Actress Halle Berry might be 51 but everyone knows she has one of the most enviable bodies in Hollywood, no matter what her age. And now we're privy to just how the Oscar winner maintains that super toned physique, thanks to Berry's trainer Peter Lee Thomas, who is spilling all of the actress's fitness and nutrition secrets.
"She's a very special specimen of an athlete," he tells Organic Authority.
Um, yeahhhh. If you've checked out Berry's Instagram, especially her posts on #FitnessFriday, then you'll definitely know what he means.
If you're interested in getting a body like Berry's (and who isn't?) then here's what you need to know.
Her Typical Workout
According to Thomas, Berry likes to mix it up.
"We never know what she's going to do," he says. "I pretty much show up and there's always an underlying element of surprise."
Thomas likes to keep their workouts "dynamic and interesting," which means Berry completes a series of both metabolic and anabolic movements.
"Chances are she'll be doing something with battle ropes and barbells, a sled. All these different things fit together like a puzzle," Thomas says. "I don't really do 'today is a leg day or a chest day.' Most days are full-body days like how an athlete would train. We're doing a little bit of this and that, and we're programming it in a way that's never duplicated or repeated so the body can find its way from the last training session."
Lately, Thomas has been doing a lot of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) sessions with the actress, which include challenging movements like the burpee.
"I don't think burpees ever gets easier," he says. "I've been doing them for twenty years and I still find them hard," adding that his workouts include not just the standard burpee, but many variations of the exercise, including using a medicine ball, a Bosu ball or with weights and barbells.
"They're a great exercise. You get that cardiovascular burn without having to run twenty miles and they're low-impact."
Another one of his favorite exercises to do with Berry are movements involving a sandbag. "We often use a sandbag with many handles around it, and it's very similar to what the military would use," says Thomas. "It's one of my most favorite pieces of equipment. We would do a clean press or a squat with it. You can also throw it, slide it, and run with it."
Her Favorite Exercise
As for what Berry prefers doing during her workouts? It might surprise you.
"She actually really loves push-ups, believe it or not," Thomas reveals. "She's really strong with her upper body."
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He adds, "There's this notion that women aren't that strong when it comes to their upper body, but with Halle, I don't see that. If you challenge yourself with push-ups, you will improve. She loves push-ups and she's good at them."
Another body part she likes to train? Her abs - which if you've seen her Insta, you know how strong and toned Berry's core is.
"We never not do something that doesn't engage her core," Thomas says. "We do exercises using the pull-up bar where you hang from the bar and lift your legs up, or try to touch your toes up to the bar."
If you think working out hard core (no pun intended) was always easy for Berry, think again. "Those movements were challenging at one point," Thomas shares. "She was barely able to do one or two of them, but now she can do very high volume reps. It's being not fearful of practicing them and doing them over and over again even if you've failed."
How She Fuels Herself
Berry swears by the ketogenic diet for keeping her lean and efficiently fueling her workouts, which Thomas helped put together for the actress.
"She's eating a higher variety of good fat, moderate amount of protein, and low amount of carbs and sugar," he says. "She enjoys the keto diet. It's the type of diet that can be done a ton of different ways, which is why Halle does it the way that works best for her."
The low-carb, no-sugar, high-fat eating plan has been around for decades, originally being used to treat patients with epilepsy and diabetes. While it’s definitely restrictive, the diet does allow you to eat tons of protein, including red meat, and good fats, like avocado, coconut, and even bacon and butter.
She also adds in supplements for her energy levels and immune system, including an organic pre-workout beetroot juice as well as pre-digested plant-based amino acids, both from Purium, which, according to Thomas, gives a "nice pump" before the workout.
No doubt Berry is in tip-top shape, and at 51, she proves that age really is just a number.
"When I first started working out with her two years ago, for the first few months, I didn't even know her age," Thomas admits. "When I found out, it was a shell shock. When I see her perform, I see her do things that twenty-five years old would have trouble doing."
Although inflammation and recovery time might be slower than it was when you're in your twenties and thirties, Thomas says, "You can do so many things with your body despite your biological age, and she proves that, time and time again."
Adding, "She's incredible to watch. She's a very special specimen of an athlete."
And, if we're going to be honest, a special specimen of a human being, period.
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