“You’re using so much more brain power,” she explains. “There’s shooting and there’s prep. A typical day probably runs 16 hours.” In her limited downtime, her first priority was sleep. She scraped together time for stretching, but full-blown workouts were elusive.
That was challenging because when King doesn’t exercise, she feels off. “You know how some people get sore when they work out? I get sore if I’m not working out,” she says.
King’s normal fitness routine centers on personal trainer-led workouts three times a week. “I do well with a trainer because it makes me get up and go. I don’t like spending money and wasting it,” she says.
While she used to lift weights, now she opts for exercises that use her body weight, like resistance training and plyometrics. That’s perfect for an onscreen superhero, says Eva Barrington, CPT, co-owner of Bolder Fitness in Los Angeles. “To get that lean, sculpted, strong body, you need resistance training in your regimen,” she says.
Bodyweight exercises like lunges, crunches, and push-ups build strength quickly and effectively. Plyometrics, which are explosive exercises like squat jumps and burpees, are great for building power and stamina while torching calories, Barrington says.
King also hikes the hills near her Los Angeles home with her dog, a 14-year-old Shepherd-Labrador-Akita mix. It’s a cardio workout that fires up her calves, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and hip stabilizers, Barrington says. King’s best advice for getting in shape? “Get a dog. It’s built-in exercise,” she says. “Not a cat. A dog. And not a little lap dog who’ll just walk to the corner.”
Healthy eating habits also keep King in peak condition. “Every morning I have half an avocado and a big, giant bowl of mixed green vegetables,” she says. Often in the mix are green beans, broccoli, kale, sugar-snap peas, and spinach. A glass of green juice completes the meal.
Lunch is typically a big salad topped with a protein like fish or lamb. Dinner varies and depends on where and when she’s filming. King tries not to snack, but she believes in balance. “It’s OK if you want to eat a cookie,” she says.
She’s quick to add that everyone’s different. Just because these eating habits work for her doesn’t mean they’re right for everyone. “My overall thoughts are to pay attention to my body and my mind, and not to compare myself to someone else,” she says.