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Natalie Portman has passion, dedication and commitment to her profession. 

We see this as she takes on physically challenging roles, such as Black Swan, where she played a prima ballerina. Now, the vegan actress has blown up the internet following her transformation into Mighty Thor.

Are you curious about how she did it? Well, as a professional trainer, I’m ready to tell you all about it.

Sit tight as I share the Natalie Portman workout routine, including what she did to prepare for Black Swan and the Thor franchise. I will also tailor it a bit to make it more achievable for us mortals!

Natalie Portman Current Bio and Stats

Natalie was born on June 9th, 1981 in Jerusalem, Israel. Her father, Avner Hershlag, and mother, Shelley Stevens, signed her up to dancing and ballet lessons at age four.

Not long after her talent for acting was discovered, she got her first role as Mathilda, the wannabe assassin in Leon: The Professional (1994), when she was only 13.

Since then, she has consistently risen through the ranks of Hollywood, thanks to her talent and ability.

In 1999, her appearance in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace brought her international recognition. Since then, she’s won an Academy Award, a BAFTA, and two Golden Globe Awards. 

Her Oscar-winning commitment to her character Nina, the talented ballerina in Black Swan (2010), was a career highlight.

It took Portman one full year to achieve the slim look and graceful moves like those of professional ballet dancers. 

In her latest film, Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) she shows off her strong gains as she wields Thor’s hammer with confidence, presenting herself in a new light. 

  • Age: 42 years
  • Height: 5’ 3’’ / 160 cm
  • Weight: 53.3 kg
  • Birthday: June 9, 1981
  • Occupation: Actress
  • Retired/Active: Active 1993-Present

Natalie Portman Workout Fundamentals 

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natalie portman workout

Natalie’s regular training routine differs from her intense film prep routines

She maintains her fitness and figure through a combination of running and swimming three times a week, whenever she can. As the busy mom of two beautiful children, it can be challenging to fit everything in.

Natalie also does Gyrotonics, yoga, Pilates, and tai-chi a few times a week for holistic benefits. These are centered around spinal health, movement control, flexibility, breath work, meditation, posture, and coordination. 

Ashtanga yoga is her favorite, as she’s said she attends any yoga class that fits around her busy schedule.

However, when working on films, she takes different approaches that vary from role to role.

Natalie Portman Workout Routine

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natalie portman workout routine

Natalie Portman’s workout and diet plan for Black Swan and Thor undoubtedly reflect her willingness to push boundaries. 

For a whole year, she trained five to eight hours a day, six times a week to master her ballet skills. She also only ate 1,200 calories daily, losing 20 pounds for Black Swan

Portman has now transformed into a superhero, even though strength training was never her go-to training style.

For the filming of Thor: Love and Thunder and for the five months prior, she got out of bed at 4:30am to train for two hours with her personal trainer, Naomi Pendergast.

She has torpedoed the common misconception that people can’t build muscle in their 40s after having kids and whilst being vegan.

Natalie also has an ectomorph body type, which can make it more difficult to put on muscle! Often referred to as “hard-gainers,” ectomorphs generally have a faster metabolism, low body fat, and less muscle mass.

This is probably why some people unfairly claimed that her transformation was just clever editing!

Well if you still have doubts, I am gonna drop her workout routine below, so you can become your own superhero. Those guns won’t grow by themselves! 

Like Natalie, if you want a strong, lean, muscular build, you have to be dedicated and put in intense physical workouts.

Natalie Portman Thor Workout Routine

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We never got to hear about all the fun programs Natalie followed (apart from one). So, I made sure to research all the training styles that got her ripped. This way, you can get results, too.

Natalie trained five times a week and her main focus was toning up arms and abs. While we don’t have any information about her leg day, there must have been some multi-joint lower body exercises included in her routine

The intense stunt choreographies, hammer fighting, running, and jumping all require good programming to achieve – and also to reduce the risk of injury.

