The following chapter is from Greg’s best-selling book, “One Body, One Life: Six Weeks to the New You.” Twenty years of results and 356 pages filed with inspiration, education, nutrition, and exercise. A detailed, life-changing program with specific diet guidelines, exercise pictorial, heart lifting stories, celebrity insight and Greg’s energy taking you every step of the way. Learn more about the e-book.
CHAPTER 2: THE STAR TREATMENT
We’re on the movie set of G. I. Jane and Demi’s tightrope-taut muscles are shivering like jello, but if any of these crew members standing around think she’s going to give up, it’s because they don’t know her like I do. The reason she’s so capable of projecting strength in her movie roles is because she’s got it: You can’t project what you don’t have, even in the movies. Especially in the movies, to be honest about it. The big screen is brutally revealing. Lesser actors can fake their way through little roles, but virtually all the blue- chip superstars look bigger-than-life onscreen for a very simple reason: They really are bigger than life. They are willing to do things, and to experience things, that would horrify the average actor.
There are thousands of actors who want to have what superstars have, but hardly any of them want to do what superstars do.
Such as: a set of one-armed push-ups. They’re hard enough for an athletic male to do. When Sly Stallone did some in Rocky, it was a big deal, and got used in a bunch of the movie’s publicity stills. But women just don’t have the anatomical composition of fast-twitch muscles that make repeated one-armed push-ups possible.
But Demi loves the fact that it’s next to impossible. She’s got no fear – doesn’t understand the meaning of the word, as the expression goes.
Even so, one-armed push-ups are so hard that the stunt coordinator goes off and rigs up this spring- loaded device that my client can wear over her arm, to give her a little help. But she takes one look at it and says, in so many words, no thank you.
Then we spend weeks building her up, doing extremely specific exercises to ignite the exact muscle groups she’ll need. At the same time, we’re doing all this Navy SEAL-style training, which is the polar opposite of prior work she’d done with me for glamour-type roles, such as Striptease. In the glamour roles, we’d trained her for sexy and svelte, with dancing, aerobics, and gymnastics. But now she needs a completely different type of body – an action hero body – so we’re locked into this torturous boot-camp regimen of doing sit-ups in the mud, jumping-jacks in quicksand, jogging underwater – that sort of thing. “Cold? Too bad! Get back in the water!”, as the SEALs would say.
Demi is very patient about all this, but the truth is, she’s been around the block with personal trainers and all of their demands. Most of what they’ve told her, she’s already heard, and most of what they know about, she knows more. She is as savvy about her own body as anybody in Hollywood. As I say, you don’t
become a superstar by accident. So if somebody like me says, “Get back in the water!” I’d better have a very specific outcome in mind, and a very finite timetable.
Most people think that stars have all the time in the world to make themselves look good. They just go to expensive spas and get the star treatment, right? I can’t count the number of times that the non-actor clients I train have said, “I’d look great, too, if that was my whole job.” Well, fitness isn’t an actor’s whole job. Their job is acting – learning roles and performing them with depth and artistry. Doing that at a world-class level is ridiculously time consuming. Likely as not, when a superstar arrives at my gym, his or her assistant will say, “We’ve got thirty minutes.” And if I start to complain, he’ll say, “We’ve now got 29 and a half.”
Time counts. For everybody. Including you, no doubt. That’s part of the reason my approach is now so popular in Hollywood – it achieves maximum results in minimal time.
Another reason this one-armed push-up exercise is such a challenge is because of the unavoidable pressure that always comes from studios, directors and producers. They invariably have hundreds of millions of dollars riding on my ability to get a star into the exact shape the role requires. Do you think they want to hear excuses? Do they want to deal with injuries? Exercise burn-out? Exhaustion? Weight that won’t be gone for another ten days?
They want one thing: results. Now. Or preferably, yesterday. That’s why my approach is so specific, detailed, and outcome-oriented. The movie business is just the wrong place for fuzzy philosophies and fake, feel-good exercise formulas. Because directors live and die by their shooting schedules, timing is everything to them, and now it’s time: time for Demi to do an unassisted, one-armed push-up.
I get down on the floor with her. I’m sweating, too – just from empathy. That often happens when I direct a workout, because I’m so wired-in to the client that I feel like it’s happening to me, too. Their energy is my energy.
I start breaking down the mechanics of a one-armed push-up in minute detail. Fitness is all about detail. If you’re not doing it right, you’re not doing it. You will see this line again and again throughout the book.
