- To play Black Widow in “Avengers: Endgame,” Scarlett Johansson had to be in incredibly good shape.
- Her personal trainer, Eric Johnson, has explained how she got so strong and fit in preparation for the role.
- Johansson trained like an elite athlete, with a focus on weight-lifting.
- As for her diet and nutrition, Johansson carb-cycled, meaning she adjusted her carb intake depending on how she was training on any given day.
- She also followed time-restricted eating, fasting for at least 12 hours a day.
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In the newly-released blockbuster “Avengers: Endgame,” Scarlett Johansson reprises her role as Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow, a trained fighter with incredible strength and combat skills.
Needless to say, portraying the character required Johansson to get her body into incredible shape, and her personal trainer has now revealed exactly how she did it.
Eric Johnson is the co-founder of Homage Fitness, a line of gyms in private residences across Miami, New York, and D.C. designed to combine top level fitness with hospitality. He’s also Johansson’s PT.
To prepare for the role, he said the actor focused on strength and functional movement – they took the approach of training an athlete, rather than thinking about aesthetics.
“We treated the process like an athlete preparing for competition,” Johnson told Harper’s Bazaar. “By placing more emphasis on her performance, her physique just followed.”
This manifested itself as mainly strength-training, incorporating aspects of yoga, plyometrics, kettlebells, gymnastics, and Olympic weight-lifting.
Medicine ball throws, core work, and bear crawls all featured heavily, but Johnson said Johansson’s favourite moves were mainly fundamental compound lifts, such as pull-ups, deadlifts, and military presses.
Johnson also made sure there was plenty of mobility work involved, and given he has previously told INSIDER he thinks burpees are largely useless, we imagine Johansson wasn’t made to do any.
“We worked to not only challenge her body to adapt, but also stimulate her mind,” Johnson said.
Of course, if you’re going to train like an athlete you need your nutrition to match, too.
To fuel her fitness, Johansson employed a concept called carb-cycling, which, in its simplest form, essentially means altering the amount of carbs you’re consuming on any given day depending on how much and what type of exercise you’re doing, and thus how much energy your body requires.
“She cycled through days of high carbohydrates and low fat consumption, versus low carbohydrates and higher fat while maintaining protein intake,” Johnson said.
Johansson also ate in a time-restricted window, keeping her overnight fasting window at 12 hours minimum, sometimes increasing it to 14 or 15 hours.
None of this was a quick fix programme for Johansson, though – it took time to build her strength and fitness, and Johnson said she followed this training regime and lifestyle for “a year or so.”
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