Agility, stability, strength, power, and injury prevention were all a big part of the process to progressively strengthen her body for the heavy weights and the intensity her workouts demanded.

It is also essential to warm up and activate the body properly, especially if you are novice at pumping iron, like Natalie was.

So, the main goal of this program is to increase muscle mass and then maintain it. This requires patience, consistency, good nutrition, and a well-planned program!

Natalie Portman Thor: Love and Thunder Workout Weekly Schedule

Upper Body
Back Shoulders-Chest + Boxing
Injury Prevention
Active recovery
Upper Body
BackShouldersChest (Modified)
Pilates /Leg Day (recommended)Rest Upper Body

Warm Up: 

Complete five minutes on any cardio equipment to raise the heart rate. Then, do 30 seconds each of these exercises:

Marching Plank
Lat Stretch
Beast Crawl
Band Pull Aparts
Swiss Ball Throws

Day 1 & Day 7: Upper Body Workout + Boxing + Core (Includes the famous Natalie Portman Thor arms workout!)

Superset 1:
Dumbbell Row
Offset Push-Ups


10 slow reps on each

90 seconds rest

Active recovery between sets: Lat stretch for 30 seconds

Superset 2:
Dumbbell Reverse Fly
Dumbbell Seated Shoulder Press


10 slow reps on each 

60-90 seconds 

Active recovery: Back stretch

Superset 3:
Supinated DB Frontal Raise
Banded Pull-Ups
15 Frontal Raises
 60-90 sec rest
    8-10 Pull-Ups

Active recovery: Roll Ups

Superset 4:
DB Biceps Curls
DB Triceps Press
 1-215 reps each60-90 sec rest

Active recovery: Thoracic rotation on power plate

Interval Training Options:

Exercise – RoundsRest
Option 1: 4 rounds of 2 minutes boxing and 1 minute skipping90-120 seconds rest between rounds
Option 2: 4 rounds of 50 m sprints and 1 minute medicine ball slams90-120 seconds rest between rounds
Option 3: 4 rounds of 1 minute broad jumps and 1 minute side-to-side shuffle90-120 seconds rest between rounds
Option 4: 4 rounds of 50 m sprints and 1 minute mountain climbs / Kettlebell Swings90-120 seconds rest between rounds

Choose one of the options above and complete it after the weights!

Core circuits

Exercise CircuitSets and Reps
Holding Plank1 x 30 sec – 1 minute hold
Side Plank1 x 30 seconds hold each side
Standard Crunches1 x 15-20 reps
Foot Elevated Crunches1 x 15 – 20 reps
This routine can take up to two hours. I understand not everyone has that time to commit. If that’s the case, split these into two days by completing Superset 3 and 4 on a different day. You can add the intervals and core circuit at the end!

STRETCHING : Make sure you cool down, stretch, and foam roll at the end of your workouts. This will keep you away from injuries. 

Day 2: Pilates & Injury Prevention

natalie portman thor workout
Donkey Kicks1-2 x 10 reps each side / 30 sec rest
Downward Dog1-2 x 30 seconds / 15-30 seconds rest
Bosu Ball Balance1-2 x 30 seconds / 15-30 seconds rest
Single-Leg Bridge 1-2 x 8-10 each side / 30 seconds rest
Kneeling Cat & Cow with Swiss Ball1-2 x 10 reps / 15-30 seconds rest
Power Plate Stretches1 minute per main body part
Make sure the movements and breathing are slow and controlled!

Day 3: Active Recovery/REST

This is the day of joy. You can walk, foam roll, roller skate, stretch, do yoga, or anything else that feels good for you and your body. You can also sit in the sauna to recover just as Natalie did!

