Harley Pasternak has worked as a trainer for all kinds of celebrities, including incredibly fit singer Jessica Simpson, 41, who lost a whopping 100 lbs., and actress Halle Berry, 55, and he’s revealing some of the workout and diet details he’s used to keep their bodies, including their long lean legs, strong and in shape. The fitness professional spoke to us from his West Hollywood gym while promoting Maple Hills Creamery’s new zero sugar organic milk.
“Number one, pick your parents very carefully! I don’t want to take credit for their genetics, a cheeky Harley EXCLUSIVELY told HollywoodLife when asked how he keeps clients like Jessica and Halle’s legs so toned. “I think that making sure we do more of the back, the inner/outer part of the leg than the front. You don’t want to be too quad dominant. You want to be walking, moving your body and constantly evolving the program. I think those are all pretty important. I’m a big fan of iso lateral leg movements, not bilateral. Everyone has a dominant side so I don’t do squats with clients. We’ll do stuff like lunges or reverse lunges or lateral lunges or walk lunges or step ups and we’ll train that body part no more than once a week.”
Harley also revealed that there are “five habits” he suggests to help keep his clients fit and at a healthy weight. “I can’t talk specifically about what any one client does, but the principles that I say in general to anybody who has seen what I do with clients is they have five habits that I give them to do each day,” he said. “The first is trying to get at least 12,000 steps a day. I think that is really, really important. You don’t have to sweat. You don’t have to huff and puff. You don’t have to go to a gym to do it or put on a special outfit, but it’s the aggregate to do your movement every single day.”
“It can be jumping, skipping, running or it can just be from walking,” he continued while revealing he gets in “about 14-15,000 steps” a day.
“The second is sleep. We’re supposed to be sleeping one third of our life and we’re sleeping less and worse than we ever have,” he added. “All the screen time that we’re getting and the caffeine and the alcohol and all these things affect our quality of sleep, more-so the technology, and so I try and tell my clients they need to sleep at least seven hours a night. They need at least an hour of deep sleep and an hour of rapid eye movement. That’s important because the impact of not getting enough sleep can actually make people gain weight. It effects a lot of hormones.”
“The third is unplugging from technology at least an hour a day, ideally the hour before bed. The blue light from our phones, the alerts we keep getting, they’re so heavily tied to our energy levels, carbohydrate craving, fat metabolism, so less screen time is good,” Harley further explained before talking about the final two habits. “The fourth is food. Three meals and two snacks a day and every meal is made up of protein, fiber and healthy fat. People get those from smoothies, salads, sandwiches, soups, sushis — all different kinds of things. That’s what the body reset diet is and that’s why I’ve been a big advocate for dairy for so many years because in one drink you’re able to get two proteins – casein and whey. You’re able to get calcium, vitamin D, potassium, and now you can do it without sugar.”
When it comes to females being either “petite” or “medium” or “non petite,” Harley never tries to “bulk” any of them up because most of the time, they don’t want to do that. “I never bulk people up. With my clients it’s four, five or six sets [of exercises] per body part, so we make sure the volume is never too high on any one body part that would create that,” he said. “I don’t let any of my female clients do chest flies or push ups or bench press or ever any of those because those can create the illusion of a thicker, stockier body. We hardly ever do biceps. We try not to do too much quads. We try to do a focus on the hamstrings, the glutes, the abductors, so all of the things that actually will pull the body back and give it the illusion of being a longer, leaner body. That’s what we focus on.”
Harley also pointed out that there is no “standard” amount of reps he does with his clients and it can change each day. “The rep and set range changes for everyone, but they may start out with 20 reps each and drop a rep a set each subsequent set and maybe go down to 14 reps and then that’s it,” he shared. “The workouts are 20, 25 minutes. The focus from fat burning comes from steps, so I give someone a step goal to do every single day, whether it be from walking, jogging, skipping, dancing, stairs. You don’t have to sweat. You don’t have to huff and puff at all, but just trying to hit 12,000 steps a day. Some of my clients 14.”
He then went into details about how important it is to eat right while doing these steps to make sure his clients are getting the best opportunity to change their bodies for the better. “If you do my five daily habits, you don’t have to do too much of any one of them,” he assured. “There’s a synergy that happens. If you’re not eating right, there’s no amount of exercise that can make up for that. If you’re not weight training, none of the other things are going to sculp, tone and tighten. And if you’re not doing the steps, then nothing’s not going to burn the body fat. It’s moderate and it’s sustainable. Half of my clients don’t live in the same city that I live in and I’m able to keep them in shape.”