Blake Lively has often spoken about her realistic approach to getting and staying fit and healthy. While she might amp up the exercise for specific roles, she also likes to genuinely build strength and fitness in her everyday life.
In short, Lively’s wellness routine is one to attain. Her long-time trainer Don Saladino, who worked with the star after her pregnancies and while preparing for The Shallows, shares how they get results – and keep them.
Not only does Saladino have one of the starriest clienteles going — including both actors (like Anne Hathaway) and athletes — thanks to his famously effective training style and impressive results, but he’s totted up more than 10 lifestyle magazine covers of his own.
These are the lessons you can learn from the way Saladino trains Lively — for life, not just for acting roles.
1/ Focus on energy and resilience
Saladino has been in fitness for more than 25 years and it shows. His real approach is clear and focused, whether he’s training someone for a movie role or just to get them healthy.
“It’s not just about you upping your heart rate, it’s about improving your body’s resilience and energy,” he says. “While we’re increasing movement quality, we’re making sure we’re optimising everything we do.”
In short, he gets results — not only getting healthy body fat percentage goals, but creating a ‘body armour’ that helps overall performance.
“We’re all athletes as, even if someone’s not shooting a movie role, adults have to chase their kids or sit at their desk all day long. We’re all battling that same battle, so I try to get people moving the way our bodies are meant to move,” Saladino explains.
2/ Commit to long-term
Generally, people are wising up to the get-fit-quick promises, but Saladino takes it one step further by guaranteeing long-term changes when clients commit.
“Every single person who does my program day in, day out, finds their bodies change for the long haul,” he says. “It’s not a case of weight loss that you gain back. These are long-term, attainable changes and they work.”
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3/ Schedule efficient workout sessions
You might be surprised but, even when actors are training for a film, Saladino doesn’t ask for much more than an hour per day, three-to-four times a week.
“It depends on the goal, but I believe someone giving me three-to-four days a week with some form of movement and resistance training, alongside getting their steps in during the day, going for walks or a jog, playing, or doing other things that are important,” he explains.
“When celebrities are getting ready for these roles and they have a shorter period of time, depending on their stress levels, it might be four-to-six days a week. Why is six not better [all the time]? If someone’s work schedule is out of control and they’re having no time with their children or they’re exhausted on their specific days, I can optimise their time, allowing them the other days of rest and recovery.”
4/ Take a holistic approach
This isn’t a typical ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality. Saladino’s style is far more finely tuned, taking into account someone’s stress levels, sleep, schedule… basically everything that’s going on in their lives.
“People say: it’s 80 per cent diet, it’s 20 per cent training, but 100 per cent mental,” he says. “It’s your mindset, how you’re willing to approach it and understanding you cannot come into this with 100 per cent effort everyday. You can’t always push that hard. It comes down to understanding your body and knowing some days you have to shift gears.”
5/ Don’t set weight targets
A lot of the public’s understanding around celebrity workouts is simply losing a certain amount of weight. In reality, it’s more a case of being in a good place and being physically fit enough to cope with a gruelling filming schedule.
“They’re just pulling this number out of the air and assuming that will result in health and wellness. I can’t even tell you how any people I’ve seen gain a pound or two who look like they’ve lost 15, and they’re in incredible shape. One of the worst ways you can quantify success is by the scale,” says Saladino.
6/ Focus on daily goals
To get results, Saladino ensures there is a healthy level of dedication. “The goal is to do exactly what I suggest; that might be go to bed, or after you have a shower look in the mirror and have a moment of gratitude. And the next day, hit repeat,” he explains.
“Just focus on your daily goals. Once you start thinking: ‘Oh, I’ve got to lose 30lbs’, you start adding stress.”
7/ Consider nutrition
“There are certain rules I stick to, like food quality,” explains Saladino. “Don’t eat crap but, if you’re going to eat crap, have better quality crap.”
According to Saladino, Blake’s weekly food shop is focused on nutrient-rich foods: “Proteins, vegetables, fruits, slow-burning starches like sweet potato, and getting healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter.”
8/ And sleep
“It might the most important of them all. The first two things I ask: how’s your sleep and how’s your digestion?” he says. “If you fix one, you fix the other.”
9/ But, most of all, stay happy
“Things like meditation and — it sounds ridiculous, but — laughing. You got to be happy, enjoy yourself,” Saladino says. “As hard as we have to work, you can’t sit there and be business all the time. People have to separate themselves from hustle and bustle, keep their side of the street clean and eliminate a lot of the crap.”