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Real Fitness Perspectives — From the Basics to Innovation

With Gunnar Peterson

Season 4, Episode 4  | September 15, 2020

Gunnar Peterson has trained everybody — from professional athletes to high-profile celebrities to everyday exercisers. In this episode, we talk about his long-time experience in the industry, including trends that have come and gone, and the staples he uses in his programming to help people reach their goals and perform their best, whether that’s on the court, behind the big screen, or in daily life.

Gunnar Peterson Headshot.

Gunnar Peterson is the director of strength and endurance for the Los Angeles Lakers. He has 30 years of experience in the fitness industry and his training clients include everyone from NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB athletes to celebrities — yes, even the Kardashians.

  • Regardless of who he’s training, Peterson builds his programming based on three elements: his clients’ goals, overall health outcomes, and the practices he knows will serve his client best in the long term and/or in their everyday life.
  • In this time of the pandemic, Peterson has shifted to meet the circumstances by providing more written programs and Zoom workouts for his clients. He’s also incorporated more bodyweight moves and creative exercises.
  • However, he says one of the most common questions he’s received from clients is how to avoid losing what they’ve worked for. He says that while deconditioning can severely decline with no training, if you’re still putting in some work, your body will hold onto a lot of what you’ve earned. That’s assuming you still keep up with nutrition, sleep, and other healthy habits.
  • Recovery has always been part of Peterson’s training philosophy and he credits it as being a huge factor in overall health and wellness. He cautions people not to use it as a crutch, though: If you shift from one massage and four workouts per week to four massages and one workout, it’s not going to serve you as well.
  • At the beginning of training sessions, Peterson usually has clients do some sort of repetitive cardiovascular movement on a treadmill or elliptical — something that gets them moving, elevates their heart rate, and allows them to mentally check out for a few minutes. He says this serves as a transition between the outside world and gym and helps get them in the right mindset for their workout.
  • If you’re new to training or getting back in after a break, Peterson suggests starting small. He often has clients who want to begin at five sessions a week, but instead, he has them do two sessions with him and one on their own. “It’s not just about what you can hold onto or adapt to physically, it’s about what you can fit into your schedule,” says Peterson. If you take on more than you can do and have to miss a workout, it can cause a negative association. By starting with a realistic amount, you gain a sense of “I can do this” and can build on to add more sessions from there.
  • In this podcast, we often refer to five pillars of health: movement and fitness; nutrition; relationships and community; sleep and stress management; and mindset and attitude. Peterson says his prioritization of those is dependent on both the client and the season of life they’re in. For example, during the holidays, perfect nutrition may not be realistic, so he’ll have clients focus on nailing workouts and sleep. “It’s a long journey,” says Peterson. “There’s no way you’re getting all your sleep, nutrition, and fitness from now until the day you die. There’s going to be an ebb and flow and you have to be comfortable with that.”
  • The one takeaway Peterson wants to leave listeners with is this: Have fun with your training and enjoy the process. Your goals are often not as defined as you think they are and will shift over time, but the process is a constant. Find how you can learn to love the workout itself.

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Transcript: Real Fitness Perspectives — From the Basics to Innovation

Season 4, Episode 4  | September 15, 2020

Jamie Martin 
Welcome to Life Time Talks, the healthy-living podcast that’s aimed at helping you achieve your health, fitness, and life goals. I’m Jamie Martin, editor in chief of Experience Life, Life Time’s whole-life health and fitness magazine.

David Freeman 
And I’m David Freeman, the national program leader for Life Time’s Alpha program. We’re all in different places along our health and fitness journey, but no matter what we’re working toward, there are some essential things we can do to keep moving forward in the direction of a healthy, purpose-driven life.

Jamie Martin 
In each episode of this season, we’ll break down various elements of healthy living, including fitness and nutrition, mindset and community, and health issues. We’ll also share real, inspiring stories of transformation.

David Freeman 
And we’ll be talking to experts from Life Time and beyond who’ll share their insights and knowledge, so you’ll have the tools and information you need to take charge of your next steps. Here we go.

[Music]

Jamie Martin

Hey everyone, I’m Jamie Martin.

