(Picture: Les Mills/Instagram)

HIIT is having a real moment in the sun.

It’s ridiculously time effective, it’s unrelenting and it’s supposed to be excellent for targeting belly fat.

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But how much do you need to do to feel the benefits? If you’re switching from a cardio-based regime, do you need to switch up your nutrition? And when should we be eating around our workouts?

Last month, Les Mills took over London’s Excel Centre for a two-day high-intensity extravaganza, with body attack, spin and step classes taking place – each filled with hundreds of keen exercisers.

So who better to answer all our HIIT-related questions than Steve Tansey, Head of Research & Development at Les Mills UK – one the biggest boot camp and HIIT training providers in the country?

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Why is HIIT so good for the body?

It causes a faster adaptation (change) than any other form of training as it forces the body to deal with a high level of intensity which can effectively enhance bone mineral density, cardiovascular function, muscle tone and fat loss.

Is HIIT actually more effective than cardio for shredding fat?


That’s because the calorific burn continues after the training (commonly known as the ‘afterburn’. With GRIT (the brand’s 30 minute HIIT workout designed to improve strength and build muscle), we have measured a higher level of calorie expenditure for up to 2.5 hours after the training.

HIIT also increases lean muscle tissue that continues to burn more calories – shedding fat above and beyond the levels that you’d gain by sticking with steady state cardio.

What would you count as the minimum amount of time for a HIIT workout?

20 minutes of work with a 3 minute warm up. That’s it.

Isn’t there an issue with people concentrating on the short bursts of energy and not building endurance?

Not at all. Aesthetically, short bursts can help you achieve your goals much quicker than longer stints.

Building endurance is advantageous for certain sports or if you generally want to improve that aspect of training but otherwise, HIIT does everything you need it to do.

Could you describe your own daily fitness regime?

GRIT 2-3 x per week (a HIIT workout)

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Cardio Training (BODYCOMBAT) 2 x per week (a high energy martial arts-inspired workout)

BODYPUMP 1x per week (a barbell workout)

Weight Training (Power Complex and Strength) 2-3 x per week at lunch time.

Do you need the same nutrition if following a HIIT plan as you would doing a cardio-based workout?

Yes, your nutrition would stay the same. The results are achieved from the training modality, not your food intake. Saying that, I’d always recommend having a good dose of protein after training to help repair and support the muscles.

Should you exercise on an empty stomach?

No. Your body needs the energy to perform these classes.

HIIT workouts have generally been designed to work participants that are not low on sugar and carbohydrates. Our GRIT classes, for example, have bouts of intense work that would be incredibly hard to maintain without sufficient fuel.

Do you think this concentration on HIIT is encouraging people to get stronger, not slimmer?

Strong is the new slim in my opinion. Being strong is being healthy.

That doesn’t mean that women will grow ‘man muscle’. Building a strong frame will keep you healthy long into your later years as fast twitch muscles (TYPE 2 – the one’s GRIT Training increases) are the first to be atrophied as we age.


If you keep moving and keep working out, you’re bound to stay more agile and feel better for longer.

And it’s important to remember that although fat does not turn to muscle, muscle does reduce fat – so if you want to look fit, you’ve got to keep moving.

What do you want your clients to take away from your classes/boot camps?

The feeling that they have achieved something amazing, that the time has flown by and that they have learnt something new about training.

MORE: Meet the woman behind Be:FIT – Europe’s largest fitness festival solely for women

MORE: Personal trainer attempted suicide three times before fitness saved her life

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How Nina Dobrev Completely Revamped Her Workout and Eating Routine

Last week, Nina Dobrev was officially announced as the new face of the Reebok x Les Mils partnership. To celebrate, the actress hosted a full-day fitness and wellness extravaganza where we got to chat with her about her workouts (in addition to sweating it out with a personal trainer, she’s a devotee of Les Mills GRIT, a 30-minute group HIIT workout), her diet, and body image revelations. Spoiler: She recently completely changed the way she thinks about eating and working out and got major results.

Here’s what we learned:

Strength training changed everything for her.

“I actually did not do a lot of in the past-I only did yoga and ran in terms of training. Strength training with weights and such a regimented schedule has been new to my life, and now that I understand the way it all works, the science behind it, it’s changed everything for me. I eat so much more than I used to, and I feel so much leaner and stronger than I ever imagined I’d be.”

She eats way more-and feels leaner.

“I used to eat three full meals and then I would not be able to move after each meal. I would be so full and tired. Now, I eat all the time but portion control is what’s important for me-I’m eating more in total but not more at a time. Lissa coached me through it, but basically, I aim to have the size of my thumb in fat, the size of my palm in protein, and then unlimited veggies. I wish I’d learned this in school.”

She uses this trick to get through tough workouts.

