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Viola Davis, 55, Is Kicking Butt And Taking Names In An IG Workout Video

·4 min read
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images
Photo credit: Mike Marsland - Getty Images
  • Viola Davis doesn't mess around in the gym, and her strength gains are pretty intense.

  • The actress, 55, just posted a video of one of her workouts she has been doing to prep for her role in The Woman King, and it is seriously impressive.

  • Viola works with trainer Gabriela Mclain several times a week for an hour at a time.

Viola Davis is strong as hell—mentally and physically—and she just proved that in her latest workout video on Instagram. The Fences actress is hard at work getting ready for her upcoming role in The Woman King, and she is building up some serious arm strength as a result.

Viola, 55, posted a video of herself in an all-black workout outfit absolutely crushing a set of pull-downs. While I can’t see the numbers on the plates she’s lifting, there are enough of them stacked there that I am certain she’s doing some intense weights work.

“Thank you to my incredible trainer, @gabrielamclain for preparing my body for #TheWomanKing! I can't wait for y'all to see in theaters on September 16! 🗣 Agojie... 👸🏿💪🏿👊🏿🙏🏿❤ @womankingmovie," she wrote in the caption.

I know I’ll be among the first in line to see Viola absolutely rock this role. And it seems I am not alone...Her celeb friends and followers hyped up Queen Viola in the comments, too.

“You ARE OUR woman king,” wrote comedian Chelsea Handler. While Porsha Williams, of Real Housewives of Atlanta fame, kept it simple with some fire emojis. "Playing 👏🏾 No 👏🏾 Gamessss!!!!" actor Lashana Lynch wrote.

Viola isn’t afraid to transform her body for her starring roles. She famously gained weight for her iconic role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom because she wanted to bring authenticity to the role of this larger-than-life blues signer.

“I didn’t want [Ma] to physically look like she was apologizing for herself. I wanted her to switch," Viola told Zora. "If those breasts were hanging out like that? They just hung out. She was unapologetic about her sexuality. I just feel like in playing her, I had to honor that."

So is it any surprise that Viola is hitting the gym hard to get into fighting shape for her role as an African woman warrior in her upcoming film?

Ordinarily, Viola works with her trainer, Gabriela Mclain, three times a week for an hour at a time.

"Most of the time it's a little cooler and the muscles are stiff and she may be working the night before," Mclain told Women's Health.

The pair kicks off their time together with a 10-minute warm-up that consists of stretching and light cardio, before moving to mobility drills like butt-kicks, high knees, and plié squats. Each week, Viola gets in one kickboxing workout, one strength-training workout, and one sculpting workout. The kickboxing workout is all about that cardio and getting her sweat on.

"We focus on burning fat and speeding up the metabolism, letting the blood flow, keeping the body agile, and warming it up for the week," Mclain told WH. The routine includes punches with sidekicks, uppercuts, jabs, and roundhouse kicks, culminating in a routine of 10 or so kickboxing moves.

Viola even shared this clip of Amira Tahrio training someone else, saying that it reminded her of being in the gym with Mclain, and honestly I’m sweating just thinking about it!

Viola's typical strength workout includes a series of exercises using weights between 10 and 25 pounds, like squats, chest presses, and deadlifts, among many others, her trainer told WH. The circuits are super-intense, and Viola only gets about 30 seconds to rest between each one. (Damn girl.)

In a sculpting session, Mclain generally uses lighter weights and resistance bands to build Viola's endurance. ”We're resting by switching muscle groups," Mclain told WH. "I'm just flowing from muscle to muscle until every muscle on our body is exhausted."

Using a large, looped resistance band, Viola does a squat to overhead press, side lateral kicks, triceps extensions, and close-grip biceps curls. She also does some work with ankle weights and light dumbbells.

It’s not all torture, however. “She’s such a badass,” Mclain, who calls Viola “Vee” told the New York Post.

The pair listen to hits like “Cold Rock A Party” by MC Lyte featuring Missy Elliott and “Ms. Jackson” by Outkast during her workouts.

“She’s extremely disciplined,” Mclain told the New York Post. “The passion she has on camera is the same passion she brings every single time she trains.”

Excuse me while I get my squats in before this movie is released!!

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