David Freeman

And I’m David Freeman.

Jamie Martin

And welcome back to Life Time Talks. In this episode, we’re talking about fitness, and we have a guest, who is kind of a titan in that industry. We are talking with personal trainer to pro athletes, celebrities, and everyday people just like us, Gunnar Peterson.

David Freeman

Yes, Gunnar Peterson has been in the health and fitness industry for three decades, and his resume includes working with athletes in the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, and more, as well as working alongside so many celebrities. Yes, even the Kardashians. He’s currently the director of strength and endurance for LA Lakers and as a sought-after expert for health and wellness insights across all sorts of media.

Jamie Martin

So, David, you actually have a personal connection with Gunnar. I don’t know if you want to tell our listeners a little bit about that, how do you know him, and I just want to caveat this with saying that he called you an inspiration in fitness during our conversations.

David Freeman

It  definitely did shock me, and it was very awesome to hear that coming from somebody that I look up to over the years, and our connection goes back to, I want to say it was 2007 or 8ish or so when I first got into the health and fitness industry. I just saw who he was, what he stood for, and I just resonated with that, and I vibed with his connection. I just happened to reach out on a social, and he actually responded, and I was like, wow, OK, that’s cool, and then we ended up meeting up in Duke because I’m from North Carolina, and that’s his alumni that he went, and we met up there, we connected, and the rest is history.

Jamie Martin

That’s pretty awesome. Well, I will just give our listeners a little preview. At the end of our conversation, Gunnar did mention some videos that he saw of you, David, that were kind of inspiring, so we may just have to link to those on the episode page. But before we get to that though, you know, we had a really entertaining and I think honest conversation with Gunnar about his longtime experience in the industry, the things that he considers staples in his programming for his clients both celebrity and every day, like we said, they’re like us, but he also talked about some trends that have come and gone, and how he’s learning constantly, which I thought was pretty interesting.

David Freeman

Yeah, so going into this episode, guys, I always say it, experience is the best teacher, and we’re about to experience one of the best, so let’s get after it.

[Music]

All right, we’re rocking and rolling. We’re back with Life Time Talks, and as always, we talk about having a special guest, and we have a very, very special guest, a person who is very close to me and I have followed him for so long, and probably a lot of you guys are going to know who I’m talking about in a few minutes, but just a strong, strong mentor, leader, impact and influence across the board, so he doesn’t really need an introduction, but I’m going to throw one out there anyway, Gunnar Peterson, he’s been training longer, almost as long as I’ve been alive, not to give away . . . you know, he has this fountain of youth that he could probably talk about a little bit later, but I mean, it’s just amazing, you’ve been in the industry for over 30 years now, and the one question that I will want to throw at you, I’m going to go right into it because I know people want to know, within the health and fitness industry, we’ve seen so much over the years, what would be one thing that you would say has remained the constant, it’s not a variable, it’s something that is constant that seeks deep into the health and fitness industry?

Gunnar Peterson

First, I’m want to thank you for the intro. There’s zero apologies with how long I’ve been in this industry, I’m here to stay, and a long time ago, I made a decision to make this a career not a job, and I would encourage other people to at least evaluate and decide is it a career or a job for you, from a trainer’s standpoint, but leaving that there, a constant in the industry, I would say a constant in the industry is women wanting to change the shape of their a**es, and I think back in the day, when I started, I think they all wanted them smaller, and now they all want them bigger. I mean, nobody is in a state of a** bliss, like nobody ever seems comfortable with that, so from a female standpoint, it’s that, and the male equivalent would probably be guys wanting to be leaner and seeing definition in their abs. Those are probably the two constants I see in the industry. I get it that both are aesthetic-based and not performance-based, I’m well aware of that, but you know that’s what comes through my doors.

Jamie Martin

There’s a lot of that, you know, wanting to look or to build those assets in a certain way, right, like that is just a part of . . .

Gunnar Peterson

Did you say assets?

Jamie Martin

I said assets.

Gunnar Peterson

Yeah, I got you. I got you.

Jamie Martin

But you know, tagging on to what you were saying.

