You might expect Harley Pasternak to be more brawn than brains when you look at his star-studded roster of training clients (Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and Adam Levine). But the Toronto native knows his stuff. Not only does Pasternak hold a Master of Science in exercise physiology and nutritional sciences from the University of Toronto and an honors degree in kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario, he’s also a New York Times-bestselling author and the former nutrition scientist for Canada’s department of national defense.
In November 2018, he added another accolade: Four Seasons tapped the wellness guru as its first global fitness advisor, responsible for redesigning the brand’s gyms and developing workouts for luxury travelers the world over — his September-debuted YouTube video series tackles fitness topics ranging from toning your beach body to beating jet lag.
Forbes Travel Guide caught up with the celebrity trainer to get the skinny on his celebrity clientele, his affection for the luxury hotel company and his top tips for staying fit on the road.
Where did your interest in fitness come from?
I grew up as a hockey player in Canada and focused on working out to get stronger for the sport. Before long, I became more passionate about the working out than I did the hockey. Growing up as the only child without diabetes in my family, I became very health-conscious at a young age and decided to pursue nutrition and exercise in university for nearly the next decade.
During university, I started a personal training business, which catered to the Hollywood actors that came to Canada to shoot feature films. After working on a film called Gothika in Montreal with Halle Berry and Robert Downey Jr., I was invited to come to Los Angeles to get Halle ready for her next film, Catwoman. That led to an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, followed by a career of writing fitness and nutrition books, designing running shoes, fitness video games, exercise equipment and now, designing exciting fitness facilities for Four Seasons properties worldwide.