“Music is a big part of my training and my life. Before I had a trainer I would go to the gym and go on the treadmill and whenever it was the chorus I would sprint and whenever it was not the chorus I would just jog. If there’s a beat I can usually get into a groove and sense what’s happening and if something burns I just plow through it because the music is what drives me.”

She became a morning workout person.

“You need to make a decision-do I want to look and feel a certain way and put the work into it? I see the difference so I make the time for it on set. I would wake up an hour earlier. Even though I was exhausted after a 12-hour day and did not want to work out, I did it because I always knew I would feel better after. I do it first thing when I wake up because then I can’t make up an excuse for it, like being tired later on in the day. Because usually by 6 p.m. you’re just like, I have no energy. I’ve done all the things I’ve done! I don’t want to do anything else! I just get it done in the morning.” (FYI here are all the health benefits of morning workouts.)

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She doesn’t sweat the small stuff.

“There are a million things I nitpicked at a younger age, but now I look back at photos or videos of those days when I used to wish I could change my body and I’m like, oh I looked great that day. If I had to tell my younger self something, it would be to not sweat the small stuff and just accept who you are.”

  • By Kylie Gilbert @KylieMGilbert

Nina Dobrev Talks Fitness, Her Upcoming TV Show and More

From shows like “Degrassi: The Next Generation” and “The Vampire Diaries” to repping major fitness brands like Reebok and Les Mills, Nina Dobrev is slaying it on the screen and in the fitness studio.

We reached out to the 29-year-old actress and health advocate—who is returning to TV this fall in a new CBS comedy, “Fam”—to ask about her favorite workouts, her relationship with health and fitness, and more.

24Life: Why do you love fitness, and how has your relationship with health/fitness changed over the years?

Nina Dobrev: Feeling fit and healthy is something that you can’t beat. After a workout, I end up feeling stronger, more confident and super accomplished.

When I was younger, I was a competitive gymnast, and then for years, the only exercise I really did was yoga and running. It’s only recently that I’ve gotten into strength training, and I love it. It’s changed everything. I’ve experienced firsthand how high-repetition weight training doesn’t bulk you up; it simply tones and shapes. Now I feel leaner and stronger than ever.

24Life: You’ve done a lot of Les Mills GRIT over the last year and are now doing a dance workout with Reebok and Les Mills—what is your ideal mix of workout, and how does Les Mills GRIT fit into that?

ND: I get bored easily, so I love mixing things up. Plus, I know that getting a good variety intoyour routine is important, because if you do the same thing over and over again, you’re not shocking your muscles and you don’t get all the transformative benefits of exercise.

I love how the variety of Les Mills workouts make it easy to get a good mix. I do strength training, yoga and core training as well as functional training to build stability and mobility—which helps me move more safely and effectively when I do my favorite HIIT workouts. Just doing one or two Les Mills GRIT workouts a week has really taken my fitness to the next level. I’ve also been doing a ton of dance lately, which I freaking love! Not only is it a great physical workout, it takes you to a different space and challenges your mind.

24Life: What does being a part of the Les Mills “tribe” mean to you?

ND: The tribe really feels like a bit of a family. Some of my trainers have become my good friends, and the workouts we do together are so social and fun. No longer am I slogging it out alone in the gym. My workouts have become something fun that I can do with my friends.

24Life: How do you get your friends and family in on the fitness fun?

ND: My friends love joining me for my workouts. When there’s great music and inspiring instructors to motivate you, it’s something that people don’t want to miss out on. Sure, it might be a challenging workout, but when you do it in a group, it becomes fun. It also fuels your competitive drive—with a little friendly competition, we can push each other to succeed.

24Life: What is something surprising that many people might not know about you?

ND: I have a mentality where I have to do physical activity every day—but it’s not just to get results. For me, the most important thing is that exercise is fun. I won’t do anything unless I enjoy it!

24Life: What is your life mantra?

ND: Breathe deep. Work hard. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Confront the issues. Fix the problems. Move on. Do what makes you smile. Breathe deep.

24Life: How do you balance screen time/digital time with real life?

ND: I try to unplug when I can. I’ll leave my phone in the car or plugged into a charger when I’m spending time with friends.

24Life: You return to TV in the CBS comedy “Fam” this fall—what are you most excited about for this new role/show?

ND: I’m excited to try a new medium. The multi-camera sitcom world is a different challenge that I’m really looking forward to tackling. This will be my first time filming in front of a live audience, which is both scary and thrilling.

Rapid-fire questions

Favorite and least favorite workout move?

Favorite: planks. Least favorite: burpees.

What do you do to recover on your rest days?

Watch movies and go to the spa/get massage.

What’s your pre-workout power food?

Protein shake!

Cheat meal or go-to treat/indulgence?

Burger and french fries.

What is your go-to song for motivation?

“One Shot” from “Hamilton” by Lin Manuel Miranda or “Welcome to the Party” by Diplo/French Montana.