Gunnar Peterson

Yeah, way to tie it in there, I appreciate that.

Jamie Martin

I know, I try, I try. OK, so you have trained, as David said, you’ve trained everybody, you’ve trained everyday people, elite athletes, I’m sure you’ve trained people with a wide range of personalities as well, so tell us like, regardless of who you’re training, what are some of the fundamental components of any training program you put together. I think what our listeners, you know, a lot of people are like how do I even build a program or what should I be doing on a weekly basis, how do you build and what are those essential components?

Gunnar Peterson

It’s a combination between making sure you understand the person’s goals, whether it’s an athlete or someone looking to drop weight or alter the shape or proportion of a body part. You have to hear what they want to say and then you have to manage that expectation a little bit, you know, you never squash it, and then I make sure that I put things in the program that are going to serve them in ways that I think they need to improve that maybe they don’t see or they didn’t address, so I’ll get their goals, my goals, overall health goals, and then try to weave something in that will work and hit all those points.

I’m a huge fan of mixing of planes of motion, adding athletic movements in people who wouldn’t consider themselves athletes even though, you know, I go back to we’re all athletes and life is the sport, so let’s see what we can do to make X, Y, Z better in your life outside the gym, and ironically — or maybe not so ironically if you’re in the training world — the side benefit is going to be that the physical goal you were looking for, you know, we stumbled across that.

David Freeman

I love that, G. So, I mean, the thing that Jamie just hit on is you’ve worked with so many different personalities and individuals, so what are your non-negotiables regardless of their status or whoever they may be, what’s your non-negotiables?

Gunnar Peterson

I rarely draw a line in the sand, but there’s definitely politeness, and look, there’s a lot of stuff that goes on in a gym, and I’m not going to say it’s locker room talk, but there are some things said, some exchanges that to the untrained ear would be shocking, but to us, they just get a huge laugh. Obviously, as we all develop our training styles, you do find yourself having certain go-to lines that work. Sometimes, when somebody is new to training with me and we’re on let’s say the second or third time through a certain movement, and I see it’s particularly challenging or grueling to the person, I see them struggling, I’ll look at them and I’ll say, “My mom’s name is Judy,” and they’ll go, “What?” And I go, “My mom’s name is Judy, if you want to curse her, say something about my mother, the person who brought me onto this earth, you can go ahead and use her first name.” And it usually breaks the tension, and they realize that I’m right there with them, so you know I wouldn’t tolerate rudeness, but what I consider rude or what you consider rude may be different things, so I try to keep it fun as long as it’s all in the right spirit. I don’t want to say anything goes, but god, a lot of stuff certainly goes.

Jamie Martin

So, let’s talk a little bit about the last several months. How have you adapted in your personal fitness routine and in working with your clients?

Gunnar Peterson

My personal routine hasn’t changed that much because I can find ways to get in and get out of my facility early in the morning and there’s no one else there, but for other people, I’ve done a lot of . . . I don’t know when the last time I wrote this many programs and sent them via text or email, there’s a lot of that, and hopefully, it’s not falling on deaf phones, and they’re not just looking at them and going, I’m not doing this, but I try not to send them until I’m asked.

There have been a lot of Zoom workouts, a lot of online stuff that we’ve gone back and forth with, and I think in the beginning there’s a novelty and that’s cool and everybody works hard, and then there’s the sorry, I’m 10 minutes late, which as you know, when you’re waiting staring at your laptop for 10 minutes for somebody, that’s an eternity. And in terms of the programming itself, there’s a lot of bodyweight and creativity stuff that you’ve had to work in, and really it comes down to assuaging the concerns of the people that they haven’t lost everything that they’ve worked for up and until this point because . . . I actually have in my office an old, from a magazine, a deconditioning calendar what really happens to your body over the course of one week, two weeks, three weeks, without any training. Obviously, with no training, it can be pretty severe, but if you’re still putting some work in, your body holds onto a lot of what you’ve earned assuming the other wheels don’t come off, right, assuming the food, the alcohol, the sleep, all that stuff, that’s where it can get a little tricky now with everybody locked at home.

