While preparing to take on the role of tennis star Billie Jean King in her new film Battle of the Sexes, actress Emma Stone hit the gym with her trainer Jason Walsh to transform her body into one of an athlete.
In a recent interview with People, trainer Jason Walsh revealed how he got Emma into the shape of an athlete:
“Emma was pretty light and had a very petite, dancer-type body,” Jason said. “I wanted to put some weight on her, some muscle on her. We really shifted the diet plan. She started taking in more good, healthy calories.”
“We started doing training geared toward getting more weight and muscle on her, so it was a little more believable onscreen, and also for her mind and her character.”
To do so, Emma upped her workout frequency from three to five times a week, and sometimes trained twice a day.
“She got really strong, I’m talking like, we were pushing and dragging sleds with hundreds of pounds, which was awesome to watch,” Jason said. “It really became fun for her. [She] would be like, hey, what kind of record are we going to beat this week with the weights?”
“She did up to 300 lbs. on her hip thrusts, which is insane,” Jason continued. “We’d do farmer walks where she would put heavy weights in her hands — we’d probably do 70-lb. dumbbells in each hand — just walking down the track. She’d do 185-lb. deadlifts and push ups with chains on her back, things that are outside of the scope of what she did before. She really started to enjoy and absorb what I was throwing at her,” says Walsh. “[At first] in her mind there’s disbelief about whether she could do any of this stuff, and when she’d do it she’d scream [with excitement].”
To make Emma’s role as Billie Jean King more believable, Jason also said: “We would do a lot of tennis moves, like L drills and stuff like that with bungee cords, quick foot box drills to make sure she had her footing and she understood the mind and the feet connection.”
While strength training was crucial for Emma’s training, Jason also said that meditation and stretching was also an important part of the star’s regime: “Meditation is an aspect of training that no one really talks about that we really implement and suggest. That mind body connection is incredible…it’s just as important as training the body,” he said.
Through her three months of training, Emma ended on putting on 15 lb.s of lean muscle – which she was thrilled about.
“She was ecstatic when she got on [the scale],” said Jason. “Most girls who get on the scale and gain weight freak out, [but] she had the biggest smile in the world when the weight started to increase.”
You can catch Emma in Battle of the Sexes, out September 22!