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When Lucy Liu wants to work up a sweat, she usually opts for SoulCycle classes, runs, or Pilates sessions. Weights were never really in her wheelhouse, but that all changed after she landed a role playing the villain Kalypso in Shazam! Fury of the Gods this spring.
In case you haven’t had a chance to check out the newest Marvel movie yet, all you need to know is that Kalypso is a Greek goddess, main antagonist Hespera’s (Helen Mirren) villainous younger sister, and a total badass. (Collider even called her character “an instant addition to the canon of campy diva supervillains.”)
Lucy wanted to totally embody her powerful character—and that included supporting heavy body armor for 10-plus hours of filming each day—so Kaplan started to introduce more strength into her routine. Luckily, Lucy was open to trying out resistance training, and she ended up falling in love.
Before shooting began, Lucy did a weekly workout program: four days of strength work, (focusing on shoulders and postural muscles to prevent neck strain and spinal compression in her costume), one day of Pilates, and two rest days. Lucy used using the reformer, barrel, and chair to keep herself engaged and help her “decompress,” Kaplan adds.
Weights aside, Kaplan just wanted Lucy to feel good. “Feeling strong and empowered is honestly just more interesting [than aesthetics],” he says.
Lucy Liu’s Shazam! Workout Routine
To see what it was like to train like a superhero—err, villain—I tried