a tall black man is that everyone seems to cross the street when they see you running towards them. They think you are going to mug them or God knows what. My plan to make my body crash worked. I returned home around 3:30, meditated for about twenty minutes and fell right to sleep.

Tuesday: I slept, but hardly soundly. I am a morning person, and, for some reason, unlike the dirty way it ignores bedtime, my body knows when it is morning, wherever I am. I was in my office by 10:00 a.m.  September is one of my busiest seasons and I really felt like I could not get myself centered, so I decided to take a yoga class at my favored gym, the Chelsea Piers Sports Center. But first, I had to row away my stress away meditating to the sounds of Deva Premal. After 45 minutes of zoning out, I went into the 45-minute class and found myself more annoyed than anything else. The cute yoga instructor was using that fake “yoga monotonous” voice that drives me crazy. I swear, it amazes me how such stupid things can annoy me. I’ll work on that.

Wednesday: Though I grew up close to the ocean in Panama, swimming has never been my strong point. That said, I love breast stroke. It’s so relaxing, especially at Chelsea Piers, where there is a lovely view, but freestyle reminds me of my limitations. I swam for about 45 minutes and then hit the weight room where I focus on high-rep, low intensity workouts to stay lean.


Thursday: Ah, finally sneaking back onto Eastern Standard time. I woke up at 5:30 a.m., my normal wake-up time, and I biked four peaceful laps around Central Park. When the park is this quiet, there’s something very meditative about it. This evening, I got home just in time to enjoy one of the wonderful private yoga lessons my husband, Theo, and I received as a wedding gift. The instructor asked us to do twenty sun salutations in a row.  I love this gift so much, but a part of me missed the class atmosphere. I know yoga is not a competitive sport, but I always find myself trying to pose better than others. You told me to be honest…

Friday: I was not into working out before walking through the gym doors this evening. I was arguing with myself to skip it all together when I decided to pop into the 24-Hour Fitness Derek Jeter gym, which is just 3 blocks from my house. I love this gym, as it overlooks Madison Square Park, and has a nice rowing area. It’s back to rowing while trying to avoid lazy pulls (not always easy). Though I usually row alone, I met a lovely young woman and we wound up rowing together. What fun! She really knew her stuff and we plan to meet and row together again as partners, something I am looking forward to. The only challenge? She’s 30 and I am 64. You already know who won.

I then went and did my usual high-rep, low intensity weight routine. I left the gym feeling like I had a great workout. Funny, that always happens when you force yourself to go.

Saturday: I usually like to do somewhat of a mini triathlon on Saturdays, and the weather was gorgeous for it! I ran 5 miles around Central Park, biked to the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers, then swam in the pool. It was a bit of a challenge to finish my workout in that order, but I did, and felt great!

Sunday: Sunday is my day off, one where I allow myself to sleep in, watch bad television, read and just veg out a little. I always finish the week with a 90-minute deep tissue sports massage. Let me tell you, after all of that travel, work, and pushing myself, it was heavenly.

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