The comedian started her year off strong by breezily performing deficit Bulgarian split squats—while holding 45 pounds.

By Megan Falk
February 25, 2020
Karwai Tang/Getty

After you’ve made it through another rollercoaster year of life, it seems only necessary to hit up happy hour with your closest friends and celebrate with frozen margaritas. But you won’t find Chelsea Handler sipping tequila on her 45th birthday (at least, not at the bar). Instead, she’s embracing a different type of burn—the one following a killer leg workout.

In a new Instagram post from Handler's trainer Ben Bruno, the comedian is shown powering through 10 reps (on each side) of rear-foot-elevated Bulgarian split squats from a deficit. As if the move isn't challenging enough on its own, Handler lifted an additional 45 pounds, a nod to her special day.

While holding two kettlebells and rocking a weighted vest, Handler swiftly performs rep after rep—and even manages to sing “Happy Birthday” without losing a breath.

“Wish she’d be quiet, but the fact that she can talk sh*t while doing these is really, really impressive,” Bruno wrote in the caption.

Though she makes the move look like a piece of birthday cake, this version of Bulgarian split squats isn’t for first-timers, Bruno tells Shape. On its face, the butt- and thigh-burning exercise can help isolate the glute muscles in each of your legs and help address any muscle imbalances between the two. The exercise also requires keen balance and stability—skills many people struggle with, the trainer notes. But add in a deficit by elevating the front foot, and the range of motion increases, allowing you to dip lower into the squat and place more emphasis on the glutes, explains Bruno.

Spoiler: Handler wasn’t able to breeze through the advanced exercise overnight. “Building strength is a process, and Chelsea is really consistent with her workouts,” says Bruno. “No matter how busy she gets or how hard she's partied, she always gets her workout in. So when you’re consistent and put out a good effort, good things happen.”

Judging by Handler's commitment to her workout routine, she might just be ready for an even more challenging workout by the time she celebrates her next birthday. Perhaps 46 Bulgarian split squats while holding her pup?

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