If you’ve ever wondered exactly how a celebrity prepares physically for the paparazzi-filled, look-at-me fest that is awards season, now you’ve got your answer. We spoke with personal trainer and nutrition expert, Harley Pasternak who works with A-list celebrities, helping to sculpt the butts, abs, and legs of some the most famous women to ever have walked a red carpet, including Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and Behati Prinsloo.
Pasternak is also a New York Times best-selling author, and consults with a number of big companies in the food and beverage business—so you can trust this guy knows what he’s talking about when it comes to fitness and nutrition.
Ahead of this weekend’s Oscars, Pasternak put together a sample meal plan that he recommends to celebrities for the day of an awards show, and short-listed the top seven workouts he uses with celebrity clientele ahead of the season. Best of all, his exercises mostly use bodyweight instead of gym equipment, so these are exercises you can do in your living room while watching “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” This is what he suggests:
“I recommend to the celebrities I work with this meal plan for the day of an awards show. A lot of times, people mistake hunger for thirst, I always suggest to always keep a bottle of water on hand. I like smartwater: It’s vapor-distilled and has added electrolytes for taste,” he told us.
Breakfast: Apple pie smoothies (from Harley’s book, The Body Reset Diet.) To make it blend five raw almonds, one red apple, one banana, 3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup nonfat milk, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
Snack: Greek yogurt with blackberries or raspberries.
Lunch: Green salad with grilled salmon and avocado.
Snack: Beef jerky and an apple.
Dinner: Shrimp and vegetable stir fry and a portion of quinoa that is roughly the size of your palm.
1. Hip Thrusts: Harley says that the key to getting a great butt isn’t just about shaping-up your glutes, but also focusing on the surrounding muscles by training your lower back and lower hamstrings. “Hip thrusts hits all three areas,” he told us.
How: Lay down on the ground or a mat with your head and back flat on the ground and your knees bent so that your feet are also flat on the ground, shoulder width apart and parallel. Using your abs and glutes, push your butt off the floor so that your head, hips and knees are in line. Hold for one beat and lower with control back to start.
2. Stiff Leg Deadlifts: Training the backs of your legs is as important as training your front, and this move targets your butt and hamstrings.
How: Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, with a dumbbell in each hand in front of you, palms facing in toward the front of your thighs. Inhale and, bending at the waist but keeping your back straight, push your butt backward and slide the dumbbells down the front of your thighs. Push your hips back as far as you can, feeling a stretch in your hamstrings. When you can no longer push your hips any further back, slide your hips forward back to standing. Repeat.
3. Walk Lunges: This classic move sculpts your legs and your butt.
How: Start by standing upright, feet together, holding two dumbbells at your sides (optional). Take a large controlled step forward with your right leg and lower your hips toward the floor as you bend both knees (almost at 90-degree angles). The back knee should come close to (but never actually touch) the ground. Your front knee should be directly over the ankle and the back knee should be pointing straight down. Push off with your left foot and bring it forward to the starting position. Next: Step forward and repeat with the left leg and alternate.
4. Pike Planks: Harley lists pike planks as one of his favorite exercises, saying : “It’s a great way to strengthen and stretch the front of your abs.” So if you’re planning on wearing midriff, he’d prescribe pike planks.
How: Get into a push-up position with your knees and hips on ground, then arch your back so your chest is out and you’re looking at the ceiling. Imagine a rope attached to your tailbone pulling your butt straight up to the ceiling as you look at your shoelaces and contract your abs, the drop your hips back down to the ground and look up at the ceiling. Repeat until you’ve done all your reps.
5. Close-Grip Tricep Push-Ups: “This move is a total upper body workout, but really focuses on the triceps, which are 2/3 of the arm,” Harley said.
How: Get in a modified push-up position, with your knees on the ground and form a diamond with your hands. Lower yourself down, letting your elbows flare out naturally, and push yourself back up to start.
6. Supermans: This move strengthens the lower back muscles, which Harley promises will improve your spine posture and indirectly lengthen the front of your abs, creating a slimmer, smoother stomach.
How: Lie face down on the floor with your arms and legs fully extended. From this position, lift your arms toward the ceiling, as if you were flying. Lower back down and repeat.
If that feels too easy, make it tougher by adding your lower body, and lifting your legs at the same time as your arms so that your body looks like the letter ‘X’ from above. Tap the floor with your hands and feet between reps.
7. Step-Ups: This move is great for toning your thighs and butt.
How: Stand up straight and face a sturdy chair, step or bench. Place your left foot flat on the bench and step up, with your weight through your heel, to a standing position. Keeping your left foot on the bench, step your right leg back down and repeat. Finish one side before moving to the other leg.