Jessica Alba Recalls Feeling the Need to "Have Muscle Failure" During Her Workouts

Jessica Alba reflected on her past approach to workouts and how the coronavirus pandemic affected her outlook on exercise. Read on for what the Honest Company mogul had to say.

By Samantha Schnurr Dec 22, 2020 5:35 PMTags
Watch: Jessica Alba Reveals Life Changes as a Mom of Three

The coronavirus pandemic made everyone slow down, including Jessica Alba

As the cover star of Women's Health's January/February 2021 issue, the actress, businesswoman and mom of three reflected on how the past year changed her approach to fitness—and really, everything. 

"I always thought, I need to sweat out my weight in water, I need to have muscle failure, I need to feel like I just ran a marathon—that's how hard I needed to work out," she shared with the magazine. Now, however, "I've learned to mix it up," she said, "and not feel like a failure if I'm not, you know, killing myself."

That pedal-to-the-metal approach seemingly applied to Alba's overall pre-pandemic life. "I often would wake up in the middle of the night with that heart-beating-fast, drenched-in-sweat, three-in-the-morning panic. That was something I just accepted. I like to execute with excellence," the 39-year-old recalled. "I remember every small, dumb detail. It all stays in this brain, and it's really hard to shut off. I think that's common, especially for women. And it's just not okay."

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Jessica Alba's Best Looks

But, as life as everyone knew it came to a screeching halt, the pause gave the star a new perspective on imperfection. 

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for InStyle

"The pandemic has forced me to be comfortable with things not being completely buttoned up," she told Women's Health, "with allowing myself to not always have the answer, for mistakes to kind of stay as is."

And, it made the silver lining all the more clear. "It's also reinforced that real joy comes from the moments when, you know, we're playing a game with the kids at dinner, or when [my son] Hayes wants to show us his latest trick on the scooter, or from our family walks," she explained. "That's the stuff that truly matters." 

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