This list is all about feeling good about ourselves. That's because we now know that some of Hollywood's hottest stars who are buff, chiseled and sculpted do not have sexy bodies on their own. No, they're not getting tummy tucks or any other form of work done (well, some of them are). They are working out hard in the gym, but that's only because they have a personal trainer. And not just any personal trainer. We're talking about the top trainers in the U.S. who have the experience working for stars who have little time to work out because they're either shooting a movie or a TV show. And these PTs can't be found at Planet Fitness. They often have their own private gyms reserved for their star clientele and they also charge thousands per session.
Take for example Don Saladino. The PT, owner of private-training focused gyms Drive 495 and Drive 443, will rock you hard and you will see the results. Whether you need to bulk up and yet have super-flat abs, or whether you need to tone down for a sleek, contoured look, just look at Saladino's clients: Ryan Reynolds, wife Blake Lively, Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Gosling all have the buffest bods and look better than ever.
But most actors don't need to train hard unless they are vain (that's you Bieber). For example, Johansson and Reynolds strengthen their core and get lean muscle because it's part of the job. They are superhero characters and Reynolds, as well as the likes of Chris Evans, have shirtless scenes in their comic book hero movies and need to look as best as they can. Their trainers put them on bootcamp, they make them do deadlifts for a strong core and they don't let these stars have rest periods between sets because these trainers need to keep the stars heart rates up, which allows them to burn fat.
And to keep shredded, these stars have to eat boring food day in and day out, usually chicken with brown rice and almonds for snacks. That sucks, but the food that stars consume makes them relatable, ordinary people who couldn't have strut their way around a red carpet and rock it in revealing gowns, without severely dieting and having a personal trainer. Trainers who won't allow their clients to sit at home on their butt watching the new episode of Stranger Things.
That's part of what a trainer does; keep the celebs motivated, as well as training them consistently. So here is a list of stars who get their abs in tip-top shape by hiring a PT. Besides the celeb's name on each list, you'll find the name of his or her trainer.
15 Ryan Reynolds - Don Saladino
Ryan Reynolds is one of the most ripped actors in Hollywood. To keep his physique for roles like the Green Lantern, Reynolds trained for 90 minutes each day, giving Sunday a day off to rest. He gets his energy and sticks to a schedule because of his celebrity trainer, Don Saladino. Saladino not only trained his wife, Blake Lively, but also actors such as Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan and Ryan Gosling. The gist of the Saladino work out is training one body part per day, which allows your muscles to relax.
Called “split training,” the workout is short, which means Ryan doesn’t have to cheat and miss a day of training.
But of course we’re interested in how Reynold got his abs. Well, in addition to split-training, Reynolds doesn’t have to rigorously train his abs because Saladino makes him do only two key movements, deadlifts and squats. As Saladino pointed out in Men’s Health:
“Those are still two of the best abdominal exercises I know because your whole body is forced to brace and stabilize. Then, because you are using more of your muscle, you are able to pick up more weight, which in turn is going to hit your core.”
14 Chris Evans - Simon Waterson
It’s a necessity that Chris Evans has to look buff while starring in the Captain America franchise. As someone who owns the room while sparring with the bad guys, Chris has to appear as muscled-up as he can so that he can intimidate anyone. While Chris mostly wears his superhero uniform for most of the time, he does have scenes where he’s shirtless and looks amazing.
“It's big weights and training to put on the muscle. I mean, we might do a few sprints just to make sure I'm loose and conditioned, but that's about it, to be honest.”
Chris gets the job done by relying on Simon Waterson, a celeb trainer. Chris bulked up by isolating different parts of his body five days a week, and then rested on Saturday. On Sunday, if he felt he needed more work, he’d head to the gym again. He didn’t do cardio, explaining that his goal was not to lose weight but rather gaining it in muscle form.
It’s during cool down that Evans works on his core and abs.
13 Lady Gaga - Harley Pasternak
Let’s face it. It’s confusing about how stars get their ripped abs. Each celeb trainer seems to use different exercises on their trainees. Some trainers rely on weights or cardio to get ripped abs, while others focus on the core itself. For the latter, we’re talking about Harley Pasternak, who made Lady Gaga’s stomach flat.
Pasternak trains Gaga’s abs on all three planes. As Pasternak told Health,
“You have to train your abs laterally to hit the obliques with something like a dumbbell side bend. And you have to train your abs on a rotational plane.”
We don’t know what a seated truck twist is, but Pasternak seems to have gotten the right routine for Gaga. That's why she has killer abs.
12 Megan Fox - Harley Pasternak
Megan Fox is also trained by Harley Pasternak and, if you’ve seen her in Transformers or walking around Hollywood wearing a mini, you’d know how toned she is. Unlike Gaga, whom Pasternak trains her using a lot of crunches, the trainer relies on what Fox loves: hip-thrusts.
