Celebrity Q&A – Gunnar Peterson, Personal Trainer
Gunnar Peterson is a Beverly Hills-based personal trainer whose clients include film and television celebrities and professional athletes from the NBA, NHL, NFL, USTA, professional boxing and various NCAA sports. With more than 20 years in the fitness industry, he is widely recognized for his expertise in functional training and his commitment to developing and implementing innovative fitness techniques. In addition to creating numerous fitness books and DVDs, Gunnar writes a regular column for Muscle and Fitness magazine, is on the advisory board for Fitness magazine, and has been a contributing editor for Glamour magazine and Clean Eating magazine. His new eight-week online workout plan, The Gunnar Challenge, starts May 21.
What was the ah-ha moment that made you start taking your health seriously?
At 10 years old I complained to my mom about my boy boobs and she asked if I wanted to keep complaining or do something about it. I chose the latter and ended up in a Weight Watchers meeting in Houston, Texas. And everything is big in Texas. I decided to get crackin’! I challenged myself to do it. Ha! My first ‘Gunnar Challenge’! The original article!
Do you have a secret habit that is part of your healthy lifestyle?
Being relentlessly consistent with my workouts. I never miss. Period. That said, not every workout is hellfire and brimstone, but something does get done and I believe I am better for it.
If you could permanently get rid of one bad habit, what would it be?
I’d have to say checking the Blackberry. Oh, health wise? Probably the occasional week-long foray into peanut butter indulgence. It’s just so wrong on so many levels for me.
What is your greatest health achievement or milestone?
Off the top of my head, it might be coming back from a six-hour back surgery where I was opened up front and back — but still made it back in the gym in 10 days. Or, running the NYC marathon, which for me was a big deal since I was no one’s first pick on the cross-country team in school! Or, helping to get the current Gunnar Challenge up and going so that people have a chance to kick themselves in the butt and be whatever they wanted to be physically! Look, I did it, so I know they can do it, and I’ve eliminated a lot of the pitfalls and gray areas so they can get there quickly!
What is your biggest health hang-up in others?
I try not to worry about others! It does kill me when I hear the same poorly thought-out excuses of [having] no time (“I’m too busy with work and kids”), no idea how to get started (“It’s intimidating how many things are out there and I wouldn’t even know where to begin”), no support system (“My friends always want to go out/I have to keep certain foods in my house for the kids”). There are ways to make it work if you work it. I tried to think of every excuse possible and circumvent it when I put The Gunnar Challenge together. And believe me, I’ve heard a few excuses in 25 years as a trainer …
Run, walk, ride or swim?
Ride, walk (on an incline), run, swim. Unless it’s all for fun, then swim first!
If you were a fruit or vegetable, what kind would you be?
Apple for fruit, carrot for vegetable. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and a carrot a day keeps the lawyers away. Right? That is right, isn’t it? Well, at least that’s what I was told.
If you could superpower one of your five senses, what would it be, and why?
Taste. Then I’d kill my peanut butter jonesing with a teaspoonful instead of a whole jar! Although, I think my kids would ask you to superpower up my hearing, but that’s another story…
If you could break a world endurance record, what would it be?
Being the perfect father to my kids. I want to be on point for them in perpetuity.