Jamie Martin

Yeah, I feel like I, I mean, I personally had that experience, it’s like having to adjust my routine and also my expectations around what I’m going to do with the home equipment that I have versus what I had access to at a Life Time or another facility, so it’s just an adjustment period, right, and we can make it work if we’re committed.

Gunnar Peterson

Nothing is going to be like that Life Time downtown. Yeah, I’ve been to that gym, and that’s unbelievable. It’s one of my favorite stops on the NBA tour. People are like you like going to Minnesota? I go, I love it, are you crazy, it’s right across the street from that gym that’s unbelievable, so I can see where you’d have some withdrawal with that.

Jamie Martin

Absolutely. Well, David’s back in on a daily basis now, so that’s fun.

David Freeman

I try to get some touches. Yeah, I try to get as many touches I can so I can just see how people are responding to, I don’t want to call it the new normal, I don’t want to call it the new normal, I know a lot of us are saying the new normal, like we’re just adjusting. Just like with anything, we have to figure out how to adjust and navigate and know how to pivot. So, how do we adapt? We think of survival of the fittest, it’s talking about adaptation not necessarily the strongest and the fastest, but how do you adapt in your environment.

Being a coach and now being in the industry, I haven’t been there as long, but I’ve been in the industry now for about 12 years, and the one thing that I’ve seen is our clients always wanting creativity, can we do this now because I saw it on social media or can I do this, and the one thing that I always preach on is, is less is more, like doing the functional movements, have fun with it, but educating our members and clients on the why of what it is that we’re doing.

So, now, with that being said, and I’m going to ground there, we’ve got to think of time, right, I ask people all the time like how do you spell love, right, how do you spell love, and I always break it out and I say T-I-M-E. The amount of time that you’re putting into yourself, the amount of time that you’re putting into your family, and so on and so forth, that’s how I spell love, so when you’re thinking about putting together these programs and the time that you’re spending with these individuals, it means something, so that’s why I go back to . . . how do you create that balance with your years of experience, some people need to hear this of understanding that time is valuable.

Gunnar Peterson

So, I have a system. I’m super OCD, I write everything down, and when you talk about the programming and can we do this today kind of thing, I’ve written those programs the night before, it’s my homework, and I do it with my kids. If one of my kids needs more attention, I’ll sit with that one while they’re doing homework, and I write my programs, and I’ll say, how much homework do you have, and one will say two hours and one will say half-an-hour, and then I’ll say I have this much. Even my wife knows now, she goes do you have a lot of homework tonight, and I have what I have, and I have a system of writing it down, so when I get into the gym the next day, I print those out, and obviously, it’s a template, it’s not a Bible, as the author of it, I reserve the right to change that on the fly, but I’m not going to change it just because you don’t want to do it. I mean, I’m here for you and everything, but like this is for you. I don’t mind adding something in if you change and you say, let’s go to something super, superficial, I’m going to a pool party this afternoon. I’m not going to deny you adding something that’s going to make you feel great for that, and I know that that’s very surface, but I do work in LA . . .

Jamie Martin

[Laughter]

David Freeman

[Laughter]

Gunnar Peterson  

Like you said, I try to keep them grounded in the basics, and then you know we’ll add some icing to the cake, of course we will, but we’re going to get the other stuff done, and it’s not bargaining, and they’ll say, you know, do we have to do this. I go, we don’t have to do anything, I mean, we can wrap it up right now if you want or they’ll say, what if we did that, and I go, this is not a gameshow, this isn’t like you trade this for this, and then you call it, it’s like here’s what we’re doing and here’s why because this movement follows this movement because of this, and I have reason for it, and other trainers can disagree with that, but there is a reason it is all thought out, so I have put in the T-I-M-E the night before while I’m prepping it and while we’re executing it.

Jamie Martin

Hey, while we’re talking about the T-I-M-E, I think over the years, cardio, strength, mobility work has been a huge part of programs, I’m sure that’s the time you’re spending, but recovery has become, I feel like, something more people are starting to focus on, can you speak to recovery and is that something you’ve spent more time on in recent years or is it always been part of your philosophy?

