Alicia Vikander faced a dilemma for her role as Laura Croft in “Tomb Raider.” She needed to diet and exercise to GAIN weight. And, not just any weight. She wanted to add pure lean muscle, sculpt her body and add strength to do some of the arduous stunts.
She started with a high-fat, no-carb keto diet to help burn fat. Then she hit the gym.
“We covered it all,” trainer Magnus Lygdback told Pop Sugar. “Everything from classic lifting and strength training to more functional stuff.”
The goal was to gain 12 pounds of hard, lean muscle, but her routine can help anyone, even if their goal isn’t quite so ambitious.
The goal of diet and exercise is to burn fat and build lean muscle, not necessarily to lose weight. Although that’s often the result, gaining weight is good as long as it’s muscle.
Vikander, 29, hit the gym seven days a week to hit her goal, but not everyday was the same.
“I like to switch it up, so we did everything from squatting heavy and doing dead-lifts to pull-ups, push-ups, training with machines, training with bodyweight, plyometrics, explosive training,” Lygdback explained.
He also used Mixed Martial Arts High Intensity Interval Training to build stamina. Different sessions were also devoted to different parts of the body.
Three days a week, for example, were devoted to sculpting her abs. The first day involved a “dynamic, static, or isometric’ approach. Then, they worked on obliques exercises and wood-chop move with dumb-bells. The third day involved strength exercises to bulk up muscles.
Training was limited to one-hour a day.
“What doesn’t happen in the first hour won’t happen in the second hour,” he explained.
To aid muscle development and burn fat, Alicia followed a keto diet for two months leading up to filming.
The high-fact, no-carb diet included fish and vegetables, as well as MCT oil, avocado, and coconut oil. One day a week, she treated herself to something special, Vikander told Glamour magazine.
“Sundays were pizza days. I think the first thing I said when I woke up on Sundays was,’It’s pizza day!'” she said.
In all, she worked out for four months before filming.
“I’d done a lot more yoga and Pilates and cardio [before the role] and now I’ve started to do a lot more muscle training. It was something I really enjoyed. I felt very much in my body and I loved having another strength,” she said.
“I’ve never been able to lift my own weight, and the day when you have that capacity, it’s pretty empowering,” Alicia said in another interview.
Lygdback has also trained Gal Godot, who starred in “Wonder Woman” and Katy Perry, who has an energetic stage show.
For more information start with his Instagram page. He’s posted workout training and diet tips.