‘I trained like Halle Berry for a week – and was sore for three whole days’

halle berry
‘I worked out like Halle Berry for a week'Getty Images

When it comes to the fit women of Hollywood, few truly impress me as much as Halle Berry. Take one look at her Oscars 2023 look on her Instagram and it's clear: The woman works. As in, if you told me she decide to swap the big screen for a professional sports arena, I wouldn't even be surprised.

I mean, not only has Halle sculpted herself the most impressive core I’ve ever seen, but she can also knock out like 15 pull-ups in one shot. (I consider myself pretty fit and I can eek out *maybe* one...to save my life.) Halle’s got more than 25 years on me, but there’s not a doubt in my mind that she could absolutely whoop. my. butt.

Perhaps the coolest thing about Halle, though, is her perspective on her next-level fitness. Here’s the thing: She's not in it for the six-pack! Whether on the ’gram or in the columns she’s written for WH, Halle shares that she’s all-in on taking care of her health and being as strong as possible in every way, both for herself and her kids. The abs? They're just a bonus. (I'm 👏 here 👏 for 👏 this.)

Inspired by Halle's fit philosophy (and yes, okay, her muscles, too), I decided to try her routine out for myself. Luckily, she's not one to keep the secret sauce all to herself.

Halle takes a kitchen sink approach to working out; she literally does it all. Though she typically only has time for four full-on workout sessions per week (at least one of which is often just 20 minutes or so long), she incorporates everything from strength training to yoga to jumping rope.

Eager to mix up my own routine (which had been feeling pretty stale, TBH), I channeled my inner Halle for a week—and though I may not have come out of it with cut-up abs, I sweat (and learned!) a lot.

Balance really is key.

In true Halle fashion, I set out to conquer four solid—and unique—workout sessions for my little experiment: her go-to 20-minute workout, an intense full-body strength training challenge she wrote about for WH recently, a long yoga sesh, and a skipping rope burner dreamt up by her trainer Peter Lee Thomas.

Conquering four workouts for the week felt totally doable (score!)—and I seriously appreciated the variety.

Halle’s 20-minute workout—a fast-and-dirty circuit of moves like mountain climbers with sit-outs (see my video attempt below) and plié squats—came in clutch on a busy, deadline-filled day when a full hour-long workout just didn't feel realistic. It left me dripping and feeling super accomplished.

writer performing child's pose at home
Lauren Del Turco

Exercise does your mind just as good as it does your body.

For my third workout, I was ready for a little active recovery. A good yoga practice always reminds me that movement is about so much more than burning calories or building a particular muscle—and I have no doubts that Halle's regular yoga practice helps her keep both her mind and body right.

Making time to turn inward and slow down amidst a hectic schedule and otherwise-heart-pumping workouts helped me feel grounded and at peace, and physically and mentally strong.

I followed along with a 30-minute Peloton yoga video to get the full effect, but Halle says she feels better after even just a few minutes of stretching or child's pose.

notepad with workout written down, resistance band, and dumbbell
Lauren Del Turco

Something else working out like Halle taught me? You don’t have to lift heavy weights to burn.

A long-time lover of anything involving a barbell, my routine hasn't consisted of much light-weight/high-rep work in years—but Halle may have once again made me a believer.

I went into her two-move, strength-training challenge workout a little (okay, a lot) overconfident. However, as I slowly descended the long ladder of lunges (wearing a booty band, might I add) with biceps curls and squats with overhead presses—basically, you start with 40 lunges and 20 squats and repeat, slowly slicing off reps until you get down to zero—the ~literal~ fire in my muscles put me in my place. I think I did 200 lunges—and man, did I feel them the next morning.

I used a single 15-pound (6.8kg) dumbbell for the workout (a far cry from my usual barbell) and halfway through the workout, I realised even half the weight would have absolutely crushed me.

By the end, my legs quivered with every rep—and I was sore for not one, not two, but THREE days afterward. Ego, checked.

And I needed to let my legs recover because my last workout was skipping.

Never much of a skipper, this was the only workout of Halle's that I was truly nervous about: her 1,500-rotation skipping rope challenge. Yeah, she did that for fun.

Halle describes skipping as a Zen, in-the-zone experience. She finds her rhythm and just jumps and jumps and jumps. As a result, she cranks out 1,500 rotations in just about 15 minutes.

I don't think I've ever made it through more than 20 rotations at a time without tripping over myself or somehow entangling my ponytail in the rope, so I figured 1,500 skips would probably take me, oh, like an hour.

In the end, I completed my skips in about 25 minutes. At first, I could get through maybe 10 at a time; but towards the end, I understood Halle's jump-roping zone. Once I found my groove, momentum kept me going. (At one point, I hit 47 consecutive rotations!)

Halle Berry is officially my new favourite fitness influencer.

After a week of working out like her, I totally understand why Halle stays so committed to her fitness. Mixing it up is fun! And framing workouts as challenges? The competitive vibes made me feel like an athlete again.

Most of all, though, Halle's routine struck me as *sustainable.* By striking the perfect balance of different types of training and just the right level of intensity (plus, of course, her truly health-oriented motivations), Halle has found a way to somehow get fitter and fitter as she gets older —and you'd better believe I'll be taking a page out of that book.

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