Actress Ashley Greene on her intense exercise regimen, the need for cheat days, and volunteering with an NGO that fights human trafficking.
Actress Ashley Greene loves going hard on her workouts – the woman climbs 1,200m three times a week and pushes a 45kg sled around the gym. She also drinks her fair share of green juice. Still, don’t ask her to give up cheese. Or grits. Or chocolate. Her mantra: “Be fit and fierce, but never, ever sacrifice your fun.”
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Greene is taking her body to a higher level. And that’s a literal statement. The actress and fitness fanatic, best known for playing Alice Cullen in the Twilight movies, and who now stars in the crime drama Rogue, is hooked on an intense climbing routine that she credits with making her stronger than she has ever been. “It’s an insane full-body workout that gets your cardiovascular levels very high very quickly,” Ashley, 29, says. “It really pushes you, but it’s so fun that it’s addictive.” Ashley’s not exaggerating – she just completed a challenge in which she did the workout every day for 31 days straight. “I wanted to increase my strength and endurance, and prove to myself that I could do it,” she explains. Three philosophies guided her to victory and continue to help her move forward towards even bigger fitness goals – and the good life in general. She runs us through them.
BE A MORNING PERSON, EVEN IF YOU’RE A NATURAL NIGHT OWL
Ashley swears by exercising ﬁrst thing in the a.m. “To ﬁt my workout into my day, I have to be out the door early. That means I don’t have time to think about whether I’m tired or to come up with excuses,” she says. “And I’ve found that when I exercise in the morning, I have a much more productive day. After I ﬁnish my workout, I feel as if I can conquer the world.”
EAT FOR ENERGY, BUT MAKE SURE YOU CHEAT
“What I put into my body has a huge impact on the results I get out of it,” Ashley says. “Eating keeps my metabolism cranking.” She eats mainly ﬁsh, chicken and vegetables; swops spaghetti squash for pasta and cauliﬂower for mashed potatoes to keep from feeling sluggish and bloated; and drinks green juice. “These foods energise me for my workouts,” she explains. But she also builds splurges into her diet. Her favourites: grits (she loves them so much that her parents gave her a package as a stocking stuffer last Christmas), cheese and a glass of red wine with a piece of Mast Brothers Sea Salt Chocolate.
GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
Ashley balances her intense ﬁtness sessions by hiking with her dogs (she has four) in the hills near her Los Angeles home. She also loves to surf, and plans to learn how to parasail this year. “Getting outdoors is so refreshing to me,” she explains. “It’s a combination of the exercise, soaking up my surroundings and clearing my mind. It’s my happy place.”
“I’m such a water baby,” says Ashley, who loves to run on the beach with Ralph, one of her four dogs.
TRY ASHLEY’S WORKOUT
Ashley does a combination of cardio and strength routines weekly to look this hot. Here’s how to make her moves work for you.
Ashley takes three classes a week at Rise Nation, a US-based climbing studio opened by her personal trainer, Jason Walsh. The sessions involve using a Versaclimber, an old-school workout machine (imagine a ladder and a stairclimber had a baby) to blast 16 calories a minute. Try it Most gyms have a Versaclimber or two. Find yours and do the 22-minute routine that Jason created exclusively for Shape at shape.com/climb.
Sled pushes and pulls, dead lifts, ball throws and slams –Ashley’s three-times-a-week strength workout is hard core. Jason has her do heavy compound moves that target several muscle groups at once, so she can build lean muscle while burning calories. Try it To get similar results, lift progressively heavier weights, Jason says. Start by doing three sets of 10 reps with a weight that’s tough to lift for the last two or three reps. Do this for three weeks. For the following three weeks, do four or ﬁve sets of six reps with a weight that’s very heavy for the last two or three reps.
PUNCH IT UP
Twice-weekly kickboxing workouts help Ashley sculpt all over. Throwing punches on a heavy bag works the entire body, especially the arms and core. Try it Do the 30-minute boxing workout, which combines bag moves with body-weight exercises like burpees, squat jumps and planks, at shape.com/punch.
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USING HER MUSCLE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Just as she’s devoted to her workouts, Ashley is committed to volunteering. She works with A21, a non-proﬁt organisation that’s ﬁghting to end human trafficking, the world’s fastest-growing criminal industry. According to the US State Department, more than 27 million people around the world have been sold into slavery. “This cause really speaks to me,” Ashley says. “I’m helping A21 increase awareness of the issue.” She also plans to participate in the group’s annual Walk for Freedom in October to raise money for trafficking victims. “It’s easier to help than you think,” Ashley says. “Just bringing an issue to light is important. Every single person can make a difference.” For more information about A21 and the Walk for Freedom, go to a21.org.
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