Gunnar Peterson

It’s always been part of my philosophy, for sure it’s something that I’ve spent more time on now, and I think, like you just touched on, it’s a huge part of the overall health and wellness space. There’s a part of it where I see some people using it as a bit of a crutch because it’s the more passive approach. It’s, you know, I think I should take tomorrow off and get a massage. I’m like, well obviously, that’s . . . sure, and that’s never going to be a bad thing, but when we’ve changed from four workouts and one massage to four massages and one workout, you and I are approaching this from a different angle, so you have to look at the parts of recovery, too, right. Stress reduction period is part of recovery, right, being away from the phone for a little bit, shutting down television, laptops, everything and just being for a second is part, sleeping is part, using a Theragun is part, all these things, you know, percussive devices, all these things are contributing to your overall recovery piece of the pie, so you have to build them in and you can’t just keep going recovery protocol, recovery protocol and skipping training workouts. You got to make sure you’re making the right choice. You got to make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, but it’s definitely a huge piece of the pie, and I think that’s going to continue.

Jamie Martin

You said a word in there, you said Theragun, and I had a little flashback to the use of a Theragun not too long ago, but it changed my own fitness routine actually when I started using one, so.

Gunnar Peterson

Phenomenal. They have a new one out, they have a mini that has a spongey attachment to it designed by a chiropractor, and for your head, it’s just, especially if your headphones or baseball hats or whatever you have in the day, it’s incredible how it increases the blood flow to the targeted area, but it just feels great. Yeah, great tool, great tool. All my athletes use it, great tool.

David Freeman

Mindset is huge to me and something I’m truly passionate about. I start there with a lot of my clients because it’s something about this up here that’s going to dictate the rest of what the body is going to be doing and how you’re going to attack and approach it, so I’m huge on mindset, so tell me how mindset plays within your day-to-day and how you utilize that within your clientele base.

Gunnar Peterson

Very often, when they come in, I have them just get on a piece of repetitive motion cardiovascular, right, whether it’s an elliptical, whether it’s an Arc Trainer, whether it’s a treadmill, but I want something where they can literally kind of zone out, and I’ve had discussions with other trainers, oh, you should do a dynamic warmup, you should do this. Yeah, I know all about that, and we will be doing some of that in this, but I like them to come in and get a few minutes on something where they can elevate their heartrate somewhat, move their bodies, and mentally checkout because there’s a little transition. It’s like the little vestibule between the outside world and the gym, right, they have to come in and everything calms down, and now, mindset-wise, they’re ready to get after this. And some of them get on there and they’re still on the phone, and I go, here, let me take that, and not in a bad way but just like this is where we’re starting to transition from outside world to workout world.

In terms of if you’re talking about positivity and that, to me, that’s a given. In terms of motivation, look, you’re there because you’re motivated to be there. There’s nothing I’m going to say as a strength coach or as a trainer that’s going to get you to do something that you weren’t to some degree willing to do. I don’t sell fitness to anybody, I’m not pitching this, I’m not coming to your house, I’m not passing out fliers, you’re there because you want to be there, and if you don’t want to be there, then you should probably leave, or give it a shot, and hey, look, that turned out well, hopefully, I’ll see you again. But if every time you come in and you feel a certain way that doesn’t make you want to be there, then I’m probably not the guy for you, this is probably not the gym for you, and you should find your own fitness avenue.

Jamie Martin

Well right, and if you want people to find joy in movement and to keep doing it, they got to do something they enjoy, right, or they’re not going to keep coming back.

Gunnar Peterson

That’s that question, I’m going to get a piece of cardio for my house, which one do you think I should get? And I go, what one do you like? Well, I like the rower, but I just think the treadmill is going to do so much more for me. Oh, OK, do you like running? I hate running. Well then, why would you ever buy a treadmill if you don’t like running to force yourself into it, you’re already making this an uphill battle.

David Freeman

Well, go back to that as far as the mindset, I like how you ground them when they come in, but then how that mindset, you train athletes and you train the everyday individual athlete too, how does that translate to the real world, like so when they go back into their workspace, whatever they’re learning in that one hour or so of working with you, they are being challenged mentally, and then to the basketball court or to the football field, behind the lens of the Hollywood screens, like it’s so many different pieces that you do with these individuals that have breakthrough moments that transition to everyday life, so I’m also speaking to that mindset.

