Personal trainers get access to some of the most intimate moments of celebrities’ lives. These are the moments when they would be horrified if Joe Public got a look at them. They get hot and sweaty, red in the face, and totally exhausted. They drop their normal façade and put everything into trying to get fitter. They struggle with the tasks given to them, something which most celebrities would be horrified to reveal. In that process, they also work hard to eliminate what they see as their weakest points.
Most celebrities would hate to reveal exactly how much hard work they have to put into training. They want us to think that they arrived on Earth perfectly sculpted as gifts from the gods. But personal trainers are the ones who know that nothing is as it seems. They get a glimpse behind the curtain, and every so often, they like to tell all.
Personal trainers have a lot of dirty secrets up their sleeves. They know how celebrities get fit, from the nasty details to the shocking ones. They know what it takes to squeeze into a designer dress for awards season, or to get the buffest muscles possible ahead of that new action flick. Thankfully, some of them are willing to share all of that information with us.
Here we have collected 15 of the most shocking dirty secrets that personal trainers know. Get ready to learn more about your favourite celebs than they have ever wanted you to.
15. Fake Tan Changes Everything
As Brenda Landwehr, personal trainer to the stars, reveals, fake tan can be a celeb’s secret weapon. If they haven’t managed to make their training goals in time, a quick spray in a tanning salon can make all the difference. She says, “Everyone knows how good a tanned body can look, and this is why you will never find a single shirtless Hollywood star with a farmers tan. If your body is not tanned then you are not maximizing the potential of your muscularity. Even those cheesy fake tans can help increase the definition of your muscles.” This can also help for slimming down areas such as the stomach and helping to make it look more like you actually worked on your abs, even if you aren’t toned. Want proof? Look no further than fake tan-happy celebrities like Snooki or Peter Andre. You can see the effects on their looks.
14. Affairs Are Commonplace
Kris Jenner had an affair with her personal trainer, and apparently, it’s not an uncommon thing. The trainers spend up to four or five hours a day with their client, and some even end up living with them when they are looking to train hard for an upcoming event. During that time they can get very close, both physically and emotionally. One thing can lead to another in that situation. Even if the romance might be short-lived, sometimes the repercussions aren’t. Plenty of Hollywood marriages have broken up because someone had an affair with a personal trainer, and plenty more have gone on unnoticed by the spouse. Normally, the loss of the affair will also mean the loss of a client, so not all personal trainers are willing to risk it. Others will spend their time looking for an affair on purpose. It’s mostly down to how seriously they take their work.
13. The Pump Helps With Short Movie Scenes
When you have a movie scene to film, you will want to ensure that you are looking at your best. You can’t spend the entire day working out on set, however – that would wear you out too quickly. So, how can you get a quick boost that looks great on camera and won’t fade while you are still filming the scene? “Everyone knows the pump – that super tight feeling when you’re about to hit failure in weights, when the blood starts rushing to your muscles and everything just feels so tight and hard,” says Brenda Landwehr. “It’s a great feeling but it can also make you seem much more lean and muscular than you really are. The thing about the pump is that it tends to go away after 45-60 minutes, which is plenty of time to shoot a movie scene.” One weights session is all it takes to whip up a movie scene look.
12. Everyone Wanted To Be Like Hugh Jackman
It turns out that even the celebrity clients aren’t above comparing themselves to other stars. They watch movie scenes and find themselves blown away by the body of a specific actor – and decide that they want to emulate them. “I get a lot of guys coming in and referencing the powder-blue swimming-trunks scene in Casino Royale,” says Sebastien Lagree. “Guys like Franco, or Tobey Maguire and Ed Norton, they don’t want to bulk up because they want to fit into a designer dress shirt or a slim-cut Dolce & Gabbana suit.” He also tells of how he used to take a photograph of Hugh Jackman’s body, a photograph of his male clients, and superimpose the two of them on top of one another to check their progress. This was pre-Australia, and Lagree now feels that trends have moved on, with celebrities no longer wanting such a beefed-up look.
