The last action movie Blake Lively starred in—2016’s The Shallows—has been described as Castaway-meets-Jaws. But, if we’re being honest, it’s got a lot of Baywatch going on as well.
That’s because throughout the film, Lively is alone, on a rock, fighting off a very imminent shark attack, all while wearing a string bikini (of course).
To find out how she confidently embraced her ultra-physical role, we consulted her and hubby Ryan Reynolds’ trainer Don Saladino, who assured us that she more than earned her strong and toned physique.
“She truly listened to me every step of the way and we both listened to her body,” the trainer and owner of Drive 495 and Drive 443 in New York City says. “At the end of the day, it will never be one-size-fits-all. In order to get the results, you need to be paying attention to what’s going on [with you].”
For Lively, since they only had about two months to get into movie-ready shape, Saladino had her doing five to six days of activity each week. And Saladino made sure the actress had at least one day of complete rest, for lounging and letting her body recharge.
But the most important aspect of the workout plan? The intensity.
“I could write out a workout for you, but the thing that people have to take into consideration is the intensity levels,” Saladino says. Here, the trainer breaks down the workout for us, proclaiming that it’s a perfect guide for someone who’s looking for a new workout routine. But he stresses that this is simply an example of what you could do—ultimately, you should listen to your body.
“Just because you see a celebrity workout plan, it doesn’t mean that it’s exactly the same formula that helped them get in shape,” he says. “If a leg day was set up for a Monday for Blake, but she was flying home the night before and stayed up all night with the baby and was exhausted, I’m not gonna make her do the full workout.” Sleeping in, for the win.
Day 1: Upper Body
1. Start with 3–5 minutes on the foam roller, just rolling it out and warming up the muscles.
2. Move into the warm-up: 3–5 movements of a dynamic mobility exercise (like one legged glute bridges and cats and dogs), done for 3–4 rounds of roughly 8–10 reps.
3. Jump, throw, carry: Do 10 jumps of any kind (squat jumps, star jumps, etc.), throw something 10 times (side slam, ball slam, etc), then carry weight for 40–50 yards. Complete 3 rounds of each circuit.
4. Upper body work: Do 3–4 exercises that target the upper body, with 3–4 rounds of roughly 8–10 reps each.
5. Finish with energy systems work: Quick burst of cardio or 20–30 minutes on the elliptical, treadmill, or Stairmaster.
Day 2: Lower Body
Day 2 starts just like Day 1, with foam rolling, a warm-up, and a jump-throw-carry sequence.
Day 3: Pool Day
This is definitely not pool play time (AKA no on-trend unicorn floats in sight). Lively did interval work in the water—and mixed it up by treading water or doing long-distance swimming for about 30 minutes a day.
Day 4: Outdoor Workout
Lively often fit in her outdoor workouts when she was traveling, since it consisted of bodyweight exercises that she could do anywhere.
1. Warm-up: 3-5 movements of a dynamic mobility exercise, 3-4 rounds of roughly 8-10 reps: one legged glute bridge, cats and dogs, reach backs, inverted hamstring or a shoulder mobility stretch.
3. Rounds of cardio circuits and light sprint work for 30-40 yards.
Day 5: Active Recovery Day
On this day, Saladino would just ask Lively to get out and move—whether that was a walk with her daughter or husband, a jog around town, or a hike—for 30-40 minutes.
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