Day 4: Modified Upper Body Workout

Arnold Press2-310-1260 seconds
Incline Push-Ups2-31530 seconds
Lat Pulldown2-312
DB Triceps Kick Backs 2-315  30 seconds
Hammer Curls15
Pec Flies2-310-1260 seconds
Complete the intervals and core circuit stated above

Day 5: Never Skip Leg Day

While you have the option to do Pilates or yoga, I love a good leg workout! Also, Natalie had to focus on arms and abs. For us, it is important to target different body parts. 

This can speed up your progress in gaining muscle!

Goblet Squats2-3 1260 sec
RDL’s2-31230 sec
Lateral Lunges2-315 each side30 sec
Bulgarian Split Squats210 each side60 sec
Back Extensions2-315-2030 sec
Squat Jumps21560 sec

Natalie Portman Black Swan Workout Routine

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As we already learned, Natalie went through strict training and dieting to lose weight for this role.

Doing ballet, swimming, and stretching eight hours a day, six days a week, while consuming 1,200 calories daily, isn’t particularly healthy! That’s the recommended calorie intake for a child, not for an active adult.

If you watch her interviews, she does not have much energy to talk. While I respect that her job requires such physically demanding preparations, I wouldn’t advise you to go down this road.

If your goal is to lose weight, there are much more manageable, enjoyable, and lasting methods you can do. In the end, it’s a journey, not a race. 

There is a big difference between being thin vs. being lean. 

Eating too little combined with high cardio won’t build muscle, but it can make you thin! 

Natalie’s training and eating for her ballerina role represented this “catwalk” look.

But an actual lean physique requires a combination of weightlifting and cardio with adequate calories.

This combination allows you to burn fat and simultaneously develop muscle, which is why I have designed the weight-loss program outlined below.

Here is an effective weight loss routine for you, with a mixture of weight training, cardio, and flexibility work, that is also suitable for a beginner. Natalie would love this, as I have included some of her daily workout and exercise choices.

Natalie Portman Black Swan Workout – Weekly Schedule:

Full-Body Weights + IntervalsSwimmingUpper Body Weights + LISSYoga/PilatesLower Body Weights +IntervalsRunning/Cycling 

Cardio options: Swimming, Cycling, Running, Rowing, Cross Trainer. 

Choose any cardio that is enjoyable for you! If you aren’t training for sport-specific reasons, it won’t matter which one. You should also consider past or current injuries.

For example, Natalie reduced her sprinting as she started developing knee pain. You can do it too! Many low-impact cardio choices like cycling and swimming will help you lose weight

LISS = Low Intensity Steady State Cardio, including walking or any activity that keeps your heart rate steady!

Day 1: Full Body Workout: 

Bent-Over Rows2-310-1290 sec
Leg ExtensionSuperset 2-3 sets15
60 sec
Hamstring Curl15
Cable Flies 2-31530 sec
DB Shoulder Press2-31230 sec
Hack Squats2-310-1290 sec
Intervals: 20 seconds bike sprints, 40 seconds slow cycling
20 seconds fast row, 40 seconds slow

Day 3: Upper Body Workout

Overhead Press2-310-1290 sec
DB Lateral Raise2-31230 sec
Cable Seated Row2-31530 sec
DB Overhead Pull-Over2-31530 sec
Triceps Dips/Bench Dips2-31530 sec
Core circuit: Dead Bugs x 20, Leg Raises x 15, Superman’s x 15, Decline Sit-Ups x 20
25 minutes steady stairmaster cardio workout

Day 5: Lower Body Workout

natalie portman black swan workout
Kettlebell Swing1-210-1560 sec
DB Deadlift2-31260 sec
Superset 2-3
60 sec
Leg Press2-31530 sec
Hip Thrusts2-310-1290 sec
Spring intervals for 20 seconds on, 40 seconds off
SkiErg 30 seconds on 30 off
Focus on your technique. The exercise quality is much more important than how much you can lift! 

Progress the weight safely each week. 

