When photos of Alicia Vikander in a teeny-weeny, polka-dot & Other Stories bikini surfaced late last week, it was not the sight of Michael Fassbender strolling nearby that left us shook—mostly. It was her "It's like you're Photoshopped" abs, with a middle crack as deep as the Mariana Trench and six distinct packs as clearly defined as the ridges of a Belgian waffle, a food she has probably not thought about since she began training for her role as Lara Croft.
GRACIOUS. Removing genetics, how might one also achieve results so chiseled they're visible in long-lens pics? We (tomb) raided her diet and exercise routine to find out.
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What is the "Magnus Method?" A clandestine rehab facility in the Berkshires? An equation? None of those—it's an Übermensch-y food and fitness program devised by trainer Magnus Lygdbäck, who's also responsible for Alexander Skarsgård's anachronistically ripped Tarzan. The fitness component, in a nutshell she could probably crush between her palms by the end: weight-lifting seven months out from filming, then boxing, MMA, heavy lifting, and climbing three months later. After two months of that full-time, Lygdbäck pared her workouts back to 30-minute morning HIIT sessions and 45-minute afternoon gym sessions. Nine years in ballet school probably wasn't a bad foundation.
She *Eats* (It's a Bit More Complicated Than That, Stay with Us)
Before we get into the specifics, let it be known that Alicia Vikander has often found herself leaving Hollywood events hungry. "People don't eat!" she said in an interview with E! News. "There's a lot of food everywhere and I'm like, 'Where are the plates?' It's always like that. It's not like that in Sweden where I come from. You sit down and have a meal and celebrate properly."
She Shops for and Cooks Her Own Meals
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"I was so jealous," she said of visiting a friend in New York whose building has an attached Whole Foods (same). "I was like, 'I could cook tonight.' I went down and I got lost. I was there for two and a half hours. Just being in the supermarket finding all these things I've never seen before, I really liked that." And what does she make, once she's procured the groceries? Eggplant parmesan or "stews or moussaka or chili" to feed a crowd.
She's Got the Right Mindset
No pressure stepping into a character's shoes last filled by Angelina Jolie, nor portraying a strong, adventurous woman who is also drooled over by video-game nerds everywhere. But in an interview with Vanity Fair, Vikander said she's also prepared mentally to play Lara Croft. "I very much see her as a model for many young women...She also has a fantastic mix of traits—tough, smart, vulnerable, plus she's kick ass! She is also uniquely different to other characters I have taken on previously. It's a lot of fun trying to get into Lara's head and the challenge of getting to grips with such a physical role is an element of this project that I find an absolute thrill."
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Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at MarieClaire.com. She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.
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