Last book you read?

“Heart Talk” by Cleo Wade.

Any fun travel or vacation plans in the near future?

Europe, to see my family.

Podcasts you love to listen to?

“The School of Greatness” from Lewis Howes.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Les Mills

hellomagazine.com Nina Dobrev has revealed her favourite workouts and the breakfast she always eats to start her day healthily.

Actress Nina Dobrev works out with her girlfriends to stay motivated at the gym.The former The Vampire Diaries beauty also relies on her friendships to help her remain on target when it comes to eating good food.

“When I have a night off, I like to stay home and watch movies and cook with my girlfriends,” she tells Harper’s Bazaar. “We’ll grab one of the cookbooks off my counter and open a random page and do our best to make the recipe, while destroying the kitchen in the process. We also work out together a lot. Before dinner we often meet up at a Les Mills (fitness) class together – my favorite is Grit – or a dance class, or go to the gym. We’ll detox and then retox.”


Nina Dobrev says she likes to workout with her friends

Nina believes in balance when it comes to diet and she doesn’t restrict herself from eating delicious calorie-rich meals. “On a good day, lunch will be a big salad with avocado and grilled salmon with lemon, which I’ll make at home or order from Sweetgreen. If it’s a cheat day, I’ll have a burger,” the 28-year-old shares.

STORY: Nina Dobrev: ‘I always make time for morning exercises’

But even though Nina has a cheat meal every now and then, the xXx: Return of Xander Cage star always starts her day right by making herself up a healthy smoothie for breakfast. “I make the same shake for breakfast every single morning: Sunwarrior protein powder, the chocolate flavour, half a banana, coconut peanut butter that I have shipped in from Hawaii, almond milk, spinach, kale, and cinnamon,” she shares. “My NutriBullet (blender) is my life force. I like to start my day healthfully.”

See the latest health and fitness stories here.

Nina Dobrev needs a spoon. She has a fresh matcha latte in her hand and nothing to stir it with. Suddenly, she leaps across the room and starts rummaging behind a bar. “Will you think less of me if I use something that’s not meant to be a spoon as a spoon?” she asks. She bounds back with her makeshift utensil: a corkscrew. “I really hope it’s clean.” She laughs, then goes for it, plunking the metal wine opener into her cup and swirling it around in the pale green foam.


Nina has been at NeueHouse, a members-only coworking space in Hollywood, for all of two seconds, but it’s clear she gets what she wants—and gets it in the nicest way possible. There’s no artifice on display: She’s in minimal makeup, shiny black workout leggings, and a gray sweatshirt with a teddy bear on it. She’s dressed casually, she explains, because she came from the CBS studio lot in Los Angeles, where she has been shooting the new multi-cam sitcom Fam.

That last bit might come as a surprise, seeing as how Nina, who turns 30 on January 9, is best known for playing Elena Gilbert on the hit supernatural show The Vampire Diaries. Fam is the first time in three years that she will be back in a lead role on television, and it’s a far cry from bloodsucking demons.

After leaving Vampire Diaries in 2015, Nina had something of an existential crisis. “I was like, ‘Why am I here? What am I doing? Is it making me happy? What can I do to make me happier?’” Worried that she might end up pigeonholed (she doesn’t say the name of the show out loud, as if to dissociate from it), Nina pivoted toward comedy. That is, she got as far away as she could from weepy high school heroines.

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Heaven is a place on earth. And we found it…

A post shared by Nina Dobrev (@nina) on Dec 9, 2018 at 11:00pm PST

At first, Nina didn’t get the reception she wanted from prospective bosses. “They were just like, ‘Oh, she was on a drama. She’s not funny.’” But with her trademark determination, Nina pushed forward, approaching the problem “like a math equation,” she says. She took Improv 101 classes: “I probably sucked. But I got better.” She pitched a sketch to Funny or Die. She even wrote a feature-length comedy.

Then, in early 2018, after having thought for a while about moving to New York City, she got serious about it and made an offer on an apartment. The next day, she landed the Fam job. “I was extremely thrilled about the show, obviously, but part of my heart and my soul really wanted to experience the city because I’ve never done that,” she says. “ was the universe telling me that it wasn’t my time to .”


Her reason for taking the Fam role fits squarely in with one of her core philosophies: If it seems terrifying, head straight for it. “The live-audience aspect scared me, so naturally, I had to do it,” Nina says. While the sitcom may have kept Nina from New York, it did give her a schedule that she calls “the most consistent that I’ve had so far in my career.” Because of that, she’s been able to stick to a regular workout regimen. This is a significant benefit for Nina, a former competitive gymnast and natural athlete who actually sounds as if she means it when she says, “I just love working out.” (Her zest for keeping active led to a recent partnership with Reebok and Les Mills.)


