Anytime we see one of our favorite celebrities transform themselves in preparation for a big role, we can’t help but ask how they did it. Seeing Alicia Vikander play the ever-badass Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider trailer was more than enough to get us curious about how she crafted that super strong body for this role.
Luckily, we had the chance to speak with her extraordinary trainer, Magnus Lygdback, who has also worked with Gal Gadot, Katy Perry, and Ben Affleck. They worked together for seven months to prepare for Tomb Raider, and Alicia put on 12 pounds of muscle for the role — while still maintaining a slim figure.
Although they worked together five to seven days a week doing strength training and heavy lifting, Magnus described how Alicia’s diet played a major role in her transformation. The first few months they worked together was all about eating really clean and tacking on muscle.
“I don’t want to call it a bulk up, but more of a build-up phase,” Magnus told POPSUGAR. “[She] was eating a lot more food, still healthy, but a lot more food.” Because there’s no way you put on 12 pounds of muscle without nourishing yourself with extra healthy food.
Two months before filming started, Magnus and Alicia started their “cutting cycle,” which simply means they were attempting to maintain muscle mass but shed fat. “Since we were traveling so much over the holidays, we decided the keto diet would be best because it’s easier to control the macros that way,” he explained.
Alicia ate a lot of fish and seafood as a protein source, and “MCT oil, avocado, and coconut oil as a fat source.” The final big component of her keto diet was vegetables, “but you have to be careful with overeating too much vegetables because you don’t want to go above 25 grams of carbs a day.”
If this sounds like a strict diet, that’s because it is. “It was a high-fat, no-carb diet — not even low-carb,” Magnus said. “It’s always tricky the first couple of days, but [Alicia’s] willpower is just unbelievable and she didn’t complain, even though I could see she was struggling a little bit. She kept on bringing it every day.”
When they finally started filming Tomb Raider, in an effort to “maintain the muscle mass and keep the body fat low,” Alicia continued to eat fish and seafood as protein, but then she started incorporating more good carbs and fats into her diet.
Phew! Well, at least all her hard work paid off, because Alicia looks fantastic in the Tomb Raider trailer. Watch it below.
Before you consider drastically changing your diet in any way, speak with your doctor.
Image Source: Getty / Venturelli