Flexibility Routine

natalie portman training
Single-Leg StretchHold for 30 sec-1 minute each side
Downward DogHold for 30 sec-1 minute each side
The Side BendLower and lift your hip for 5 total reps
SwimmingInhale for 5 strokes, exhale for 5 strokes
CrissCross5 x each side
Tiptoe Bridges2 x 10 reps
Pelvic TiltsSlow and controlled 2 x 10

Natalie Portman Dieting and Food Preferences

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natalie portman diet and food preferences

Natalie Portman has been a vegetarian since she was nine years old. Then, in 2011, she decided to go vegan after reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. It forever changed her view on food choices. 

She shares many delicious vegan recipes with us on her social media, which we’ll look at soon.

Even though she’s had to change her caloric intake for specific roles, a wholesome, clean diet has always been part of her everyday lifestyle! 

Here are some nutritious vegan meal ideas that you can implement into your healthy lifestyle!

Natalie Portman Everyday Vegan Food Preferences

natalie portman's diet plan
BreakfastOats & Berries, Avocados on Toast, Chickpea Salad (Israeli breakfast)
LunchMexican Vegan Tacos, Falafel, Lentil Salad
DinnerVegetable Stir Fry, Couscous Salad, 
SnackFruits, Nuts, Beetroot Salad
Guilty PleasureVan Leeuwen Vegan Ice Cream

Natalie Portman Mighty Thor Diet and Food Preferences

natalie portman thor diet

Natalie’s diet slightly differed for this role. Her typical daily meals to increase muscle mass included five meals a day and three vegan protein shakes

It can be hard to consume enough protein as part of a vegan diet, so she added it to each meal to fuel her muscles. 

BreakfastOats and Berries + Vegan Protein Shake
Snack 1Fruit
LunchFalafel with Tzatziki (made with cashew cream) and Salad
Snack 2Protein Shake + Nuts
DinnerVegetable Curry with Rice + Protein Shake

As she generally eats healthy, Natalie Portman’s diet did not change too much for Black Swan. She just dropped her calories to 1,200 and skipped the Thor protein shakes.

Therefore, we don’t need a separate diet plan for her weight loss. But here are some suggestions when trying to lose weight

Calories In, Calories Out

Losing weight is about being in a calorie deficit. For example, if you burn 2,500 Kcal/day, a 500-800 calorie deficit would be a healthy way of losing weight.

Calories should be reduced gradually to achieve the desired outcome. A study showed greater weight loss with a prescribed 600-kcal deficit diet compared to a conventional low-calorie (1200 kcal/d) diet!

Be Patient

The above study also claims that losing one to two pounds a week is ideal and sustainable. You build habits rather than rushing to drop tons of weight, only to gain it back. Making a lifestyle change leads to long-lasting results!

Stay Hydrated

Water flushes toxins out of our bodies. It is also important for performance and weight loss, as it suppresses your appetite, boosts your metabolism, and makes exercise easier and more efficient. 

Studies indicate that dehydration is an important factor to consider in training, as it limits muscular performance and reduces force generation.

Base Your Diet on Whole Foods

Natalie’s diet is very healthy, full of fiber, greens, vitamins, and minerals. This is perfect for weight loss, and reversing heart disease, as this study on plant-based diets suggests.

Cut Back on Refined Carbs and Sugar

It spikes your blood sugar, doesn’t make you full, and will cause overeating on empty calories! 

Natalie Portman Diet Plan

Now, here is an example diet plan based on Natalie Portman’s favorite foods.


Vegan Oatmeal with Strawberries, Maple Syrup, and Almond Butter:

  • 40 g Rolled oats
  • 200 ml Water or plant based milk
  • 1 handful strawberries
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp almond or other nut butter

Warm up the strawberries with the maple syrup in a microwave. Cook the oats in the milk until soft. Add the nut butter to the oats and the maple syrup with the strawberries on top. 

Mix it and enjoy!