Nina’s current fitness obsession involves what she likes to call a “workout cocktail”—a mix of yoga, running, weight training, boxing, and group classes, depending on the day. For the first time in her life, she has visible abs. “I’m getting older and more conscious of what I eat and how I eat it and what I do,” she says. “Doing something different has been the most fun, and I’ve seen the most benefit because you shock your system.” She’s strong and lean now, as opposed to “skinny fat,” which is how she felt when she was doing only hot yoga years ago.

On a typical morning, Nina gets up several hours before her call time so she can walk her dog, Maverick, work out, relax in the steam room, and shower. “I need to sweat every single day somehow, even if it’s just in the steam room,” she says. “Some days are better than others, I’ll be honest with you. Some days, Maverick gets a shorter walk than she probably deserves, if I’m running late or don’t have it together or press the snooze button 18 times too many.”

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Every single day is an opportunity – start fresh with a positive mind and the rest will follow. #ShareYourStrength #ReebokAmbassador @lesmillstribe @reebokwomen

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Her partnership with Reebok has led to multiple perks, like the shiny black leggings she’s wearing now, and an introduction to trainer Lissa Bankston, who also gave Nina an education in nutrition. These days, Nina takes in more calories than she used to; she tries to eat every two hours to keep her metabolism stable. “I feel healthier,” she says. “You’re happier when your body is full, your brain functions better, and you’re a nicer person. I would get hangry, I think, because I was so busy running around that I wasn’t the best version of myself.”

“I need to sweat every single day somehow, even if it’s just in the steam room.”

It’s easy to see how Nina could get too preoccupied to eat. A few days after our NeueHouse meeting, she is on a soundstage in Studio City, learning new dialogue in front of a live audience while waiting for the cameras to start rolling. Nina bites her lip, seemingly worried about nailing her lines. She mouths her part from memory, then reaches to double-check her script, which is hidden behind a pillow on the sofa she’s sitting on.


As Clem, a former party girl who is trying to impress her fiancé and his parents, Nina is in front of the cameras for pretty much the entire episode. There’s hardly any time to snack, let alone get a full meal in, during the four-hour evening shoot.

After the episode wraps, Nina enthusiastically greets several friends, including former Vampire Diaries castmate Kayla Ewell. She leads them back to her dressing room for drinks, a ritual on live taping days.

The door to her dressing room has a sign on it that reads “Warning: Viciously Cute Dog Inside.” As soon as Nina opens the door, Maverick, her collie-Aussie mix rescue, who is truly the most beautiful dog you’ve ever seen, starts hopping up—as if her hind legs might be on tiny springs—to say hello.

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That awkward moment when you show up to a party wearing the same dress. #WhoWoreItBetter @dogdaysthefilm

A post shared by Maverick Do(g)brev (@mrs.maverick) on Aug 5, 2018 at 7:48pm PDT

After a quick change out of her costume into jeans and a T-shirt, Nina offers drinks to the group: “I have tequila…and tequila.” Her assistant, doubling as bartender, mixes Nina’s preferred spirit with pamplemousse La Croix and Honeydrop lemonade (the charcoal and unicorn flavors are her faves) and hands out cups. Maverick lands on what seems like every lap in the room to offer kisses, but Nina holds everyone’s attention, dishing gossip from the set and telling a story about how she once very awkwardly introduced herself to Samuel L. Jackson. She is the obvious alpha, the ringleader, the life of the party.

Other people start to trickle in, and the room quickly reaches capacity. Nina runs out to peek into her costars’ dressing rooms. “Guys, we’re winning the party competition!” she says. With so many people around, Maverick starts to get more vocal. “Go home!” Nina sternly says to her, pointing to the dog’s pretty white puppy-size teepee. Maverick obeys, going inside the tent and quieting herself. Again, it’s clear that Nina gets what she wants.

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Having a dog is almost like having a child, Nina says, or another full-time job (Maverick has her own Instagram account with nearly 400,000 followers), and that’s been another kind of training ground for Nina. Eventually, she wants to get married and have a family—and she’d like to act, write, produce, and direct at the same time. And why shouldn’t she?

“I can and will definitely have both ,” she says.

“I’m still working on me. When I do have a family, I can focus my full energy on that, but I’m not ready for it yet. In 10 years, hopefully, I will be—for my mom’s sake. My mom wanted me to have a baby 10 years ago. She gets me baby clothes for Christmas every year. She’s like, ‘Hint, hint, nudge, nudge!’”

The focus right now is on sticking this landing. Once Nina conquers comedy—something she looks poised to do—she’d like to go on to star in a period piece, a biopic, and an action film. “I sort of want to do everything,” she says. “I know for sure I am capable of it. Because people know me a certain way, it’s been a process to change minds and show everybody else that I’m capable of it too.” So far, mission accomplished.

