Celebrity trainer gets rave reviews

Mike Pernice, seen here with aspiring singer/model and client Victoria Martini, has trained celebrities and top executives. Pernice is based in Greenwich, but will travel to clients’ homes.

Mike Pernice, seen here with aspiring singer/model and client Victoria Martini, has trained celebrities and top executives. Pernice is based in Greenwich, but will travel to clients’ homes. —Ken Borsuk photos

If you want to throw a kettlebell at 4 a.m., Mike Pernice is your guy.

A personal trainer who has sculpted an impressive roster of celebrities and models — not to mention top Wall Street executives — Pernice sets himself apart with his willingness to be anywhere, anytime.

“They’re intense,” Pernice said of his clients, many of whom are from Greenwich, where Pernice is based. “They want to be beaten up, then they kick me out,” he jokes.

Pernice is a certified fitness expert who has appeared on TV’s Extra and in the pages of The New York Times. He’s best known for having trained Luciana Gimenez Morad, the Brazilian supermodel who has a child with rocker Mick Jagger, in the late 1990s. Today, Pernice is still at work in the gym and is a featured consultant in a new lifestyle book, “58 and Never Too Late.”

Pernice caters his fitness-coaching business to high-end clientele — and anyone who can handle hearing it from him straight. He’s able to get the most from his clients by being honest and knowing what they need in order to be fit. “I won’t sugarcoat things,” he said.

After beginning his career at the White Plains Racquet Club, Pernice rode the corporate fitness wave of the 1990s, becoming a fitness specialist at commercial real estate giant Tishman Speyer and brokerage firm Spear Leeds & Kellogg. He later landed a gig working with a beauty consultant at Ford Models and specializes in helping women achieve a long, toned look.

Pernice trains most of his clients at their homes and can accommodate any schedule. He customizes workouts based on each client’s goals and abilities — not everyone can have a six-pack, Pernice said, but he can help you get healthy and stay in-shape.

“Mike is a critical partner in maintaining my everyday well being,” said Harvey Kaminski, president of N.J.-based Prestige Capital, who has worked with Pernice for 15 years. “His workouts are always different and exciting — no two sessions are ever the same. Our three sessions a week are critical to starting my busy daily schedule on a positive footing.”

“On a separate note,” Kaminski added, “Mike is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. Our workouts are never so serious that we can’t have some fun while we exercise.”

Pernice works with clients of all ages, like Fran Lifson, 80. “I am an active, energetic senior citizen, unlike so many of my friends who cannot climb two sets of stairs,” Lifson said. “Mike has me lifting weights, doing planks and pushups.

“He makes me look forward to the next session. How good is that? Who looks forward to working out? My friends don’t understand it, but I look better and feel better than all of them.”

Bob, 61, has trained with Pernice for 25 years. As a senior managing director for an investment bank, Bob remembers “the amount of hours I was spending either at the office or on the road made staying in any reasonable shape difficult.”

After a few sessions with Pernice, Bob was hooked. “Mike is a very upbeat, positive person, a very good motivator with a depth of knowledge on training, nutrition and lifestyle,” he said. “The strength training we have done has resulted in better distance in my golf game, and I’ve had a noticeable absence of strains and muscle pulls.”

Longtime client Steven Steinberg, 75, a veteran of the garment industry, said Pernice helped him become strong and agile. “He listens to my body, not to me,” Steinberg said. “I don’t tell him my shoulder hurts, he just knows.”

“I’ve seen other trainers,” he said, “and they’re not as attuned to their clients.”

More information: miperfitness.com, [email protected], 203-629-9397.

Mike Pernice, seen here with aspiring singer/model and client Victoria Martini, has trained celebrities and top executives. Pernice is based in Greenwich, but will travel to clients’ homes.

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