We were fortunate enough to get a chance to interview Celebrity trainer Gunnar Petterson. His fun, down to earth, replies to our questions made the interview seem as though we were talking with a good friend instead of a high power trainer. A lot of the questions that were asked could have been generalized, yet he took the answers to another level and gave us some very honest answers.
Gunnar has trained many of the big names in Hollywood such as Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, Mathew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Gwen Stefani, Mary J. Blige, various NFL, NBA, NHL, and other high profile clients. “He is contributing editor for Glamour and has a recurring feature in L.A Confidential magazine. Gunnar is also regularly featured in Allure, Elle, In Style, In Touch, US Weekly and other magazines. His television appearances include The Today Show, CNN, and CNN Headline News (source).”
Fit Tip Daily: What is the best part about your job?
Gunnar: The best part about my job … every day is a casual Friday. It is never the same. No two days are the same.
Fit Tip : People probably always ask you diet advice; what is your 1 universal rule of thumb for those trying to lose weight?
Gunnar: Taper your meals as the day progresses. Eat one small dinner.
Fit Tip: What’s the best way to lower your cholesterol through health and nutrition?
Gunnar: Have a couple of glasses of Silk soy milk during the day especially for people on the go. In a carbohydrate heavy society it’s also a good way to keep your protein intake up.
Fit Tip: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Gunnar: Everyday is better. The day it’s boring is the day that I am out. Being able to be, in some very small way, a part of so many peoples tremendous success stories.
Fit Tip: We know that you are a well-known celebrity trainer, what has been your toughest fitness deadline for an upcoming role?
Gunnar: It is not that the goals are tough. It is more so that often times they are unrealistic. It’s more that people have done very little for very long wanting to remedy that over night. It is unrealistic, just like one meal didn’t make you fat or skipping one workout didn’t get you to your currently conditioned state. One workout or one proper meal isn’t going to get you fit. It is just unrealistic.
FT: Do you have any one particular scenario that comes to mind?
Gunnar: I just had somebody who hadn’t done anything in over a year, who had a body-bearing scene in two weeks. IT would be like cramming for an exam at a tough school.
FT: You have already achieved so much, what are some of your future goals?
Gunnar: Getting more correct, proper timely information about exercise and health out there. And eliminating some of the misinformation that runs ramped.
FT: Is there anyone you aren’t currently training but would love to work with (celebrity or not)? Why?
Gunnar: My brother.
FT: Why is that?
Gunnar: Because I know the potential is tremendous. You know that old mafia saying, ” its not personal, it’s just business.” This would be it’s not business it’s just personal.
FT: What inspired you to work in the fitness industry?
G: I was a fat kid.
FT: At what point in your life did you change that? Was it high
school or college?
G: No, my mom put me on the fitness track in terms of getting into weight watchers and in terms of providing alternative food choices. Instead of Captain Crunch, Ho Hos, and Ding Dongs, she brought Carnations Slender Breakfast in and she also hired a personal trainer for me when I was 15.
FT: So that is how you got the idea to become a trainer?
G: No, I got the idea when I saw that when I applied myself to what was out there, and I saw that my little body, which was fatty with boobs could change, then I thought if I can do this, I can help that guy who has been in here for the last year who has done nothing.
FT: If you could only do one workout routine for the rest of your life, what would it consist of?
G: I used to say to people, if you leave me on an island with a set of dumbbells and a cable stack, you know a free weight cable machine, when you come back, I will be in shape.
FT: What exercises would you do?
G: There are a million different permeations. I would do everything from squats, presses, curls, all the basics and then I would tweak them all to hit every muscle group. All of the joint movements and hit it in all three plains of motion. And I would never get bored.
FT: Because you would just keep going.
G: There are so many ways with those two tools to tweak the workout that only the boring are bored.
FT: It’s like being in the gym and watching the trainers do the same thing over and over again.
G: That kills me. I bring in any and all machines, tools, tricks of the trade, and random stuff, because I think that they are all just tools in your tool box. You don’t have to use them every day, but it is nice to know that you have that very specific screw head, you have exactly that screw driver to use for it and that means that you can get done what you need to get done. Yes, I can get what I need to get done with a lot less, but there is something about deviating the boredom factor that to a certain degree keeps my clients coming back.
FT: What motivation techniques do you use to keep your clients inspired?
G: I tell them to take a look at their kids. Do you want to live with your kids or do you just want to be alive with your kids. Do you want to be in the game or do you want to be in the stands.
FT: And what do you tell them if they don’t have kids?
G: I tell them that if you can tell me one other thing that makes so many other things in your life better in just one hour, then there is no reason to do this, you should go do that.
FT: When you are training people, do you go to their house or are you training at a studio?
G: I have my own gym in Beverly Hills. They all come here. Timewise it is completely illogical to go to people’s homes. Not that I haven’t, and when I was in between gyms, I had to go back in time and do exactly what I did when I started, and that was go to people’s homes. And there is nothing wrong with that and I know some people that say you have it so easy because you have your own gym. I was still crushing when I was going to people’s homes, but you have to be willing to do that. Once you have your own place and it is up and running and you have a monthly nut to cover, you would be foolish to
be outside of it, for any time you don’t have to be outside of it. What I always tell people that want me to come train them at their homes is come here first and if you have a better gym at home then I will come to you.
FT: Which they never do
G: No, of course not. We have more tools to help you reach your goals so why not use that.
FT: Do you have a line of fitness products
G: No, my Infomercial stopped about a year ago. We are looking at about 8 things right now on the stove. So, we’ll see what moves forward and what moves back. It’s just a matter of something that works right and the people have to have the same ideas and ideals that we have. In terms of not putting out a product just to put out a product and then later cannibalized it with another product.
FT: Is it a product inspired by you or one that you are promoting?
G: No, it would be something that I would do. I have a couple of them that I know work and work across the board, and that will work 10 years from now.
FT: The one that you had out that you were doing an infomercial for, what was that?
G: It was core secrets. It was with the stability ball.
A big thanks to Gunnar for taking time out of his hectic schedule to talk with us! Gunnar was nice enough to invite us to his state of the art gym. However, we haven’t had enough time to take him up on his offer yet. So, here is a behind the scenes clip of his awesome gym in Beverly Hills, California.