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- Halle Berry recently announced on Instagram that she “finally” got abs, showcasing her impressive midriff muscles in a promo photo for her new film.
- It’s possible for women to have the high muscle definition of six-pack abs, according to a personal trainer, but it takes serious dedication, a lot of work, and a realistic time frame.
- Here’s what it likely took to earn the actress a strong core at age 53, from getting enough sleep and protein to the right kind of exercise.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more.
Halle Berry has always been tough, and the actress recently solidified her cred as an action star dodging punches alongside Keanu Reeves in “John Wick 3.” Now, she’s gotten abs-olutely ripped, taking to Instagram to literally flex her impressive midriff muscles.
Happy #FitnessFriday, everyone! There’s no better feeling than setting a goal and smashing it. One of my goals for #BruisedTheMovie? Ripped Abs – and today? I finally got them, and it feels unbelievable! This #FitnessFriday, I encourage you guys to set your bar. What is your fitness goal? Set the BAR higher than you think, share your goal in the comments and HOLD yourself to it. The work won’t be easy, but that pay off? Worth every damn second. In the meantime, head to stories for my #BruisedTheMovie workout, courtesy of my performance coach @mubarakmalik, aka “Bar” and put that inner-warrior to the test! Happy Friday! ♥️
A post shared by Halle Berry (@halleberry) on Nov 8, 2019 at 10: 11am PST
The 53-year-old star said she was thrilled to “finally” have ripped abs, which she earned through training for the upcoming movie “Bruised” with help from superstar trainer Bar Malik.
As Berry emphasizes, achieving visible ab muscles takes a lot of work, and it’s especially difficult for women, personal trainer Noam Tamir, founder and CEO of TS Fitness, told Insider.
“We all have abs, and if you can’t see them, that’s because of a layer of subcutaneous fat,” Tamir said. “Women hold more body fat, so it’s a lot harder to make abs show like that. Often in women, [the abdomen] is the hardest place and the last place to lose fat.”
As a result, most women may not be able to have the washboard abs of a male model (although that’s not realistic for many men, either). Plus, some body fat is necessary to protect your organs, brain, and nerves.
But it is possible to work toward a more defined midriff, and it’s not just about cutting calories. Tamir told insider it all comes down to nutrition, smart exercise, and patience.
Keto diet foods keto diet recipes keto pills keto diet menu for beginners keto diet for beginners keto diet explained A strong core starts with good nutrition
When it comes to nutrition, Berry swears by the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting. But Tamir said while those dietary strategies can be effective for burning fat, they may not work for everyone and they’re difficult to sustain.
“I’ve seen people have great results from keto, but I’ve seen more people fall off the wagon. I don’t think it’s sustainable for most people,” he said.
Instead, he recommends focusing on eating consistent, healthy meals throughout the day and not dipping below 1,500 calories daily, though specific calorie recommendations vary widely based on size and activity level. While an overall calorie deficit is needed to burn fat, under-eating can be just as dangerous as overeating for your fitness goals.
It’s also important to eat enough protein and fat, particularly when you’re performing rigorous exercise that builds muscle. “A common thing is women aren’t getting enough protein to build muscle, [and] some aren’t getting enough fat,” Tamir said.
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Berry’s coach reportedly said the star spent four hours a day training for her upcoming role. But that’s not realistic, or necessary, for most people, Tamir said.
He does, however, recommend kettlebell training to help build a strong core and burn fat, which Berry also reportedly used.
“Kettlebells are a great way to incorporate strength or resistance training,” Tamir said. Even better, they can be included in interval or circuit-style training sessions, which emphasize short bursts of intense exercise with good form and are a great way to maximize your workout’s results.
Kettlebells can also be used in compound exercises like kettlebell swings, squats, lunges, and rows to work multiple sets of muscles at once while also raising your heart rate. Boxing-style workouts, that incorporate cardio intensity along with multiple muscle groups, are another effective type of exercise to sculpt your whole body, abs included.
What’s not so effective when it comes to defining your ab muscles are ab-specific exercises like crunches, Tamir said. Instead, focusing on energetic, full-body exercises will engage the core muscles while also giving you the fat-burning power you need to really see your six pack, he said.
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Unlike bodybuilders, who often dehydrate for clearer muscle definition, Berry’s photo looks like a realistic and sustainable portrayal of a strong core, Tamir said.
“She probably feels pretty damn good,” he said. “That looks like a healthy kind of ripped that’s more about work you’re putting in, not about dehydrating or cutting weight fast.”
The caveat, Tamir added, is that while Berry clearly earned it, she almost certainly didn’t do so in a short time period. Berry’s previous role in “John Wick 3” required her to be in excellent shape and train regularly in martial arts, he explained, which would already give her a solid foundation for exceptional abs. She also benefits from good genes and an athletic background.
For most people, it’s possible to reduce body fat by about 1% each month, he explained, potentially up to 2% if you’re working with professional trainers and nutritionists. As your body fat percentage drops lower, it will take more time and effort to continue to reduce it.
And trying to rush the process could backfire. Other key factors, Tamir added, are managing stress and getting plenty of sleep and recovery time, both of which are linked to cortisol, a stress hormone associated with weight gain.
Finally, Tamir added, it’s important to consider your fitness goals outside of aesthetics before you go all-in on perfect abs. You can get stronger, boost your energy and endurance, and become healthier without developing a six pack.
“You can get almost anyone to get abs, but are most people going to put in the time and sacrifice to make it happen? I don’t think that’s realistic,” Tamir said.