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According to a celebrity trainer you don't need to go to the gym to get in shape — here's how to do it

INSIDER logoINSIDER 4/27/2017 sschmalbruch@businessinsider.com (Sarah Schmalbruch)

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The INSIDER Summary:

  • Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak says that going to the gym should only be used as a way to tone muscles.
  • You can get fit by eating healthy and staying active outside of the gym.
  • If you do go to the gym, you really only need to spend 30 minutes there at the most, since you should only be targeting certain body parts and not doing cardio.

The gym isn't a place that most people enjoy spending hours in.

And according to celebrity trainer and nutritionist  Harley Pasternak , you don't have to in order to be fit.

Pasternak has worked with Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, and Megan Fox, but his approach to fitness is something anyone — celeb or not — can conquer.

Here's how he gets his clients in shape:

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Walking is the most effective way to burn fat.

Pasternak's motto is, "you get lean in life and strong in the gym." He says, "The gym is when you can strengthen, tone, tighten muscles. But if there's fat covering those muscles, no one will ever seen them. And that's what's happening outside of the gym."

So how do you get rid of the fat that obscures muscles? According to Pasternak, walking is the most effective methodWalking burns a higher percentage of calories from fat sources than more intense forms of cardio does, like running.

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Eating healthy is more crucial than going to the gym.

Some people use the gym as justification for overeating or eating unhealthy foods. Unfortunately, that's not the right way to go about exercising. Pasternak says, "If you eat poorly, there is no cardio in the world that can make up for that."

Pasternak recommends drinking blended homemade smoothies with ingredients like fruit and veggies because they're healthy but also easy to make.

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If you do go to the gym, you don't have to spend much time there.

If you're looking to take your workouts to the next level and add lean muscle tissue to your body, Pasternak recommends going to the gym — but not an insane amount. He says his clients hit the gym anywhere from three to five times a week, and the more often they go, the less time they spend there.

"Their [the clients'] workouts never really exceed 30 minutes because they're not coming in for us to give them a cardio workout... They're coming in to target certain body parts." 

Sometimes, Pasternak will give his clients just one exercise to do for the day. For example, he'll have them do five sets of 20 reverse lunges. That will take them less than 10 minutes, and Pasternak says they'll probably be sore for the next few days. "If you do a lot of things pretty well in your life, you really don't need to do anything a lot," he says.

So if you're looking to tone, head to the gym. But if you're just looking to stay fit in a more general sense, make sure to stay active — as opposed to sedentary — in your everyday life.

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