I tried working out like Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart, and preferred the 79-year-old's routine

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Rachael Ray, Fabiana Buontempo, Martha Stewart
I worked out like the celebrity chefs for a week each. Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal/Getty; Fabiana Buontempo for Insider; Frazer Harrison/Getty
  • I tried Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart's workout routines for a week each.

  • I preferred Stewart's routine because it was more diverse and included yoga and cardio.

  • Ray's regimen was more focused on cardio and strength training.

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Day one: I started my experiment with a Stewart-inspired workout routine.

I started with yoga.
I started with yoga. Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

There's no denying that 79-year-old Stewart looks incredible, and I found her routine to be quite impressive.

She does a little bit of everything to keep her muscles long, limber, and flexible. In 2021, Stewart wrote in her blog that she enjoys yoga and stretching.

I couldn't find what kind of yoga she prefers, so I just did a workout from y7, one of my favorite studios.

I chose their 45-minute hip-hop flow and did a variety of poses, such as downward dog, half-pigeon pose, dancer's pose, and upward-facing dog. The routine was set to hip-hop music, which was the ideal way to begin my Monday.

Day two: I did a weight workout that covered a little bit of everything.

I tried to replicate the same moves with the equipment I have
I tried to replicate Martha's moves with the equipment I have. Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

I chose to do a weight-training workout for today.

I read on Martha's Blog that she favors certain weight machines from her home gym, so I tried to replicate the same moves with the equipment I have.

I did a full-body workout and the upper-body work consisted of bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and shoulder flies. I did three sets of 12 reps for each exercise. I learned that Stewart loves the leg curl machine to work her quads and while she's on this machine, she also does ankle-rotation exercises.

It felt weird not doing my typical squats during a full-body workout, but I really wanted to stick to Stewart's regimen. I added hamstring curls to even out the legs.

Day three: Today's cardio routine left me drenched in sweat.

I did a full-body workout.
I did a full-body workout. Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

Since yesterday was a weight-focused workout, I decided to do just cardio today.

Stewart loves starting her day with 20 minutes on the treadmill so I was walking by 7 a.m. Although I was grumpy this morning, it felt really good to move my body this early.

Since I don't have a treadmill, I did my cardio on the elliptical. I started off with low resistance and incline for five minutes before increasing it every five minutes until I reached 20 minutes.

The time flew by, so I kept at it for another 10 minutes.

Day four: I swapped horseback riding for biking today.

Workout jams
I always keep workout tunes handy. Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

The TV personality loves to ride horses and does so weekly. I don't have access to horses nor have I ever ridden a horse, so I rode my bike.

Since it was a hot day, I queued up my tunes beforehand and made sure to ride before it got too brutal out.

I don't incorporate much cardio into my personal routine, but I gave it a shot. After stretching my hamstrings and glutes, I did a 3.5-mile bike ride at a reasonably fast pace.

According to the YMCA, horseback riding works your abs, back, pelvis, and thighs. After my bike ride, I did crunches, planks, supermans, and squats to make sure I worked the same muscles Stewart would.

Day five: My entire upper body was toast from this weight-lifting routine.

Day five: My entire upper body was toast from this weight lifting routine.
I did several reps. Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

Today, I decided to pick up my weights again to do some bench work, as Stewart regularly does.

The workout I curated included dumbbell presses to work the chest, dumbbell rows to work the back, seated shoulder press to work the rotator cuff, and tricep dips to work my upper body. I used my 15-pound dumbbells to get through three sets of 12 reps.

Day six: My back felt great after hanging on an inversion board.

Day six: My back felt great after hanging on an inversion board upside down.
I felt a big difference. Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

I woke up feeling yesterday's bench workout, so I figured today would be the perfect opportunity to do another yoga routine and hang on an inversion board. I really loved the stretching I did earlier this week, so I streamed the same one.

The poses were much more difficult because of how sore my upper body was.

I tried my best to breathe through the pain as I stretched my sore muscles. According to Martha Blog, Stewart loves hanging on an inversion board — so after the yoga workout, I adjusted my board to my height and strapped my ankles in.

I don't use the board as often as I should, despite its many health benefits.

According to Healthline, this can help with reducing nerve pressure, realigning the spine, improving joint health, and increasing flexibility. I moved the board to be in a 45-degree angle rather than completely upside down, which seemed to be the angle Stewart puts herself in.

Although I only stayed on the board for under 10 minutes, I felt a big difference in how much my back loosened up.

Day seven: I completed another sweaty cardio routine to finish the week strong.

Another sweaty cardio routine to finish the week strong
I was super sore from yesterday. Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

My back felt sore from yesterday's hanging — so for the last day of trying Stewart's workouts, I decided to take it easy and just do cardio.

I hopped onto the elliptical in lieu of the treadmill and kept at a fast pace for 30 minutes. I normally don't like cardio workouts, but I actually enjoyed sweating and elevating my heart rate.

Day one: I started my Ray-inspired workout routine with an early run.

