Here are Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin’s fitness secrets

Published March 10, 2021, 6:43 PM

by Cheshire Que

A little punishing, but still doable

Hyun Bin’s (right) personal trainer Yoon Tae Sik

Phenomenal Hallyu stars, real life celebrity couple Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin took the world by storm after their K-drama globally landed in people’s hearts. Fans couldn’t help noticing their unrivaled performance and undeniable physique. Let us delve into how they stay fit and attractive.

Hyun Bin’s personal trainer Yoon Tae Sik revealed on Allure Korea that the actor went under extreme diet similar to an athlete’s eating habits. He ate chicken, sweet potatoes, and vegetables on a fixed basis and fixed time. He held back his desire to eat even when he “loves to eat.” Yoon shared, “If Hyun eats pizza, he eats moderately. I think his is quantity-controlled style.”

According to his personal trainer, tri set, giant set, aerobic exercise, partner exercises, and treadmill are the usual workouts done by Hyun Bin five to six times a week.

Philippine/USA registered dietitian nutritionist on private practice Faith G. Nacional-Rahi, RND-RD shares her expert opinion on the Hallyu star’s way of eating. “He has a good foundation of macronutrients in his choices,” she says. “Chicken is high in protein, sweet potato is high in carbohydrates and fiber, and vegetables have vitamins and minerals. Good choices yet can be improved with a combination of phytonutrients from colorful fruits and vegetables or functional food on his plate for positive effects during workout and rest. Quinoa, broccoli, beans, and legumes provide carbs, protein, and fiber for muscle recovery and energy during intensive workout. Mushrooms have antioxidants to improve performance.”

She notes that Hyun Bin’s discipline to stick to his diet regimen is very good. “As mentioned by his trainer, he loves to eat too. If it becomes routinary with limited variety of food for prolonged time, there’s a chance for it to get boring. Fewer nutrients will be absorbed because there’s no one food that’s nutritionally complete. There’s a need for variety to positively impact fitness instead of just focusing on macronutrients.”

As for Hyun Bin’s occasional treats like pizza, Faith says, “He controls the portion. That is the most important thing. We cannot expect clients to always strictly follow a diet. There are occasions when we should allow ourselves to have these to address cravings and maintain discipline toward healthy food intake for longer periods of time. It’s a good way to add salad or smoothie to help the body recover from inflammation that arises from consuming those kinds of food. It’s buffering your system, helping your gut to naturally cleanse from unhealthy food.”

When asked for recommendations for Hyun Bin fans, she says, “Consider your level of physical activity. You cannot strictly follow his intake if you aren’t considering increasing your activities. What goes into your body must go out as energy expenditure. Portions must match the calories required to maintain a specific physique and compensate output during intensive exercise. If you follow his pattern, make sure you get vitamins and minerals apart from carbs, protein, and fat. If you are a consistent Hyun Bin fan, be consistent in your food intake. The same discipline that he has must also apply to you. It’s best to ask for professional guidance.”

Recently, the actor shared with GQ Korea that he goes to the gym for 1 1/2 hours weight training and one hour cardio exercises. He uses dumbbells the most.

According to his personal trainer, tri set, giant set, aerobic exercise, partner exercises, and treadmill are the usual workouts done by Hyun Bin five to six times a week.

US and Europe-accredited strength and conditioning specialist Royan Hernandez explains, “Tri set is composed of three exercises for the same muscle group (Ex. Upper body) while Giant set is four or more consecutive exercises.”

The University of the Philippines graduate of Sports Science adds, “These are suited for celebrities because they are time efficient. There’s more volume of work done for a shorter period of time.”

Increased intensity results in metabolic challenge, muscle building (hypertrophy), and physique training, which are important to actors. Royan’s advice is to work out one muscle group twice a week. He emphasizes on making it a goal to train for performance because physique will follow.

Beginners start with building muscle endurance and form, progress to muscle building, then maximal strength training all the way to performance or functional training.

“Safety, sustainability, and mindset should be a priority. Functional training includes mobility, flexibility, proper posture, and ability to move properly in various movement patterns,” says Royan.

“This too shall pass” are the words Hyun Bin repeats a lot when he is having a hard time working out (Source: GQ Korea interview 2021). “Mind conditioning is important. If you really want it, work for it! You can’t rely on motivation. There should be commitment. Why do you do it?” asks Royan.

Son Ye Jin doing pilates

Commitment is something Son Ye Jin, named Most Beautiful Woman in the World 2020, is known for. An STC level certified trainer herself, she has been doing TRX and Pilates for over 10 years. “TRX is suspension training. It’s a versatile tool for all major muscles. It’s a space saver and is handy for celebrities who frequently travel. It’s good for beginners. Core stability and functional movements are its benefits,” explains Royan.

On the other hand, Pilates is about core stability and strength, functional mobility, focus, and breathing. Royan gives this piece of advice: “Pilates is for athlete recovery on off days. A good part of performance training and full body massage. It’s recommended for one to two times a week.”

In summary, when it comes to fitness training, Hernandez puts emphasis on 50 percent nutrition, 25 percent training, and 25 percent sleep and recovery. “Doing more is not better,” he says.