There’s no real getting around it: Gal Gadot is the shit right now. The Israeli actress and model skyrocketed straight to the top of every casting director’s list after she emerged as the brilliant lead in this summer’s smash Hollywood hit, Wonder Woman.
Of course, we’ve seen her before as Wonder Woman in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and as Gisele Yashar in The Fast and the Furious franchise. But you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who’d argue that Wonder Woman was her breakout role.
While the movie itself has received rave reviews from fans and critics, Gadot is still its shining light – a strong, independent, talented, and even relatable woman in a leading role, effortlessly kicking ass and taking names? That’s our kinda girl.
But how, exactly, did she do it? Well, she may be a former beauty pageant contestant and signed model, but Gal Gadot is no stranger to hard work. For her role in Batman v. Superman she trained in sword fighting, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Capoeira and fucking Kung-Fu. And when it came to making Wonder Woman a hit, her workout routine was just as arduous.
Drink A Gallon of Water A Day
One of the biggest aspects of Gadot’s training was in her food and water intake, and most important of all was her idea of drinking a gallon of water a day. When InStyle senior editor Christina Shanahan actually imitated Gadot’s workout routine for a month and wrote about it, she noted that Gadot’s trainers insisted on a gallon of water per day.
For Shanahan, it not only curbed her food cravings, but all that hydration also greatly, greatly improved her endurance to help power her through the incredibly intense workout routines she was doing.
A Balanced Diet—Proteins and Green Veggies
Shanahan also noted that Gadot’s trainers Hayley Bradley and Mark Twight also made sure that she was balancing her diet, not with unhealthy sugary green “juice blends,” but equal parts protein and equal parts green vegetables. This blend of protein mixed with green vegetables helped ensure she was getting the energy she needed to burn through her gym routines, while also giving her the nutrients she needed to keep the lean muscle on without any added bullshit.
For those wondering, green vegetables are specifically rule-of-thumb because those are packed with a metric shit-tonne of B vitamins. Those B vitamins help the process of converting food into raw energy, which makes working out at the gym a hell of a lot easier.
We know, we know – if you want to get fit, it means you actually can’t eat like shit. Wild, right?! She did tell the people at Harper’s Bazaar that she likes eating burgers, ice cream and chocolate, though. So, at least there’s a little room for cheat day.
High Interval Weight Training and Cardio, Cardio, Cardio
Gadot’s years in modeling and beauty pageantry have done her well. Walking into her on-set career as the badass heroine was easier than a lot of other actresses because she already had a lot of what she needed to make the transition.
When she did step into a gym, Twight and Bradley didn’t want to Hulk her out, but rather keep her looking lean, mean, and most of all, believable. That called for high interval weight training, and plenty, plenty of cardio.
Twight spilled the beans to Muscle & Fitness about her full workout:
The 45-minute full-body workout includes seven different exercises, ranging from rowing to burpees, and yes, it’ll kick your ass.
EXERCISE 1: Rowing Machine
Gadot would row for five straight minutes on the rowing machine at an easy pace, just to warm herself up and get the blood flowing. There’d be a 1- to 2-minute rest in between this and Exercise 2.
EXERCISE 2: Rowing Machine
Gadot would row another five minutes on the rowing machine, this time with a 10-second intense “sprint,” and a 50-second easy pace. There’d also be a 1- to 2-minute rest after this.
(Editor’s note: The reason why Gadot opted for the rowing machine over traditional cardio is because it’s low-impact and she couldn’t afford to get hurt while shooting. That said, rowing can be substituted with any high intensity cardio if you don’t have a rowing machine.)
EXERCISE 3: Bear Crawl
Gadot would do a lot of 30-meter exercises, and her first would be a bear crawl. If you don’t know what they are, you can see a YouTube tutorial here. After completing the 30 meters, she’d walk back to the start, rest for 30 seconds, and then hop straight into Exercise 4.
EXERCISE 4: Burpee Broad Jumps
As anyone can tell you, burpees in and of themselves suck. They may not look like much, but in repetitive sets of five, 10, or even 15, they’ll definitely show you who’s boss. Gadot would do another 30 meters of burpee broad jumps. She’d then walk the 30 meters back to the start, rest for 30 seconds, and jump right into Exercise 5.
EXERCISE 5: Crab Walks
If you think back on all your grade school gym classes, you remember doing crab walks. And you probably remember hating them because of how difficult and awkward they are. What you don’t remember is how much they made your legs, arms and core hurt, because if done right, they’re a brutal full-body workout. Like exercises three and four, Gadot would crab walk for 30 meters, then walk the 30 meters back to the start, and rest for 30 seconds.
EXERCISE 6: Pull Ups
Yes, that’s right. Gadot trained with some of the priciest and well-known workout trainers in the world, and at the end of the day, they still had her doing plain old pull ups. Why? Because there’s perhaps no upper body workout on the planet that does as good a job as regular old pull ups. Gadot would do seven sets of three, with 1- or 2-minute rests in between each set.
EXERCISE 7: Ring Push Ups
We don’t really expect anyone to have an Olympic ring setup, but if you’re trying to do it the way Gadot did, ring push ups were a part of her daily routine. Five sets, three reps per set, with 1 minute of rest in between. Obviously, regular pushups are an excellent substitute, and if you want to really make things equal, you could grab a pair of push up bars.
There it is. We won’t guarantee that this workout routine will turn you into Wonder Woman, but it’s an excellent step in the right direction. Lean protein, green veggies, and a hell of a lot of high-intensity cardio, and you’re well on your way – oh, and don’t forget that gallon of water!
Read up on how to train, eat and fight like Conor McGregor.