Day one: I started my Rachael Ray-inspired workout routine with an early run
I started with an early-morning run. Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

Ray told Women's Health in 2010 that she begins her workouts at 6:30 a.m. — so I tried my best to do the same this morning.

In the same interview, Ray said she prefers to start her early gym session with 3.5-mile runs on the treadmill or on the elliptical. I wanted to start this week strong, so I hit the pavement running.

I aimed to finish Ray's run, but I'm not a runner and only ran 2 miles before calling it a day.

Day two: Today's strength workout had my muscles burning.

Day two: Today’s strength workout had my muscles burning.
My arms were exhausted Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

I got right out of bed this morning and headed to the gym bright and early just as Ray would. After doing her cardio, the Food Network star loves to hit the strength training machines at the gym, so I did the same.

I worked my biceps and triceps on the machines and aimed for three sets of 12 reps. For my biceps, I did exercises such as curls and rope pulldowns for my triceps.

I often use dumbbells to exercise my arms and I forgot how different exercise machines feel. After two sets, my arms were exhausted and I had to stretch them out.

Day three: I dug up an old workout DVD that was harder than I expected it to be.

I felt grumpy and sweaty.
I felt grumpy and sweaty. Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

According to PopSugar, Ray works out even when she's on the go, so I thought I'd try a workout DVD.

The workout was cardio-focused which was a good way to help my muscles recover from yesterday.

The routine was 30-minutes long and was a tough one. Afterward, I grabbed my resistance band and did a circuit of squats, hip thrusts, crab walks, and glute kickbacks.

By the third set, my lower body was on fire. I made sure to set aside time to cool down and stretch after this sweaty workout.

Day four: My abs started burning before I even finished the workout.

Day four: My abs started burning before I even finished the workout.
My abs burned. Fabiana Buontempo

Ray enjoys using the "twisty" core equipment that works the obliques and the crunch machine that mimics the exercise. I don't have these in my home gym, so I improvised and did Russian twists to work my obliques.

I did three rounds of 60-seconds each before moving on to regular crunches. I laid on my mat and did three rounds of 45-second crunches with my legs in a 90-degree position. From there, I sat on an upright bench and grabbed straps to pull down and crunch to work my upper abs.

At this point, my abs hurt only 20 minutes into my workout — but these exercises were pretty hardcore. I finished this core routine strong with a 60-second elbow plank before collapsing on my mat.

Day five: I tried another cardio session to give my sore muscles a break.

Day five: Another cardio session to give my sore muscles a break.
I was determined to finish the workout. Fabiana Buontempo

I woke up tired and honestly couldn't wait for this week of workouts to be over. I decided to switch to cardio today.

I set out to run 3.5 miles and was even predetermined because I couldn't hit this distance last time.

I set out to do 3.5-miles, and since I didn't accomplish this during my run the other day, I was determined to do it this morning.

I cranked up my workout playlist and felt the burn as I moved my arms and legs for a good 20 minutes. Afterward, I felt tired but accomplished.

Day six: I did a much-needed stretch for today's workout.

I did a much needed stretch for today’s workout.
A long stretch was exactly what I needed. Fabiana Buontempo

Ray likes to stretch after her workouts and to be honest, I haven't done much stretching this week. I figured today would be the perfect opportunity to take a stretch and abs class.

The session hit every muscle group — from my arms to my back to my hamstrings. I used a resistance band for some of the lower body stretches, which was definitely a struggle.

After 30 minutes, I did 10 minutes of ab exercises that left my core burning. This low-key workout was exactly what I needed.

Day seven: I ended the week strong with a strength workout.

Day seven: I ended the week strong with a strength workout.
I surprised myself and used heavier weights. Fabiana Buontempo for Insider

On the last day of trying Ray's regimen, I figured I would end strong with a strength-training workout.

It consisted of bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, and I added in shoulder presses, chest presses, squats, and lunges to make it a full-body workout.

I surprised myself by picking up heavier dumbbells. As I moved through each exercise, I felt stronger and my muscles didn't fatigue as quickly. I started feeling tired working my lower body, but I took a deep breath and pushed myself to finish strong.

After reflecting on the past couple of weeks, I prefer Stewart's routine over Ray's.

Martha Stewart
Overall, I preferred Martha Stewart's workout routine. John Lamparski / Getty Images

Ray and Stewart's workouts had some similarities, but they were also quite different. I surprised myself by enjoying Stewart's more eclectic routine compared to Ray's, which was similar to my own.

Though I had to get creative with Stewart's, I enjoyed that each workout kept my muscles active and prevented me from getting bored. I was impressed by how hard Stewart works in the gym and I appreciated her outdoor activities, such as horseback riding.

Ray's routine, which consisted of cardio and weight machines, was standard. Even though I enjoy a good bicep curl, I felt unmotivated and a bit antsy for her part to be over. Overall, both weeks were tough and I was sore from both.

Click to read more celebrity workouts that we've put head-to-head.

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