If Instagram (okay, and that Call of Duty commercial you kept seeing during Christmas) is any indication, Miss Cara Delevingne kicked off her New Year’s resolutions to get in shape early. Sure, the typically tall and lean 23-year-old supermodel has always had a great bod, but recent photos have her showing off some serious guns as prep to bring her action-driven character Laureline to life in Luc Besson’s upcoming sci-fi flick, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Proof:
Feeling inspired to look as strong as you feel? Us too. We got the 411 from three celebrity fitness experts — Nat Bardonnet, Halle Berry’s personal trainer of five years, celebrity yoga and pilates instructor Kristin McGee, who works with LeAnn Rimes Cibian, Bethenny Frankel and Tina Fey + superstar trainer Lacey Stone, whose clientele includes A-listers Amanda Seyfried, Kelly Osbourne and Nicole Kidman — on how she managed to cop her stronger new physique, and how YOU can begin to amp up your own workout routine this year. Tone like Delevingne’s requires commitment, hard work and some serious resolve. Thankfully, our experts have your (strong af) back.
First and foremost? Cara D is likely mixing in some strength training. As opposed to a regular workout, “strength training is more about building muscles and toning your body,” explains Nat Bardonnet. Yogi Kristin McGee tells us that it’s also more extreme. “It’s a little more intense and focused. You’re going harder and stronger as opposed to longer. [It’s] pushing past that fatigue.”
Strength training will require you to keep at it past that first feel-good week back to the gym in Jan. McGee shares with us that one of her clients, Emilia Clarke, was hitting the gym nearly every day to get fit for her own high-action roles in Game of Thrones and Terminator Genisys.
Delevingne is likely doing the same, using a series of targeted exercises. “It looks like she has built muscles [with] weight training… and cardio, maybe kickboxing,” says Bardonnet. Celebrity trainer Lacey Stone agrees that weights have likely played a huge role in Delevingne’s transformation. “It looks like she’s doing kettlebells, cross training, [resistance] band work, TRX… but she’s also lifting dumbbells.”
So now that we know the scoop, how can we get the same results at home? Start simple — and affordable. “A set of weights is pretty cheap to invest in,” McGee tells us. (The three-pound hand weights above are $12 on Amazon!) But be careful not to overdo it. “If you’ve never worked out before, start with a lighter weight you don’t feel is going to strain you,” Stone says. Bardonnet recommends 3-5-pound dumbbells. “You build up to the heavier strength,” McGee says.
Both Bardonnet and McGee also recommend bodyweight exercises, AKA moves that rely on you and your bod sans weights such as pull-ups, push-ups, leg lifts, lunges, squats and bicep and tricep curls. Form and proper positioning are extremely important to avoid injury, so if a personal trainer is a bit out of your budget, Stone suggests pairing up with a friend, or turning to one of the many instructional YouTube videos online. Check out Stone’s own YouTube channel and Extreme Bootcamp app to help you on your on your quest for fitness.
All three ladies agree that results are also heavily dependent on what you eat. “Abs are made in the kitchen,” McGee tells us. Note that it’s not about eating, less, however — quite the opposite. “When you strength train, you have to eat a little bit more,” Stone says. “Lifting heavier weights means you raise your metabolic rate, which is the rate at which you burn fat for a more toned and defined body.” Stone recommends that women consume a diet that’s high in proteins, with plenty of vegetables and few carbohydrates.
Finally, don’t be afraid to build your muscle mass. McGee tells us that she thinks “women fear they’re going to bulk up.” Stone, for one, has a completely different outlook on muscles that should become your mantra in the new year. “I think strong is sexy,” she says. “That’s what I hope happens in 2016 — [that women] stop being afraid of their strength.”
Hell yes. We think Cara D would definitely approve.
What is your strength-training plan for 2016? Tweet us the deets @britandco!