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Do you even lift? Well, Alicia Vikander does. In preparation for her role as the tough-as-nails video game heroine Lara Croft, the Oscar-winning actress went through a serious physical transformation to look the part. For months prior to filming Tomb Raider, Alicia Vikander went through an intense diet and training regimen under the guidance of celebrity trainer Magnus Lygdback. When it was all said and done, Alicia Vikander had put on a whopping 12 pounds of muscle.
While 12 pounds might not seem like a lot on its own, it is. Adding muscle is no easy feat, and adding 12 pounds in even a full year would be considered a great result for most people training. Alicia Vikander was already a trained ballet dancer before taking the role, and she was obviously relatively fit. According to ET, Alicia Vikander had a slim, 5-foot-5, 117-pound frame. Adding 12 pounds of muscle, an additional 10% of her body weight in muscle to someone who is naturally small, is a huge transformation and especially impressive to achieve in just a few months time. In fact, the actress even found the weight gain jarring at first.
While you might suspect that this transformation means she basically lived in the gym, it's actually the opposite, as she had a diverse training regimen and basically worked smarter thanks to Magnus Lygdback's programming. According to USA Today, in the early days of her training, in order to bulk, Alicia Vikander ate a lot and focused on strength training with only a bit of cardio. As things progressed, she also did some mixed martial arts training and pad work, learning how to punch, kick and grapple effectively. This had the dual benefit of helping her physical transformation, while also preparing her for her fight scenes to look the part. Oh and Alicia Vikander also did rock climbing and swimming as well. She truly became the Renaissance woman and all around badass Lara Croft is known to be.
But physical fitness isn't just lifting stuff, and for most people, the diet is the toughest part; abs are revealed in the kitchen after all. Alicia Vikander was eating five times a day with most major meals focused on lean proteins, vegetables and complex carbs. She also had protein-rich snacks throughout the day to provide those crucial building blocks for muscular gain. The diet apparently worked too, because Alicia Vikander had an eight-pack when it was all said and done. While you might not get to see it in the movie, that core strength helped her with all the physicality of the role.
We often hear about incredible and dramatic physical transformation actors go through to inhabit a role, whether it be Christian Bale rocking his skeleton on the outside for The Machinist or Hugh Jackman eating enough boiled chicken for ten lifetimes. These transformations help an actor inhabit a character and look believable on screen. It's cool to hear the transformation Alicia Vikander made for Tomb Raider, and it is just one more reason to be excited about the potential of this video game adaptation. Tomb Raider muscles into theaters on March 16. For all the latest movie news and why you should really wake up and go to the gym tomorrow, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.