Snack 1

Roasted and Seasoned Cauliflower:

  • 1 Small head of cauliflower
  • Spices: pepper, salt, cumin, chilli (optional), paprika, garlic powder
  • Olive oil

Wash the whole cauliflower. Cook in water for 10-15 minutes. Place it on a baking tray and add the olive oil and spices before cooking. 

Spread the spices and bake at 180 degrees with a fan for about 30 minutes or until the edges are golden and crispy.


Lentil, Kale, and Sweet Potato Salad:

  • 1 Sweet potato
  • Lentils
  • Avocado oil
  • Shallots
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Vegan feta cheese
  • Salt
  • 2 Tsp wholegrain mustard
  • Kale

Cut the sweet potato into four pieces and cover it with avocado oil. Place it in the oven and cook at 350 degrees until soft. 

Meanwhile, cook the lentils and let them cool. Slice the shallots and soak them in red wine vinegar. Add salt and two teaspoons of whole-grain mustard. 

Chop the kale and cook it in salted water. Strain after 10 seconds. 

Slice the vegan feta cheese and mix all ingredients. Add olive oil and spices to your taste!

Snack 2 

Vegan S’mores Pancakes:

  • 1 cup flour
  • Canola oil
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • 1 cup plant based milk
  • Vanilla

Mix the ingredients above apart from the oil. 

Heat the oil in a pan and add a thin layer of batter. Add chocolate chips if you like before flipping it to the other side. When ready, serve with maple syrup or anything that you fancy!


Spicy Chickpea Stew:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large green zucchini, diced
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 small bag chopped fresh parsley
  • steamed rice, to serve

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and zucchini and cook until the garlic is golden, about one to two minutes. Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, salt, and pepper flakes. 

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat. Cook for another 30 minutes until it has a stew-like texture. When ready, garnish with parsley and serve over rice.

Natalie Portman Supplement Preferences

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natalie portman transformation supplements

Natalie does not take many dietary supplements besides Vitamin D, which she takes daily.

Portman also gets B12 shots once a month. Note that all injectables require a prescription from a licensed practitioner. The injections are administered by her doctor, as she believes it’s hard to get enough B12 from a plant-based diet.

We also know she took Nature’s Best vegan protein during her superhero preparation, which isn’t part of her daily supplements when she’s not shooting.

Final Thoughts

Natalie Portman’s on-screen preparation is challenging. Her ability to bring her characters alive and transform her physique each time is outstanding.

Are you also ready to take away some valuable diet and workout ideas from Natalie? 

If the answer is yes, remember, you are on a journey. When you stick with this workout routine and vegan diet plan, fantastic results are possible.

Also, remember that you can achieve your own unique version of success by customizing these workouts for your goals and personal needs.

Are you going to try Natalie Portman’s diet and workouts? Let me know how it goes! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Did Natalie Portman get buff for Thor?

Yes, Natalie Portman spent five months before shooting gaining muscle. She lifted weights for two hours a day five times a week to create the strong physique of a superhero. 

She also worked with a personal trainer throughout shooting, getting up at 4.30 am every day before work.

Plus, Natalie increased her protein intake and stayed consistent with both her training and diet. This led Natalie Portman to a successful body transformation!

Did Natalie Portman lift weights?

Yes, she did. Natalie Portman had an intense arm workout. She trained with heavy weights, doing upper body weight sessions three times a week, plus core, agility, boxing, skipping, Pilates, and some injury prevention exercises. 

Her general training routine does not usually involve weight training, so it was a new challenge for her Goddess of Thunder role.

How long did it take Natalie Portman to bulk up?

It took her five months to gain the desired amount of muscle mass. Then, her routine was all about maintenance.

How did Natalie Portman lose weight?

Natalie was consuming a very small amount of calories to get as small as possible for Black Swan. While being on this very low-calorie diet, she kept training six times a week, four hours a day. 

She has done professionally supervised ballet dancing sessions, flexibility, stability work, and swimming. 

Her weight loss journey was demanding!

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