I’d be lying if I said Khloe Kardashian’s “revenge body” transformation hasn’t provided me with some serious fitspiration over the past few years. She’s worked hard to get in amazing shape, and she seems authentic and relatable. As a girl whose hips don’t lie (and probably never will, TBH), it’s encouraging to see the incredible results that come from hustling hard, no matter what your body type is.
Of course, celebs like Kardashian have extra support (nutritionists, trainers, and the cash to afford it all), but they still have to put in the work. Not even the Kardashian Krew has the magic get-in-shape bullet we’re all searching for. So when I had the chance to do a session with Kardashian’s trainer, Gunnar Peterson, (and try out the new LG TONE Active+ headphones while I was at it), I didn’t think twice. Peterson worked with Kardashian five to six days a week for two and a half years to help her reach her fitness goals, and I wanted a taste of what it really took for her to get in such incredible shape.
“It’s about being consistent, and it’s about the effort that goes into it every time,” Peterson told me about Kardashian’s success. “Nobody in my gym phones it in.” Kardashian may have posted many a workout ’gram from his Beverly Hills gym, but make no mistake—there’s more sweating than snapping going on there. It’s hard work for an entire hour, start to finish. And after a 20-minute mini-workout with Peterson, I believed it. Here’s how this Khloe Kardashian workout (or at least, a routine worthy of her) went.
I warmed up with 25 jumping jacks, and then we moved right into strength training.
First move: 15 deadlifts. Simple enough. Peterson reminded me to drive through my heels and engage my glutes, and he also told me to try and keep my big toe planted on the ground to stay balanced—a tip I’d never heard before.
Deadlifts are a mainstay in Kardashian’s routine, along with other strength-training exercises. Peterson said that when he works with her, “we do big strength moves. There’s no fear of heavy weights. [She does] deadlifts, Bulgarian split squats, pull-ups, pull-downs, wood chops, sled pushes…” The list goes on, and every workout is different, he said. Strength training is extremely important, especially if weight loss is your goal—the more muscle mass you have, the more energy it takes for your body to maintain it, so you burn more calories at rest—so Peterson focuses on it when training his clients.
As Peterson’s playlist started playing through the external speakers on the TONE Active+ headphones, I asked what his clients (Klients?) like to listen to—Khloe goes for the Drake Pandora station, while Kendall Jenner’s more of a Ty Dolla $ign kind of girl (he’s worked with her for over two years, and did extra hardcore training with her for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show).
Throughout the workout, we switched between lower body, upper body, and core exercises, with bursts of cardio thrown in.
Peterson said he sets up most of his clients’ workouts so that they’re always alternating muscle groups. After my deadlifts, we went back to a quick cardio burst with 26 split jacks. During this section, Peterson asked if I’d played sports growing up, because the controlled way I was jumping seemed athletic—and let me tell you, this was the highest compliment he could have bestowed upon me. (The answer is a hard no, and I admitted that I played soccer from age 7 to 10 but I didn’t score a single goal). Nevertheless, I was feeling confident. Also, very sweaty, which persisted throughout the entire workout.
We moved onto 15 bent-over raises to get that upper-body burn going, then I jogged in place for 60 seconds for a burst of cardio. Apparently Kardashian can crush some cardio, too. “Khloe’s a beast on the jump rope. She could do it all day long,” Peterson said. “Also, a lot of focus mitt work, boxing. She’s precise, she hits hard and she puts her whole body into it.” I made a mental note to dust off the jump rope and find my boxing wraps as we moved into lateral walks (he reminded me to get low), 8 steps to the left and then back.
When we got to one of my least favorite strength moves, he helped me push through.
That was it for traditional cardio in the first round, but the strength moves that came next definitely kept my heart rate going. I did 10 close-grip push-ups on a bench to target my triceps, then moved my hands wider for regular-grip push-ups. “Do two more if you’re breathing, one more if you’re not,” he said. (Underrated benefit of a personal trainer: They remind you to, y’know, inhale and exhale.)
Much to my dismay, one of my least favorite exercises was up next: Bulgarian split squats, eight on each side. I watched intently as Peterson counted down reps with his fingers by his sides and my legs protested. However, that’s the beauty of this circuit set-up—Peterson does 8 to 12 different exercises (give or take) in one circuit, so by the time my muscles were tapped out, we’d already moved on to the next exercise (10 Supermans), and I had 9 exercises in between my next round of dreaded split squats—helping me (almost) forget we did them in the first place.
We finished up with 15 biceps curls, and that was the end of round one. Sweaty, but still alive, and feeling good.
I did this circuit of 10 exercises one more time—but Peterson’s clients usually do it three to five times.
Every workout is different depending on the person and their needs and goals, but this type of circuit was a pretty typical workout set-up for his clients (including Kardashian), Peterson said. The focus is on working the entire body with powerful strength moves, taking minimal rest to keep your heart rate up, and ultimately, working hard.
Even though he and Kardashian don’t train together as often as they used to (Peterson’s gym is in Beverly Hills, while she lives in Calabasas), he’s still one of the key players in her #FitFam—and I wish he could be in mine, too. For now, though, I’ll be perfecting a Khloe Kardashian workout on my own. Here’s how you can too (plus, a guide on how to choose the right weights).
- Jumping jacks — 25 reps
- Deadlifts — 8-12 reps
- Split jacks — 26 reps
- Bent-over raises — 15-20 reps
- Jog in place — 60 seconds
- Lateral walks — 8-12 steps each directions
- Close-grip push-ups — 8-10 reps
- Regular-grip push-ups — 8-10 reps
- Bulgarian split squats — 8 reps each side
- Supermans —10 reps
- Biceps curls — 10-15 reps