I finally made it to the movies to see Mission Impossible Rogue Nation this past weekend and loved it! Tom Cruise definitely still has it and his stunt-work was very impressive. But, I feel like Rebecca Ferguson (the female lead) was the one that really stole the show! She kicks some serious ass and looks amazing in every scene. I did a little research on how she got so fit for the role and how she learned to do all those cool moves – especially her killer thigh move!
Rebecca says that the very first thing she did after she got the role was head to the gym. Most people go to an office for work and the gym was her “office” for about a month and a half. Before she got the role her fitness consisted mainly of walking, biking and chasing after her young son. Once she got the part, she said she did a mix of vigorous training that included pilates, strength training, sprinting and martial arts/stunts. If you’ve seen the movie – you know she has a move dubbed the “killer thigh takedown”. She didn’t give details on her thigh workouts, but as a trainer…I’m guessing she mixed in quad and inner thigh workouts daily. She said she also did a lot of sprinting and had to try to keep up with Tom Cruise – who apparently is really fast! Since she also did most of her own stunts, she wanted her sprinting to be real. Not only did she workout 6 hours a day for 6 days a week, she also had a strict diet and help from a nutritionist.
If you want to be a faster runner, you have to run faster when you train! What I mean by this is that you have to push yourself to go a little faster each time you run (or at least once a week or so). If you run at the same pace all the time your body will never learn how to go faster. Sprinting is a great way to burn fat and strengthen your heart, lungs and muscles. Here is a sample sprinting workout that you can do outside or on the treadmill.
The best exercises to tone your thighs are squats, lunges, running and some isometrics. I would recommend mixing in a variety of exercises like these at least 3-4 days a week. Some days you can do heavier weights (or hit the leg press and smith machines at the gym) and then on other days I would do light weights or just use body weight with high reps. For a sample workout – try my Inner Thigh Workout here.
Rebecca said that she cut out sugar the entire time she was training. She said she ate a lot of lean protein, greens and sweet potatoes for carbs and most of her diet was organic. She said she also ate a lot of coconut – flakes, oil, etc. which is a great healthy fat. Her nutritionist adjusted her food intake daily depending on what her training was like. She said she couldn’t just starve herself because she wouldn’t be able to do the stunts – so she had to have enough calories and the proper nutrition in order to fuel her body. This is so important and a good rule to live by – even if you aren’t an action hero. Think about what you do on a daily basis. If you sit around a lot (which is a whole other problem) you need to consume less calories. I don’t mean empty calories though – just less “good” calories (from fruits, veggies, protein and natural sources). But, if you are planning to kick some ass at bootcamp tomorrow – make sure you fuel your body the day before and leading up to class with enough calories and healthy fats to give your body energy.