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Fitness training with the stars

hollywood Updated: Feb 26, 2013 16:14 IST
Petrina D’Souza
Petrina D’Souza
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Ever wondered how Hollywood stars look good all the time? How celebs manage to fit into those unforgiving Oscar gowns? We got international celebrity trainer Ramona Braganza, who has trained actors Jessica Alba, Ryan Reynolds and Halle Berry, among others, to part with her trade secrets.

Jessica ate four to five small meals a day
When I first started working with Jessica, she was only 17. Since then, I have been her personal trainer and have worked together on many movies like Honey (2003), Into The Blue (2005) and Fantastic Four (2005).
Training: For Into The Blue, Jessica had to be in a bikini all the time, so we mainly focused on my 3-2-1 Fitness Training Method, which incorporates cardio practice, circuits, and core workout, which is three segments of cardio, two segments of circuit strength training and one segment of core. She used to shoot 16 hours a day, so we either trained early in the morning or late at night. To get that well-maintained bottom, we opted for walking lunges, light squats or 20 to 30 minutes on an elliptical machine every day. During the training, we focused a lot on lower body, back and shoulders.

So back exercises, along with shoulder press and lateral raises, helped give Jessica her hour-glass figure and strong arms. And for that flat stomach, Jessica combined crunches and mat Pilates workouts daily. Once in a while, I also took her outdoors for hiking and bike riding in order to change the routine.
Diet: Jessica ate four to five small meals a day, every three hours, usually starting with a shake or oatmeal and fruit. Dinner was salad with chicken or fish. She used food as fuel as she needed to swim and dive for many shots in the film, and keeping her energy level up was essential. Her diet was well-balanced with proteins, carbohydrates, nutrients and iron, and mainly included fresh fruits, yogurt, whole eggs, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nuts and lean meats.

Ryan has a short build, so we cut down on cardio
I trained Ryan Reynolds for his role in Blade: Trinity (2004). Though he is not used to hard-core workouts, Ryan worked really hard to get the muscled look required for his role.
Training: Since Ryan has a short build, we had to cut down on cardio and work towards making him look beefed up and muscular. We started training months before the movie began its shooting and even trained during the shoot. His training consisted of mostly functional training, including a lot of kickboxing, ab workouts and dumbbell exercises. We trained for two to three hours every day, starting with sit-ups and then heavy weights for muscle bulk. Weight training involved a variety of exercises at reps of about eight to 12, for six days a week. There were also 90-minute workouts done for different body parts on different days.
Diet: Ryan’s diet consisted of eating between six to eight meals a day, every two hours, which included a lot of protein and complex carbohydrates throughout the day and just protein (no carbs) after eight in the evening. He also ate a lot of protein and carbs immediately after his workouts to promote growth; the carbs helped refuel his body and the protein was to just build muscle. He also supplemented his meals with protein shakes and bars. For that lean, muscular look, he had to consume a lot of eggs, chicken, steak, avocado, tuna, salad, brown rice and vegetables, and tons of water every day. This kind of diet kept his blood sugar even and gave him the requisite energy needed for the physicality of the role.

Halle cooks her own meals
I trained Halle for her role as Storm in X-Men (2000). She is very much into a healthy lifestyle and maintains a good physical structure through constant exercises and a
healthy diet.
Training: Since she is into workouts and yoga, it wasn’t very hard to train her for X-Men. We started training at least six months before the shooting of the movie began and Halle tried the 3-2-1 Fitness Training Method. The training included 10 minutes on the stairclimber, chest presses, step-ups and lunges. Then, 10 more minutes of cardio, like jumping rope, squats and squat thrusts, and ending with 10 minutes of jogging or ab workout.

So the routine was half hour workouts five days a week and at a particular time.
Diet: Halle cooks her own meals. And specially since she is a type II diabetic, she has to avoid carbohydrates and sugary products in her diet. She sticks to a fresh food diet, with fresh fruit and vegetables for three meals a day, as well as two snacks. Her diet mainly includes scrambled eggs, spinach, green peppers, spring onions and parsley, diluted sugar-free cranberry juice, grapefruit, salmon salad, grilled lamb chop, cabbage and baked squash or baked chicken. She avoids fried foods or refined sugar — only natural sugar in fruit and vegetables is allowed.