Sexy sci-fi actress Zoe Saldana has it all: a highly-anticipated movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, out today, a rumored bundle of joy on the way (can we say twins?!), a happy first year of marriage to hubby Marco Perego, and an amazing body, to boot. The best part? The stunning star says that at 36, she’s in “exactly the right place” when it comes to both her appearance and her attitude.
But how does she stay in such ravishing red carpet shape (not to mention prepped to play a green-faced, total butt kicker in her new flick) despite such a busy schedule? Aside from working extensively with stunt coordinator Steve Dent and choreographers like Chloe Bruce and Thomas Robinson Harper on set, Saldana has fitness trainers on both coasts to keep her strong and lean for every fierce role.
We caught up with celeb trainer extraordinaire Steve Moyer, who has worked with Saldana since 2009 in Los Angeles, to steal some of his secrets. Read on for more!
Shape: What does a typical workout with Zoe entail?
Steve Moyer [SM]: Generally speaking, we work her full body with an emphasis on staying lean and strong. I like to combine three or four exercises in a row to keep the workout moving and take advantage of the time. When she’s in town, sometimes workouts last a full hour, sometimes it’s 30 minutes. I’ll do lots of cardio and core if I know I won't be seeing the client the next day. If I know we are working out on consecutive days, I split the workouts according to body parts. For a full body workout, I like to do a leg exercise like squats followed by a core exercise like plank pushups (which also hits the triceps) followed by a cardio exercise, which also targets the legs like Jumping Lunges. That's a great series that will build strength and endurance and can be a major aid in leaning out and shedding unwanted pounds.
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Shape: Do you help Zoe with her diet as well?
SM: She has used my meal delivery business before, MoyerMeals. My service is gluten-free, no added sugar, nothing artificial—balanced meals that taste great too. Every meal is a lean protein mixed with complex carbohydrates and vegetables in a perfect balance.
Shape: What’s on a typical daily menu?
SM: A typical example for anyone of my clients would be oatmeal made with almond milk, chia seeds, dried banana, mango, pineapple, and macadamia nuts for breakfast as well as a house made protein shake with organic Whey protein for a snack. The lunches and dinners are always balanced meals. Some examples might be a lentil salad with chopped vegetables, sun-dried tomatoes, and raisins; a buckwheat noodle salad with chicken and vegetables; or a turkey burger with baked yams and green vegetable.
Shape: Zoe has such a busy schedule and still fits in time to exercise. Any advice for us on how to do the same?
SM: You don't have to work out for an hour everyday. Thirty minutes, three times a week, done right and combined with smart eating habits, can get you in great everyday shape. But I'll say what I always say: It starts with a clear, concrete goal. ‘I want to be in shape’ is not a goal. ‘I want to lose ten pounds in one month and be able to run a 6- minute mile’? That is a much clearer goal. Think numbers and specific details, then devise a routine or have someone devise a routine that gets you to that goal.
Here's the sample workout Steve Moyer takes all his celebrity clients through (including Zoe Saldana).
How it works: Three non-consecutive days a week, perform each move in order without resting in between exercises. After completing one circuit, rest for one minute, then repeat the entire circuit four more times. Follow this with 2 minutes of cycling on a recumbent bike at moderate pace, then 15 seconds at full speed; repeat four more times.
You will need: Mat, Water, Pull-up bar, Recumbent bike
5 sets, 24 reps
Plant feet flat on the floor, about shoulder-width apart, pointed slightly outward (not straight ahead), keeping knees from extending beyond toes. Looking straight ahead, bend knees as if sitting back in a chair until thighs are nearly parallel with the floor, keeping heels on the floor and extending arms for balance. Pull in abs, tightening whole body, keeping lower back in a near-neutral position (a slight arch back is OK). Return to starting position.
5 sets, 24 reps
Get in a modified pushup position, hands slightly wider than shoulders and knees on the floor. Pull abs in tight, forming a straight line from top of head through legs. Bend elbows 90 degrees. Push back up to starting position.
5 sets, 24 reps
Stand tall with left foot slightly in front of right. Bend knees slightly into a partial lunge. With core engaged, push off bottoms of both feet into a jump, switching the position of feet in midair, landing in a lunge with right leg in front, bent 90 degrees at knee and hip (back knee should be lined up under hip). Continue, alternating sides each rep.
Hanging Knee Raise
5 sets, 24 reps
Grasp a pull-up bar, with body hanging straight down, clear of the wall. Gently brace arms (as if about to do a pull-up). While holding body steady and tucking pelvis, lift knees (or straight legs, depending on fitness level). Raise knees (or legs) as high as possible, then lower them to starting position.