Gunnar Peterson

I think their big takeaway is I can do this, I got this done. That’s why when somebody comes, I want to start training five days a week. I go, what are you doing now? Well, I haven’t done anything for a few months, and I say, let’s do this, let’s start twice with me and then do once on your own something, whether it’s cardio, whether it’s a pushup/squat routine I can give you at home, but let’s do twice because it’s not just about what you can hold onto, what you can adapt to physically, it’s about what can you fit in your schedule, and the one thing with literally everyone I work with that they come up short on is time, so we have to find a way to now create two, three, five more hours in your week, so if we start off with two, it’s easy to build up mentally there’s not the — you can make two. If you set up three and then you cancel one, invariably, what I’ve noticed is, OK, you got the two done, but you beat yourself up so much for the one you missed that now they’re negative effects, and now there’s a negative association with it, and I’d rather start you and put you at least on the trajectory to success than start you big and have you have to fall back and climb that again, that’s tough.

Jamie Martin

If you overdo it and then you don’t ever want to do it again, right, like skip that.

Gunnar Peterson

Yes, exactly or you fall a little bit short, and then you’re like, I can’t believe I missed, I can’t believe I missed Wednesday, I can’t believe I missed Wednesday, I can’t . . . we’re on Friday now, it’s over, let’s move past Wednesday, look at what you are doing, that’s good.

Jamie Martin

OK, so one of the things we talk about on this podcast is kind of pillars of health that we talk about, if those pillars, they’re movement and fitness, nutrition, relationships and community, sleep and stress management, mindset, and attitude, and that’s a lot of words, it’s more than five words, but, you know, it’s five categories, how would you prioritize them? In this day and age, in the current moment that we’re in especially?

Gunnar Peterson

So, I would say that’s client dependent and season dependent. I would say season meaning not necessarily, you know, fall, winter, spring, and summer, I would say that’s season of your life, where are you in this moment, is this a time when we can prioritize your workouts or is this a time when we can prioritize your nutrition or is this a time when we can prioritize your recovery, if we look at those three off the top.

I’m not going to force feed you, all puns intended, nutrition stuff during the holidays. Why? Why don’t I just make sure you stay on your workouts, make sure you’re really trying to get that extra sleep, you can maybe go into the office a little later that day, maybe cut out a little earlier, because I know you’re probably going to eat and/or drink things that you wouldn’t normally or that are not going to serve you best from a health standpoint during the holidays. So I’m not going to have that nutrition battle, I can’t believe you went to a cocktail party and had a dessert, I’m not that guy, and I can believe it, frankly, so good for you. Now, make sure you stay on your workout.

During the summer, maybe it’s harder for you because of vacations to be on your fitness, right, you’re taking trips with the family or whatever is coming your way, summertime schedules change, so then I’m going to say to you, all right, even if you do miss a workout, let’s get this stretching program in place at home and let’s make sure your nutrition and your recovery stays on point, so I’m going to always troubleshoot it. That’s how I would do that. Not to be evasive with the answer, but I wouldn’t say, it’s always this or it’s always that.

Jamie Martin

You keep hearing more now, I keep hearing a lot of people saying like sleep is one of the most important components of your healthy lifestyle, and I, again, I agree, I think it depends on where you are, right, you know, if I have my sleep down, then maybe nutrition is right for me or whatever, but it is, again, dependent, I like that.

Gunnar Peterson

I’m not going to tell a new mom who’s getting back in the gym, look, you have to get your sleep because that’s just going to stress her out more because she’s doing all she can to make two to three workouts a week and still be supermom at home and waking up every night with the baby, so I’m going to say, look, whatever you’re getting sleep-wise, it’s going to be fine, your body knows when, if you need to take a day off, take a day off, but let’s really hammer these workouts while you’re in here, and make sure your food stays on point. And that’s an easier task for them, and then it’s less ominous, there’s less headbanging, like we’re not clashing on that, and they know that I’m on their team and that I’m realistic and understanding.

