In Hollywood circles, Beverly Hills-based fitness trainer Gunnar Peterson has established himself as the go-to man for sculpting famous physiques, from Jennifer Lopez and Bruce Willis to Kim Kardashian and Angelina Jolie.
How to achieve a body like JLo? He shares a few essentials on getting started. Speaking with Relaxnews while riding his bicycle during a family ski holiday in Big Sky, Montana, Peterson says his approach to training celebrities involves practicing what he preaches. “I’m riding my bike before skiing, and I’ll be lifting weights later after the ride,” he said.
Peterson, 49, also religiously follows a “clean diet” that he has fine-tuned over more than 20 years, starting every day with a protein power shake packed with oatmeal, chia seeds, organic raw juices, and fresh blueberries.
In his sprawling Beverly Hills gym, he trains from nine to 10 clients a day, often a mix of pro athletes, such as Pete Sampras and Tom Brady, and major film stars. The routines, which are 60-90 minutes, run the gamut — some clients need to be ready for a naked photo shoot in two weeks, others need to prep for an action sequence in a film, while others just need to maintain flawless Hollywood figures.
Peterson’s goals: “to fit the routine into their lifestyles, and that means I’ll go to the set, meet them at hotel gyms when they’re on location; or for actors like Sly Stallone, he’ll have a workout trailer on set that we can use,” he says. “I can provide consistency in their lives, someone to count on, to trust.”
While you may not be able to splurge on a celebrity trainer, Peterson does share a few tips for ramping up your own routine at home. First step: work out, he says. But be realistic in your expectations. Everyone is dealt a different genetic hand (note: we can’t all be Gisele Bündchen).
If you’re new to fitness, or restarting a routine after a lull: “Find a way to carve out some time to incorporate three physical activities into your week, every week,” advises Peterson, “whether it is meeting with a trainer a few times, taking a class, or picking up a new sport.”
Also, two additional days a week, take a 30-minute walk around your neighborhood, or do 30 minutes of stretches and calisthenics in your living room.
Next, try a “give and take” approach, he says. Adopt one good habit and eliminate one bad one. “For example, if you skip breakfast and drink your body weight in coffee every day, eat breakfast and reduce your coffee intake by 50 percent.”
After three weeks, add an extra 10 minutes to your fitness routines and adopt one more nutritional upgrade, such as avoiding carbohydrates at dinner, adding more fruits and vegetables into your diet, or swapping out red meat or high-fat dairy at lunchtime for a lean protein source, such as fish or chicken.
The key to seeing a change in your body is simple, he says. Establish a program and stay true to it. Peterson is a personal testament to this approach: “Sure, I may look f—ing amazing,” he jokes, “but hey, I’m no spring chicken.”
See his Jennifer Lopez workout routine in action: