If you’ve ever seen Blake Lively walk a red carpet, then you know that 98% of the time her frock is formfitting. Even when she was pregnant, the actress didn’t shy away from showing off her fit frame. And why would she? The leggy blonde’s body is, well, kind of amazing. Her secret: She eats well and trains hard—really hard. How do I know? Because I got to sweat it out with the man—Don Saladino, owner of Drive Gyms—who keeps the mother of two looking her best.
After 40 minutes of butt-kicking (I’m talking push-ups, rows on a suspension trainer, med ball slams, slinging around battle ropes, etc.) I got Saladino to share some of his exercise secrets that help keep the actress’s physique photo-ready. “It is not the amount of time you spend, it is what you do in that time,” he explains. “You don’t need an hour and a half— those days are over, that’s for the dinosaurs. You can get in and do things in 20-30 minutes, and you could build a world-class physique in that time that moves the right way.”
His training philosophy when it comes to Lively, using “old school farm boy stuff.” Think: farmer’s walks and sled pushes. “This is burning high calories, and getting her foundation really, really strong,” says Saladino who notes that he often has Lively jumping, skipping, and crawling on the grass in an effort to get her body to move better. “When you are doing these exercises, you are not training one area of the body. They are complex and compound and they are requiring the whole body to work. You also get that cardiovascular effect too.”
Try your hand at the five below. Saladino, who also trains Lively’s hubby Ryan Reynolds, recommends doing 2-3 sets, keeping your reps within 3 from failure. (That means before your form goes to crap.) “With Blake and every client I work with, I want every rep to be perfect.”
A-list body, here we come!
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, chest high, abs tight, and hands clasped in front of chest or straight out, palms face down. Lower down, bringing hips to just below parallel. Push into heels to rise to standing.
Stand tall with lower back and pelvis aligned. Hold a pair dumbbells or kettlebells on either side of body; palms face in. Begin walking with short quick steps, making sure you are not leaning to either side.
Stand in front of a weighted sled with feet staggered and a slight bend in knee. Hinge forward at hips slightly and place hands on the front of the sled. Drive the legs forward as you push the sled.
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Stand with feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in knees, toes slightly turned out and a kettlebell or weight on floor between feet. Pushing hips back, squat down to grab kettlebell or weight with an overhand grip. Keeping head up, eyes forward, back flat and arms extended, push heels into floor and stand up. Lower back to start and repeat.
Get into a push-up position with your hands placed slightly wider than your shoulders on a box, bench, or step. Lower body until chest nearly touches the surface, and then push back up to start.