Fitness guru finds fame in Hollywood
In Hollywood circles, he’s known as the man who made Halle Berry look terrific in skin-tight leather in the movie Catwoman.
Since 1996, when Harley Pasternak (MSc 2000) opened his first fitness studio while studying exercise physiology at U of T, he has transformed the physiques of a host of celebrities, including LL Cool J, Robert Downey Jr., Benjamin Bratt and supermodel Julie Ordon. The National Post hails Pasternak, who owns two fitness studios in Toronto (and a mobile unit in New York City), as Hollywood North’s personal-fitness guru.
Seven years of exercise and nutrition education were key to breaking into the celebrity personal-training field, says Pasternak, 29, who is also president of Bodiworx Health & Fitness Inc. in Los Angeles. “It enabled high-end clients to trust me. It gave me that professional image. When films came to town, film companies felt comfortable with me helping stars get in shape. There was less chance of me hurting them than some bodybuilder off the street.”
This year, Putnam Penguin will publish his first book, Five Factor, about the five-week program he puts celebrities through to prime them for TV and film projects. The book will be considerably cheaper than his fee as a personal trainer. His services, which include 30-minute daily workouts, rental of the world’s largest mobile gym and the services of a chef to prepare prescribed meals, can cost up to $55,000 for the five-week program.