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The highly anticipated Tarantino film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is out, have you already bought your tickets? Well, we have because any film that features the gorgeous Margot Robbie is top of our priority list.
When it comes to diet and fitness Margot Robbie doesn’t believe in hours of exercise and depriving yourself of your favourite foods. Instead she adopts a far more balanced approach when prepping for her movie roles.
In an interview with Emirates Woman, Robbie said ‘I’m not good at doing moderation. I get miserable if I don’t eat. I can’t just have salad everyday and half a glass of wine every second day’.
Speaking of Hollywood (and Margot Robbie), Healthista spoke to David Higgins, personal trainer to superstars including Margot Robbie, Claudia Schiffer, Rebecca Ferguson, Colin Firth and Samuel L Jackson.
David is also author of The Hollywood Body Plan, a plan that all of his clients follow – even the celebs.
‘All of my clients, celebrity or not do The Hollywood Body Plan. Whoever I am working with, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Margot Robbie or Samuel L Jackson’.
The Hollywood Body Plan promises that we can all get healthy and strong in 21 days, doing just 21 minutes of exercise per day – sign us up ASAP.
Margot Robbie has praised David and his plan, saying ‘He put me in my best physical shape, he educated me on strengthening, stretching and nutrition to ensure that I stay that way! Working out is never boring when you’re with Higgo’.Plus, David’s film credits include Mission Impossible: Fallout and Justice League, Wonder Woman, Spiderman: Far From Home, Mary Queen of Scots and many more. Impressive, eh?
‘Whichever character my celebrity clients are playing, be it superhero or spy, following The Hollywood Body Plan will give them a baseline level of fitness and control,’ explained David. ‘Once this has been accomplished, then they will be able to challenge their body further’.
‘Even if you have an office job your body has to be resilient and strong enough to take on the day ahead (not just mentally). In order to be able to do what you do everyday, for the rest of your life you need to have a foundation of basic strength.
‘Maintaining basic strength is something we neglect until our bodies remind us that they need help with a niggle or a pain.
‘Unfortunately, most times it’s a little bit too late when people finally realise that they need to make a change to their strength and fitness. That’s why I made this plan – it really is for everyone’.
So here are the key steps to take if you want to get a Hollywood body like Margot Robbie – get those notebooks at the ready folks…
#1 Don’t kill yourself with high-intensity workouts
‘In this industry, everyone seems to jump straight in with HIIT workouts, aka the quick, instant, kill yourself type workouts, but our bodies just aren’t equipped for high-impact, high-volume workouts, especially if we are trying to get fitter or get to being the best versions of ourselves in the long run.
‘It’s all about creating longevity and a pain-free, happy life rather than just a quick fix. We all know that those extreme diet and exercise plans will never work if you are looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
‘When it comes to fitness you need to enjoy what you do and enjoy whatever it is you want to do to keep yourself fit, not doing workouts that you don’t enjoy because you feel absolutely exhausted. At the end of the day, don’t think that you have to beat your body up till your strong and fit.
‘What I have put together in this plan is basically a 21 day reset programme. I take a bit more of a long-term approach with more of a strength and movement perspective.
‘That involves Pilates-based moves that focus on building strength in two key areas – your core and your glutes’, as these muscle groups are key to overall strength and fitness’.
#2 Take ego out of your workouts
‘You have to take your ego out of your workouts. If you are looking to improve your fitness, which many of us are, we need to learn and re-gain some elemental strength that we have lost over the years or even decades, after not moving in the way our bodies are designed.
‘You can’t just jump straight in with a hardcore fitness plan. Regaining control of your body is easy if you don’t put pressure on yourself. The first 21 days of The Hollywood Body Plan focuses on re-establishing, reframing and remembering how to move.
‘Again, this involves making sure your glutes are strong, as that is the biggest supporter of the body. We tend to sit down on our butt all day, so it tends to turn off and not do the job it’s required to do, which means our lower back muscles tend to take a hit, pain and pressure.
‘After years and years, our backs will say ‘no more’ and go into spasm. People will say ‘I don’t understand why my back hurts, all I did was put the cereal back on the shelf’ (and not do any exercise for years).
‘So don’t throw yourself into an intense workout plan, ease yourself in and strengthen your muscles slowly and properly, that way you will be able to maintain your healthy lifestyle, rather than being cocky and then giving up too quickly’.
#3 Intermittent fasting is the easiest way to control your diet
‘The nutrition plan I live by and tell others to live by features heavily on intermittent fasting – I am a huge believer in intermittent fasting. Recently it has become very popular, but it was relatively unknown over the last ten to 15 years.
‘The reason I have always been a big advocate for intermittent fasting, is because it isn’t one of those exclusion diets, where you can’t eat, that’s bad for you, you shouldn’t eat that. What really is the case (and what we are all very aware of) is that everything is fine – in moderation.
‘A little bit of salt with your meal is fine in moderation, but too much salt with all of your meals may lead to health risks. Moderation is best, and essentially intermittent fasting forces you to only eat within a certain window (eight hours).
