10 Celebrity Trainer Secrets

I have the luxury of training some very successful people and the below insights are always a common denominator. 

1)  After EVERY exercise ALWAYS stretch. It creates long lean muscles.

2)  There is always something new to learn. Never, ever get bored. If you are, it is your own fault.  

3)  Get 7-8 hours of sleep. NO EXCUSES. This is crucial to glowing on the inside and out. 

4)  Make sure you eat your daily amount of protein.  Average daily protein needs (grams per day) = Your body weight (lbs)/2.2 x 1.5. 

5)  Listen to your inner dialogue. What is going on in your head? Take responsibility for your thoughts. If you don't like them, CHANGE them. 

6)  Your body is a choice YOU make. You are what you eat and how you exercise. 

7)  WATER!! Make sure you take your body weight, cut it in half and that is how many ounces to drink throughout the day. If you worked out for an hour that is an additional 10 ounces. 

8)  If you are not hungry DON'T eat. Your body is telling you something. I don't have 1 or 2 meals a week, because I listen to my body. 

9)  Don't wear anything that you don't look incredible in. Period. No if, ands, or it cost $500. Donate it! 

10) Hang around happy, driven successful people. You are an average of your top 5 best friends. 



1)  LYING TRICEP PRESS: (tones under your arm) 
Lie on your back with your knees bent and together, and your feet apart on the floor (pyramid position). Hold 2-lb dumbbells above your head, bring your elbows in line with your eyes. Lower the weights down to the floor right above your head and then straighten your arms. Do 100 times. Do not move your elbows the entire set. When this gets easy use 3lbs, but never more weight. To make it harder increase the reps by adding 25X. 

2)  CONCENTRATION LUNGES: (works entire leg) 
Stand with your hands on your waist step and your left foot forward. Drop your right knee down to the mat. Now, check your form. Your front knee is right over your ankle. Your back knee and shoulder are in alignment with the same hip. Keep this alignment for the entire set. Give me 100 lunges. Then, switch sides. Pull your stomach in the entire exercise and stand up ballerina straight.  

3)  OBLIQUE KICK:  (Works arms, hips and obliques)
Come onto your left side with your legs stacked at a 135 degree angle. With your left forearm on the ground and your right hand in a fist for support on the ground, lift your body off the ground and kick your right foot out as high as you can. Come back to the starting position and repeat 25x. Look straight out the entire time. Then, switch sides. To make it harder, take your right hand off the ground and put it on your waist. Now in the up position, the only thing that is touching the ground is your forearm and the side of your left foot.

4)  X ABS (works entire core) 
Come onto your back and put your hands on your shoulders in an X behind your head with your legs in butterfly position. Lift your upper body 25X using your abs. Then, hold it up and lift your lower body 25x tapping the sides of your feet back down. Then, do both simultaneously. Keep your core pulled in the entire time.  

5)  DONKEY KICKS: (Strengthens entire body, with emphasis on quads)
Come onto all fours with your hands under shoulders and knees under hips. With slightly bent elbows and a straight line from the top of your head to your tailbone, lift your knees one inch off the ground and bounce them one inch up and down 50x. Once you are good and warm, float your feet off the ground and kick them in the air like a…donkey. Ideally you would like them at 2 o'clock. Do 50x.  Think floating not pounding back down. Imagine you are jumping on a sheet of glass and don't want to break it.

6)  BUTTERFLY TAP (Works abs) 
Sit up tall with knees bent and pointing out to sides and feet on the floor in front of you with soles of your feet together. Place fingertips on the floor between your legs and lean back slightly until you feel your abs engage  Raise left foot, then lower it and immediately raise right. Continue, alternating feet for 30 seconds. Then, do both feet simultaneously for 30 secs. Sit up straight and keep abs pulled in throughout movement. 

7) CLIMBER: (Works entire body) 
Stand with feet hip-width apart and hands in front of shoulders, elbows pointing down and palms facing away from you. Raise right arm overhead as you lift right knee toward chest. Immediately repeat on opposite side. Continue, alternating sides for 2 minutes. You can also do this on the ground with a towel under your feet on a wood floor and run. 

8) TRICEP COOKER: (Works triceps, legs, and core)
Sit with knees bent and feet on floor, hands 6 inches behind hips, fingers facing towards you. Lift hips and raise right leg straight up. Bend only your elbows, lowering your butt toward the floor. Straighten arms and repeat 25x, then switch legs for 25x. Do 2 sets. (To make it easier, keep both feet on the floor.)

9) WRESTLING CIRCLES: (works entire abs, obliques and quads) 
Lie on your back and interweave your hands behind your head with your thumbs on neck (as sensors to make sure your neck remains relaxed). This exercise is for your abs not neck. While lifting your shoulders up, simultaneously lift your legs up and rock using your obliques and twist 10x clockwise and then switch directions. Keep your elbows out of your line of vision throughout. 

10)  SUPERMAN TWIST: (Works butt and core) 
Lie face down with legs extended behind you and forehead on hands, fingers interlaced. Raise legs and chest, then rotate torso to the left. Keeping legs raised, rotate to the right, and repeat. (If this is too challenging, keep legs on the floor.) Each set tap your elbow on the mat. Do 100 taps. 

11) CRISS-CROSS REACH: (Stretches back & hamstrings) 
Sit up tall with legs extended on the floor in front of you, left ankle crossed over right. Extend arms at shoulder height in front of you, left hand on top of right. Bend forward from your hips, reaching right hand toward right toes as you lower your chin toward chest. Focus on pressing your lower back towards your knees. Take 5 deep inhales, then repeat on opposite side.


* I added an optional stretch at the end if you have tightness in your back. 


About Joel Harper

Celebrity personal trainer Joel Harper has been developing custom workouts for personal training in New York City (NYC) for 18 years largely due to his simple exercises which produce immediate results. His clients range from Dr. Oz to Olympic medalists who are striving for break-through performances to 10 year old kids just learning to appreciate their health. With a client list as diverse as his personal training methods, he regularly works with well-known actors preparing for new roles, musicians embarking on world tours and business executives desiring increased energy and strength.

Joel has appeared in various publications from "O" magazine and Esquire to Bottomline Health. He has created all of the personal workout chapters for the New York Times best selling YOU: books series and the accompanying workout DVDs with Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen as well as the popular FIT PACK DVD.

Joel's unique personal fitness workouts have been seen on various programs including: ABC & Fox News, Oprah, the Dr. Oz. Show, Good Morning America, and Larry King. Joel is the creator of the PBS best selling DVD, FIRMING AFTER 50 and the currently running SLIM & FIT.

Originally from Texas, Joel earned a BS from NYU. Getting into shape was a necessary component of Joel's modeling career. As a model he has worked for top designers and appeared in magazines, calendars and billboards in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Staying in shape and motivating others to do the same is now a way of life.

Posted on WholeFoodsMagazine.com, March 21, 2013