“A one-armed push-up doesn’t come from your shoulder,” I tell her. “It comes from your butt. From your stomach. Most especially, it comes from the big toe on the opposite side of your supporting arm. It’s all about distributing your power. It’s a support-system move, even more than a power move.”
I see the proverbial lightbulb click on in her head. This explanation is all it takes for her to get it.
She gets into position. Painfully lowers her nose to the floor. Fights to rise back up. Her tricep is twitching.
She’s hit the Breakthrough Moment – the do-or-die moment of muscle memory, in which all fitness occurs – or doesn’t, if you back off.
In that moment, as often happens in the Breakthrough Moment, I can see her own personal relationship with herself. It’s right there on her face. It’s very complex, and very positive.
She grins at me. “That was good,” she says, wiping her face with a towel.
“That was great!” I reply. “Yumi would be proud,” I say, referring to Yumi Lee, my specialist in Core Interval Training who helped with this move..
Yumi is one of several people in my personal training firm that make us the best in the world at what we do. I’m smart enough to surround myself with people who are smarter than me.
We shoot the scene, and it ends up being one of the most remembered sequences in the movie. It gets featured in a bunch of magazines, and Demi goes on Letterman, and does some there.
So here’s what I learned from all this: Even the impossible can be achieved, if you use the right approach. You’ve just got to know exactly what you’re doing.
You have to be smart about it. And that starts with breaking your beliefs in the myths that surround fitness.
BUSTING THE 6 BIG FITNESS MYTHS
Fitness doesn’t come from suffering. Fitness doesn’t come from repetitive exercises. Fitness doesn’t come from lifting oversized weights. Fitness doesn’t come from being hungry. Fitness doesn’t come from being dissatisfied with how you look. Fitness doesn’t come from putting your appearance first.
You know, I almost wish all these myths were true. Life would be simpler. Because it’s not that hard to do repetitive exercises. It’s not that hard to be hungry. It’s not even that hard to suffer. You just need some discipline to do those things, and almost all of us have discipline. The vast majority of us make ourselves go to work every day, whether we feel like it or not. All our lives, we hold ourselves back from the temptations of over-indulgence, promiscuity, and drugs. We take care of our kids, day after day, when we’re sick and when we’re well. Most of us are strong – plenty strong enough to be fit.
The real problem, for most people, is that they just don’t know how to be fit. I know how, though. I’ve made it my life’s work to know how. I’ve been fascinated by fitness ever since I was a kid, and I’ve worked on it ever since. I’ve figured out the formula.
FITNESS REQUIRES: A COORDINATED EFFORT ON EVERY LEVEL OF YOUR LIFE.
THE PHYSICAL LEVEL, THE MENTAL LEVEL, THE SPIRITUAL LEVEL
If you try to leave one level out, you’ll end up feeling like a three-legged stool with one leg missing. You’ll fall. You’ll fail.
And let’s get even more honest with ourselves – painfully honest. To get all three of these areas working together – as a single, synchronistic, functional unit – you’ve got to participate in a multifaceted program that addresses all three.
I have developed a program that does this. I call this program my One Body, One Life program. It is a multifaceted program that brings your body and your life together, into a single, powerful life force.
When your whole being is united, there is practically nothing that you cannot do.
Unity is power. With it, you can achieve the hard things in life, including fitness, naturally – without much strain, and without fighting yourself – because you will be ….
How do I say this without sounding all New Age and woo-woo? …Aligned with the forces of the universe? (No, too woo-woo.) …In touch with the natural rhythms of the earth? (Oh, please!) …At peace with yourself? (That’s closer.)
How about this? You’ll be somebody who has more energy. That’s what it boils down to.
When you get yourself together, instead of staying compartmentalized – with your mind at work, your body in the gym, and your spirit at church – you’ll have more energy.
And when you have more energy, you’ll use it. Because it’s harder to sit on energy than it is to burn it off. When you use it, you’ll get fit. My One Body, One Life program consists of four connected elements: the Four Elements of Fitness.
THE FOUR ELEMENTS OF FITNESS
Element #1: The Mind and Spirit: getting your head right.
Element #2: Power Food: eating for your body, not your mouth.
Element #3: Cleansing: cleaning out the toxins that weigh you down.
Element #4: Exercise: getting the most out of the body you’ve got.
These Four Elements of Fitness will give you power over the one body that you have, and power over the one life that you have. If you use these Four Elements of Fitness on a daily basis nothing will stop you from getting the body, and the life, that you want. If you can integrate these four simple elements into your life, as so many other people have, you will be a star – playing the lead role in the story of your life.
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