This Is Us Actor Justin Hartley Shares His Fitness Regimen, Travel Plans, & If He Watches Himself On TV

Justin Hartley is on the hit TV show This Is Us.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Morning Star Farms.

Justin Hartley has been part of multiple hit television series for more than a decade and a half. His resume includes Passions, The Young and the Restless, Smallville and Revenge, but his latest (and current) role as Kevin Pearson on This Is Us has viewers on the edge of their sofas and reaching for Kleenex.

Instead of sobbing through the show, and grabbing a tub of ice cream for consolidation, Hartley keeps himself camera ready by exercising between four and six days a week, and opting for healthy, plant-based meals (most of the time).

We caught up with the 41-year-old during his recent visit to New York City. There, he helped kick off the partnership between MorningStar Farms and app EatWith as they launch a unique dining series encouraging eaters to grill plant-based foods during barbecue season. Read on to learn about his diet, how often he exercises and where he’s headed next.

approved_003Photo Credit: Courtesy of Morning Star Farms.

What healthy things are you doing for yourself, diet and exercise-wise?

I exercise regularly and I try to eat as healthy as I can. When I’m in New York, to be honest with you, I kind of splurge a little bit on the diet. But I typically try to think about what I’m eating and make sure it’s not going to kill me sooner than later.

Do you do participate in Meatless Mondays?

Sometimes I do. Not necessarily on a specific day, but I try to think about it once in a while – more often than not, because it’s healthy for you.

What restaurants are you indulging in, in New York?

Last time I went to a place called Quality Italian. [The chicken parmesan pizza], everyone knows about that. It’s the strangest thing. It’s like a huge, expensive chicken parm pizza. We’ll probably hit a few other restaurants while we’re in town here. There’s nothing like [New York City].

What’s your fitness regimen like? How many days each week are you exercising?

I’ll do like five – sometimes it turns into four, to be honest with you. And then sometimes it’s six, if I have a lot of extra time but it usually doesn’t happen. I’ll spend like an hour a day. I don’t go overboard. I don’t try to injure myself at this age.

Do you train for 5k races or marathons?

I train for specific things to motivate me. I wanted to get my vertical jump higher, so I was training to do that at one point. I was trying to do a standing lunge jump. I was trying to get that farther, so I was doing different exercises for that – or like a bench press. To get my bench press up, I will do different exercises for that. It also helps motivate. Then, you’re dealing with numbers, so you know where your number is, and you know the exercises you’re doing to get that number up and then you’re measuring your progress. It keeps me motivated to go back.

Do you ever go to group fitness classes?

I’ve been to Barry’s [Bootcamp] tons of times. Hard. Crushed it. I love it. I’m so competitive. I just have to try to beat everybody in the room. I don’t always do it, but most of time I can. But, I haven’t been in a while. Maybe I’m getting older so I can’t anymore. I’ll circle back. There are some people that run faster, and there are some people that are on the floor – they’re stronger, right? I think I’m pretty competitive on both of the treadmill and the floor.
Justin Hartley grills in New York City.
Justin Hartley grills in New York City.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of MorningStar Farms.

Barbecue season is upon us. Do you have any grilling tips?

Everything’s a challenge in a way: things just turn out differently all the time, right? At the same time, you can never really mess it up on the grill, I don’t think. There’s always that bigger buffer between ‘you’ve ruined it.’ Even if you burn it, it’s still fine. It’s charred! It’s good!

What’s next for you on This is Us?

For Season 3, we’re looking forward to some more tears, I’m imagining. And what’s really great is now we’re far enough into these characters’ lives that we can tell deeper stories, I think. Because everyone now knows who they are – we don’t have to put all of that together anymore. We can tell these really emotionally deep stories. We have a writing staff that is phenomenal.

Do you watch the episodes?

Of course, yeah. I want to see the whole thing scored. I want to see the whole thing done, so when people are talking about it I know what they saw, and then I get input from people – not to change things, but I just am curious to know how people are reacting to certain things.

What’s next for you and off of the show?

I’ve been doing a lot of traveling. I’ve got a couple more places that I’m going to go. Heading to New Orleans soon. Ireland soon and then back [in New York] next week again. And then I think I’m going to call [off] the traveling until the season starts.

Have you been to New Orleans before?

I haven’t been in a long time.

What’s on your to-do list?

I don’t have one! I’m along for the ride. Me and a group of friends are going and we’re just going to go. There’s like 12 of us. There’s a whole thing planned.
Justin HartleyPhoto Credit: Courtesy of MorningStar Farms.