Fitness model Suzanne Cover 

Suzanne Cover became a fitness model by accident. Now, before you ask how something like that happens, let us back up a sec. It all started with a starfish bikini, on Instagram, natch. Cover posted a snap of herself on her honeymoon, clad in a fab neoprene bikini bottom and — you guessed it — two live starfish as a bikini top. The Insta world went wild (did we mention she's a loyal customer? We totally re-posted the snap on Bikini's instagram), and soon Cover was being courted by fitness model agencies. She's not the typical fitness-model prototype—Cover is actually a certified sommelier and wine director, so you know she's sipping and swirlilng on occasion.  While the pictures in fitness magazines and sites make all those perfect planks and squats look effortless, the behind-the-scenes story is a horse of a different color. Imagine take after take of pull-ups and tricep dips—ouch. 

We were super curious about how you go about actually maintaining a fitness models' physique and beauty regimen, so we tracked Cover down and asked her to keep a diary of her week, on set and off. What resulted is a little black book of genius healthy food hacks and super-effective beauty tricks, along with a great introduction to some of NYC's hottest health, fitness, and beauty hotspots. Are you taking notes?

Monday, January 17. Stowe, VT 

I spent the long weekend in Vermont with friends, and I gotta work tomorrow! Time to reign it back in and hydrate (goal water consumption – 64oz!)  

9 AM: Goop's Ginger + turmeric latte + 1 serving Vital Proteins Collagen Protein (35 cal, 9g protein and great for digestive health! I always carry the to-go packets when I’m traveling). I know everyone loves to hate on poor Gwyneth, but I have to say her recipes are legit. I highly recommend health-conscious or curious eaters check out her It’s All Easy cookbook – the recipes are frequently on-repeat in my household. This latte is also a staple.

Breakfast: Bacon-apple chicken burger with maple-cranberry sauce. No bun, green tea, whole orange.

1 PM: I’m very fortunate that my bestie/ride-or-die chick truly is exactly that ... she prompted a team run outside in the 30-degree weather (I never would have done it on my own!) and paced me. I finished with 10 maximum-effort, uphill sprints from our driveway to the neighbor’s mailbox. Dead.

Lunch: Shepherd’s pie from I have a bunch of food allergies and follow a mostly paleo diet to feel my best. I didn’t know what my food options would be in Vermont, so I brought a couple frozen pre-made meals with me. I’m completely obsessed with Paleo on the Go for its convenience!    

2:30 PM:  Beautify/relax. Since I began working as a fitness model, I’ve become increasingly vigilant about breakouts!  A shoot can mean heavy makeup, no control of products, random oils applied directly to the face to mimic sweat — in addition to the very real sweat generated while working out on set. I’m guessing everyone has heard this already, but don’t wear makeup to the gym. The combination of makeup and sweat can clog pores and makes you super-prone to breakouts. I’ve really had to up my skincare regimen (no dairy, vitamin C, exfoliate) to keep my skin blemish-free and glowing.

20-minute sauna: Girl talk. Heaven.

10-minute Peter Thomas Roth Brightening Bubbling Face Mask.

3-minute Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask.

Thick layer Peter Thomas Roth Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer.

5 PM: Burlington airport. No makeup. Baseball cap. Straight to the convenience store to find snacks for my shoot tomorrow. I’m pleasantly surprised by the abundance of non/minimally processed natural and organic selections. I heart Vermont. I settle on two bags of baked apple chips, no-nasty-ingredient smoked sausages (jerky) and a tub of fresh maple cotton candy.

Dinner: Turkey pot pie from Paleo on the Go. I put this in the oven before leaving for the airport and brought it with me. It was enjoyed with a glass of pinot noir and baked apple chips for dessert.

10:45 PM: Arrive at hotel room. Think about doing an ab workout from my Kayla Itsines app (my go-to for workouts at home) but go to sleep instead.  

One of Mescher's fitness editorials for Women's Health

Tuesday, January 18. Pittsburgh, PA

6:20 AM:  Wakeup call. I’m shooting with Dicks Sporting Goods today and have to catch a 7:30 AM car to a random warehouse somewhere in Pittsburgh.

In hotel room: Green tea with Vital Proteins Beef Gelatin.

15-minute Bliss triple oxygen instant energizing eye mask and 15-minute simultaneous Crest White Strips. I could probably skip the eye mask/white strip routine, but given that I’m expected to show up to set makeup-free, I try to do what I can to not scare people (at least for the first introduction).

8:30 AM: On set

Breakfast: Half-a-cup of coffee (I’m trying to cut back!). No cream. One cup of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.

Shot list: Back squat, pull ups, hanging L-sit, hanging knee raises, TRX push up, tricep dips.

Lunch: Grilled chicken breast, steamed vegetables, brown rice/quinoa/mushrooms (def cooked in some sort of butter, oh well) and lots of leafy greens.

Shot list: Wall ball exercises, slam ball exercises, kettle bell Swings, more pull-ups (HELP), battle ropes (this was actually kinda fun).

Snack: Maple cotton candy, apple chip snacks, natural jerky sausage links.

7:45 PM: Flight back to NYC.

Dinner:  I wish I could say I came home and ate a nutritious dinner, but I was so pooped I finished my bag of jerky sausages and face planted in my bed. Better luck tomorrow.


Mescher, hanging tough on a shoot. 

Wednesday, January 19. NYC

8 AM: Everything hurts. The day after a shoot I’m usually a bit sore from holding uncomfortable poses but given yesterday’s intense upper body workout I’m feeling muscles I didn’t even know I had!

Breakfast: Leftover maple cotton candy.

9:10 AM: Typically I do something mobility or recovery focused on Wednesdays (yoga, reformer Pilates, stretch at home), but given that I skipped my long run on Sunday in favor of sippin’ Beaujolais with my besties and made poor breakfast decisions, I’m craving some cardio. Despite every muscle in my body protesting, I sign myself up for a 45-minute Mile High Run Club (an interval-based running class) and am out the door five minutes later.

10:15 AM: I’ve got a 4.5 mile run under my belt, and while I still can’t lift my arms above shoulder height, I do feel better.  Seriously, seriously obsessed with Mile High Run Club.

Lunch: Grass-fed burger with bacon, avocado, and a portabella mushroom cap bun and carrot fries from Springbone Kitchen.  

3 PM: Casting. Fortunately the client is a hair product company, and I’m not expected to do anything physical — I’m not sure I could at this point anyway! I’m seen right on time (which seldom happens – sometimes you can wait at a casting for over an hour) and am asked basic interview questions on film while a hairstylist essentially plays with my hair for 15 minutes. This casting rocks.

Snack: Tumeric ginger latte + Vital Proteins Gelatin and steamed green beans I found in my fridge — hope was from my husband's dinner last night.

4:30 PM: I can tell my face is about to "express its feelings" about all the water I didn’t drink on set yesterday/this past weekend. And I bet some heat would help relax my sore muscles. I book a last-minute one-hour infared sauna session at HigherDose.

Snack: Sweet potato/carrot/coconut milk soup and kombucha tea from the Alchemist’s Kitchen (a botanical dispensary & vegan food café).

6 PM: I’m still sweating profusely despite leaving HigherDose 15 minutes ago but my skin is GLOWING! I spend some time foam rolling and stretching while I’m feeling limber.

Dinner: Large salad from Sweetgreen. I added roasted steelhead trout for protein and avocado for those omega 3s.  

11 PM:  Bed – I’ve got an early class at Barry’s Bootcamp in the morning!!