Let’s face it, the pandemic made us all a little too comfortable in our sweatpants! When the warmer weather hits and things finally open up, we’re not exactly ready for the beach. We chatted with Hollywood trainer Austin Pohlen, who is known for training celebs like Justin & Hailey Bieber, Sarah Hyland, Charlie Puth and others at Dogpound. He is currently working full time with Adam Levine to get him in shape before he goes on his next tour!
What inspired you to become a coach?
Since I was able to run, all I wanted to do was exercise. I started exercising at a young age and doing everything Kobe Bryant did because I wanted to be just like him. Of course, I had my limits and when my college career ended I turned that passion into helping others achieve their own goals.
Can you share some of the clients you are working with right now?
I have a good number of customers that I haven’t seen in a while due to the pandemic. Currently, I only work with Adam and Behati Levine personally because I have protocols and I just play it safe. In a few weeks I will be training more people personally again.
Are there special training techniques for singers like Adam? We know that touring with traveling, singing and chatting all at once can be very stressful on the body?
As for vocal training, Adam does an incredible job of constantly running on the treadmill to keep his stamina when he performs. These guy’s lungs are insane and he can walk / run for days without getting tired. He and I are currently working on building muscle mass and getting stronger with weight training. He likes to be challenged so the goal pushes him to get stronger and gives him something to focus on while we are in lockdown. On his next tour, everything is kind of a waiting game.
What tips do you have for everyone at home to keep in shape? Since the pandemic has still not opened gyms in many states and people are feeling depressed / anxious / unmotivated – is there any advice?
I think it’s important to be clear about how much you’re sitting right now. When we work from home, it’s easy to move around less and eat more. My biggest advice is to take a long walk once or twice a day to get out of the house or just to get your mind off things. In my opinion, walking is greatly underestimated. Adding weight training 2 / 4x a week is ideal, but if this isn’t a realistic option for you right now, just get out and do some activities that you enjoy.
How important is diet to your fitness goals? What about mindset and mental health?
As the saying goes, “You can never exercise a bad diet”. Diet is the most important thing to achieve your fitness goals. Nor can I exaggerate how important diet is to the way you think and how healthy you are in general. I think it’s important to have a good relationship with food and to understand that there is no such thing as good or bad food. I like to think of food as “more nutritious than less nutritious”. Unless you have a disease, there is no need to eliminate entire food groups. Focus on the things that matter most. Control your calories, eat plenty of nutritious whole foods, include foods you enjoy, and stay active.
The most important thing is never to feel guilty about eating anything. Doing the above four things goes a long way towards improving your mental health and your general relationship with food.
What sets you apart from other trainers on the market – especially in LA!
There are quite a few great trainers in the Los Angeles area but they are hard to come by because everyone says they are trainers these days haha. The top trainers will always push their clients, but at the same time make sure they are having fun and having fun training. Most importantly, they will bring you results.
I am fortunate to be able to work with people who are at the forefront of their prestigious professions because they got there with hard work and that translates into a weight room. My work is fun for people who have drive and want to improve their health. I am always humble and grateful when people mention me with other fitness professionals I look up to. My goal is to have a positive impact on as many lives as possible through fitness.
Thoughts on current trends? – Ketogenic Diet? No carbohydrates? Intermittent Fasting?
I’m not the biggest fan of a diet that involves cutting out certain foods. However, any diet can work if you are calorie deficit (when you burn more calories than you expend). If keto is sustainable and works for you in the long term, I won’t knock you for it.
I believe your diet should always match your lifestyle. Diet is about eating healthy, nutritious whole foods that nourish you and your body. It’s about making changes and decisions that are sustainable over the long term. With this in mind, the majority of my meals consist of a source of protein (chicken, fish, egg white, turkey, Greek yogurt, etc.), a bunch of berries, adequate amounts of vegetables, and a source of carbohydrates or fat (sweet potato, rice, avocado, etc.) with the right portion sizes. If I crave ice cream, you damn well know I’ll have the ice cream!
In most practices, consistency exceeds perfection. Stick to your plan as best you can, but allow yourself to experience these “cheating moments”. It will keep you happy and healthy and produce positive results.
THINK FAST …
Fav LA Restaurant + what are you ordering?
Dialog Cafe – Westside Breakfast or Dialog Breakfast Burrito
FAV spot to relax or be inspired
1000 steps in Laguna Beach
On your headphones / earbuds right now?
90210 – Black Bear
When the world opens – first person you want to hug? First place you want to visit?
My parents in the Midwest and I want to visit Cabo asap
Workout you love the most? Workout you actually hate?
I love different pull-ups the most and I hate Bulgarian split squats, but they are one of the best leg exercises so I have to do them haha.
Cheat Day Meal or Snack?
Craigs or Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
Would you like our fans to know something else about you?
If you have a particular fitness or weight loss / gain goal in mind, you can’t screw it up. We all have moments when we stop exercising for a period of time or eat like crap. The only way to screw it up is to stop altogether. Whenever you have these times just get back on track and keep striving for your goal because if you do, you will continue to make progress. Most people used “I screwed up and quit” as an excuse to stop trying. Fitness should be fun. This is not a 3 month thing, this is a rest of your life. And if you play forever, you can’t mess anything.
Follow Austin at @pohlenfitness