It’s good to be a celebrity, but it might be even better to be a celebrity’s trainer.
Think about it: These fit gurus get all of the perks of being rich and famous (fancy cars, fancy houses, carousing with A-listers) with none of the pitfalls that plague the A-listers. Celebrity trainers get to fly on private jets, but they can still hit the Coffee Bean without being mobbed by photographers.
That’s not to say that getting the stars in perfect shape is easy—on the contrary. First of all, a person has to exercise all day long. There are no cheat days when your one and only livelihood revolves around making sure America’s sweethearts look their best. You can’t tell Jennifer Lawrence to drop and give you 20 while you’re nursing a hangover and eating take-out.
But the positives far outweigh the negatives. Especially in the age of Instagram, when fame is becoming far more egalitarian by the second. Everyone’s getting a piece of the pie, and the pie is bigger than you could imagine.
Let’s start with Simone de la Rue. Today she’s known as the owner and creator of the Body by Simone studios, which boasts locations in Chelsea, Brentwood and West Hollywood, as well as a booming DVD business. She got her big break when she met Sandra Bullock and got the chance to travel to London with the actress and spend the better part of two years preparing her (physically, that is) for her role in Gravity.
Once she had set up her own gym—where the classes can best be described as dance cardio—on top of taking on private clients, Bullock paid her back for her hard work on set the best way she could: By wearing a Body by Simone t-shirt in front of the paparazzi. Yes, we mean this one. One might think that getting a business boost from the one and only Sandy is as good as it gets, but today Simone hobnobs with all kind of talent, ranging from Taylor Swift to Selena Gomez to Reese Witherspoonto Kate Hudson to Karlie Kloss.
The trainer’s celebrity clientele has a few specific perks. For one, it’s near-constant free advertising. When one Taylor Swift Instagrammed herself at one Body by Simone location, the fitness guru saw her social media followers rise by five figures in a single day. But it also lends itself to a pretty nice life—the BBS business is rumored to be worth millions of dollars, and Simone herself now leads a fully bicoastal life, flying between New York and Los Angeles to tend to her celeb client’s needs.
And then there’s Dalton Wong, who is best known for his work with the esteemed-beyond-esteemed Jennifer Lawrence. If you ask us, that’s a you-can-quit-now situation. Ain’t nowhere to go but down after you’ve trained J Law!
Wong most notably teamed up with her for the X-Men movies; he traveled to the Oxford set and spent pretty much every waking hour with the celeb, helping her buff up during breaks and making sure she was eating right. It’s not easy playing Mystique, after all. Now that that particular stint is over, Wong has built a living on training A-listers on the sets of movie and TV show sets. Which means, yes, he hangs out with celebs in often-exotic locations all day long.
Oh, and that gig with Lawrence paid off in spades. They’re still buds, as he has confessed to The Coveteur that they go on regular burger dates (it’s all about balance, yaknowwhatwemean?) and when he recently released his healthy-living tome, The Feel-Good Plan, Jen was on hand to write the foreword. We’ll give you one guess as to how that helped out book sales. (Dollar signs. The answer is dollar signs.)
Other trainers become celebrities themselves, nearly as famous as the stars that they work out with. Okay, that was an exaggeration. Kanye West‘s trainer is nowhere near as famous as he is. But Harley Pasternak is as close to a household name as it gets in the fitness world. Besides Mr. West (and yes, Harley is the trainer he was with during The Incident), Pasternak trains the likes of Katy Perry and Rihanna, and can take credit for the physiques of Halle Berryin Catwoman and Seth Rogen in Green Hornet.
Pasternak began his career doing just that: Training celebrities for movies. He was living in Canada and there was a influx of films migrating to our northern cousin for filming. Eventually he worked on Gothika, starring Robert Downey Jr.and the aforementioned Berry, which set off the chain reaction that led to his move to Los Angeles. Now he spends most of his days hanging with A-listers (he counts Kanye as one of his closest friends), signing on for countless sponsored gigs (he learned straight from his celeb clients) and, to be blunt, straight up rolling in it.
It’s still pretty top-secret what his clientele forks over for his services, but Harley owns two different houses in the West Hollywood area, one which doubles as his gym and the most recent of which he purchased for well over $1 million. We’ll take that as a sign of the kind of life he’s leading.
Another household name, for Goop devotees at least, is Tracy Anderson. You may also know her as Gwyneth Paltrow‘s BFF and business partner. Anderson has also worked on names like Jennifer Lopez and Madonna, as well as opened her own eponymous fitness studios that cater to the masses (at least, the masses that are able to fork over upwards of $40 per class). But it’s her relationship with GP that has really helped her live the good life.
The two have been together, fitness-wise, for the better part of a decade. They’ve since started their own healthy food delivery service and are reported to text every day. So there’s the secret: To get into Gwyneth’s inner circle, all you have to do is give her abs of steel.
Anderson has become so beloved by her celebrity clients that it’s almost intimidating. To be trained by Tracy is to part of an exclusive and enviable Hollywood club, and those who are lucky enough to be members just can’t help but brag about it—her devotees are constantly giving her shout outs in interviews and on social media. Lena Dunham and her Girls co-creator even teamed up to throw Tracy an epic and star-studded 40th birthday party (yes, GP was there) at Soho House.
Oh, and for those who are still skeptical of her fabulous-ness…she’s rumored to be worth around $100 million.
And, finally, there is one more way that celebrity trainers can really reap the benefits of exercising with the stars. Ladies and gentleman, we present to you Jason Walsh.
No one has had the rise (get it?) in fame in 2016 like this guy. We’ll start with the lesser-known: About a year-and-a-half ago, he opened the gym Rise Nation in Los Angeles. It’s basically SoulCycle for stair climbers, if that makes any sense (don’t worry if it doesn’t). It started to attract legions of celebrities, who also took advantage of his personal training services. Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Jessica Biel, Chrissy Teigen and Ashley Greeneall flocked. Walsh also took on the task of bulking up Bradley Cooper for his role in American Sniper and recently got Emma Stone in shape to play Billie Jean King.
Just a simple glance at the guy’s Instagram will tell you what you already know: This guy lives an A-list life. He’s become friends with many of his clients, and the result is a social calendar full of premieres and events on the arms of Milo Ventimigliaand Miles Teller. And, yes, Hillary Duff.
For you see, Jason has mastered the ultimate non-celebrity celebrity come-up. He started dating one of his clients. We don’t want to put words (or, rather, intentions) into his mouth, but no matter the end goal, there’s no question that starting a relationship with one of your celebrity clients is the quickest way for a trainer to go straight to the fabulous life. Even though they’ve since broken up, Walsh enjoyed several months of increased recognition, glamorous vacations and being chased down by the paparazzi.
Who lives better than these guys?