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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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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’s workout and diet plan for Black Swan and Thor undoubtedly reflect her willingness to push boundaries.
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.
Natalie Portman Thor: Love and Thunder Workout Weekly Schedule
Back Shoulders-Chest + Boxing
|Pilates /Leg Day (recommended)||Rest||Upper Body|
Complete five minutes on any cardio equipment to raise the heart rate. Then, do 30 seconds each of these exercises:
|Band Pull Aparts|
|Swiss Ball Throws|
Day 1 & Day 7: Upper Body Workout + Boxing + Core (Includes the famous Natalie Portman Thor arms workout!)
10 slow reps on each
90 seconds rest
Active recovery between sets: Lat stretch for 30 seconds
Dumbbell Reverse Fly
Dumbbell Seated Shoulder Press
10 slow reps on each
Active recovery: Back stretch
Supinated DB Frontal Raise
15 Frontal Raises
|60-90 sec rest|
Active recovery: Roll Ups
DB Biceps Curls
DB Triceps Press
|1-2||15 reps each||60-90 sec rest|
Active recovery: Thoracic rotation on power plate
Interval Training Options:
|Exercise – Rounds||Rest|
|Option 1: 4 rounds of 2 minutes boxing and 1 minute skipping||90-120 seconds rest between rounds|
|Option 2: 4 rounds of 50 m sprints and 1 minute medicine ball slams||90-120 seconds rest between rounds|
|Option 3: 4 rounds of 1 minute broad jumps and 1 minute side-to-side shuffle||90-120 seconds rest between rounds|
|Option 4: 4 rounds of 50 m sprints and 1 minute mountain climbs / Kettlebell Swings||90-120 seconds rest between rounds|
Choose one of the options above and complete it after the weights!
|Exercise Circuit||Sets and Reps|
|Holding Plank||1 x 30 sec – 1 minute hold|
|Side Plank||1 x 30 seconds hold each side|
|Standard Crunches||1 x 15-20 reps|
|Foot Elevated Crunches||1 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
|Donkey Kicks||1-2 x 10 reps each side / 30 sec rest|
|Downward Dog||1-2 x 30 seconds / 15-30 seconds rest|
|Bosu Ball Balance||1-2 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 Ball||1-2 x 10 reps / 15-30 seconds rest|
|Power Plate Stretches||1 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 Press||2-3||10-12||60 seconds|
|Incline Push-Ups||2-3||15||30 seconds|
|DB Triceps Kick Backs||2-3||15||30 seconds|
|Pec Flies||2-3||10-12||60 seconds|
|Complete the intervals and core circuit stated above|
Day 5: Never Skip Leg Day
This can speed up your progress in gaining muscle!
|Goblet Squats||2-3||12||60 sec|
|Lateral Lunges||2-3||15 each side||30 sec|
|Bulgarian Split Squats||2||10 each side||60 sec|
|Back Extensions||2-3||15-20||30 sec|
|Squat Jumps||2||15||60 sec|
Natalie Portman Black Swan Workout Routine
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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 + Intervals||Swimming||Upper Body Weights + LISS||Yoga/Pilates||Lower Body Weights +Intervals||Running/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 Rows||2-3||10-12||90 sec|
|Leg Extension||Superset 2-3 sets||15|
|Cable Flies||2-3||15||30 sec|
|DB Shoulder Press||2-3||12||30 sec|
|Hack Squats||2-3||10-12||90 sec|
|Intervals: 20 seconds bike sprints, 40 seconds slow cycling|
20 seconds fast row, 40 seconds slow
Day 3: Upper Body Workout
|Overhead Press||2-3||10-12||90 sec|
|DB Lateral Raise||2-3||12||30 sec|
|Cable Seated Row||2-3||15||30 sec|
|DB Overhead Pull-Over||2-3||15||30 sec|
|Triceps Dips/Bench Dips||2-3||15||30 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
|Kettlebell Swing||1-2||10-15||60 sec|
|DB Deadlift||2-3||12||60 sec|
|Leg Press||2-3||15||30 sec|
|Hip Thrusts||2-3||10-12||90 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.
|Single-Leg Stretch||Hold for 30 sec-1 minute each side|
|Downward Dog||Hold for 30 sec-1 minute each side|
|The Side Bend||Lower and lift your hip for 5 total reps|
|Swimming||Inhale for 5 strokes, exhale for 5 strokes|
|CrissCross||5 x each side|
|Tiptoe Bridges||2 x 10 reps|
|Pelvic Tilts||Slow and controlled 2 x 10|
Natalie Portman Dieting and Food Preferences
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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
|Breakfast||Oats & Berries, Avocados on Toast, Chickpea Salad (Israeli breakfast)|
|Lunch||Mexican Vegan Tacos, Falafel, Lentil Salad|
|Dinner||Vegetable Stir Fry, Couscous Salad,|
|Snack||Fruits, Nuts, Beetroot Salad|
|Guilty Pleasure||Van Leeuwen Vegan Ice Cream|
Natalie Portman Mighty Thor Diet and Food Preferences
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.
|Breakfast||Oats and Berries + Vegan Protein Shake|
|Lunch||Falafel with Tzatziki (made with cashew cream) and Salad|
|Snack 2||Protein Shake + Nuts|
|Dinner||Vegetable Curry with Rice + Protein Shake|
Calories In, Calories Out
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!
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!
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
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!
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
- Avocado oil
- Red wine vinegar
- Vegan feta cheese
- 2 Tsp wholegrain mustard
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!
Vegan S’mores Pancakes:
- 1 cup flour
- Canola oil
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 cup plant based milk
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 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.
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?
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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