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As you may have heard, the Fast and Furious actress Gal Gadot was cast as Wonder Woman in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel. The internet as is custom went ape-shit and amid the usual misogyny and vulgarities emerged two questions: Can she act and how will she ever look like the Amazon Princess we've known and loved for over 70 years?
It's hard to say with complete confidence how good of an actress she is with such a limited acting resume but we have to trust director Zack Snyder that Gadot has the chops to bring the smart and courageous warrior to life. As far as her appearance goes well there's more data to go on by examining how actors and actresses prepare for physically demanding roles especially when it involves embodying an established icon.
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Mark Twight, the trainer who whipped the Spartans into shape for both 300 films and Henry Cavill for Man of Steel, is tasked with bulking up the slight frame of Gadot. The initial knock on her was that she was too thin and frankly she is but not in unhealthy way. If anyone can build her into a more muscular super heroine it's the man who trained the National Guard.
Twight's training facility, Gym Jones, adheres to a strict policy of changing the body through grueling physical and mental exertion. "The training is painful. There are no shortcuts. Physical and psychological breakdowns occur. Our culture, dedicated to The Art of Suffering, is both safety net and inspiration," is what their website promises. But the training is specialized and customized to each individual according to their goals and needs.
We can assume Gadot will go through a similar regiment that Cavill did for Man of Steel. Cavill cycled through high caloric intake throughout his six-month training beginning with 3,500 calories a day. It peaked at about 5,000 calories a day then returned to 3,500 to maintain his newly acquired muscle mass. She of course won't consume as many calories but there will be an increase to help supply more working muscle.
Cavill worked out 2-1/2 hours a day at one point and while Gadot's training won't be as intensive it will include similar functional exercises. Squats, lunges, push-ups, deadlifts should all be included in her routine. Something that Cavill's co-star Antje Traue (Faora) found out first hand. "You come to a point where your mind allows you to break through your physical boundaries," she said, "and takes you to places you never think you can go to."
Like on many of the movie sets Twight works on he controls the diet and provides the necessary fuel for his actors in training. He uses minimal supplementation like protein powders as meal replacements, multivitamins, a probiatic to help digestion and some magnesium to aid sleep and recovery. He looks for local sources for real organic food to provide the bulk of the diet.
Filming reportedly is starting soon in Michigan and while recent photos like the ones above show little growth it's unclear just how prominent Gadot's role as Diana Prince will be in the film. She may not need to be at the ideal physique for filming just yet. Adding muscle and mass to a thin person is as difficult as losing weight for a larger person if not harder. It's a process like any other and Gadot's training is not complete. By the time she dons her Amazon warrior garb she'll at least look the part and the internet can relax...for a moment anyway.
If you'd like a taste, a sample of what Gadot and many other clients of Twight have endured you can try this workout and watch the videos via the links for more instruction:
Sources: National Guard, Bodybuilding.com