After posing in steamy swimwear for magazines like Maxim and GQ and flaunting her scantily clad figure in films like Sin City, it’s safe to say that Jessica Alba is pretty darned comfortable in her own skin.
To this day, the 31-year-old beauty continues to stay in tip-top shape, even after giving birth to her two daughters, Honor, 4, and Haven, 1.
Where did the baby weight go?
To get her body back into shape after the birth of Honor, Alba turned to her longtime trainer, Ramona Braganza, with whom she’s worked since her days on Dark Angel.
“My workouts with her evolved over several movies,” Braganza — who accompanied the actress to the sets of films like Honey, Fantastic Four and Into the Blue — told Celebuzz in our exclusive interview.
“From my experience working with several amazing A-list actresses, celebs are just like us.” Braganza said. “They have to fit in exercise and eat right; there is no magic pill. They can’t have someone do the work for them.”
Losing the 60 pounds that Alba had put on during her pregnancy was no easy feat. So, Braganza ramped up Alba’s normal routine with the 3-2-1 Baby Bulge Be Gone workout plan.
The star trainer reveals the details of the super weight loss regime and how Alba — who ranked #5 on Celebuzz’s Hot Bodies Countdown — stays looking so trim, below.
Celebuzz: What was it like when you first began working out with a then-unknown Jessica Alba?
Ramona Braganza: I can remember the first time I met her. I’d been hired to teach her gymnastics for the Dark Angel role. She had never been on a balance beam in her life, but she overcame her fear and pushed forward in order to do it for the job. One role had her underwater all day scuba diving, and in the next one she had to learn to dance. Actors are fortunate, as they are constantly thrown out of their comfort zone. This helps them to grow as people and to become fearless — behavior we should all include in our lives. We should never stop trying new things. That way, we can keep growing and learning as actors do.
Celebuzz: What role does fitness play in the actress’ life?
RB: Jessica has never loved to exercise; however she appreciates the benefits that exercise provides her. This includes helping to keep her bones strong as she is prone to osteoporosis. Jess discovered this when she was 21 and soon realized the importance of including strength training in her workouts along with calcium supplements.
Celebuzz: What does a regular week look like for Alba in terms of her fitness routine?
RB: Over the years, Jessica has maintained a fabulous figure through diet and exercise. She knows when she needs to focus at times and will take it up a notch by doing extra cardio — such as spinning or taking a boot-camp class. Other times, she can coast a little and enjoy workouts like yoga. She includes regular strength training in her weekly workouts and loves to go walking and play with her kids.
Celebuzz: How did you develop a workout plan that worked for Alba?
RB: Our workouts have developed in the 321 Training Method, partially through fulfilling her goals for various film roles, and partially through my own experience as a gymnast, NFL cheerleader and fitness competitor. I’ve taken all that I know and applied it to the workout. The type of body an actress wants, how quickly they have to get back in shape and the equipment that’s available on location is all taken into consideration as well. If we’re shooting on location, fitness options can be limited. So, sometimes I use body weight, interval training, the outdoors and creativity to get workouts in.
Celebuzz: Does she maintain a particular diet to keep lean?
RB: Jess is a great cook and has been preparing her food since she was 12, which has helped her tremendously as she is able to know what goes into the meals she eats. Moderation is the key in her life. She appreciates splurging but also knows when it’s time to get to work and eat clean. I have had the pleasure of being around her when she prepares dinner for her family and she loves to entertain and make healthier meals. She eats plenty of vegetables and loves eating various fruits, especially berries.
Celebuzz: What areas does Alba tend to focus on the most?
RB: During our training, we focused a lot on lower body, back and shoulders. Her back is very defined and her shoulders are rounded. Rhis is a result of consistent lat pull downs and rows. These two back exercises, along with shoulder press and lateral raises, helped to give Jess her hour glass figure and strong arms. We kept the legs part of every workout and included lunges, squats and step-ups to burn calories.
Celebuzz: How can readers get a bikini body like Alba?
RB: To get Jessica’s bikini body, it’s important to include strength training in the workouts. Doing it the 321 way — where we use interval strength training and cardio — keeps burning calories interesting. Try using the calorie counting heart rate monitor in your workout to see where you’re at. I also took Jess outdoors occasionally to do things like hiking and bike riding in order to change it up. This is very important for long term fitness levels. Make sure you’re training hard enough push yourself. When exercising, do 20 reps instead of just 15, or go for three sets instead of two, Pushing your limits will give you results.
Alba’s Post-Baby Work Out:
Shaking up Alba’s fitness routine post-baby, Braganza adjusted her 321 Training Method to target specific goals over the course of 12 weeks. The fitness guru breaks down the star’s grueling routine that whipped her back into tip top shape, below.
Phase I: “For the first 2-4 weeks I focused on her lower back/core – an area that needs to be strengthened after a new mom has just had a baby. Key moves include doing the plank.”
Phase II: “Over the next 4 weeks we focused on burning fat and increased the cardio element of the 12-week program. Workouts during this phase involve interval training (alternating between fast and slow running speeds) on the treadmill.”
Phase III: “For the last four weeks, I worked on building muscle and gaining strength. The last phase of the workout focuses on a strength training compound exercise, such as the squat shoulder press.”
Tip: Get Competitive With Yourself
Braganza helped Alba stay motivated by using tools — such as a heart rate monitor that counted calories — to chart her progress. “This way, we could be a little competitive among our selves on a daily basis,” she says.