Who can deadlift 200 pounds, bear crawl with 300 pounds strapped around her back, and push a sled weighing more than 500 pounds?
Her tough workouts paid off this year with three separate Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition covers.
Her bikini body formula doesn’t involve deprivation or crash diets. Instead, she relies on lifting heavy weights while living a balanced lifestyle, except for a short while just before big photo shoots when she gets a little more serious about her routine.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Trains Like an Athlete
Her workouts are intense. Like, 500-pound reverse-sled-push-while-texting intense.
In fact, Upton works out for an hour five to six days a week with Bruno.
He told People magazine that Upton typically starts her workouts with a warmup that includes foam rolling and dynamic stretching to get her muscles ready. After she’s warmed up, he leads her through a strength-training circuit with several exercises in a row without taking a break in between.
As a result, she gets a fat-burning cardio boost from her strength-training workout, which especially good for targeting abdominal fat.
2. She Is Insanely Strong
Upton doesn’t shy away from lifting heavy weights. “I love feeling strong, and strength training has really changed my body,” she told People magazine.
Her trainer said on the Today show that she might be the strongest person he’s ever had do weighted hip thrusts.
Her workout circuits include moves such as those weighted hip thrusts (which target the legs and butt, and during which Upton lifts upwards of 200 pounds), heavy single-leg Romanian deadlifts using a landmine, and squats, along with TRX rows and jump squats.
She can finish up a workout by pulling almost 300 pounds while doing a bear crawl, with some morale support from a four-legged friend.
3. She Likes to Eat … Donuts
She eats more than just salads.
“On the diet front, I’ve learned balance,” she told People. “For example, rather than having wine and doughnuts, you can have wine or doughnuts.”
The underlying theme of the 2017 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue was all about body diversity and acceptance, and Upton said she was proud to be included.
She told the magazine she works toward “a balance of working hard and eating healthy, but also enjoying life and having cheat days and for the emphasis not to be on the ideal perfect body.”
Upton follows Bruno’s diet philosophy. He recommends that his clients use a basic nutrition template when it comes to their diet: starting with proteins, adding in vegetables and healthy fats, and then unrefined carbohydrates. He also warns that deprivation diets can backfire.
And while Upton said she does enjoy ice cream, French fries, and other fattening foods, she did admit that before a big photoshoot she cuts back on sugar and cheat days.
4. She Was an Equestrian as a Kid
She has a history as an athlete. As a teenager, she was a nationally ranked equestrian with the American Paint Horse Association.
Plus, her parents are athletic. Her mother, Shelley Upton, was a former Texas state tennis champion.
Her father, Jeff Upton, is a high school athletic’s director.
5. Try A Sample Workout
Bruno’s celebrity client roster also includes Jessica Biel, Chelsea Handler, Casey Affleck, Jim Parsons and Jaimie Alexander.
He created a sample 5-exercise circuit workout for the Today Show, which he recommended doing three times though.
- Side plank, hold for 20 seconds or 20 reps.
- Hip thrusts, 20
- Goblet squat or jump squat, 15 reps
- Split squat with rear-foot elevated, 10 reps (which Bruno says is the most hated exercises among clients)
- Dumbbell triceps extension, 10 reps
Kate Upton goes topless for all three of the 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit covers.