After years of anticipation, Black Widow is finally getting her own breakout film.

But what does it take for Scarlett Johansson to transform into the role?

Personal trainer Eric Johnson shares how he helped Scarlett get in shape to play #BlackWidow.

Scarlett Johansson has portrayed the Black Widow character in Marvel films for over a decade.

But when she first got the role in 2009, Scarlett said had never stepped foot in a gym.

So she began meeting with celebrity personal trainer, Eric Johnson.
To help prepare Scarlett for the role, they agreed to focus on strength and functional movement, rather than looks.

“We want to prepare the actor for anything that’s thrown at them, so they can do what they do best, and that’s act,” Eric explained.
None of this was a quick fix for Scarlett — it took time to build her strength and fitness for the role.

They decided to split her training into three phases, each lasting three to 12 weeks.
The first phase is all about building Scarlett’s mobility.

“We’re focusing on contractions, and building that mind/body connection, and developing her aerobic conditioning,” Eric noted.
This first phase sharpens the reflexes and agility she needs for stunts.

Scarlett often needs to be explosive with her movements, such as when she performs Black Widow's signature leg twists, which require hip strength and mobility.
The second phase of their training program is focused on strength training, and involves exercises like pull-ups and squats.

“[Here], we’re really trying to set down the foundational strength work,” Eric said, specifically building muscle, before going into peak power.
This part of the training pays off in scenes like this one in “Captain America: Civil War,” where Black Widow shows off her power through her punches and leg strength.
The third and final phase is focused on increasing her peak conditioning through explosive cardio.

This phase involves exercises like sprinting and battle ropes.
Eric says that Scarlett needs to be able to do more than complete a move; she needs to move with ease and fluidity.

You can see this metabolic conditioning come into play in this scene from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”
They also work on breathing to help her face stay relaxed on camera.

“We’re trying to kind of control her face as well. We don't want a sort-of pained face”, Eric explained. “That way, when you have to do physical scenes, you’re able to do that and look like a superhero.”
Eric says they treated the role like an athlete preparing for competition.

In order for Scarlett to build muscle, it was important that she consumed enough calories and protein, but Johnson says that he made sure that her diet was flexible.
Scarlett has said that playing this role has made her stronger now than she was 10 years ago.

#BlackWidow hits theatres today.

Read more about Black Widow and how the movie came to be:…

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