‘I find that if you are a social butterfly for example you can easily shift that eight hour window depending on how you work, how you are as an individual, what you prefer, if you are going out, if you have dinner plans or if you are a breakfast person. Whoever you are you can make intermittent fasting work for you.
‘So instead of having to measure everything and trying to stick to many confusing diet rules, all you have to do is make sure you are eating within an eight hour window, it makes life a whole lot easier and it allows you to regain control of your eating pattern’.
#4 Learn how to look after yourself
‘Fitness, diet and self-care shouldn’t be segmented and all aspects should be equally as important and seen a whole – we need all three for a healthy lifestyle.
‘The third chapter of the book (and the most unique) is called ‘Body Dynamics’ – basically a chapter all about recovery. This is where the reader learns and I teach the importance of soft tissue, massaging and treating themselves to get through and reduce any pain and discomfort that we have accumulated through life and through exercise.
‘Understanding trigger points within the muscle, (it can sound a little complex), establishing touch and allowing you to realise that you can do a lot of ‘self-relief’, ‘self-massage’, ‘self-care’ without having to rely on a ‘specialist’.
‘It’s about bringing yourself back into yourself and re-establishing yourself as a person, rather than having to outsource everything, which unfortunately is what we have all been led to do. If you are sick you go to the doctor, if you have an ache or pain you go to a physiotherapist.
‘Not helping yourself has always been the way, but I believe that if everybody knew just little bit about how to help themselves, then they can save themselves time and money on healthcare and spend more on healthy produce and fitness’.
#5 Focus on your core and glutes
‘My fitness plan is based on and around Pilates – but I take the fluffiness out because for me, Pilates can be boring. I like Pilates though for it’s effectiveness on core strength, glute control and activation, which are both essential for movement and overall strength.
‘The whole plan is based around regaining alignment, control, posture and awareness, these things are the most important.
‘It’s the sequence exercise prescribed in the book that gets you from literally lying down and working out to standing up and moving the way your body should be.
‘Pilates helps you to gain strength, control, coordination and ultimately helps you to fight against gravity that is trying to pull you in the opposite direction.
‘We live in such a forward-flexed dominant world that it is most important to establish our fundamental basics of movement which we tend to take for granted as adults, that is why I focus heavily on Pilates.
‘Oh and reformer Pilates is a huge hit – Margot Robbie is a fan’.
#6 Everyone can spare at least 21 minutes
‘Exercise is about consistency, as long as you figure out and establish when you want to exercise and what works for you you are going to stay motivated.
‘For example on The Hollywood Body Plan, it can even be done squeezed in before work , it’s just 21 minutes of your day that you spend exercising.
‘You can do it when you get back from work, whilst you are watching TV, who cares? As long as you are doing the movements, there are no excuses, everyone has 20 minutes. Most of us have two to four free hours a day, all you need take is 20 minutes out of that social and free time to spend on yourself – your body will thank you for it’.
#7 Realistically manage what you are able to take on board
‘The main reasons people don’t get the results they want is because they give up too soon or they go too hard too soon. This often leads to injury because when we feel that little niggle of pain we give up.
‘Or we take on too much and can’t do it all or give up too much and then we binge eat. Of course it’s about consistency but it’s also about being able to manage what you are able to take on board and being realistic about things’.
#8 The day is not a write off after one mistake
‘Be a bit nicer to yourself, forgive yourself, you’re only human. Don’t go ‘oh I’ve had a chocolate bar so the whole day is ruined I might as well have four more. Have that chocolate bar, enjoy it and move on to a healthy decision next time.
‘Making a mistake isn’t the end of the world as long as that little mistake doesn’t see you end up in McDonalds. The day is not over after one mistake’.
#9 Aesthetics are just a bonus
‘It is absolutely possible to get the best body that your body can achieve but it shouldn’t be the soul goal. Of course it all depends on what people want, as long as you are fit, happy, healthy and pain free then you can achieve whatever you turn your hand to.
‘The aesthetic is important, I get it, but it’s irrelevant. Being a dad of three now, I can tell you that the aesthetic is nice to have but it’s not the be all and end all.
‘What is important to me, is waking up in the morning or getting home from work and having the kids use me as a climbing frame, or jumping all over me. I can take it physically and I can roll around and play with them, that for me is the most important and rewarding thing about being strong and healthy.
‘It’s sad that I even hear my friends say ‘Daddy can’t lift you up today his back hurts’. Plus I never hear ‘oh I wish I had a six pack for the beach’.
‘The industry has totally changed and will continue to change. Since starting work in this industry, and even growing up in this industry (I have been doing this for almost 20 years), it’s a very different world as a trainer these days.
‘People want the long-term healthy lifestyle, that is far more coveted than a bikini or beach body. Ultimately, if you do look after yourself, your body will respond and you will end up looking and feeling your best as well – that’s what I tell all my clients and it seems to work’.
This article originally appeared on Healthista and is republished here with permission.