It’s no surprise that the New York-based fitness expert, who has trained with the 31-year-old Shallows star for eight years, was the pro she called upon to help her shed 61 pounds after welcoming her daughter Ines in September 2016. (She also shares daughter James, 3, with husband Reynolds.)
“Turns out you can’t lose the 61 lbs you gained during pregnancy by just scrolling through instragram and wondering why you don’t look like all the bikini models,” the A Simple Favor actress wrote on Instagram in February 2018. “Thanks @donsaladino for kickin my A double S into shape. 10 months to gain, 14 months to lose. Feeling very proud.”
Over the course of those 14 months, Lively was a regular at Saladino’s New York City facility. “I see her as much as her schedule allows,” the owner of DriveClubs gym shares with Us. “We aim for two to three days a week, but she is incredibly busy. She enjoys training, but it doesn’t run her life. Her family is always first. The secret to our success was improving her strength and conditioning — this is how she was able to lose 61 pounds.”
According to Saladino, to help his clients, like Lively and Reynolds, reach their goals, he focuses on “the importance of being strong and quality movement” and puts major emphasis on strength training. “People have always been panicked about getting too big. If this happens, it’s because of poor or higher calorie nutrition,” he explains. “If a person comes to me with the focus of looking great in a swimsuit or naked, then cardio alone will not do it. I do believe there is the correct amount of resistance training volume. This is where a lot of the magic happens.”
Although the pro customizes every workout, he says that all of his sessions follow a similar get-fit template. For example, he’ll have clients start off with foam rolling and breathing for five to ten minutes, followed by a five-minute dynamic warm-up. “Then the client will jump, throw and carry or go through a series of agility drills. This is an important way to improve athleticism,” he shares. “At that point we get into our strength-training circuits. This is where we have a methodology, but all can change based off of goals. We conclude with our metabolic finisher or energy systems work — which is just a fancy word for cardio.”
For his celebrity clients (who, along with Lively and 41-year-old Reynolds, also include Gossip Girl alum Sebastian Stan and Stranger Things actor David Harbour), “it all depends on what they are training for,” he says. “The one thing that never changes is movement quality. I’m always prioritizing maintaining strength with movement quality. Because of this, they are always in shape and can adapt to any role they need to prep for.”
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!