Fitness and nutrition coach Magnus Lygdbäck has worked with some of Hollywood’s swolest stars. He helped Ben Affleck get jacked to play Batman, trained Alicia Vikander while she was getting packing on muscle to play Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider reboot, and transformed James McAvoy into “the Beast” in Glass.
More recently, Lygdbäck helped Gal Gadot build her strength, mobility, agility and endurance during her five months preparing to reprise the role of superhero-slash-goddess Diana Prince in Wonder Woman 1984, and he just shared a glimpse of what the star’s rigorous training regime looked like while she was preparing for the movie.
“Filming a movie is like a marathon, not a sprint,” he says. “You have to make sure that you’re still healthy and that you last for the whole duration.”
Lygdbäck breaks down an average day from Gadot’s grueling training schedule, starting with a cardio warmup on an assault bike or rowing machine. This is followed by three sets of 12 wide-grip lat pulldowns. “I’m making sure that I’m really stretching out my shoulder and then lowering the shoulder before I start pulling down,” he explains.
To work the chest, Lygdbäck recommends performing a simple pushup to failure. “Depending on how strong you are, you can start with an incline and work your strength up until you can do them flat,” he says. After you have maxed out, he then recommends doing a couple of sets with your knees touching the ground.
Next up is the alternating standing dumbbell row, performed for three sets of 20 reps. “Make sure not to rotate your spine,” he says. “Go slow on the way down, and much more explosive on the way up.”
He follows this with a reverse fly to incline chest fly superset. “Go fast on the way out, and slow on the way down,” he says. Then, he targets the core with another superset of crossover mountain climbers to rotating leg kicks.
“That’s one day from the Wonder Woman program, and obviously different weeks would look different,” he says. “I’m still super impressed with how Gal got through this program on a weekly basis… She not only looks the part, she is the part.”
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