They were instrumental in getting rid of her belly fat after her pregnancy. The hip-thrusts focus on the midsection, but they also help strengthen her hip extensors, back, glutes and hamstrings. While doing the exercise, Pasternak told Fitbit that your body should form a diagonal line from knees to shoulders. Then you hold that position for a few seconds before returning to your starting position. No wonder Fox is so buff. The following by Pasternak is what Fox also has to do, telling Rodale Wellness:
“When I resistance train my clients, I don’t use any rest periods. We’ll go from one exercise to the next, which helps keep your heart rate up and burn more fat.”
11 Khloe Kardashian - Gunnar Peterson
Gunnar Peterson is the trainer for Khloe Kardashian. Peterson, who owns a gym in Hollywood, is also famous for training Sofia Vergara. He is known for his intense circuit training and sweat-inducing cardio that works to slim down a client’s body and make their legs and arms sinewy. But he doesn’t take credit for Khloe’s strong core. Instead, he points out that Khloe herself is responsible because she has the commitment, the consistency, the dedication and the carved-out time to train. She works hard to get the results and Peterson agrees, telling Entertainment Tonight that,
“Khloe’s an animal. . . in the gym. No complaining, no b*tching. Khloe works so hard."
To get Khloe’s body, she starts first with cardio, whether that’s joining a spin cycle or jumping rope. She also targets her core by doing a lot of ab exercises, such as doing sit-ups on a medicine ball, as well as pull-ups, ab roll-ups, sled pushes, and weighted pull-overs that Peterson taught her to keep her shape.
10 Janet Jackson - Tony Martinez
How did Janet Jackson look so toned after having her baby? According to her celeb trainer, Tony Martinez, it was all dedication. Not only did Martinez train Jackson during her pregnancy, but also after giving birth. The miracle of her weight loss was the result of hitting the gym a lot during a given week, and following Martinez’s exercises until she was literally spent.
The key to seeing the results for Jackson was for Martinez to make Jackson spend at least a half an hour, maybe a little more, in the gym, and do so five times a week, giving her only two days of rest. Because she is so active, and also has to train for tours, it was easy for Jackson to commit. Her trainer joked to Hollywood Life that Jackson was so “intense” that he constantly had to change up her routine so her body won’t plateau. To get Jackson’s body, Martinez claims you need to work out with resistance bands or something similar, like small weights, and then head over to a Swiss ball to work her abs.
9 Zac Efron - Patrick Murphy
In his High School Musical days, Zac Efron was a floppy haired teen who had a lithe body and flat core but not that much muscle to turn heads. Today, Efron is super buff thanks to training for Baywatch, where almost every scene he is shirtless, and is basically the only reason to watch the movie. Murphy, a trainer and nutritionist based in LA, is how Efron got lean and mean to play the part of a hunky lifeguard.
Efron didn’t have to do a lot of crunches because his workout regime using heavy weights helped strengthen his core. He worked out with Murphy five to six times a week and, not only that, twice a day. So after lifting, Efron would also do lifeguard-training exercises. If you work out that hard, you are burning a lot of calories, thereby making your muscles lean and your core tight.
The trick is to changing Zac’s exercises each day to avoid plateaus. Another trick was eating right. Murphy put Efron on a “whole food” diet, which means he had to avoid carbs and processed food, such as anything that came from a box. Any foods made with flour and sweets like cookies were a no-no. Instead, Efron had to eat fresh fruit, lean protein and vegetables.
8 Kendall Jenner - Gunnar Peterson
Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson is responsible for Kendall Jenner’s lean, buff body and hard core. The model works the runway and appears as a Victoria’s Secret model, so she needs to look sculpted all the time. That’s why she turned to Peterson, who is actually one of the most sought-after trainers in the United States. Unlike other personal trainers, Peterson doesn’t isolate a muscle on one day and another on the next. Instead, he opts for a full-body workout and relies on strength training.
He says strength training is so important that if you don’t have enough time to do cardio, spend at least a half an hour doing strength training, moving from one body group to the next. The trick is to stay focused and do each exercise with very limited downtime. Peterson says Kendell does have the focus—as well as the dedication—he wants from his clients. For instance, she uses every period of downtime to her advantage in order to do some quick ab exercises.
7 Hugh Jackman - David Kingsbury
Like other celeb trainers, David Kingsbury can get you those abs you want, but only if you can lift heavy and take very short breaks between sets. Kingsbury integrates pull ups for your back, chest presses and, the backbone of getting a strong core, the deadlift. These are big body parts and, as such, using those exercises will put your body into fatigue, forcing your body to burn fat.
Kingsbury is Hugh Jackman’s personal trainer, and the moves above are what Kingsbury often uses to get someone in shape.
Despite the little time Jackson has, Kingsbury took improvisation to another level by changing Jackson’s workout each day.
But when you’re a star like Jackman and are traveling back and forth for movies, you have to improvise on where to work, either finding a public place or a hotel. The key is motivation, as well as altering your diet to get shredded abs. Jackman eats chicken and brown rice and for snacks, chomps on beef jerky and almonds.
