Want Scarlett Johansson's 'Avengers' physique? Go vegan and do these hardcore workouts
Scarlett Johnasson’s kick-ass Black Widow persona is swinging back into action for “Black Widow". So we are diving into all the things she and her former trainer, Bobby Strom, have revealed about how the 33-year-old actress gets into superhero shape.
Circuit training combines strength training with aerobic exercises (aka cardio) to deliver an intense, full-body workout perfect for torching fat and gaining muscle, so it’s no wonder that Strom had been employing this technique with ScarJo ever since they started working together on “Iron Man 2.” According to Popsugar, to develop explosive strength and mobility, Johansson would do 90-minute circuit-style workouts several times a week, incorporating equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands, medicine balls and TRX.
Getting Ready for Combat
Fighting off Loki’s army involved a lot of intense hand-to-hand combat, which meant that Johansson had to learn how to move like a career fighter. According to her “Avengers” stunt double Heidi Moneymaker, the actress was not afraid to get her hands dirty. “Scarlett did a lot of her fights, and any time she had the opportunity to try a stunt, she did,” Moneymaker tells Shape.
The badass stuntwoman admitted that she only had between five and six weeks to get Johansson read for her on-screen fights. “We would also take advantage of any time we had free during filming to sneak in a training session,” she says. “She was trained in hand-to-hand fighting as well as some weapons training. She had many fights in the film — some one on one and some were multiperson fights.”
Strom tells Popsugar that ScarJo was on a “mostly vegan” diet while training for the first “Avengers” movies — a tactic she likely relied on again this time around. He says that she had small meals throughout the day, focusing on oatmeal, fresh fruits and vegetables, salads and lean proteins.
In case you were wondering: Going “flexitarian,” or occasionally consuming meat while mainly focusing on plant-based eating, is a great option for anyone who wants to reap the benefits of eating vegetarian (like chronic disease prevention) without being too strict with their diet. Check out this list of advantages to learn more.
Cheat Meal, Who?
Johansson once admitted that she gave up her favorite food in the name of her career and health. “I love cheese — I don’t eat it, but I love it,” she tells the Daily Mail. “I like to smell cheese, I like to watch people enjoying it and I like to encourage people to eat cheeses I know taste really good. But I don’t eat it anymore because my body just does better without it.” (It is highly recommended that you get yourself a partner who talks about you the way that ScarJo talks about cheese.)
But cutting cheese from her diet doesn’t mean that she won’t indulge once in a while. In fact, working hard day and night to get into incredible shape actually motivates her to treat herself. As she tells E! Online about going all-out in the gym: “When you’re that disciplined, you don’t feel that bad … the cheat meal doesn’t exist.” Johansson’s indulgence of choice? While filming “Ghost In the Shell,” it was chocolate cake.
While most of us aren’t getting fit like our jobs depend on it, we can definitely take a few notes from Johansson’s intense commitment, which is sprinkled with just the right amount of flexibility. After all, there’s no point in working hard if you can’t have a little fun (or chocolate cake) once in a while.
Hoku Krueger is a freelance writer who specializes in mental health, wellness and pop culture.