Charlize Theron's Workout Routine & Diet Plan

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: November 30, 2023
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Charlize Theron is famous for her tall and very toned body, but the South African actress has stepped things up a lot in recent years by becoming even fitter and stronger.

While she has featured in many action movies like Mad Max, The Huntsman, and Prometheus, it’s mainly since Atomic Blonde that we have noticed quite a difference in her appearance.

So, our team got together to see what she did in the lead-up to Atomic Blonde, and we’ve put together a Charlize Theron workout routine and diet plan that will get your body into fighting shape.


  • Born: August 7, 1975
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 135 lbs

At 5’10”, Charlize Theron is obviously one of the taller female Hollywood stars, and that has been a significant attraction for her movie roles.

But height will only do so much for an actress in an action movie because all those stunts and fight scenes require a lot of strength and endurance.

She has been working with personal trainer Fedele De Santis to ensure that her workout routine and diet plan don’t end up making her bulky.

And that requires some carefully planned workout principles.

Her Training Principles

woman showing off her abs in the gym

De Santis, in several interviews, highlighted Charlize's aim to embody the grace of a ballerina, even in intense action scenes.

It’s like she combines the elegance from The Cider House Rules with a ruthless secret agent.

And it’s through De Santis’ training approach that she has managed to build up a lot of strength and stamina while still looking slim and not bulky.

But how can a workout routine and diet plan achieve that?

Let’s take a closer look.

“I don’t think you can create anything interesting from a comfort zone. You have to work from a place of fear and failure.”

- Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron Workout Routine

woman lifting dumbbells

Drawing from my own sports journey and the research I've done, which includes interviews and social media deep dives, I've pieced together the essence of the Charlize Theron workout routine.

While many celebrities have their go-to workouts, Charlize Theron has openly credited Pilates for sculpting her remarkable physique, especially evident in her role in 'Bombshell'. In an interview with Harper's Bazaar Australia, she expressed her deep appreciation for Pilates, emphasizing how it has revolutionized her body and fitness approach.

Much like Charlize, I've dabbled in various workouts over the years. And just as she swears by Pilates for her stunning physique, I've found it to be a game-changer for my training too.

Diving deeper into Charlize's fitness regimen, it's intriguing to note that her workouts are heavily ballet-based. As highlighted by Shape magazine, this ballet-centric routine engages every muscle group, offering a harmonious blend of strength, flexibility, and grace. The benefits of such a routine are manifold, from improved posture to enhanced core strength.

Having tried a ballet-based workout myself, I can attest to its effectiveness. It's no surprise that Charlize's regimen leans heavily on ballet techniques.

The general approach is to exercise at least four days a week, and even the non-exercise days involve plenty of outdoor activities.

Let’s start with the typical strength routine.

1. Strength Training

She's doing 5 circuits of strength training with no rest between exercises. The great thing about these exercises is that you don’t need much equipment. You certainly don't need big machines or huge barbells.

  1. Butt lifts: 1 set to failure
    Lie on the floor with your feet flat on the ground and knees bent at 45 degrees. Then slowly tilt your pelvis and lift the butt off the ground before lowering it back down to the starting position. Sounds easy, but wait until you’ve done 75 reps.
  2. Bicycle crunches: 1 set to failure
    These are tough but should be a key part of any core strengthening and weight loss routine. Lie down on a mat and lift your legs up to a 45-degree angle. Then alternate between bending each knee to get into a cycling motion for 60 seconds.
  3. Side laterals: 1 set x 25 - 35 reps
     Grab some light dumbbells for this as you’re not aiming for muscle gains. Hold them in each hand beside your body while standing straight. With completely straight arms, lift the dumbbells up to each side and then return to the start position. Aim for 25 to 35 reps.
  4. Chest press with 18 lb exercise ball: 1 set x 20 reps
    You don’t actually need a bench for this. Just lie on your exercise mat and hold the exercise ball just above your chest. Then slowly push it up and lower it back down again. It’s a great exercise for the muscle group in your chest and shoulders.
  5. Biceps Curls: 1 set x 20+ reps
    I know people often think that biceps curls will give women huge arms. But if you do these with a light weight and go for 20 or more reps, then you’ll nicely tone your arms and gain some strength without a massive bulk.
  6. Triceps Extensions1 set x 20+ reps
    The easiest way to do this is by standing straight and holding a dumbbell right above your head with a straight arm. Then slowly bend your elbow to lower the weight down behind your head and then push it back up again.

2. Power Yoga Or Spinning

woman working out outdoors

Power yoga, with its advanced techniques, elevates your heart rate, offering more than just relaxation.

For those seeking an alternative, spin classes are an efficient way to burn calories quickly.

3. Fight Training

Action roles often demand proficiency in mixed martial arts and boxing.

These workouts not only enhance strength but also sculpt a toned physique.

Weekly Workout Routine

woman in a spinning class
  • Monday: Strength training and MMA
  • Tuesday: Power Yoga
  • Wednesday: Strength training and Spinning
  • Thursday: Power Yoga
  • Friday: Strength training
  • Saturday: Active Recovery
  • Sunday: Rest

Other workout routines:

Charlize Theron's Diet Plan

close up image of vegatables

From my own experience, diet plays a huge role in any fitness journey. Charlize's dietary choices, much like her workout routines, are a testament to her commitment to health.

She leans towards a plant-based diet, a choice that not only aligns with sustainable practices but also offers a plethora of health benefits. Such a diet, rich in nutrients and low in saturated fats, could very well be the secret behind her radiant glow and enduring stamina.

While Charlize Theron often opts for raw plant-based foods, she hasn't explicitly committed to a strict vegan diet.

Raw Plant Diet

Having tried a raw food diet myself, I understand the appeal. It's all about preserving the nutrients that often get lost in cooking.

While some plants require cooking, many fruits, vegetables, and greens can be consumed raw, offering a satisfying crunch.

So, what would Charlize Theron diet plans look like?

Let’s take a look.

Meal Plan Sample

close up image of an oatmeal bowl


  • Oatmeal with mixed seeds
  • Fresh fruit and berries with greek yogurt
  • Matcha green tea with coconut oil and lemon juice

Morning Snack

  • Mixed unsalted nuts
  • Protein bar


  • Large bowl of leafy greens salad and olive oil
  • Mixed raw veggies

Afternoon Snack

  • Protein shake
plate of omelet and vegetables


  • Omelet with leafy greens and veggies

Evening Snack

  • Whole grain bread with organic peanut butter

One thing you should notice is that there’s no junk food in sight, but she has mentioned that her occasional cheat snack is potato chips.


spoonful of chocolate protein powder, a medicine kit with different pills

If you’re going to start the Charlize Theron workout, then I would recommend that you consider adding these supplements to your diet.

1. Plant Protein Shake

This is one Charlize Theron diet supplement you’ll need to help with your recovery times. Try using a hemp protein powder, as it provides the full range of amino acids similar to whey. Alternatively, pick a blend of rice, pea, and soy protein to get the right amino acid combination.

2. Vitamins

Many people just aim for a vitamin C supplement and think they have the important things covered. But from an athletic perspective, you need vitamins D, E, and C just as much to help your muscles perform and recover better [2].

3. Minerals

Magnesium and zinc supplements are the most important for your muscle function and metabolism, and they should be part of a supplement routine for most people.

See the best multivitamins for women.


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