How to Work Out Like Halle Berry, According to Her Trainer
She's been working hard to prepare for her latest role, but she's always and forever a fitness icon.
It's no secret that Halle Berry's workouts are intense—there's plenty of proof on her Instagram. Still, you might be wondering exactly how often the actress works out and what a typical week of training looks like. The short answer: Berry maintains a rigorous exercise program. (Related: The 8 Abs Exercises Halle Berry Does for a Killer Core)
Lately, Berry has been finishing up her work on Bruised, an upcoming movie she's directing and starring in about a disgraced MMA fighter. She essentially went straight from John Wick 3—which involved a similar type of training—to preparing for this role, says celebrity fitness trainer Peter Lee Thomas, who's been working with Berry for several years. "It was pretty much full force the whole time, so she hasn't really had a day off in a couple of years, other than maybe a little bit of holiday downtime," says Thomas. (At one point, he said she has the athleticism of someone half her age.)
Thomas, who recently teamed up with Berry to launch the fitness community Re-spin, designs her training to echo a fighter's typical lifestyle. "I think of that in a way of, 'Okay, well how would a fighter train?" he says. "And what does that constitute? What do the days look like?" As such, Barry wakes up for early morning cardio, typically on an elliptical. Then she meets with Thomas for a session later in the morning or in the afternoon. Their workouts typically last roughly an hour and a half.
Here's a sample of what a week of their sessions together might look like, so you can try to train like Halle Berry at home:
Monday: Martial Arts Fight Camp-Style Training
This day is focused on martial arts training so that Berry can work on the skills that are central to her role in Bruised. Thomas incorporates a lot of conventional boxing punches, kicks that come from Muay Thai, animal and locomotive movements from capoeira for mobility, and conditioning drills from jiu-jitsu, says Thomas.
Tuesday: Rest Day
On this day, Berry's workout emphasizes explosive, dynamic movements. Plyometric training focuses on ballistic movements such as bounds or jumps and is effective at recruiting fast-twitch muscle fibers and can be used to improve power, strength, and agility. (Try this 10-minute plyometric workout to reap the benefits.)
Thursday: Rest Day
Friday: Strength Training
Some days are dedicated to "staple bodybuilding-based movements," says Thomas. Berry will do exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, pull-ups, push-ups, and bench presses. One of their recent sessions entailed 10 rounds of 10 strict pull-ups, 10 push-ups (with different variations each round e.g. with hands elevated on a BOSU ball), and 10 weighted triceps dips for a grand total of 100 reps. (Related: A Beginner's Guide to Bodybuilding for Women)
As for the days that Berry isn't meeting with Thomas, oftentimes she's still working out. "On some of the days that I don't see her, she's still doing the work," he says. "I have her do stuff on her own time. She's getting her cardio in. She's skipping rope, she's shadowboxing, she's going through mobility warm-ups and keeping herself limber. That way she doesn't get injured." (Related: Halle Berry Does Intermittent Fasting While On the Keto Diet, But Is That Safe?)
On that note, Berry takes recovery seriously to help lessen the effects of everything she's putting her body through. She relies heavily on stretching, foam rolling, bodywork (such as massage and stretching), and nutritional supplements, and her ketogenic diet helps prevent inflammation, says Thomas. (It's true: Research suggests following the keto diet might decrease inflammatory indicators.)
Berry continuously pushes the boundaries of what she's capable of. "I think she's definitely gone way above and beyond what she ever imagined she could do," says Thomas. "These characters have allowed her to dig deeper and to feel what it would be like to take on these kinds of roles."