The goal: Lean down Jennifer Garner’s athletic physique into that of a “Ninja-like superhero — silent, quick and graceful,” for her role in “Elektra.”
The workout: Ten-minute warm-up on the treadmill, followed by a “movement-prep” workout, including light stretching, leg swings, lunges and squats, created by trainer Valerie Waters. Garner alternated between a cardio workout and full-body circuit training. The cardio workout typically centered on about 30 minutes of interval training: running hard for two minutes, then one minute of walking, before picking up the pace.
When circuit training, Garner would combine a series of upper body, lower body and ab exercises. For example: a set of chest presses, followed by a set of lat pull-downs, squats and then crunches on a stability ball. She would complete the circuit three times with little rest, then follow with another series of exercises for the same muscles. After three more rotations through the circuit, Garner did some light stretching and was finished. Garner worked out 45 to 60 minutes a day, five or six days a week.
The signature move: Reverse lunges with a medicine ball to work legs, glutes and abs. Holding a 4-pound medicine ball in front of her, Garner would take a large step back with her left leg while bringing the ball down to her right hip. After eight repetitions, she would switch to the other side.
The diet: A combination of protein and carbohydrates every three hours, keeping a close eye on portion sizes. Garner’s breakfast typically included an egg-white omelet chock-full of vegetables, with a serving of fruit — ideally blueberries, says Waters. Other breakfast options were high-protein Kashi cereal with soy milk, or oatmeal mixed with protein powder.
Three hours after breakfast Garner had a mid-morning snack, such as an apple and almonds, or fruit with yogurt. Lunch was a salad with chicken, or a turkey wrap made with a whole wheat tortilla and vegetables. For dinner, she usually had chicken or fish, with more vegetables. Garner limited her starchy carbs, such as breads and pastas.
The results: Garner, is now long, lean, powerful — and tight: “This is the best body she’s ever had,” says Waters.