Viola Davis’ trainer spills secrets of her post-‘Ma Rainey’ weight loss

More On:

viola davis

Here are the front-runners for the 2021 Best Actress Oscar

Chadwick Boseman earns nominations for NAACP Image Awards

Michelle Pfeiffer cast as Betty Ford in Showtime series ‘First Lady’

‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ review: Chadwick Boseman soars in final film

From voluptuous vaudeville virtuoso to chiseled woman warrior: Viola Davis has astonishing range as an actress.

And her body has to keep up with her.

“There isn’t anything she can’t do,” Davis’ personal trainer, Gabriela Mclain, told The Post.

“She is a king,” Mclain said, referring to the three-time Academy Award winner’s role in the forthcoming historical epic “The Woman King,” about an 18th-century all-female African military unit.

For that film, Mclain helped Davis, 55, transform into the sculpted protector of her people after reaching nearly 200 pounds for her Oscar-nominated portrayal of 1920s cabaret crooner Ma Rainey in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” 

Recently, Davis gave Mclain a shout-out on Instagram for her efforts: “Love my amazing trainer!” she wrote. “She played a major role in getting me back in shape after gaining weight to play Ma Rainey.”

Since wrapping the Netflix film — in which Davis plays an almost 300-pound, hip-swinging, gold-tooth sporting bisexual blues singer, and is a favorite to win Best Actress at the 93rd Academy Awards Sunday — Davis lost between 15 to 20 pounds of excess girth and has gained a ton of muscle. 

“Right after ‘Ma Rainey’ we went right back to training,” Mclain said. 

To help her shed the pounds, Mclain, 42, said she led Davis through high-intensity interval workouts, and put her on a high-protein, plant-centric diet, “eating six small, clean meals a day.” She also encouraged the star to drink water constantly.

“We workout for an hour three times a week starting at 6 a.m.,” said Mclain, who lives in Los Angeles and was born in the Czech Republic. 

“Throughout the week we do a mix of kickboxing, strength training and weight lifting.”

Since being handpicked by the “How To Get Away With Murder” star to work as her personal fitness coach three years ago, Mclain’s exercise expertise has kept Davis’ curvy frame in tip-top shape for a number of roles, including former FLOTUS Michelle Obama in the upcoming Showtime series “First Ladies.”

“Michelle Obama’s arms are so beautiful and so defined,” Mclain said. 

And so, in order to mimic the former first lady’s signature toned look, Mclain said, “on our kickboxing days, we do a lot of arm work like air punches with 2 pound weights and jab, hook, uppercut and elbow strike combinations.”

Then, during their designated strength training sessions, Mclain has Davis do a series of bicep curls, shoulder presses, lateral raises and tricep extensions with 10 to 20 pound weights.

Rounding out their workout week, Mclain employs 15 to 30 pound resistance bands that assist Davis in firming up her legs and glutes.  

And every day is an abs day.

They end each training with a 15-minute superset of core busters including multiple reps of elbow planks, donkey kicks, bicycle crunches and mountain climbers. Then the ladies cool down with a five-minute full body stretch. 

Mclain, who also trains Davis’ husband, Julius Tennon, said that the actress and mom to 10-year-old daughter Genesis, always brings her A-game to the workout mat.

“She’s such a badass,” said Mclain, who endearingly refers to her star client as “Vee.” She said she pumps old-school hits such as “Cold Rock A Party” by MC Lyte featuring Missy Elliott and “Ms. Jackson” by Outkast during Davis’ workouts, to keep her energy high.

“She’s extremely disciplined,” Mclain said. “The passion she has on camera is the same passion she brings every single time she trains.”

Share this article:

Source: Read Full Article