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‘Barbie’ Cast Trainer David Higgins Shares His Secrets for Getting the Film’s Stars Into Shape (Exclusive)

'Barbie' Cast Trainer David Higgins Shares His Secrets Behind Getting the Film's Stars Into Shape
Ryan Gosling. Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros. Pictures

Celebrity trainer David Higgins is sharing how the cast of Barbie channeled their inner Kenergy through their workouts.

“All the Kens trained consistently, nearly every day,” Higgins, who served as the actors’ personal trainer and Pilates teacher, exclusively reveals in the latest issue of Us Weekly. “The focus was not only on physical appearance but also on maintaining a level of fitness that could support the intense dance sequences and action scenes required for the film.”

Not only did Higgins help Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa and more of the Kens transform into Barbie’s best guys, but he also worked with “all the members of the cast to ensure that everyone could meet the physical demands of their roles, focusing on overall fitness and strength, tailored to the requirements of their specific characters.”

When it comes to the Kens, in particular, Higgins tells Us the actors “trained both together and in isolation” based on their shooting schedules. “When the Kens all trained together, it was more of a team-building exercise, even the producers got involved,” he shares. “I included a rigorous core workout every session to sculpt their physique in a way that matched the aesthetic needs of Ken.”

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Higgins’ workouts consisted of “various forms of cardio” to “build muscle and achieve definition” and included “Pilates-based core exercises [and] traditional weight training movements, enhancing both strength and flexibility.” He adds: “These exercises were crucial in shaping their physique to mirror the iconic Ken doll.”

In addition to creating the cast’s workouts, Higgins also helped the actors maintain good nutrition. “While the nutritional program was needed to be strict to maintain that iconic Ken physique, I believe in balance,” he explains. “Allowing for occasional indulgences helps keep morale high and makes the strict training schedule more sustainable.”

'Barbie' Cast Trainer David Higgins Shares His Secrets Behind Getting the Film's Stars Into Shape
Courtesy of David Higgins/Instagram

According to the trainer, “Great results come down to a meticulously planned diet and workout regime,” not just genetics. “I make sure my clients focus on a whole-foods diet and cut out processed items, alongside a tailored workout plan that emphasizes core strength and flexibility,” he shares.

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For those looking to start their fitness journey and build a “sustainable routine,” Higgins tells Us it’s best to “start with understanding the importance of core strength and integrating it into your workouts from the beginning” and to “focus on form and alignment to prevent injuries.”

“Set realistic, achievable goals and remember that fitness is a lifelong journey,” he adds. “Vary your workouts to keep them interesting, and remember to celebrate your progress, no matter how small.”

'Barbie' Cast Trainer David Higgins Shares His Secrets Behind Getting the Film's Stars Into Shape
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images for Warner Bros.

In addition to Barbie, Higgins has also worked as a trainer to Pedro Pascal, Samuel L. Jackson, Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Ariana Grande and more on projects such as The Last of Us, Secret Invasion, Heads of State and Wicked. Other celebrity clients include Scarlett Johansson, Richard Madden, Jodie Turner-Smith and Jonathan Bailey. Fans can check out more of Higgins’ workout tips and tricks on his YouTube and Instagram pages.

With reporting by Sarah Jones

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