Blake Lively's Trainer Shared Her Fitness Routine and It's Filled With Secrets We All Can Use

Don Saladino, who has worked with the Gossip Girl star for 10 years, detailed Blake Lively’s workout to E! News and revealed how the biggest change she’s made is all mental.

By Tierney Bricker, Amanda Williams Feb 26, 2022 11:00 AMTags
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You have the same amount of hours in the day as Blake Lively—and yes, that means you can work out like her.

While the star of A Simple Favor has always stunned on the red carpet, we couldn't help but notice how strong and confident she has looked in her latest appearances. Whether it was rocking a plunging purple jumpsuit at the Broadway opening of The Music Man or donning an icy blue bra and skirt set at New York Fashion Week, the 34-year-old has basically turned the red carpet into her personal runway, with her best friend and model Gigi Hadid even commenting on one of her Instagram pics, "Hawtest."

While Lively's fit frame is undoubtedly aspirational, it's also somewhat attainable if you are willing to commit, swears her longtime trainer Don Saladino

In an interview with E! News, Saladino—who's also guided Lively's husband Ryan Reynolds, Marvel superhero Sebastian Stan and Anne Hathaway, among other stars—revealed why Lively looks "so fantastic" as of late. 

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"I think the thing with Blake now is that she's understanding the importance of trying to be consistent," Saladino said. "She's no different than any other person you know, she's a mother right? She's a human being. Just because she's a celebrity doesn't mean that her tissue or muscle or bones are any different. She's a human being."

That means Lively is making herself a priority, along with her responsibilities as the founder of Betty Buzz, acting commitments and parenting her three daughters with Reynolds: James, 6, Inez, 5, and 2-year-old Betty.


"It's not always easy, right?" allowed Saladino. "As she'll admit, like, some days her kids might be up all night or something's going on just like a normal mom has to deal with, but I really believe that Blake success recently is an effort to make time and do the best that she can. Sometimes things could get in her way or sometimes things will pop up and she accepts it and she moves on. That's really it."

That change in her mindset is the biggest shift Saladino has seen in the Gossip Girl alum since he started working with her nearly a decade ago. Together, they've mastered the art of working smarter, not harder, to accommodate her busy schedule. 

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"She's really trying to show that level of consistency and I think that's what it comes down to," he said. "That's a good line that Blake and I have. If we're gonna come into a session, it's not about going into every session with a Rocky-type mentality."

Saladino tailors their workouts based on things like the quality of sleep Lively had the night before or her energy level, a lesson he hopes people can learn from their partnership. 

"I's just that most people out there have to understand that this isn't about coming in and stepping on the gas and going as hard as you can every work out. That's the biggest mistake that people make," he explained. "The reality is, it's never gonna be a perfect scenario, right? There's always going to be things getting in your way. That's just life. Just get in there and move."

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And that is Lively's goal now, Saladino said is "just to get in and move everyday successfully, because rather than comparing it to your best workout, she's now leaving and saying, 'Great, I moved!' That's the big lesson here. Don't feel like you have to get up off the couch and set this world record workout. Because if that's the goal, no one's ever going to be successful. We're looking for this level of consistency."

That means that the length of your sweat session isn't the biggest priority, but rather the focus should be on your strength and mobility. 

"People don't want to think about this, but we're all aging right?" Saladino reasoned. "Every human being is aging. And as we age, we're going to get weaker, bone density is going to diminish, muscle is going to diminish and muscle is our body armor."

Though he's helped actors like Reynolds, Stan and Jake Gyllenhaal beef up for superhero roles, when working with female stars like Lively, Emily Blunt, Cindy Crawford and Scarlett Johansson, the focus is "getting stronger, which doesn't mean they're going to get bigger," a concern many women have about working out. 

"Our nutrition is what's going to dictate whether they get bigger or not," Saladino clarified. "Strength is having a specific level of mobility because mobility is combining flexibility, stability of strength. So if someone's strong, it means that they're functionally strong. I don't mean powerlifting strong. I mean someone who can actually move and use their strength to just be better at life."

