Celebrity personal trainer Luke Istomin has a lot on his plate besides Rollex Health fitness centre in Paddington – which he helped found in July last year. He’s worked with Hugh Jackman, Leonardo di Caprio and Nicole Kidman, but started out a long way from the big time.
“I was working down the coalmines in the Hunter Valley before I had an epiphany and asked myself what the hell I was doing. I moved to Sydney, started personal training in gyms and just worked my way up,” he recalled.
While ‘working his way up’ now involves training some of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities, Istomin remains philosophical about working close to fame.
“Even when I meet really big names I forget that they’re celebrities; I trained Leonardo di Caprio and Tobey Maguire for The Great Gatsby, but we would just chat like anyone. I’m not really in awe of people in movies – I’m a sports nut so if I trained a sportsperson I’d be a kid in a candy shop.”
Perhaps the highlight of his career so far has been working with Wolverine star Hugh Jackman, a star Istomin has no problem talking up.
“Hugh’s honestly the best human being in the world. He really is how he seems on-camera when he’s just hanging out. I ran into him after having not seen him for a few years and we picked up right where we left off. If I had a man-crush, it’d be on him.”
Man-crushes aside, Istomin says he’s found the gay community to be a second home.
“I love the gay community – I met my closest friend at Stonewall about 20 years ago. My parents were very accepting and taught me to treat people how you’d like to be treated. The gay community’s been really good to me too, I’ve always felt very welcome.”
While Istomin is a fitness buff, he stresses that living well isn’t all about pumping iron – a piece of advice he gives anyone looking to hit the gym.
“Exercise has to be part of a lifestyle – as technology does more for us we become more sedentary. I’m a big believer in treating fitness holistically – a lot of boys come to me wanting to get ripped in time for Harbour Party which is fine, but really taking care of yourself is about more than that.”