This article originally appears in the January/February 2018 issue of Women’s Health. For more intel on how your favorite stars and influencers lead healthier, happier lives, pick up an issue on newsstands now.

The actor told Shape that her attitude to health and fitness has completely changed, with a new focus on strength training and eating more.

Yep, more. We’re so down with that.

RELATED: The Strict Diet Jenna Dewan Tatum Swears By

“I used to eat three full meals and then I would not be able to move after each meal,” Nina told Shape. “I would be so full and tired. Now, I eat all the time but portion control is what’s important for me—I’m eating more in total but not more at a time.”

“I aim to have the size of my thumb in fat, the size of my palm in protein, and then unlimited veggies. I wish I’d learned this in school.”

988.7k likes – View Post on Instagram Out of breath & the sweat is real BUT, happy to announce I’m joining the @reebokwomen & @LesMillsTribe family! #Reebok #LesMills @Reebok

And when it comes to working out, these days the 28-year-old – who was recently a bridesmaid for fellow fitness devotee Julianne Hough – is all about upping the weights.

RELATED: Julianne Hough Reveals Exactly What She Eats To Stay In Phenomenal Shape

“I actually did not do a lot of in the past – I only did yoga and ran in terms of training,” she said. “Strength training with weights and such a regimented schedule has been new to my life, and now that I understand the way it all works, the science behind it, it’s changed everything for me. I eat so much more than I used to, and I feel so much leaner and stronger than I ever imagined I’d be.”

526.5k likes – View Post on Instagram You don’t get results by laying out in the sun. You gotta work hard to play hard. Earn that pool break. 🏋🏻‍♀️👊🏼😎 @lissaba 🎥Cred: @nobread

“I do it first thing when I wake up because then I can’t make up an excuse for it, like being tired later on in the day,” Nina said. “Because usually by 6 p.m. you’re just like, I have no energy. I’ve done all the things I’ve done! I don’t want to do anything else! I just get it done in the morning.”

RELATED: Kayla Itsines Shares Her Best Tips For Being A Morning Workout Person

Get Nina’s toned arms with these five push up moves…

Nina Dobrev: Diet Foods, Vegetarian Detox & Exercise

What is Nina Dobrev’s diet plan and exercise, how does she keep in such great shape?

Table of Contents

Diet Plan

Nina Dobrev likes to eat food and doesn’t count calories or starve herself on crash diet plans. After experimenting with many different diets to see what works best for her, Nina has settled on a low-carb diet, while getting plenty of essential fats, fruits and vegetables.

She likes to eat a very balanced diet and also ensure that she gets enough protein because this girl likes to workout. A lot. What’s more she learned from having experimented with the Vegan Diet that there are many healthy vegan foods which are both low in calories, and high in nutrition value.

Nina Dobrev stays away from junk food and especially processed foods of any kind. If it came in a packet, she probably won’t eat it.

Overall Nina Dobrev’s diet is very simple. She stays away from fad diets and low calorie or no carb diets, and makes healthy food choices. She doesn’t feel the need to starve herself, because any calories she doesn’t burn naturally through her metabolic process, — she burns off from exercise and workouts.

Workout Routine

Lucky for Nina Dobrev she has been super into exercise and moving her body from a very early age. There is not need to motivate her to workout because she LOVES exercise.

This is actually a common trait among many of the healthiest fittest people. They just love to work out! And unlike Nina many other celebrities didn’t start working out until they were in their twenties and so it isn’t only for people who started young.

You can learn to love exercise by doing it. In fact that’s exactly how it happens. The endorphins that go off in Nina Dobrev’s brain when she works out is exactly why she keeps doing it.

And it works!

Nina Dobrev has kept her weight down and is slim and attractive with a great body shape to match.

One of the exercise that Nina adores is the Bikram style of Yoga. This is what is called hot Yoga and works the entire body through Yoga poses and asanas in a heated room.

Nina also works out with her personal trainer where she practices a range of exercises and workouts designed to hit all of her body. Full body workouts are in and they are here to stay because not only are they the most convenient time-wise, yet also full body workouts have been shown to be one of the best ways to train the body.

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What else is Nina Dobrev doing to stay in shape? Do you know any more information on Nina’s workout or diet plan?

Nina Dobrev’s Diet and Workout Routine

Are any of you fans of The Vampire Diaries? Nina Dobrev absolutely stuns in it!

Nina is a beautiful woman, and she keeps her body in incredible shape too. Just look at her rocking it at the Golden Globes! She’s such a great fitness role model that she also became a brand ambassador for the Reebok x Les Mills partnership.

Here’s everything Nina does to stay in shape all year long!



Nina loves food, but she’s also pretty disciplined about what she puts into her body. She wants all of the ingredients that she eats to be healthy and high quality!

I like Nina’s approach to eating because it isn’t limiting. She just focuses on eating real food (and the right amount of food) that makes her feel good.