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Adding that "cardiovascular is important for heart health," Saladino said that once you combine those two, "we're able to package something really special and we're able to help improve someone's life. So whether it's Blake or anyone else, the goals are to get stronger and to be more mobile."

Still, fitness is just half of the equation, with nutrition playing an equal, if not more important, factor into feeling your best. And Saladino also offered up the food philosophy he shares with Lively and the rest of his clients.

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"Your plate should look colorful," Saladino shared. "Your plate should have your protein on it. Your plate should have your vegetables on it. Your plate should have your slow burning carbohydrates on it. And that's not ever going to change."

So what makes up the perfect plate? Here are Saladino's five picks for the items to add to your grocery list ASAP.

"I would use vegetables as one category, we need to be consuming as much vegetables as possible," he stressed. "They need to be cooked. They need to be raw, they need to be juiced. One's not better than the other, we need to just rotate through. And we need to have many different colorful vegetables because this is going to help our micronutrient profile so the amount of vitamins and minerals and fiber that's in our body. This is what helps detoxify our body and clean ourselves out."

Of course, you also need protein, which will build your muscles, while also healing and repairing them. Go for lean offerings like "chicken and turkey and fish and even some of the fattier proteins like organ meats, or maybe eggs," Saladino recommended. "These are things that our body needs to stay satiated and for hormone function and for hormone balance."

Next up are the carbohydrates, which are often vilified, much to Saladino's chagrin, with the trainer stressing the importance of good carbs for our bodies to use as fuel. 

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"If you're going to sit there and have things like white pasta, or white flour, it's not nutritious," he explained. "If you're gonna have something like sweet potato or fruits, which are high in micronutrients and high in fiber, these are the foods that are going to help really fuel our bodies, and they're powerful foods." 

Another category of food that is often seen as the enemy are fats, which yes, should be on your plate at every meal. Think olive oil, avocado oil, nuts and seeds, which "are all things our body needs to stay satiated" and also act as an energy source and help to maintain our blood sugar level, Saladino said.  

And to top it all off, Saladino is a fan of the right salts—Himalayan pink or Celtic sea—which "act as a natural rehydrator" and work to detoxify the body. 


As for what he advises his clients to stay away from, the list was small but simple: "You need to avoid sugar, with the exception of fruit sugar. Getting the whole fruit is really important because of the fiber. Avoiding things like white flour, white bread, non-nutritious foods."

And though Saladino does enjoy a beer here or there, he recommends limiting alcohol intake as it causes gut inflammation and disrupts sleep quality. 

"It's not diets, it's nutrition, right?" Saladino said. "It's making sure that the foods we're eating, have high levels of nutrition, making sure the foods you're eating are powerful, even if you're having a dessert, make sure it's made of quality ingredients, that it doesn't have all these partially hydrogenated oils in it, which are terrible. You want to really start paying attention to the ingredients. The less ingredients are normally the better."

All of this plays into Saladino's next challenge that begins on Feb. 28, kicking off a four-week program that will focus on metabolic flexibility, a fitting theme as March is National Nutrition Month. 

Along with the sharing some of the fitness programs that he uses to train his star clientele, Saladino has partnered with Lumen, a hand-held, portable device to accurately measure metabolism, to help clients personalize their nutrition to their physiology. Forget intermittent fasting and give Keto the heave-ho as this is all about challengers learning "they should use protein, carbs and fats as their energy source" rather than completely cutting out any food group to make their metabolism "more efficient."

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"This isn't a this isn't a 20-day fix," Saladino stressed. "This isn't a quick fad diet. This is promoting a long life of health and this is doing it the right way."

And should you want to try it out the Lively way, Saladino provided a teaser of his "Train Like Blake Lively" six-week program for E! News:

Don Saladino