Remember when Blake Lively was the It Girl during Gossip Girl? Her look, her hair, her style — she was one to watch and she was everywhere. I was more of a Blair girl myself, but I was super into everything Gossip Girl back in the day and definitely remember an interview with Blake in which she bragged about eating a pork burrito and chips before filming an underwear scene. She also said she didn’t exercise at all. But that was her twenties and alas, 13 years later things have changed. Blake now readily admits to having a trainer, Don Saladino, with whom she’s been working for nearly 10 years. Anyway, Blake’s trainer shared her fitness routine with E! News.
That change in her mindset is the biggest shift Saladino has seen in the Gossip Girl alum since he started working with her nearly a decade ago. Together, they’ve mastered the art of working smarter, not harder, to accommodate her busy schedule.
“She’s really trying to show that level of consistency and I think that’s what it comes down to,” he said. “That’s a good line that Blake and I have. If we’re gonna come into a session, it’s not about going into every session with a Rocky-type mentality.”
Saladino tailors their workouts based on things like the quality of sleep Lively had the night before or her energy level, a lesson he hopes people can learn from their partnership.
“I’s just that most people out there have to understand that this isn’t about coming in and stepping on the gas and going as hard as you can every work out. That’s the biggest mistake that people make,” he explained. “The reality is, it’s never gonna be a perfect scenario, right? There’s always going to be things getting in your way. That’s just life. Just get in there and move.”
And that is Lively’s goal now, Saladino said is “just to get in and move everyday successfully, because rather than comparing it to your best workout, she’s now leaving and saying, ‘Great, I moved!’ That’s the big lesson here. Don’t feel like you have to get up off the couch and set this world record workout. Because if that’s the goal, no one’s ever going to be successful. We’re looking for this level of consistency.”
That means that the length of your sweat session isn’t the biggest priority, but rather the focus should be on your strength and mobility.
“People don’t want to think about this, but we’re all aging right?” Saladino reasoned. “Every human being is aging. And as we age, we’re going to get weaker, bone density is going to diminish, muscle is going to diminish and muscle is our body armor.”
Though he’s helped actors like Reynolds, Stan and Jake Gyllenhaal beef up for superhero roles, when working with female stars like Lively, Emily Blunt, Cindy Crawford and Scarlett Johansson, the focus is “getting stronger, which doesn’t mean they’re going to get bigger,” a concern many women have about working out.
“Our nutrition is what’s going to dictate whether they get bigger or not,” Saladino clarified. “Strength is having a specific level of mobility because mobility is combining flexibility, stability of strength. So if someone’s strong, it means that they’re functionally strong. I don’t mean powerlifting strong. I mean someone who can actually move and use their strength to just be better at life.”
Adding that “cardiovascular is important for heart health,” Saladino said that once you combine those two, “we’re able to package something really special and we’re able to help improve someone’s life. So whether it’s Blake or anyone else, the goals are to get stronger and to be more mobile.”
Blake has always looked great, but you can definitely tell that she works out now. What her trainer says isn’t reinventing the wheel, but a lot of it is helpful. I’m Blake’s age and I didn’t work out when I was in my early twenties, but I started to around 25. I put pressure on myself to hit a certain mileage/time or do a certain amount of reps/weight and for what? Saladino’s message that consistency is more important than going as hard as possible is a good one to remember and probably better for keeping up a workout routine long term. And it makes me feel better that even Blake Lively has tired or low energy days and tailors her workouts accordingly.
I wondered why Blake’s trainer was talking to E! News because I couldn’t think of anything she might be promoting, but it turns out he is selling a “Train Like Blake” 6-week program. Apparently all you need is a dumbbell and $69.99. It is probably good if you’re training for something or trying to get into working out on a specific timeline, but I’ll stick with my current Apple Fitness+ subscription, which has everything and is only $80 for the year.
photos credit: Backgrid and via Instagram