11. Christian Bale Had Medical Staff For Unhealthy Regimes
What about the crazy transformations that we often talk about? Christian Bale is one of the most famous examples. He starved himself to an extremely unhealthy weight for his role in The Machinist, and bulked up to a massive size for his turn in the three Batman films directed by Christopher Nolan. This kind of rapid transformation is only possible because he had medical staff hired to help him out if anything went wrong. “I wouldn’t recommend it,” says Sebastien Lagree. “That kind of yo-yo-ing can have a chain reaction on hormone balance and mental health. Luckily, actors have money and medical teams on hand to protect them from their worst excesses.” This means that if ‘normal’ people without their budgets try to perform the same feats with their bodies, they are at serious risk of damaging either their bodies or their minds. This damage could be irreparable, so it is always important to be safe.
10. Non-Famous Actors Can Get Hazed
Personal trainer Pat Murphy is very effective, and also works with actors who are just on the cusp of becoming famous or who prefer to work as extras rather than taking main roles. For them, getting into shape with a trainer of his calibre can have unexpected side effects. “Pat’s crazy amount of knowledge and ability to figure out exactly what weight, Bodyweight exercise or technique will benefit a client in a given moment to get exactly the gain that’s going to look good on camera is way beyond what you’re going to get anywhere else,” explains one of his clients, who is not a famous actor but does work in the industry. “One of the weird pains in the ass after training with Pat is that I get hazed at gyms if I’m training with a partner because trainers tend to think I’m some sort of trainer horning in on their territory.”
9. Trainers Are Needed For Life
Once you have a personal trainer, you can’t just get to your goal body and then quit. For celebrities whose trainers control every aspect of their lives, it’s simply not possible to stop seeing the trainer. If they did so, it would result in a drastic change in their bodies. Many Hollywood stalwarts can be seen today who either have great bodies in old age – because they kept up their trainer visits – or who have piled on weight as they got older. Sebastian Lagree talked about who would win his lifetime achievement award for fitness: “For me, it’s people who’ve taken care of themselves day in and day out. Jaclyn Smith, the brunette who was in Charlie’s Angels, she’s way into her sixties and she looks absolutely amazing: her skin, her body… Harrison Ford is another great example. How old is he? In his mid-sixties? And he’s done a lot of his own stunts too.”
8. Medical Procedures Are More Common Than You Think
Fat reduction, cellulite reduction, body contouring – these are buzzwords which drip easily from the lips of celebrities trying to get fit fast. Not all of them are made public knowledge – and while everyone might guess that Kylie Jenner has had her lips done, something like liposuction won’t be as noticeable right away. Even putting together ‘before and after’ pictures can’t prove it, as the difference might be passed off as better clothing or a flash diet. “The media’s portrayal of extremely curvy body types is so commonplace that the public may no longer even consider that celebrities may have some assistance in achieving their curve appeal,” says Dr. Diane Wong, owner of Glow Medi Spa. “It may become the ‘new normal’ in laypeople’s eyes, similar to how the extremely thin bodies of previous years were seen as normal without regard to the radical behind-the-scenes behaviours required to attain that figure.”
7. Stars Expect Miracles
There are some instances in which even a personal trainer can’t help. Sadly, the trainers to the stars can often see this happening, especially with people who aren’t yet experienced enough in the industry to know the limits. “Hollywood stars are different to you and me, because it’s become part of their job to transform themselves physically for certain roles,” says Sebastien Lagree, who has also worked with Sofia Vergara. “Then other people see the results on screen and think it’s easy. What they haven’t seen is the intense preparation that goes into it. It takes at least three months of hard training to really lick someone into shape. I’ve had actresses coming to me two weeks before they’re due to start shooting, expecting miracles.” So, there you have it – a personal trainer may be the best in their field, but they still aren’t a miracle worker. Like everything else worth doing, fitness takes time, and there are no shortcuts powerful enough to make a difference to that.
