Coaches: Holly Rilinger

The master trainer motivates a global community to achieve next-level fitness.
Holly Rilinger, founder of the LIFTED holistic fitness program. Photography: Kim Miller

By Julia Szabo

It takes a unique individual to keep fit during quarantine, and an extraordinary one to inspire others to attain their peak physique while millions still struggle to lose the “COVID 19.” Holly Rilinger—master trainer, professional basketball player, motivational speaker and bestselling author—is that paragon: a “5-foot-4 dreamer from the Midwest” who became the No. 1 point guard in the U.S. as a college freshman. After a lifetime of career highs—including rising to the top of the fitness field in NYC and starring in Bravo’s Work Out New York—Rilinger’s proudest achievement is creating a global, no-borders community of people dedicated to achieving wellness goals that they never previously imagined possible.

That community is LIFTED, Rilinger’s “holistic fitness program” designed to—yes—lift mind and body simultaneously through “meditation-infused workouts.” It was an immediate hit, combining metabolic interval training with meditation and yoga for what its creator calls “a synergistic path to wellness.” Rilinger’s inspired blend of mental and physical fitness drew a dedicated clientele. Then came the pandemic. “I was vacationing in the Dominican Republic when it hit. Then I didn’t vacation at all,” Rilinger says. “I pivoted very quickly and turned my program into a totally virtual one. It was such a blessing in disguise.” Rilinger is leading a retreat this fall for 30 LIFTED loyalists; the event sold out so quickly that she didn’t have a chance to open the event to the public.

Offering 12 to 15 classes per week, all online, LIFTED is raising heart rates and spirits worldwide. Raves Linda Warner, an American expat in Amsterdam: “If you would have told me that a woman in her mid-60s would lose 15 pounds and 10 percent body fat, increase muscle mass by 8 percent, be two pant sizes smaller, and soon exceed the fitness levels of my 20s, and achieve that with a community of women I never knew or met before, I would not believe you. I was in terrible condition from too many years of prioritizing work over health. For the first time in decades, I am now feeling really good in my body. And as amazing as those stats are, the equally profound gift—and I daresay the foundation of my results—is the incredible community and the heart and talent of Holly Rilinger, her team and her program, LIFTED. Growing together has been a magical experience.”

This summer, Rilinger will also host in-person LIFTED classes at The Clubhouse in East Hampton and Gurney’s in Montauk, as well as small-group training at her home studio in Springs in East Hampton. Check the schedule on; Instagram: @hollyrilinger