Halle Berry... Penelope Cruz... Natalie Portman... Katherine Heigl
These sexy celebrities have it all. They’re on the A-List. They’re rich. They’re famous. And thanks to their fitness trainer Harley Pasternak, they also boast the buffest bodies in Hollywood.
Pasternak, the director and founder of Bodiworx Health & Fitness and Entertainment Health, is in the know when it comes to building a firm physique in a limited amount of time.
A killer body is a hot commodity in Hollywood. Getting ready for a film is no longer about just trimming a few pounds here and there. Today's stars must take that extra step to get into character - that often requires transforming their bodies into lean, mean fat-fighting machines. There’s no room for a flabby gut or a spare tyre on the big screen.
The bottom line: to make big figures, one must have a good figure.
So when Hollywood’s hottest stars need big physical changes in a short amount of time, it’s Harley to the rescue. His lengthy client list also includes: Megan Fox, Stephen Dorff , Kate Beckinsale , Robert Downey Jr. and Jennifer Hudson
Despite their seemingly-glamorous lives, actors are often up at 5 am, picked up at 6 am and on the set by 7. Shooting for a film usually goes on until 7 pm and evenings are spent learning lines and preparing for the next day. With such a hectic schedule, where do they find the time to firm up?
That’s where Harley comes in.
“I have a consulting business that specialises in films,” Harley tells us. “I have a team of trainers and mobile gyms which we sometimes set up at the actual film set. That way if there is a 20-minute break or a lunch break, the gym is right there and the trainer is waiting for the star.”
“We make use of any free extra time, whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour.”
But it’s not just Harley’s set up that’s so enticing to celebrities - it’s the guaranteed results that his cutting-edge MVT (Multi-Variable Training) system offers. With the MVT system, the variables (position, duration, activity, reps and rests) are constantly changing. This type of workout forces the body to adapt, thereby stimulating muscle growth and promoting fat loss. It also helps determined dieters avoid those unwanted plateaus.
The MVT workout takes about 20 minutes, plus a 5-minute warm-up beforehand. If you’re working for maximum results in minimum time, Harley suggests performing the MVT workout 5 days a week, along with 6 days of cardio. That adds up to major results with just an hour a day of exercise.
Although it may sound drastic, using this system helped Halle Berry look stunning in that bikini. For a less intense regimen, perform the MVT system three days a week.
Halle Berry follows a three-prong plan, according to Harley. In addition to the MVT resistance training workout, she follows a healthy eating plan and does regular cardio activity.
But Harley points out that you do need to work with what you’ve got - while exercise and healthy eating will improve and tone the body you’ve got, we’re not all going to look just like our favourite star.
Harley’s MVT system, which he now offers on video, will help you get into your very best shape.
For this particular workout, there are four moves: the jump squat, the push-up, the crunch and the post crunch. You don’t need any weights or machines.
• Start in a squat position with the butt touching the heels. Jump up from that position as high as you can. Land softly and crouch back into the starting position with the butt resting on the heels.
• Avoid this exercise if you have knee conditions or lower back problems.
• Perform this exercise on carpet or a non-slip mat and do 20 jump squats.
• Without resting, go directly into a push-up or modified push-up (bending from the knees instead of the toes). Do 20 reps then rest for 60 seconds.
• Complete four supersets of these two exercises and then move on to the ab routine.
• Lie on your back with your knees bent. Hold your hands either lightly behind your head (do not rest your head on your hands), or together in front of your chest. Lift your shoulders off the floor, concentrating on using your abdominal muscles.
• Repeat 20 times.
• Without resting, move directly to the post-crunch.
• Lie on your back with the legs pointing straight up. Bring your shins toward your forehead, concentrating on contracting your abdominal muscles. Move back to the starting position.
• Do 20 post-crunches then rest 15 to 20 seconds.
Repeat the whole series two more times for a total of three supersets.