6. Trainers Sometimes Have To Bunk With The Stars
When actors have a film to get ready for, and they also want to stay in the right level of shape during filming, things can get very intense. In fact, trainers can get too close to their clients – learning all kinds of secrets about their lives, and even moving in with them to stay connected 24/7. “It’s a symbiotic relationship,” says Brad Bose, who lived with Robert Downey Jr. during filming for Iron Man 2. “Because trainers need celebrities to boost their profile; the first thing any publicist will ask is, whose name can we use? I’ve tried to scale down a bit, but Robert needs me right now, and my wife’s ready to kill me. I have to try and make sure I don’t become a crutch for people. You have to be artful in getting the trust thing together without crossing that line.”
5. Courtney Love Needed Extra Services
Sometimes, the remit of a personal trainer extends beyond just physical training and nutrition. They often have to support their celebrity clients in other ways, since they tend to have very specific requirements. Sebastien Lagree found his first celebrity client in Courtney Love, whose psyche turned out to be a bit of a problem during their sessions. He ended up having to take her for meditation sessions on the beach in order to calm her down a minute. Lagree stresses that his clients are always works in progress rather than finished products, and this is probably one of the best examples of that. We doubt that Courtney Love has visibly calmed down at all in the intervening time! Still, trainers can be called upon to fix all manner of evils in the lives of their clients. That’s just part of the job of getting them into shape in the best way possible.
4. Zac Efron Gets Diet Texts
Pat Murphy was Zac Efron’s personal trainer as he prepared for his appearance in Neighbours 2, and he has revealed in interviews that Pat had to text him what to eat and when. He wasn’t to eat anything unless he had been instructed to, and only at the times he was told. He had cooks who would make his meals for him each day, which he would then put into one big bag and take to the shoot. While enjoying breaks in filming, he would be able to eat his pre-made meals as instructed. He was also quoted as saying, “I gotta drink these things (protein shake) 5 times a day”. So, while celebrities seem to be doing something which is definitely achievable for anyone, the difference is that they also have a small army of people helping them out with everything – and even instructing them when to eat the food they didn’t have to spend time making.
3. It Can Be Very Challenging To Work On Celeb Bodies
Not all bodies are equal when they come to the trainer, even though it may seem as though celebrities are in shape all the time. You wouldn’t expect to hear, for example, that Robert Downey Jr was 25 pounds overweight when he first arrived to train with Brad Bose. “He’s a scientist in Iron Man, so he couldn’t be too buff, but he’s also a superhero, so he has to be muscular,” Bose says, recalling the first time that he worked with RDJ and the brief that he had to get started. This meant that “making him look naturally athletic was a challenge”. We can see the results for ourselves from watching Iron Man, and Bose was brought back on board to help the actor prepare for the subsequent movies in the Marvel series to ensure that he maintained the same physique across all of them.
2. Kanye West Bows To His Trainer
Harley Pasternak is a personal trainer who has so much clout that no one is able to defy him. He has worked with more than 100 celebrity clients, and all of them know that he is in charge. Even someone as infamously difficult as Kanye West has to understand that he isn’t the master of the gym. “If Kanye West is training in my studio and he arrives 10 minutes late, and Alicia Keys is coming in right after, he knows that I’ll just stop his session to attend to her; they can’t afford to be prima donnas because they know I give everyone equal weight,” says Pasternak. It’s an enviable position to be in. He has worked with a huge number of high-profile names from Halle Berry to Miley Cyrus to Jessica Simpson. When you work with so many A-listers, it’s clear that the shine of admiration wears off.
1. Trainers Have Unhealthy Lifestyles
Personal trainer Scott Laidler admits that his own lifestyle has become more unhealthy since he started training celebrities, mostly due to the lack of time that he has to look after himself. “PTs are generally self-employed and at the behest of their many clients, which means we’re incredibly busy in the mornings and reluctant to ever turn a job down,” he says. “Then, in the afternoons, there will be more sessions, programs to write, meal plans to send and websites to update. For me, it all adds up to a 15-hour work day. The result? Rushing around, sleeping less, training less, and eating poorly. Suddenly, you’re a personal trainer who needs a personal trainer… I also had to make tough calls like not going out in the evening and hitting the hay early so I could be up at the crack of dawn to start work. Goodbye social life, it was nice knowing you.”
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