How Lucifer's Rachael Harris Became Her Fittest at 52, According to Her Trainer
The Lucifer actress isn't afraid to challenge her strength and "train like the boys."
Fifty-two-year-old Rachael Harris is proof that there's no right or wrong time to start your fitness journey. The actress stars in the hit Netflix show Lucifer, which is set to air its sixth and final season on September 10. Harris plays the role of Linda Martin, a therapist to all supernatural beings on the show, including the devil himself.
The actress first started amping up her workouts in May 2019 when she was introduced to a L.A.-based celeb trainer Paolo Mascitti. At the time, Mascetti was training several Lucifer stars including Tom Ellis, Lesley-Ann Brandt, and Kevin Alejandro. The trainer also counts Lana Condor, Hilary Duff, Alex Russell, and Nicole Scherzinger as clients. (Related: How Lucifer's Lesley-Ann Brandt Trains to Crush Her Own Stunts On the Show)
Not only was Harris inspired by her co-stars' transformations, but Mascetti says she was also in the midst of going through a divorce and wanted to find ways to put herself first.
"Given everything she was going through, she wanted to find a healthy way to cope," Mascetti tells Shape. "She understood that she wasn't taking care of herself at the time and that's when she really focused on her health — both mentally and physically."
In an interview with People, Harris opened up about how difficult the separation really was for her. "I realized, 'Gosh, I'm really getting lost in this and I don't like myself," she told the outlet. "I know what I can do. I know what I'm capable of doing. I just said, 'You know what? F— it. I'm going to hire a trainer."
It's not like Harris had never worked out before, says Mascetti, but this was the first time she decided to be diligent, consistent, and focused. Her goal? To be the strongest version of herself.
"When I train women, one common theme is: 'I don't want to bulk up," says Mascetti. "That's just so crazy to me because if it was so easy to build muscle mass, everyone would do it. Plus, women don't have the same physical structure as men, so it's much harder for them to get bulky." (Related: 5 Reasons Why Lifting Heavy Weights *Won't* Make You Bulk Up)
But when Mascetti first met Harris, she wasn't worried about that at all. "She told me she wanted to train like the boys," the trainer laughs. "Her goals weren't aesthetic-based. She just wanted to feel strong."
So, Mascetti built her training schedule accordingly. Today, Harris and Mascetti work out together five days a week. Half the sessions focus on extremely strenuous high-intensity-interval-training combined with strength training, says Mascetti. One such circuit might include a squat overhead press, followed by box jumps, renegade rows, and 40 seconds on the battle ropes, the trainer shares. Each workout usually includes three circuits, each of which is broken down into four moves. All in all, a typical workout usually takes about an hour.
The rest of Harris's weekly workouts are strict strength training. "We usually focus on a certain muscle group," says Mascetti. "One day we might do the chest, back and shoulders and another day we might focus on the glutes, quads and hamstrings." (Related: When It's OK to Work the Same Muscles Back to Back)
If you were to ask Harris if her training has paid off, she would wholeheartedly agree. "At 52, I'm in the best shape of my life ever," she told People. "I'm going for strong versus skinny. When I put on my clothes, I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, I look strong and I look fit and I look healthy.' I carry myself differently on set and I feel confident."
As her trainer, Mascetti couldn't be more impressed. "When I get asked who my strongest client is, I have to say it's Rachael Harris," he shares. "I mean, it's ridiculous. The intensity level is so high. Of all my clients she's been the most impressive, and that's including the boys. She is undoubtedly a true athlete."