Here are some of her favourite dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

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Vanity Fair. #ChristianDior 💋 #Repost @ilariaurbinati with @repostapp ・・・ @Nina Dobrev in @Dior + @tamaramellon shoes + @YlianaYepez clutch – styled by yours truly. New haircut + do @riawna. Face @spencerbarnesLA #oscars2017

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Nina starts her day off with the same thing every morning. She loves this smoothie:

  • Sunwarrior protein powder in the chocolate flavor
  • Half a banana
  • Coconut peanut butter (she orders it from Hawaii)
  • Almond milk
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cinnamon

Occasionally, she will go out for brunch. There, she likes to order French toast or pancakes.

Nina says that starting her day off right is important to her. It’s a lot easier for her to eat healthy if she begins her day with a nutritious meal.


For lunch, Nina loves a big salad with grilled salmon, lemon, and avocado.

If she’s wanting a treat, Nina will indulge in a burger every once in a while for lunch.


Nina loves to cook. But, if she’s busy working or on set, she will sometimes order food to go. One of her favorite restaurants is Sweetgreens.

There, she might order a healthy harvest bowl, which is full of:

  • Organic wild rice
  • Shredded kale
  • Apples
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Roasted chicken
  • Local goat cheese
  • Toasted almonds
  • Balsamic vinaigrette


Nina says she likes to eat a lot. She doesn’t like going hungry, and she says her body looks and feels better when she eats smaller meals several times a day. She’s tried eating three square meals without snacks, but she hasn’t felt as good doing that.

To make sure she isn’t eating too much, Nina makes sure her portions are in control. She tries to follow these guidelines:

  • Fat the size of her thumb.
  • Protein the size of her palm.
  • Unlimited veggies!

Nina keeps nuts, apples, and other healthy snacks in her bag in case she gets hungry while she’s out working or having fun.


Nina is 30 years old. As she’s gotten older, she says she’s had to become more and more aware of what she’s putting in her body. She lets herself enjoy treats sometimes, but she really tries to limit processed food and sugar that she eats.

Like many celebrities, Nina’s tried different diets. She was a vegan for a while, and she has also focused on eating low-carb. But, for Nina, clean eating has been the best approach to nutrition.

To eat clean, try to eat food in its most natural state. I suggest eating:

  • Whole grains
  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Fish, poultry, and eggs
  • Healthy fats (like avocado)

Try to keep sweets, red meat, white carbs, and butter to a minimum.

Nina’s commitment to a healthy diet has definitely paid off. She says that it helped her get visible abs for the first time in her life. Her diet has helped make the difference between looking skinny fat and strong and lean, she says.


Nina prefers to prepare her own food. Although it is possible to eat healthy while eating out at restaurants (here are my tips!), it’s a lot easier to eat well if you know exactly how your food was prepared.

After a hard workout, Nina and her friends like to pick a meal from a cookbook to all prepare together.



When she was a child, Nina did gymnastics competitively, which taught her the importance of hard work in and out of the gym. She would often spend 4-5 hours a day working out. Today, Nina is still flexible, and she credits her ballerina-like body in part to gymnastics.

As an adult, Nina has always loved to work out and stay in shape. Over the years, her routine has changed some, but her desire to look and feel good hasn’t changed at all.

She tries to workout 5 times a week, and she likes to do different types of training to accomplish different goals. Some of her favourite forms of exercise have been yoga, running, HIIT, and strength training.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Nina Dobrev (@nina) on Nov 23, 2018 at 1:30pm PST


Nina loves yoga and is known for her flexibility. She loves attending yoga classes so that she can focus on her breathing, improve her posture, and develop deeper core strength.


These days, Nina doesn’t run as often as she used to. She prefers HIIT and strength training workouts.

However, Nina has been a huge fan of running in her life. While starring on The Vampire Diaries, Nina would go for regular runs to help keep her in shape.

Running is her favourite type of cardio, but she also likes to swim, cycle, and play sports.


Nina says she loves Les Mills Grit classes. These HIIT classes are just 30 minutes long and they will help you burn tons of calories.

Here are a few HIIT workouts that are similar to Grit:

  • Full body HIIT workout that won’t cause bulk
  • HIIT workout for a slim and toned body
  • Get skinny legs: Fat burning HIIT workout


Nina says that starting strength training changed everything for her. She feels stronger and looks more toned than she used to. When Nina just ran and did yoga, she felt skinny fat. Over the years, strength training has helped her to feel leaner than she thought possible.

I agree with her! In order to have a slim, toned body, I suggest women do a combination of cardio and resistance training. Cardio will help you burn fat, and resistance training helps your body look toned.

Nina does strength training with quite a bit of weight. However, remember that Nina is naturally very slim. Her body type doesn’t put on much bulk very easily.


