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Interview and Exercise Routine From Celebrity Trainer Harley Pasternak

Work Out Like Lady Gaga

For the last 10 years, celeb trainer Harley Pasternak has worked hard on his ever-evolving 5 Factor philosophy of diet and exercise. And people are listening: Lady Gaga, Eva Mendes, and Mandy Moore are just a few of the celebs who have all turned to him for their fitness needs. The 5 Factor exercise regimen is tailor-made for busy individuals too. When I spoke to Harley last week he told me that all you need is 25 minutes a day; that's it. If you can do more, great, but he promises that 25 minutes on his plan will give you results. This seems to be counterintuitive to almost everything we've heard about weight loss. First 30 minutes was enough, then 45 — now 25?

"There is a big difference in training hard and training smart," says Harley. "And when you combine cardiovascular and resistance training you’ve hit two birds with one stone." Harley says that resistance training is key because it keeps your metabolism and resting heart rate elevated throughout the workout and beyond. "So even though you’re only doing a five minute cardio warmup, and five-minute cardio cooldown, you’re in your fat burning zone for the entire 25 minute workout."

To get the most out of a 5 Factor workout, focus on two main body parts and the abs — do this every day, for five days a week. And while you should shift the areas of the body you focus on, Harley says that you should always do ab work. To see the moves Harley gives to his celeb clients,



  • Deadlifts. "This is a great exercise for the hamstrings, which a lot of people overlook," says Harley. "I know women, in particular,  always want to get their abs tight, but deadlifts are great for working the butt."
  • Reverse incline dumbbell rows. "Quite often, women slouch," says Harley. "This exercise strengthens the upper back and posture muscles. Better posture makes your abdominals look leaner and tighter and gives you a natural boob lift." To do this move: Lie facedown on an incline bench, with your chest flat against the elevated pad. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, letting your arms hang down to the floor, palms facing each other. Keeping your chest on the bench and your arms close to your torso, pull both dumbbells up to the sides of your chest. Slowly lower your arms back down and repeat. If you don't have a bench, try a tipping row instead.
  • Dumbbell side bends. Harley says that side bends are a favorite of Lady Gaga's because they help keep her love handles tight. Side bends are also a great alternative to sit-ups; just make sure you avoid the common mistakes associated with side bends.
  • Ab rotations. Lady Gaga is big into working her abs and it shows. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, hold a five-pound medicine ball or dumbbell at chest height.

Want to see more Harley? Give this 5 Factor workout Harley created for FitSugar readers a try, or check out what he had to say about his celebrity clients.

Image Source: Getty
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Join The Conversation
kastarte2 kastarte2 5 years
I agree taecupkat. It drives me crazy when I see articles like "Get a body like Beyonce! Britney! Gaga!" These women are dancers. They do hours and hours or cardio everyday! Telling us what lifts they do isn't showing us the whole picture.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 5 years
I do deadlifts just to keep my hamstrings from getting sore when I'm bending over gardening. It bugs me to be in pain after doing a "light" activity like weeding.
kclulu kclulu 5 years
I hear a lot of mixed messages about the frequency of ab workouts. Some trainers say everyday and some say you should have a day of rest in between like any other muscle group. I tend towards the later but I wish I could get a more clear understanding of this.
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