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Rachel McAdams' High-Intensity Workout Routine


The beautifully talented Rachel McAdams may be most known for her roles in The Notebook, Mean Girls, Wedding Crashers, and The Time Traveler’s Wife, but we love her dedication to healthy living, too.

The 33-year-old actress is passionate about biking and yoga (she has previously said she practices Kundalini nearly every morning) and also founded a blog called “Green is Sexy," which is full of tips on how to live life to the greenest. 

Gotta love a gal who is kind to both her body and the environment—and looks impossibly amazing in everything she wears on the red carpet, to boot. So with her newest romantic drama The Vow hitting theatres today (February 10) we were inspired to take a vow ourselves to get the scoop on her diet and fitness regime. 

Strength and conditioning coach Jerry Owen, who has trained McAdams in the past, describes the Hollywood star as extremely hard-working—and of course, we’re not surprised!

“She’s very athletic, moves very fluidly, and never needed a lot of correction in her workouts,” he says. “We found a way to work out every day, even if we had to do it at 4 a.m.”

With McAdams, Owen—who is currently training four world-champion fighters—focused on shorter bursts of exercise with higher-intensity circuits. 

“Going at a steady rate for an hour isn’t improving your cardiovascular system,” Owen says. “With a shorter, more intense exercise, your body is forced to tap into its fat storage to get a more sustainable energy force. Studies prove this quick, high-intensity method burns more fat.”

We’ll get to more of McAdams’ workout later (hint…it’s definitely a toughie!) but when it comes to her diet, we’re guessing it was equally as intense. But we've got some some good news: Owen doesn’t believe in low-fat diets.

“I have all my clients rid their cabinets of low-fat foods because they tend to overeat it,” Owen says. “I believe everything in moderation. Eat and enjoy red meat, take in plenty of leafy greens and coniferous veggies… just make sure a protein and fat is in every meal. And if you’re going to have complex carbs, it’s better to have them first thing in the morning.” 

Back to that workout! To get a tight and toned body like McAdams, take a vow and try her total-body high-intensity routine on the next page. 

You’ll Need: Exercise mat, Kettle Ball, Box

How it Works: Owen’s workout focuses on metabolic conditioning, which works more of your fast twitch muscle fibers. You’ll start with a dynamic and advanced warm-up,  a ¼ mile jog, and then 12 rounds of very intense moves done with no rest between sets.

“You’ll work the entire body, burn more fat, increase your heart rate and psychologically…you know you’re going to have to bring your A-game, so it makes it that much more rewarding when you complete this,” Owen says.

STEP 1: DYNAMIC WARMUP: Mark Verstegen’s Movement Prep

-Hip Crossovers (12 reps each side) 
For help with this move, click here to watch an instructional video

-Scorpions (12 reps each side)
For help with this move, click here to watch an instructional video 

-Lateral Lunges (12 reps each leg)
For help with this move, click here to watch an instructional video

-Sumo Squats (12 reps)
For help with this move, click here to watch an instructional video

-Forward Lunges (12 reps each leg)
For help with this move, click here to watch an instructional video

-1/4 Mile Jog

STEP 2: ADVANCED WARMUP: Complete five rounds, back to back

-Squats (12 reps)

-Push Ups (12 reps)

-Jumping Jacks (12 reps)

STEP 3: WORKOUT: Complete 12 rounds with no rest between sets. After every 3rd round, sprint ¼ mile as fast as you can.

-Kettle Ball Swings (5 swings)

-Box Jumps (5 jumps)

-Burpees (5 reps)

Tip: Set a performance goal rather than just an aesthetic one, and time this workout so you can try to do it faster every time. 

“Celebrities often focus on how well they can make their body perform instead of focusing on how good it will look,” Owen says. “You’ll always feel more confident in reaching your goals if it’s performance based.”

For more info, email Owen at or check out his website at


About  Kristen Aldridge 
Kristen Aldridge lends her pop culture expertise to Yahoo! as host of "omg! NOW." Receiving millions of hits per day, the hugely popular daily entertainment news program is one of the most-watched on the web. As a seasoned entertainment journalist, pop culture expert, fashion addict and lover of all things creative, she is founder of and recently launched her own celeb-inspired fashion line and smartphone app. Connect with Kristen to talk all things celebrity via Twitter and Facebook, or visit her official website.


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