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9 no-BS rules celebrity trainer Don Saladino uses with all clients
Blake Lively is one of those unicorn-level rare beings; someone famous, who’s seriously beautiful, seems to have a stellar personality, hasn’t been cancelled for misjudging their celebrity, and looks to have a genuinely happy relationship and family setup.
(Course, who are we mere mortals to judge.)
Of all her admirable elements, one that we’re here for is her approach to getting and staying fit and healthy.
It’s one thing to embrace exercise for on-screen appearances, but it’s another to genuinely build strength and fitness.
In short, Blake Lively’s fitness routine is one to attain. And thanks to a chat with her long-time trainer Don Saladino, who worked with the star after her pregnancies and while getting into fit for The Shallows (… we’re not just talking bikini shots, she did nearly all her own stunts), we’ve got the exclusive intel on how they get results – and keep them.
Not only does Saladino have one of the starriest clienteles going — including both actors (oh, haiii Anne Hathaway) and athletes, thanks to his famously effective training style and impressive results, but he’s totted up over ten magazine covers of his own.
This is how Saladino trains Lively (and clients) for life, not just for movies.
Saladino has been in fitness for over 25 years and it shows. His honed no-BS approach is clear and focused, whether he’s training someone for a movie role or just to get them healthy.
‘It’s not just about you upping your heart rate, it’s about improving your body’s resilience and energy, he says. ‘While we’re increasing movement quality, we’re making sure we’re optimizing everything we do’.
In short, he gets results — not only getting healthy body fat percentage goals, but creating a ‘body armor’ that helps overall performance.
‘We’re all athletes as, even if someone’s not shooting a movie role, adults have to chase their kids or sit at their desk all day long. We’re all battling that same battle, so I try to get people moving the way our bodies are meant to move, Saladino explains.
Generally, people are wising up to the ‘GET FIT QUICK’-type promises, but Saladino takes it one step further by guaranteeing long-term changes when clients commit.
‘Every single person who does my program day in, day out finds their bodies change for the long haul’, he says. ‘It’s not a case of weight loss that you gain back. These are long-term, attainable changes and they work’.
Now is probably a good time to throw back to Lively’s post-pregnancy fitness transformation where she highlighted how results aren’t achieved overnight.
A post shared by Blake Lively (@blakelively)
You might be surprised but, even when actors are training for a movie, Saladino doesn’t ask for more than an hour-ish a day, 3-4 times a week.
‘It depends on the goal, but I believe someone giving me three to four days a week with some form of movement and resistance training, alongside getting their steps in during the day, going for walks or a jog, playing, or doing other things that are important,’ he explains.
‘When celebrities are getting ready for these roles and they have a shorter period of time, depending on their stress levels, it might be four to six days a week. Why is six not better? If someone’s work schedule is out of control and they’re having no time with their children or they’re exhausted on their specific days, I can optimize their time, allowing them the other days of rest and recovery.’
This isn’t a typical ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality. Saladino’s style is far more finely tuned, taking into account someone’s stress levels, sleep, schedule… Basically, everything that’s going on in their lives.
‘People say: it’s 80% diet, it’s 20% training, but 100% mental,’ he says. ‘It’s your mindset, how you’re willing to approach it, and understanding you cannot come into this with 100% effort every day. You can’t always push that hard. It comes down to understanding your body and knowing some days you have to shift gears.
A lot of the public’s understanding of celebrity workouts is simply losing a certain amount of lbs. In reality, it’s more a case of being in a good place and being physically fit enough to cope with a grueling filming schedule.
‘They’re just pulling this number out of the air and assuming that will result in health and wellness. I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve seen gain a pound or two who look like they’ve lost 15, and they’re in incredible shape. One of the worst ways you can quantify success is by the scale’, says Saladino.
It’s fair: to get results, Saladino ensures there is a healthy level of dedication.
‘The goal is to do exactly what I suggest; that might be going to bed or after you have a shower look in the mirror and have a moment of gratitude. And the next day, hit repeat’, he explains.
And how can we non-movie star peeps embrace this? ‘Just focus on your daily goals. Once you start thinking: ‘Oh, I’ve got to lose 30lbs’, you start adding stress’.
‘There are certain rules I stick to, like food quality,’ explains Saladino. ‘Don’t eat crap but, if you’re going to eat crap, have better quality crap’.
According to Saladino, Blake’s weekly food shop is focused on nutrient-rich foods: ‘proteins, vegetables, fruits, slow-burning starches like sweet potato, and getting healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter.’
‘It might be the most important of them all. The first two things I ask: How’s your sleep and how’s your digestion?’ he says. ‘If you fix one, you fix the other’.
‘Things like meditation and — it sounds ridiculous, but — laughing. You got to be happy, enjoy yourself’, Saladino says. ‘As hard as we have to work, you can’t sit there and be business all the time. People have to separate themselves from hustle and bustle, keep their side of the street clean, and eliminate a lot of the crap’.