Ashley Park on Reshaping Her Workout Routine: “It’s Not About Burning Calories”


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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 11: Ashley Park wears silver earrings, a gold chain necklace, a pale purple tulle with embroidered rhinestones / crystal V-neck / long sleeves body, a purple nylon with embroidered crystal / rhinestones striped print pattern zipper jacket, purple shiny sequined embroidered wide legs pants, gold rings , outside Patbo, during New York Fashion Week, on February 11, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)Image Source: Getty / Edward Berthelot

Ashley Park is reshaping her self-care routine, beginning with her workouts. In her Women’s Health June 2023 cover story, Park revealed that she’s taken a new approach to fitness in recent years. With the help of her Pilates instructors — Brandon Perry, who is based in Los Angeles, and Sarah Brooks, who is based in New York City — she’s shifted her focus from weight loss to strength building. “I don’t do personal sessions because I’m fancy,” she said. “It’s literally because if I take a class, I will find a way to cheat. When someone is one-on-one with me, it’s such good accountability.”

“Now, for me, working out is not about losing weight; it’s not about burning calories.”

While she used to focus primarily on cardio workouts, Park said the pandemic inspired a shift in her mindset when it came to fitness. “Now, for me, working out is not about losing weight; it’s not about burning calories,” she said, adding that she does about three Pilates sessions per week. “Instead, I feel a difference when I am stronger and more muscled.” Namely, she enjoys scheduling morning workouts to start her day off on a positive note: “It changes the trajectory of my mental state because I’ve taken care of myself in some way.”

In a December 2022 interview with Shape, Perry previously shared the details of Park’s Pilates routine, which includes a mix of cardio, upper body, lower body, and core work. “Ashley wanted challenging Pilates workouts where you leave feeling sweaty and accomplished,” Perry said.

Park’s routine specifically features toe taps, single-leg oblique crunches, rolling reverse planks, rolling push-ups, lifted donkey kicks, lunges, side planks, bridges, and squats. “I always listen to how she’s feeling and can adjust her workout accordingly to help her feel her best,” Perry added. “Because Ashley is young, healthy, and has body awareness, we were able to keep her workouts quite advanced and challenging.”

After spraining her ankle at a Beyoncé concert in Dubai earlier this year, Park has had to put some of her favorite workouts on hold, including running. Still, she makes time to take care of her body in other ways. “With my injury, I’ve learned it’s not just about getting stronger and sweating, it’s about preparing my muscles as my instrument,” she told Shape.

In addition to her workouts, Park said she’s also “learned the power of a mental health break.” Taking a more holistic approach to her health in recent years, she schedules restful vacations by the water and makes more time for soothing activities, like watercolor painting. She also supplements her wellness plan with relaxing FaceGym sessions; regular visits to her acupuncturist and massage therapist; and nourishing meals — including TikTok’s viral cottage cheese recipes.

Park is continuing to balance her wellness journey with upcoming projects, like her film, “Joy Ride,” also starring Sherry Cola, Stephanie Hsu, and Sabrina Wu. But the relationship between her physical and mental health has become more important than ever. “I deserve to take care of myself and not just everyone else,” Park said. “I’m treating myself like a lead now.”

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