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Guest Workout / ALEXANDRA AND CAROLINE PAUL

Fitness--Twins Are Far From Identical

April 06, 1998|CANDACE A. WEDLAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

As an only child, I can't imagine what it's like to have siblings, much less a double. One thing I learned, and pronto, from identical twins Alexandra and Caroline Paul--they hate being compared.

Alexandra was on TV's "Baywatch" and is now a spokeswoman for Bally Total Fitness. When we had our phone interview--she lives in Los Angeles with her "pound" cat, Henry--Alexandra said, "The worst thing is being compared, like you're going to do to us. But that's OK."

(The 34-year-old twins are 5 feet 10, and Alexandra weighs 131 pounds and Caroline weighs 140, and what's all this about comparing?)

Caroline, a member of the San Francisco Fire Department's rescue squad (with a book coming out in May, "Fighting Fire," St. Martin's Press), said she agrees with her older (by two minutes) sister. "The toughest is the comparison thing, for sure. But then, conversely, the best thing is that I'm often mistaken for her. I mean, I have the perfect world where I'm famous for about a minute and then I can just laugh and walk away."

Check out the twins' respective fitness programs below. Don't know about you guys, but I found them incomparable.

Exercise

ALEXANDRA

She's in the gym every morning for an hour of cardio on a stationary bike, which is when she reads the newspaper, followed by another hour of free weights. She rotates the weight regimen with a leg day, a bicep and tricep day, and a day for shoulders, chest and back. She winds up the sessions with 150 sit-ups five times a week.

"Some days, if I don't want to go to the gym, I'll swim an hour in the pool. Sometimes I'll do both. Basically, it's an hour of cardio a day that makes me feel sane." Sometimes she'll get in a run for that hour of cardio. Alexandra also takes a 1 1/2-hour-long yoga class twice a week.

CAROLINE

Mornings, she runs four to six days a week, five to seven miles each day. Then she puts in an hour at the gym, lifting free weights.

"I should really be lifting only five days. I'm sort of obsessed, and I end up going in six, sometimes seven, and that's not good. Something that I preach but don't practice--moderation." She also does mountain climbing, back-country skiing and paragliding. "I think it's crazy not to work out as a firefighter. Plus, it's a great excuse. People see you in the gym all the time and you can say, 'Oh, I'm not a bum because I have to (do this) for my job.' "

Just for Fun

ALEXANDRA

Participated in the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii in October.

CAROLINE

Climbed Mt. McKinley in October.

Food

ALEXANDRA

"I eat every two to three hours. I'm a vegetarian--since I was 14--which is why I eat cottage cheese and egg whites for protein." (She downs about 12 egg whites a day.)

Breakfast--six boiled egg whites and granola.

Two hours later--a protein bar and more egg whites.

Lunch--baked potato, cottage cheese and peanut butter.

After lunch--nonfat frozen yogurt and egg whites.

Midday--"This is all on a good day, by the way." Egg whites again.

Dinner--pasta with nonfat cottage cheese mixed in.

Bedtime--a couple of cookies. (Alexandra assured me these were the real things, from the supermarket.) "Before I go to bed, I always eat something sweet and I'm supposed to chase it with egg whites or cottage cheese, but I can't."

Drink:

Herb teas and a lot of water.

CAROLINE

"I'm not a big eater. I'm a terrible cook, and so I don't cook for myself. I think the real key is to eat five or six small meals throughout the day."

Breakfast: a bagel and nonfat cottage cheese. Coffee with cream.

Midmorning--a protein shake.

Lunch--fish and a salad.

Midday--another protein drink, and M&Ms. Plain or peanut? "Peanut for sure, gotta get that protein."

Dinner--always baked fish and vegetables.

Drink--Six to eight glasses of water a day. "I work out so much, it's probably not enough. I should drink more." She might have a glass of wine with dinner.

A Treat: "Well, it's hard in the firehouse to avoid the dessert thing. At 3 in the morning after some emergency, I have been known to eat an ice cream sandwich."

* Guest Workout runs Mondays in Health.

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