Originally from Texas, Gunnar Peterson struggled with his weight when he was young and his mother even enrolled him in Weight Watchers when he was 10 years old. It wasn’t until college that he got serious about managing his weight. He got a degree in physical fitness, nutrition and psychology and he is also certified in strength and conditioning. He is best known for working with celebrities and professional athletes and has sculpted the bodies of many famous people, including Chris Hemsworth, Jennifer Lopez, and the LA Lakers. Peterson has an office in Beverly Hills where he works with up to 9 clients per day. He also designs gyms so that his clients can get the best possible workout.
Gunnar Peterson’s Diet
Peterson endorses a natural foods diet. In other words, the things you put in your mouth should be as close to their natural state as possible. He also believes in balance, so have protein, fat, and carbs at each meal. He encourages people to shoot for 100% clean eating. You’ll probably wind up at around 80-85%, but that is better than shooting for 80% and winding up down around 65%. To lose weight, Peterson recommends making breakfast your biggest meal, and dinner your smallest. And no carbs after dinner. He also believes in intermittent fasting and time restricted eating.
- Medium Carb 25% 25%
- Medium Fat 35% 35%
- Medium Protein 40% 40%
For breakfast, Peterson recommends light proteins, complex carbs and fruit that contains a lot of antioxidants (such as berries).
Peterson suggests having light protein, vegetables and clean carbs for lunch.
Don’t Overdo It At Dinner
Peterson says that if you’re looking to drop pounds, make dinner your lightest meal of the day. And definitely don’t snack on carb-y things after dinner.
While not a stickler, Peterson suggests having 3-5 oz. of protein at each meal, along with a healthy fat, such as 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Peterson recommends avoiding refined sugar and white flour completely. Fruit makes the best dessert.
What to Eat
What to Avoid
Peterson on Sugar
Refined sugar is white death. It’s so hard on the body.
Peterson on Fat
Naturally occurring fats are far less evil. And great for your hair…so I’m told.
Peterson on Choices
You call the shots. You decides to eat or not eat. Is lack of willpower a disease? Is lack of self-discipline a disease?
Peterson on choices, part II
I would love to eat my bodyweight in chocolate chip cookies, French fries and peanut butter, but I don’t. I choose not to. That’s on me, just like it’s on me if I choose to do it.
Gunnar Peterson’s Fitness Routine
Variety Is the Spice
Peterson custom-tailors his workouts to each of his clients, but his core principles include variety and consistency. Variety prevents boredom, grows muscles, and speeds progress. And if you’re not consistent, you won’t get results.
Peterson’s recommended weekly exercise protocol includes 6 days of intense training and 1 day of complete rest.
Peterson is a big fan of high-intensity interval training, but he says steady cardio works too, and so he uses a mix with his clients.
If It’s Sounds Too Good to Be True
Peterson wants everyone to be leery of any regimen or product that claims that exercise ‘doesn’t feel like exercise.
Mix It Up
Peterson is all about trying new things and incorporating a variety of equipment into training, including rock climbing walls, barbells, stability balls and resistance bands.
In Peterson’s 6 day exercise schedule, days 1 and 3 involve 45 minutes on the weight circuit. Days 2 and 4 have 60 minutes of strength training. Day 5 only has 25 minutes of strength training.
For cardio, Peterson recommends 30 minutes of aerobic activity on days 1 and 3 but 60 minutes on days 2, 4 and 6. Day 5 only has 25 minutes of cardio (it’s high-intensity).
2-3 sets. Perform on treadmill set at 11% incline. Alternatively, you can walk holding dumbbells at your sides. Shrug every 4 sets. Walk until you finish 8-10 shrugs.
3 sets of 10 reps. If you do a staggered squat, aim for 2 sets of 6-8 reps per side.
Lateral Lunge with Chop
3 sets, 10-15 reps/side.
3 sets, 6-8 reps. If you use a shorter bar, move from 1 side to the other.
Athletic Press on Sorinex
3 sets, 4-6 reps. You can also do a dumbbell push press.
3 reps/ 1 minute interval. If you don’t have a Stealth unit, try standard planks, or shoulder tap planks.
Snatch with Sorinex
3 sets/ 4-6 reps per arm. You can substitute a single-arm dumbbell snatch.
HIIT Cardio on VersaClimber
30 seconds on/30 seconds off for 6-8 minutes. You can do HIIT any way you like: jump rope, rowing machine, treadmill, SkiErg, etc.
Peterson on Exercise
Train the weaknesses with as much vigor as you train your strengths. Shoot for balance.
Peterson on Going All Out
Leave it all on the gym floor. Do not hold back.
Peterson on Overtraining
Your body can take an awful lot. And it can take it on a regular basis if you are recovering properly and adequately.
Peterson on Losing Weight
It’s hard to hit a moving target, so if you don’t want the fat to hit you and stick, just keep moving!
Gunnar Peterson’s Supplements
Peterson believes people should get their nutrition by eating real, whole natural foods and be wary of any health claims that sound too good to be true about supplements.
Gunnar Peterson’s Lifestyle
Get Your Zzzs
Peterson says it’s far more likely that you’re under-recovering rather than overtraining. Aim for 8 hours of sleep. And as for dieting, it’s hard to overeat when you’re asleep.
The Creative Type
Peterson designs gyms and equipment, including a special tool to help with basketball resistance exercises.
Find A Buddy
Peterson recommends finding a friend to workout with to help you stick to your plan. Another recommendation? Keep your gym bag stocked so you don’t have any excuses not to hit the gym.
Peterson’s ‘F’ Words
Peterson wrote a book on exercise called G Force based on 4 words that begin with F: function, foundation, freedom and focus.
3 To 1
That’s the ratio of glasses of water to wine Peterson says you should have to minimize the negative effects of alcohol.
Peterson on Taking Responsibility
‘I’m a big believer in taking responsibility for your actions. I tell my kids every day to “own it” — “it” being whatever they’ve said or done.
Peterson on Personal Philosophy
My live-and-let-live approach dictates that people should do what they want to do, what makes them happy.
Peterson on The Buddy System
Make it a joint effort. Doing a workout with a partner or trainer can motivate you to reach your goals.
Peterson on Water
Hydration is everything. Think of this: your muscles are 70+ percent water. How are you not drinking water during a workout?
The Gunnar Challenge