Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: April 27, 2021

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.

Stats

charlize theron posing
  • 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 [1] 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

We came across a few interviews with De Santis where he specifically talked about the general approach.

And it all starts with the type of appearance that Charlize Theron wants to achieve.

The best way we saw that described is like a badass ballerina.

She moves with total grace, even in the most action-packed 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

We’ve based most of our research on interviews and social media posts that show what’s involved in the Charlize Theron workout routine.

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 involves some more advanced techniques designed to get your heart rate up a bit more.

It’s not necessarily something for beginners, but a great workout rather than a relaxing stretch.

An alternative would be signing up for some spin classes to get a good cardio workout going.

It’s also the best way to burn off a ton of calories in a very short space of time.

3. Fight Training

You can’t be an action movie actress without doing some mixed martial arts and some good old-fashioned heavy bag work to throw a few punches.

The great thing about a lot of boxing and MMA-style workouts is that they raise both strength and fitness levels, which help to get you to that toned body.

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

Some people have claimed that the Charlize Theron diet should be classed as a strict raw vegan one.

While she does favor eating raw plant-based foods as much as possible, she has never stated that she actually sticks to a strict vegan diet.

It’s slightly confusing but more common than you might think.

Raw Plant Diet

The reason people choose to eat raw foods is to avoid the breakdown of nutrients that comes with cooking. Now, some plants you have to cook because they’ll make you sick or bloated.

But to a large extent, you can eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, and leafy greens in a matter of minutes with hardly any preparation.

And I personally find raw vegetables more satisfying as you need to do more chewing.

So, what would Charlize Theron diet plans look like?

Let’s take a look.

Meal Plan Sample

close up image of an oatmeal bowl

Breakfast

  • 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

Lunch

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

Afternoon Snack

  • Protein shake
plate of omelet and vegetables

Dinner

  • 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.

Supplements

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 B, E, and D3 just as much to help your muscles perform and recover better [2].

3. Minerals

Magnesium and zinc 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.

Would You Try This Workout?

Charlize Theron's workout routine does not leave much room for having a couch potato day.

And if you’re serious about getting in shape and losing weight, then I highly recommend that you try out this routine and even have your rest days filled with light activities.

I have no doubt that the above workouts will bring amazing results, especially if you combine them with a diet that gradually reduces your calories.

Try it out, and then report back to us with some before and after photos.


References:

  1. https://www.linkedin.com/in/fedele-de-santis-4929906
  2. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/ExerciseAndAthleticPerformance-HealthProfessional/

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