The holidays are approaching. This tends to be the happiest time of year for some, but with this jolly season also comes daylight savings, cooler temperatures, sweet treats… In other words, it’s a time when a number of us find it harder to stay fit and stick to our regular workout routines. We could all use a little extra motivation to stay active during the cooler months, and Gunnar Peterson, a personal trainer and F45 Training’s chief of athletics, has got us covered.
Having been in the fitness industry for 30 years, Peterson is what we could consider a workout guru in Hollywood. He’s trained some of the biggest names, such as Sylvester Stallone, The Rock, Khloé Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Mark Wahlberg, and countless others. With a deep passion for fitness and training, Peterson believes that a lot of people have misconceptions about getting “fit.” His motto is to get started right now and not to wait for a certain event. “The more you wait, the more you’re doing yourself a disservice,” he says.
During our chat about all things fitness and how to step up my workout game, he let me in on a few secrets and tips on how to stay active throughout this season. Our conversation left me feeling super inspired to get up off the couch, put my holiday cookies down (some of them, at least), and stick to my workouts. Keep reading to learn more about all of the fitness gems that Peterson shared with me.
Find a New Routine, or Try a New Class.
During this time of year, we often try to stick to the workout regimens that work, but as the new season comes in, so shall a new workout routine. Peterson says, “It’s a great time to turn over the reins, and instead of trying to stick to your own regimen, think about taking a class or a class that has a definitive start and end time.” He even recommends his F45 classes that incorporate HIIT (high-intensity interval training) in just 45 minutes. “F45 is something that gives you strength training, cardio, and a warm-up to prevent injury. Do some of those classes and you will be dialed in by the end of the holidays. F45 has a cardio and a strength day, but the way it’s set up, you can progress it and regress it,” Peterson says.
Courtesy of F45 Training
Find a Happy Balance Between Discipline and Indulgence.
With the holidays around the corner, most of us might be popping some bubbly and foregoing our normal diets because… It’s a time to celebrate, duh. However, Peterson stresses the importance of balance and not throwing our gym progress away for the sake of the holidays. “Don’t let all of the wheels come off. If you’re going to eat bad, make sure to maintain your workouts [and] get proper sleep,” he says. “If you’re going to drink alcohol, make sure you’re going to eat right. Don’t skip the workouts, eat out, and drink.”
This is one that I struggle with the most—consistency. I’ll be on a cleanse for about 21 days without even thinking of eating bad, but then the next month, I fall off and perpetuate this horrible cycle with me and my body. For Peterson, it’s about making the commitment and keeping your word when it comes to that workout you promised you would do. “If you put it on your calendar, don’t leave it as a question mark or a maybe. Say, ‘I’m doing this,’ and leave it as a nonnegotiable. If you leave it as a TBD, you have a higher chance of missing it,” he says.
We’ve all heard of the 80/20 rule. Some claim that in order to achieve your fitness goals, 80% of that comes from diet, and 20% comes from exercising. I’ve always had mixed feelings about that, and Peterson believes that it’s actually 50/50. “You can’t out-train a bad diet,” he says. “If you have a terrible diet, you can’t out-train it. If you have a lame training program, I don’t care how good your food is. You won’t have the physique you’re looking for from an aesthetic standpoint. The closer you get to your end goal, the nutrition plays a bigger role, but when you’re just starting out, put equal efforts into both.”
My favorite excuse for not working out is always something like, “Well, I’m on vacation, and I don’t have a gym to go to out here.” But according to Peterson, there is absolutely no excuse for not working out, even without equipment: “I think it’s about the sequence of the movements. If you have nothing or you’re in a hotel room, do a set of push-ups. Do a set of high-knees, crunches, and repeat. You can do an upper-body push, a core movement, and cardio, and you can tweak them as needed.”
When It Comes to Your Fitness Goals, Shoot for the Stars.
If you think you have an outrageous fitness goal, Peterson believes you should stick with it and never settle for less. You just might reach the goal, and if not, you won’t fall that short. “I would say shoot for 100%. Don’t say that’s impossible. I would say shoot for training four to six days a week, and if you get three to four, you’re good. If you go and say, ‘I’ll do three’ and you get two, then you’ll struggle. If you shoot for a 100%, you’ll aim at 80%,” he says.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions. See our full health disclaimer here.