Rosamund Pike stuns in Gone Girl, not only with performance but with her body as well. Jaws dropped along with Rosamund’s clothes in the film’s infamous shower scene, where we could see her incredible muscle definition. We asked her personal trainer, professional fighter Holly Lawson, how she achieved getting that tone — over and over and over again.
When Amy Dunne runs off in Gone Girl, she packs on a few pounds as part of her disguise, only to return with a killer bob haircut and an even more killer body. The film, which was shot out of sequence, required Pike to put on around 14 pounds and shed it over and over again so her body was in synch with her character’s.
It’s an understatement to say that her trainer, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Holly Lawson knows a thing or two about training for muscle gain and weight loss, since fighters constantly have to gain or lose weight rapidly to stay in a particular weight class. This made Lawson the perfect person to train Pike and keep her at the appropriate weight for filming.
‘What I did was employ a lot of the stuff I learned from fighting into the training with Rosamund,’ Lawson said. ‘I know how far you can push the body and I knew how to bulk her up with water weight and later strip it out.’
The film required Pike to put on around 14 pounds and shed it over and over again so her body was in synch with her character’s.
Lawson took Pike through four separate training cycles, to gain weight twice and to lose weight twice. The two different goals made for two very different diet and exercise regimes.
When Lawson was hired she had a mere two and a half weeks to help Pike gain 20 pounds, but made sure that there a solid muscle foundation underneath the weight gain. ‘I put a lot of lean muscle on her, then some fat on top so when she leaned out she looked really good,’ Lawson said.
I put a lot of lean muscle on her [Rosamind Pike] then some fat on top so when she leaned out she looked really good.
Eight pounds of lean muscle, to be exact. To get there as fast as possible, Lawson had Pike lifting the heaviest weights possible. The workout was a basic weight lifting regime: squats, deadlifts, lunges, curls and other simple moves — but Pike was maxing out (that’s lifting as much as is physically possible for you) in eight repetitions. That built a base of muscle that later became the reason for Pike’s incredible definition in the film’s ending scenes.
Gaining weight for Amy’s chubby scenes
Holly’s diet for Rosamund’s weight gain cycle included as much ‘good fat’ and protein as she wanted — foods like avocados, almond butter and salmon, and very few carbs. Holly says these fats are necessary for muscle gain and tone because they ‘feed’ your muscles the proper nutrients to grow.
a few days before the filming day, Rosamund was allowed to go crazy with carbs and dense foods to put a layer of fat on top of all the muscle
Then, a few days before the filming day, Rosamund was allowed to go crazy with carbs and dense foods to put a layer of fat on top of all the hard work she had just done. So the next time you’re watching the movie and Amy’s looking a little chubbier than before, remember there’s a six pack under there somewhere.
Slimming back down for that shower scene
Then, when it was time to slim down, both the diet and the workout changed completely. ‘That’s when she was really eating like a fighter,’ Holly said. She compares the diet for the weight loss cycle to the paleo diet: Rosamund ate three meals a day involving a ton of leafy greens and drank alkaline water like it was nobody’s business.
She compares the diet for the weight loss cycle to the paleo diet: Rosamund ate three meals a day involving a ton of leafy greens and drank alkaline water like it was nobody’s business.
The workout consisted of plyometrics (resistance moves involving jumping using your own body weight) and high intensity cardio (and a whole lot of running). Every day’s plyometrics day was different — some days were just upper body, some just lower body, and some days were full-body workouts. These workouts involved heart-pumping and toning moves like burpees, mountain climbers, and planks, planks, planks. ‘We’d do five million variations of plank all day every day. We’d do groupings of exercises and the last rotation was always a plank,’ she said. In the week leading up to the shower scene, Holly was training with Rosamund twice a day.
She’s really very all-in with everything she does. Once she’s in, she’s in.
The diet and workout regimes sound brutal to say the least. It’s a real testament to how a great attitude can lead you to amazing results. Pike serves as the perfect example. ‘She’s really very all-in with everything she does. Once she’s in, she’s in,’ Lawson said.
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Holly Lawson is a professional boxer, Bellator Mixed Martial Arts fighter and celebrity trainer based in Los Angeles, California.