Shortly after having her second child, Blake Lively began integrating more strength training into her routine. At the time, her goal was to build a strong surfer body for her role in the 2016 film The Shallows. Trainer Don Saladino, who also work's with Lively's husband, Ryan Reynolds, drew up her plan of attack.
"We take a strength training approach. I do it with any female that I work with. The foundation of fat burning is weight training and cardio is needed, but it's the sprinkles on the ice cream. If you had to choose one or the other, I'm saying you want to go with resistance training—which is what we did with Blake," Saladino told E! News.
One key movement in her routine was the Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift, which his essentially a wide stance Deadlift. After warming up, Saladino had her complete five sets of five reps. "I try to get her to the point where she struggles for five sets of five, but her technique is always perfect," Saladino told INSIDER. If you're struggling at rep five in a set, that's a good sign you're using weight heavy enough to build real strength. If you're banging out 40-50 reps of a weight lifting exercise in a set–something that's really not all that uncommon in group fitness classes–then odds are you're just getting tired and not actually getting stronger and building muscle.
"I had to become an athlete," Lively told People of her preparation.