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Easing into Monday like… @reebokwomen #LesMills #ShareYourStrength #ReebokAmbassador #MondayMornings

A post shared by Nina Dobrev (@nina) on Aug 7, 2017 at 11:40am PDT


Nina’s so open about fitness life. I love it! Here are a few things that I noticed that Nina does that I love:

  • She listens to music while working out! It helps her get into the groove of a workout and find her rhythm.
  • She works out with friends. Nina loves going to the gym or to a workout class with her girls.
  • She surrounds herself with people that are positive. They help her achieve her goals!
  • She works out in the morning. If she waits to workout until the end of the day, she feels sluggish and loses her motivation.
  • She tries to sweat every day, even if it is something small.
  • She practices self-love. Nina focuses on her accomplishments and tries not to pick apart her body in pictures.
  • She does yoga before bed to help her sleep with good posture and to unwind from the day.

Nina is an amazing woman. She’s fun, kind, and open about living a healthy life! I love the example she sets to her fans. It was wonderful to learn more about her!


Rachael xx

Featured image: Featureflash Photo Agency / .com

Written by Rachael Attard

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.
After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.
Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

The Nina Dobrev Workout Routine

Last updated on August 29th, 2018 at 09:26 am

BONUS: Download the FREE Nina Dobrev Workout Routine PDF

I’m going to start this one off just like I did for Ian Somerhalder.

Which seems fitting enough. So here it is:

Vampire Diaries is over, but the legacy lives on.

And, people love them some Nina Dobrev…aka Elena.

I also just finished up a winter course with the final week of the course revolving around Vampires, which was pretty awesome!

So this week will be the Damon and Elena duo, aka Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev.

But, as I mentioned on Ian’s routine, we have also seen other vampire related celebrities like Wesley Snipes, Luke Evans, Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds, Taylor Lautner, and Joe Manganiello – to name a few.

And, I also said I probably should have ONLY named Vampires, but I included celebs who are also in shows or movies with them…

Nina Dobrev Stats:

Height: 5’7

Weight:(approximate) 120 lbs.

Age: 29 years old

Nina Dobrev is actually JUST above average height for the women we see at SHJ. She’s not quite as tall as women like Gal Gadot, Jennifer Lawrence, Gwendoline Christie, Karen Gillan, Zendaya, Rihanna, and many more women that are above average.

She is however right there with women like Jessica Biel and Daisy Ridley.

The average height we see is actually 5’4-5’6 with women like Jennifer Aniston, Margot Robbie, Rosario Dawson, Katie Cassidy, Katheryn Winnick, Alicia Vikander, and a ton of others.

The below average height is shorter, with ladies including Nina Dobrev’s good friend Julianne Hough, and women like Scarlett Johansson, Emilia Clarke, Natalie Portman and more.

But, this is just for fun.

Regardless of your height and weight you can utilize this routine.

Nina Dobrev Diet and Nutrition

Nina Dobrev has talked about her diet, nutrition, and workout routine with Shape, US Magazine, and SELF.

In an interview with Shape she says this about her diet:

SHAPE: What type of nutritional plan do you recommend for her?
SM: She has sampled my meal delivery service, MoyerMeals, and is a fan of our Superfood Protein Balls. I stress a diet that is balanced. It’s not no-carb or low-carb; it’s correct-carb (for all I know, I coined this term). Very few processed foods. Lots of vegetables. No diet should be too restrictive. For all the people out there against calorie counting, you really can’t progress in your knowledge of nutrition until you understand your body’s relationship to calories. It’s calorie awareness, not calorie counting.

I specifically like that she says “no diet should be too restrictive”.

In The Academy, and at SHJ, we definitely opt for sustainability. The Nutrition Classes (Monk, SuperHuman, Viking, Spartan, Hunter Gatherer, Samurai, Minimalist) we use in The Academy reflect that as well.

In a more recent article with Shape, they tell us:

Last week, Nina Dobrev was officially announced as the new face of the Reebok x Les Mils partnership.

In this article she states this about her dietary guidelines and changes:

She eats way more—and feels leaner.
“I used to eat three full meals and then I would not be able to move after each meal. I would be so full and tired. Now, I eat all the time but portion control is what’s important for me—I’m eating more in total but not more at a time. Lissa coached me through it, but basically, I aim to have the size of my thumb in fat, the size of my palm in protein, and then unlimited veggies. I wish I’d learned this in school.”

I really like the way Lissa makes it so easy to portion and continue to sustain, so this is definitely something you guys can pick up and utilize within your own regimes.

Nina Dobrev Workout Routine Research

Before going deeper, I already linked to the article announcement of Dobrev’s partnership with Reebok, but you can also find more pics of her working out on her own Instagram as well.

