Celebrity personal trainer Joel Harper has been developing custom workouts for personal training in New York City for 18 years featuring simple exercises which produce immediate results. His clients range from Dr. Oz to Olympic medalists who are striving for break-through performances to 10 year old kids just learning to appreciate their health. With a client list as diverse as his personal training methods, he regularly works with well-known actors preparing for new roles, musicians embarking on world tours and business executives desiring increased energy and strength.
Joel has appeared in various publications from “O” magazine and Esquire to Bottomline Health. He has created all of the personal workout chapters for the New York Times best-selling YOU: books series and the accompanying workout DVDs with Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen as well as the popular FIT PACK DVD.
Joel’s unique personal fitness workouts have been seen on various programs including: ABC & Fox News, Oprah, the Dr. Oz. Show, Good Morning America, and Larry King. Joel is the creator of the PBS best-selling DVD, FIRMING AFTER 50 and the currently running SLIM & FIT.
Originally from Texas, Joel earned a BS from NYU. Getting into shape was a necessary component of Joel’s modeling career. As a model he has worked for top designers and appeared in magazines, calendars and billboards in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Staying in shape and motivating others to do the same is now a way of life. Joel sat down with Salonpas to spill the “secret sauce” on getting fit:
How did you transition from a model to a celebrity fitness trainer?
Very easily. There is a huge reward for being in shape when you model. The more ripped your body is the more work you get. While I modeled I also trained at two gyms in NYC in between shoots. The overlap helped and kept me focused.
You’re famous for training Dr. Oz and Olympic medalists, but do you also train “regular” people?
Yes, I have a wide variety of clients. I love it that way. Each person has different goals, energy levels and a different mindset. It is a pleasure tapping into their potential and pulling out their best.
Can people get in shape without a gym membership?
Most definitely. I am a huge believer in using your “body as your gym.” You can get in amazing shape at home in the same amount of time it takes someone to drive to the gym. Most all of my workout DVDs you can do barefoot and in your underwear with no equipment.
How important is calorie reduction to lose weight and tone up when starting up a new exercise regime?
It is very important, but what is more important is the quality of your calories. A 100 calorie cookie is not the same as 100 calories of veggies. The goal is to get in nutrient dense calories and to delete the unnecessary ones from going into your mouth.
What type of diet do you recommend?
I am not a big believer in a “diet.” I never use the word. It has “die” as the first 3 letters. I work with my clients using a number scale from 1-10 with 1 being awful and 10 being perfect. The goal is to eat well-balanced 8, 9 and 10-rated meals and if you eat a 1 or a 2 item, be sure to make it up with extra time the following day to balance the system.
Tell us about your DVD, FIRMING AFTER 50 and SLIM & FIT? What kind of results can a user expect?
Both of these DVDs have three people in them doing modifications (beginner, intermediate, and advanced), so they are good for all fitness levels. I designed them so you work every muscle from every angle very efficiently in a short amount of time. Consistency is the key with any exercise program, but I guarantee you with my DVDs, you will get results if you commit to fifteen minutes a day. They will tone your muscles and help you lose weight.
If someone hasn’t exercised in years, what is the first thing they should start doing to help turn things around?
Start TODAY. Just do a little bit and see how it makes you feel. My workouts are designed to leave you feeling energized and tension free. They are preventative, so you avoid problems that could possibly come from staying sedentary. It is like brushing your teeth. You wouldn’t only brush on Saturdays would you? Exercise is like brushing and flossing is like stretching. They go hand in hand.
Tell us about some of your fitness success stories?
I see them every day. It is so rewarding. I get emails weekly from people telling me about how putting in the time has paid off and how much better they feel and look. I have one client who was sent by her husband. She came with a bad attitude and a desire to lose weight, but not wanting to do the work. I have been chipping away and little by little she has changed. Today, she now loves her workout sessions, brings her friends and has dropped two dress sizes. She is glowing from the positive results. I am very proud of her for sticking with it.
Besides a love of fitness, what recreational activities do you enjoy?
You name it I love it. I like mixing it up depending on the weather. Now that is turning cold. I can’t wait to get on the ski slopes. I love tennis, but in NYC it is a bit tricky to play with friends. It is easier to take a lesson. Visit Joel Harper online, on Twitter and on Facebook.