Let’s face it, the pandemic has had us all a bit too comfortable in our sweatpants! As the warmer weather rolls in and things begin to finally open up, we find ourselves not exactly beach ready. We chatted with Hollywood trainer Austin Pohlen, known for training celebs like Justin & Hailey Bieber, Sarah Hyland, Charlie Puth and more at Dogpound. He’s currently working full time with Adam Levine to get him in shape before going on his next tour!

What inspired you to become a trainer? 

Ever since I could walk, playing sports was all I wanted to do. I started working out at a young age and doing whatever Kobe Bryant did because I wanted to be just like him. Of course, I had my limitations so 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 currently working with?

I have a good number of clients that I haven’t seen in a while due to the pandemic. Currently, in person, I only work with Adam and Behati Levine due to covid protocols and just staying safe. In a few weeks I’ll start training more people in person again.

Are there any special training techniques for singers like Adam? We know it can be very taxing on the body to tour with travel, singing, entertaining all at once?

As far as training for singing, Adam does an incredible job at constantly walking on the treadmill to keep up his stamina for when he performs. This dudes lungs are crazy and he can walk/run for days without getting tired. Currently, he and I are working on building muscle mass and getting stronger with weight training. He likes to be challenged so having a goal to get stronger pushes him and gives him something to focus on while we are on lock down.  As far as his next tour goes, everything is kind of a waiting game.

What tips do you have for everyone at home to stay in shape? As the pandemic drags on many states still have not opened gyms and people are feeling depressed/anxious/ unmotivated- any advice?

I think being aware of how much you’re sitting is important right now. When we are working from home it’s easy to move less often and snack more. My biggest advice is to go for a long walk once or twice a day to get out of the house or just to get your mind off things. Walking is vastly underrated in my opinion. Adding in some form of weight training 2/4x a week is ideal, but if that’s not a realistic option for you at the moment then just get out and do some activities you enjoy.

How important is diet/nutrition to your fitness goals? What about mindset and mental health?

As the saying goes, “you can never out train a bad diet”. Nutrition is the most important thing to achieving your fitness goals. I also can’t overstate how important nutrition is to your mindset and just being healthy in general. Having a good relationship with food and understanding that there is no good food or bad food I think is important. I like to look at foods as “more nutritious vs less nutritious”. Unless you have a medical condition there’s no reason to eliminate entire food groups. Focus on the things that matter most. Control your calories, eat plenty of nutritious whole foods, incorporate foods you enjoy, and stay active. 

The most important thing is to not feel guilty for eating food, ever. Doing the 4 things stated above goes a long way with improving your mental health and improving your overall relationship with food. 

What sets you apart from other trainers in the market- especially in LA!

There’s a fair number of amazing trainers in the Los Angeles area but they’re hard to come by because everyone says they are a trainer these days haha. The top trainers are always going to push their clients but at the same time make sure they are having fun and enjoying their workouts. Most important, they get you results.

I’m lucky that I get to work with people that are at the top of their respected professions, because they got there with hard work and it translates into the weight room. People that have drive and want to improve their health make my job fun. I’m always humbled and grateful whenever people mention me with other fitness professionals that I look up to. My goal is to have a positive impact on as many lives as I can through fitness.

Thoughts on recent trends? – Ketogenic diet? No Carbs? Intermittent fasting?

I’m not the biggest fan of any diet where you have to cut out certain foods. However, every diet can work if you are in a calorie deficit (if you burn more calories than you consume). So, if going keto is sustainable for you long term and is working, I’m not going to knock you for doing it. 

I believe your nutrition should always fit your lifestyle. Nutrition is about eating healthy, nutritious, whole foods that nourish you and your body. It’s about making changes and choices that are sustainable over the long term. With this in mind, a majority of my meals involve a protein source (chicken, fish, egg whites, turkey, Greek yogurt, etc.), a bunch of berries, fair amounts of veggies, and a carb or fat source (sweet potato, rice, avocado, etc.) with proper portion sizes. If I’m craving ice cream, though, then you know damn well I’m going to have that ice cream!

With the majority of practices, consistency trumps perfection. Stick to your plan as best you can, but allow yourself to have those “cheat moments”; it’ll keep you happy, healthy and lead to positive results.


Fav LA Restaurant + what do you order?

Dialog Cafe – Westside Breakfast or Dialog Breakfast Burrito

FAV Spot to Relax or get inspired

1000 Steps in Laguna Beach

On your Headphones/Earbuds right now? 

90210 – Blackbear

When the world opens up- 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 Most? Workout you actually hate?

I love different pull up variations most and I absolutely hate Bulgarian split squats but they’re 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

Anything else you want our fans to know about you?

If you have a certain fitness or weight loss/gain goal, you can’t mess it up. We all have moments where we stop working out or eat like crap for a period of time. Only way you can mess it up is if you quit altogether. Whenever you have these times, just get back on track and keep striving towards your goal because when you do this, you’re going to keep making progress. Most people used “I messed up and stopped” as an excuse to not put in more effort. Fitness should be fun. This isn’t a 3-month thing, this is a rest of your life thing. And when you’re playing forever, you can’t mess up.

Follow Austin at @pohlenfitness

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