It’s a long journey, right, there’s no way you’re getting all your sleep, all your nutrition, and all your fitness from now until the day you die, so there’s going to be an ebb and a flow with that, and you have to be comfortable with it.

David Freeman

This next one, let’s see if everybody remembers this song, Friends, how many of us have them?

David Freeman

OK, so Gunnar, you remember it.

Gunnar Peterson

Sure do.

David Freeman

I want to talk about trends — how many of us have tried them, and when you think about it, you’ve seen so many trends over the years. Just for fun, what is one that you actually you’re glad that you’ve seen gone away?

Gunnar Peterson

Oh man, I’m actually glad that I’ve seen them all come and go. I take that back, let me rephrase, I’m actually glad that I saw them all come. I don’t care if they go or not because, you know, it doesn’t affect me. I try to find something — and this is not, I’ll flip this on you in a second — this is not to be just Mr. Positive, Mr. Good Guy, even though that applies too, I’m going to find something in everything. So whatever the trend is, whether it’s step class, indoor cycling, Shake Weight, whatever the thing is, I’m going to try to find something good with it, and I will incorporate it, right, it’s a business of poaching, so I will take from this, add from this, and use that to build my programming, and if you have people training with you four, five, six times a week, and they’ve been with you 10, 12, 15 years, you better come up with some new stuff. You know, squats and deadlifts get old for somebody after a while. They’re like, dude, you haven’t put a new piece of equipment in here in a long time, and that is never said for me, I’m a hoarder, but I’ll flip this on you — you tell me a trend, and I’ll tell you why I’m glad that I saw it.

David Freeman

I mean, I remember you said it already, it’s funny you said it already, but the Shake Weight, you know, the inertia and all this other stuff, but the advertising for it was . . . I mean, you saw the advertising, it was amazing to see, but . . .

Gunnar Peterson

I’ll tell you why I’m glad that that trend came. I’m not glad it left. I’ll tell you why I’m glad that it came because we have had so many jokes about that in the gym, that provides a lot of levity, which I think is a key component to spending one-on-one man hours with people, you have to find a way to get a laugh. Look, we just laughed about it right here. I have one of those in my gym. Do you know how many of those I’ve sent as gifts to people when they’re laid up or after a surgery or they’re going to travel, and I say I had something dropped off at your house today, and they’re like, you’re funny. It gets a laugh.

Jamie Martin

I remember like the Thigh Master or whatever, like I remember my mom getting that, and I was like, really, like OK.

Gunnar Peterson

The Thigh Master, right, so obviously, you can use it between the legs, but you can also use it for upper body movement, right, it was used for chest and for triceps for women. So, there’s another one called . . . I think it’s called the Pilates Circle or the Fit Circle or something, you can look it up, is that not the same thing?

Jamie Martin

You’re right, it is very similar.

Gunnar Peterson

Same exact movement, right. Different colors without the little spongey stuff, but you can use that for those same movements, so you get the Thigh Master, and you go . . . or if you had not thought about working the thighs in adduction and working the chest like that or just a prolonged isometric hold or whatever, and now so that thing came along, and that woke up that movement to a lot of people.

David Freeman

Back in the day, you remember the elevation mask, people were getting the elevation mask, all right, to do some of that, so you being in LA, you see a lot of folks, now it’s a mandate across a lot of places to have a mask on, so I’m curious, once again, this is not a debate, I’m just more curious as far as how do you feel about the elevation mask?

Gunnar Peterson

So, it’s different from hypoxia training, right, like training at altitude, and I think that’s the effect that a lot of people thought they were getting from that, but it’s a different effect. Physiologically, it’s not the same. You know, if you need to try it, if that’s what you need to make you feel like you’re training with more intensity or you’re closer to the pro level it’s fine, I have yet to see anybody who trained in those for more than brief periods of time, at the civilian level, and you know I have people walk in, hey, I just got this, and I heard this, and should I try it. I go, you should definitely try that. I mean, I could use a laugh, by all means, and they’ll strap it on, and 12 minutes into the workout, they’re coming off, and they look like a diver who just came up and they’re gasping for air, and I go, how’s that working out for you, and it’s put to the side, so if that’s what you need, you know, some people need a new pair shoes when they get back into a workout program, some people need a great playlist, everybody has their thing. So if you need that mask, you take your little mask and your little Shake Weight, and hit the gym.