6 Chris Hemsworth - Luke Zoochi
In the Thor and Avengers movies, you can see Chris Hemsworth’s massive arms and his bulging biceps. Like Zac Efron, he has one of the best bodies in Hollywood, and that’s due to training with Luke Zocchi. Zoochi and Chris started hitting the weights about three months before shooting started for a movie, and when shooting began, Hemsworth didn’t have to spend much time bulking up, all he needed to do was maintain his muscles and his core.
Because Zoochi needed to make Hemsworth ripped, they skipped cardio and did “old school” body building for only an hour a day.
That sounds great for people like us who may want to resemble Hemsworth, but the catch is that Hemsworth has to do his exercise five or six days a week. He also has to eat clean, which consists of clean proteins like chicken and fresh vegetables. Because he was growing day by day, Hemsworth also had to eat six meals a day.
5 Jennifer Lopez - Tracy Anderson
Celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson treats stars like Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow.
According to Anderson, J.Lo trains four to five times a week. And since J.Lo travels a lot, Anderson always has one of her trainers in popular areas to help the singer and actress, which means there’s no cheating!
But we’re here to get her core. It’s not actually difficult and takes only half-an-hour. Anderson makes J.Lo do a plank variation circuit six times a week. In addition, she has to stabilize her core by doing 30-60 minutes of cardio every day. The workout, in addition to eating clean, organic food, allows for a full body burn, which is why Lopez has abs to die for. As Anderson told Health,
"It’s not just about the front of the abs, the rectus abdominis. . You have to also get the obliques, the transverse abdominis—which acts as a girdle—and the lower back muscles working together."
4 Liam Hemsworth - Logan Hood
Liam Hemsworth’s personal trainer is Logan Hood, an ex-Navy SEAL. You know that someone with that background will make you ripped. Hood uses a lot of weights, and to really burn the fat, Hemsworth can only stop to breathe before starting a new rep or a new exercise. The Hunger Games star has a routine for bulking up, a mix of burpees, bodyweight squats, pull-ups, push-ups and dips. For Hemsworth, his goal while working out is seeing how many reps he can do of each exercise in 20 minutes. Hemsworth told Men’s Health,
“I enjoy that sort of workout, because you’re going hard and fast and it makes you sweat.”
And that sweat will help you burn fat, revealing a sculpted and muscled-up physique.
Hemsworth also rows and he told Men’s Health that Hood incorporates some unconventional workouts with his lifting. This include flipping tires in the parking lot and slamming baseball bats against body bags.
3 Justin Bieber - Patrick Nilsson
Justin Bieber really has transformed his body, making his turn from boy to man complete. Once a skinny teen, Bieber is now sleek and his abs are more defined. Working with trainer Patrick Nilsson since 2014, Nilsson discovered that Bieber was an ectomorph with a fast metabolism who wanted to get ripped. Unlike other celebs, it wasn’t for a role, or a requirement. Bieber just wanted to look good. Umm, at least he’s honest.
Bieber’s workout meant no cardio. To build up his thin body, he had to use heavy weights. The secret behind his success is squats, the bench press, deadlifts and military presses. In addition, he spent five days per week in the gym using a split routine. While most moves were tailored to pack up muscle, Patrick Nilsson made him focus on his core twice a week to get great abs. Bieber’s “diet” was drinking a lot of water every day because he knew it would make him stronger and allow him to lose any excess body fat. He also has a protein and vegetable diet.
2 Halle Berry - Nat Bardonnet
Compared to other actresses, Halle Berry’s exercise to tone her abs is ridiculously easy, as well as very effective. Her celeb trainer is Nat Bardonnet and he uses an exercise called “The Rocky” to sculpt her abs. As Bardonnet told Health,
“[The exercise] targets all of your abs—mid, low, and obliques—to lengthen your core, with beautiful definition."
No wonder that Berry, who is 51 years old, is ripped!
To do the move, Bardonnet says you lie down with your face up on a bench, grip the sides and with legs together raised to 90 degrees, and lift up your legs toward the ceiling.
1 Nick Jonas - Gregg Miele
You may have noticed in the last four years how Nick Jonas has changed his body. In 2016, he posed for Men’s Fitness where he was pulling up his muscle-T to show off his perfect abs. Earlier, Jonas was not like this. He wanted to get cast as an MAA fighter in the TV show Kingdom in 2004, but he was barred from auditioning because no one could believe he could act and also that he didn’t have the body for a MMA fighter. When he eventually won the part, he had three months to train before shooting began. He hired PT Gregg Miele, the owner of a private gym in Los Angeles who has trained football players like Reggie Bush and actors like Matthew McConaughey.
Miele needed Jonas to reduce body fat and increase muscle mass. As Miele told Men’s Fitness, Jonas needed to be:
“Viciously strong, viciously powerful, and shredded.”
His workouts consisted of mostly heavy lifting. When filming was about to start, Miele put Jonas on a two-a-day workout for five days a week and with two days of resting, As he told Men’s Fitness, he put on 20 pounds of muscle in a month-and-a-half. He described the intense training as “wild.”
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