'Wonder Woman 1984': Gal Gadot's Trainer Reveals Her Workout Regimen

Gal Gadot's Trainer Reveals Her Workout Regimen
Courtesy of Magnus Lygdback; Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Gal Gadot and L.A.-based trainer Magnus Lygdback in London (Inset) while filming 'WW84' in 2018.

"We weren't going for the most muscle mass," says Magnus Lygdback of the actress as he explains how he got her in superhero shape for the movie, which opens Dec. 25.

For Gal Gadot, 35, the work of Wonder Woman 1984 (out Dec. 25) started in January 2018 when L.A.-based, Sweden-born trainer Magnus Lygdback was tasked with getting the actress ready to wield the Lasso of Hestia again.

With the physicality of Gadot’s character firmly established in the fight scenes of 2017’s Wonder Woman, training for the Cold War-era-set sequel wasn’t required to be as intense and demanding. “Both [director] Patty Jenkins and Gal had a vision of how Wonder Woman should look, and they didn’t change much,” Lygdback (who did not work with Gadot on the first Wonder Woman film) tells The Hollywood Reporter. “They had the same for this one, but it was more about making sure that Gal was as strong and as healthy as possible,” says Lygdback, who has previously worked with such stars as James McAvoy on Glass and Alicia Vikander on Lara Croft.

The first few months were a slow buildup to prepare for the rigors of a six-month shoot. "We weren't going for the most muscle mass possible. We wanted to build a strong foundation, focus on keeping Gal mobile and uninjured," says Lygdback. Ice baths and muscle-recovery tools like the Theragun were part of his arsenal. Her diet consisted of good proteins like lamb, organic grass-fed beef, fish and chicken, plus slow complex carbs, good fats and lots of veggies.

Lygdback's approach, designed to increase metabolism, works on a four-day cycle. There are five meals a day, and three out of the cycle's 20 meals can be anything the client wants. For Gadot's hour-a-day, five-days-a-week gym routine, he took her through his favorite strength exercises for women, as seen on his Magnus Method app and YouTube channel. "Leg press, front dumbbell squats, skaters and skate jumps — that's such a good one because it recruits fast-twitch muscle fibers and works all three of the glute muscles — pull-ups, lateral raises and a ton of core work."

This was on top of the stunts and harness work she did. "She's good at many things and picks up things pretty fast," he says. Much of that no doubt comes from her stint in the Israeli army and having a phys-ed teacher for a mom.

Below Lygdback shares a sample five-day workout routine that's part of his Magnus Method:

FIVE-DAY SAMPLE WORKOUT DAY

1: HIIT, Legs, Core

Warmup: Treadmill, 5 minutes; HIIT Treadmill Sprints, 3x for 30 seconds, with 30 seconds off

Front squat, 12 reps 3x

Walking lunge, 20 reps 3x

Mini band circuit, 3 rounds: Mini band curtsy step, 20 reps; mini band lateral walk, 15 reps each side

Skaters, 20 reps 3x

Windmill, 20 reps, 10 on each side

DAY 2: Chest, Back, Core

Warmup: Assault bike (or rowing machine), 5 minutes

Wide-grip pull down, 12 reps 3x

Push-ups to max out, finish last couple reps on knees, 3x

Alt standing dumbbell rows, 20 reps 3x

Superset, 3 rounds: Reverse fly on incline bench, 12 reps; dumbbell flys on flat bench, 12 reps

Core superset, 3 rounds: Crossover mountain climbers, 12 reps, 6 each side; rotational leg kicks, 12 reps, 6 each side

DAY 3: HIIT arms, Outside shoulders, Core

Warmup: Assault bike, 5 minutes

HIIT Assault bike, 5x for 20 seconds, with 20 seconds off

Alt biceps curl, 16 reps, 8 each side, 3x

Triceps skull crusher, 12 3x

Superset, 3 rounds: Cable bicep curl, 12 reps; tri push down, 12 reps

Superset, 3 rounds: Double bicep curl flat back, 10 reps; lateral raise, 12 reps

Hollow hold, 45 seconds 3x

DAY 4: HIIT lower body, Core

Warmup: Treadmill, 5 minutes; HIIT Deadmill sprints, 3x for 30 seconds

Leg press, 12 reps 3x

Bulgarian split squat, 20 reps, 10 reps on each side, 3x

Swiss ball superset, 3 rounds: Knee tuck, 12 reps; side to side, 12 reps, 6 on each side

Superset, 3 rounds: Hamstring curl, 12 reps; hip thrust, 12 reps

Stability ball pass, 20 reps 3x

DAY 5: Upper body, Core

Warmup: Assault bike, 5 minutes

Superset, 3 rounds: Close-grip pulldown, 20 reps; lateral raise, 15 reps

Superset, 3 rounds: Dumbbell rotation, 16 reps, 8 each side; push-ups on bench, 12 reps

Superset, 3 rounds: Straight-arm pulldown, 12 reps; dumbbell straight-shoulder raises, 10 reps

Dragon kicks, 15 reps, 3x

A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 16 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.