Jamie Martin

I love it. OK, so we are going to be running out of time here shortly, so, David, I think you need to take us into what we call the power minute, which is . . .

David Freeman

Yes.

Jamie Martin

I’ll let David explain. You go for it.

David Freeman

Right now, I’m flexing. Everybody can’t see it, but it’s called the power minute, and I mean, it’s pretty short and sweet, but if there’s one key takeaway that you would leave our listeners with, what would that be?

Gunnar Peterson

Have fun. Have fun with your training. Find a way to enjoy the process because it’s going to last a lot longer than any time you spend at your goal, which is probably shapeshifting anyway, you know, first, I want to be leaner. Oh, now that I’m a little leaner, I wouldn’t mind being a little bigger or I’d like to be a little faster, I’d like to be a little . . . and that goal, it’s never as sharp and defined as you think it is, so find a way to have fun during the training, whether it’s with a trainer, whether it’s just the whole process of your excursion to the gym or the moments you’re doing it, there’s just something about loving the workout itself. And then, like we talked about before, then the goals are just like some . . . you just look down, and you go, oh my god, I can’t believe I feel this good, or you see a picture of yourself, wow, I feel great, or you’ll run into somebody who hasn’t seen you for a while, and they go, dude, what are you doing, and if you have fun with it, that’s really the way to go.

Jamie Martin

I love that, and I think that’s a great way to end things. So, Gunnar, thank you so much for coming on, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this. I know we are going to link to your website and everything, but are there other places people can find you online on social media, that kind of thing?

Gunnar Peterson

I’m @gunnarfitness on Instagram and@Gunnar on Twitter.

Jamie Martin

Go check it out, guys.

Gunnar Peterson

Thank you very much.

Jamie Martin

Gunnar, thank you for joining us.

Gunnar Peterson

I appreciate you having me. David, you’re the man, keep crushing it out there, and you know that inspiration is two ways because I used to watch your videos so long ago where you were running out of the back of a warehouse and diving over dumpsters, and throwing tires, and I was like, who is this dude, and you always put it to fun music, and I go, that is one athletic kid, man, and super inspirational, so it’s a two-way street.

David Freeman

Aw, awesome, man. Well, you just made my year, my life for that one.

Gunnar Peterson

True. True story.

David Freeman

Appreciate it, brother.

Gunnar Peterson

Alright, thank you, guys, very much. Keep killing it out there.

[Music]

David Freeman 
Thanks for joining us for this episode. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on our conversation today and how you approach this aspect of healthy living in your own life. What works for you? Where do you run into challenges? Where do you need help?

Jamie Martin 
And if you have topics for future episodes, you can share those with us, too. Email us at lttalks@lt.life, or reach out to us on Instagram at @lifetime.life@jamiemartinel, or @freezy30 and use the hashtag #LifeTimeTalks. You can also learn more about the podcast at thesource.lifetime.life/podcasts.

David Freeman 
And if you’re enjoying Life Time Talks, please subscribe on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Feel free to write a review and also let others know about it, too. Take a screenshot of the episode and share it on social, share it with your friends, family, work buddies, life coach. You get the gist.

Jamie Martin 
Thanks for listening. We’ll talk to you next time on Life Time Talks.

[Music]

Jamie Martin

Life Time Talks is a production of Life Time — Healthy Way of Life. It is produced by Molly Schelper, with audio engineering by Peter Perkins and sound consulting by Coy Larson. A big thank you to the team who pulls each episode together and everyone who provided feedback.

We’d Love to Hear From You

Have thoughts you’d like to share or topic ideas for future episodes? Email us at lttalks@lt.life.

The information in this podcast is intended to provide broad understanding and knowledge of healthcare topics. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of advice from your physician or healthcare provider. We recommend you consult your physician or healthcare professional before beginning or altering your personal exercise, diet or supplementation program.

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