In an interview with Dobrev’s old trainer, we’re told:

SHAPE: What type of training are you doing with Nina?
Steve Moyer (SM): We focus on core work and all-around fitness: strength, coordination, balance, flexibility, and endurance. Workouts with any client of mine are typically one hour.

Shape actually gives us a full one day routine style that Dobrev would utilize, which I’ll also be sharing with you guys in the full workout below.

In the updated article you hear more about Dobrev’s new routine when they tell us:

She uses this trick to get through tough workouts.
“Music is a big part of my training and my life. Before I had a trainer I would go to the gym and go on the treadmill and whenever it was the chorus I would sprint and whenever it was not the chorus I would just jog. If there’s a beat I can usually get into a groove and sense what’s happening and if something burns I just plow through it because the music is what drives me.”

She became a morning workout person.
“You need to make a decision—do I want to look and feel a certain way and put the work into it? I see the difference so I make the time for it on set. I would wake up an hour earlier. Even though I was exhausted after a 12-hour day and did not want to work out, I did it because I always knew I would feel better after. I do it first thing when I wake up because then I can’t make up an excuse for it, like being tired later on in the day. Because usually by 6 p.m. you’re just like, I have no energy. I’ve done all the things I’ve done! I don’t want to do anything else! I just get it done in the morning.”

This update I’ll be sharing a 30 min clip from Reebok’s Les Mills workout with Nina, and also be building you some routines to utilize similar to their style below.


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Last Chance: Download the FREE Nina Dobrev Workout Routine PDF

Training Volume:

3-5 days per week


I’m going to be giving you some options to utilize. You can use the video above, the Shape exercise that Dobrev utilized with trainer Steve Moyer, and also some options similar to that of Les Mills from Reebok, who loves HIIT training.

Video Link:

SHJ YouTube Workout Guide

Shape Routine:

Steve Moyer’s Triple-Threat Workout

You’ll need: A medicine ball and exercise mat.

How it works: These exercises are excellent for tightening the inner and outer thighs, butt, and core (three common “trouble zones” for women). Do 1 set of each exercise back to back, with no rest between moves. Unless otherwise noted, complete as many reps as you can with proper form (or for up to 60 seconds).

Shapely Legs

1. Basic Lunges: Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up (pick a point to stare at in front of you so you don’t keep looking down). Always engage your core. Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee isn’t pushed too far beyond your ankle and your back knee doesn’t touch the floor. Press through front heel to push back up to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

2. Jumping Lunges: Step forward with your left leg. Explosively push off left foot to jump up, raising arms overhead. Land with both feet together. Repeat on opposite leg.

3. Walking Lunges: Consider this a basic lunge with a major boost. Instead of going back to the starting position, you’ll step forward and repeat the move with a different leg, and continue walking forward, alternating legs. Add dumbbells to work those biceps too!

4. Reverse Lunges: This is similar to the basic lunge but you step back instead of forward.

5. Squats: Place feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart, hips stacked over knees, knees over ankles. Roll shoulders back and down away from the ears. Extend arms straight out from shoulders, palms facing down. Initiate movement by inhaling into the belly and unlocking the hips, slightly bringing them back. Keep sending hips back as knees begin to bend. Keep chest and shoulders upright and spine neutral during the entire movement. Let hips squat lower than knees, if comfortable. Engage the core, and exhale while driving through the heels to return to standing. Imagine the feet are spreading the floor (the left foot to the left, right foot to the right) without actually moving the feet.

6. Medicine Ball Walk: Place a medicine ball between ankles. Squeeze thighs so that the ball stays off the ground. Take very short steps, keeping feet parallel as if they were on two tracks. Maintain this form and reverse (walking backwards). Again, the toes never bow in or out, feet stay parallel to each other. Feel it in your inner thighs and abs.

Tighter Midsection

1. Plank Pushups: Lie facedown on the floor on your stomach. Lift your body off the floor so that you’re resting on your forearms and toes, elbows should be bent at 90 degrees. Hold your body in a straight position as you push up into full plank, one hand at a time. Tighten the abdominal muscles and hold this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Lower into a pushup by bending elbows to 90 degrees. Keep abdominal muscles tight throughout. Elbows should be close to the sides of body as you lower until chest hits the floor. Inhale as you lift yourself up by straightening arms to resume full plank position. Pause briefly at the top (1-2 seconds) before lowering down into pushup position again. Repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions or until you reach fatigue.

2. Plank Reaches: From full plank position, lift right arm and extend it forward at shoulder height as you lift left leg behind you so that it’s parallel to floor, toes pointed. Hold for 10 counts, then lower to return to plank. Switch sides and repeat.

3. Side Planks: Prop yourself up on right forearm so that you make a straight line from head to heels. Elbow should be directly below shoulder, abdominals gently contracted. Keep hips lifted off the floor and square and your neck in line with spine. Hold 20 to 40 seconds and lower. Repeat on the other side. Do 2 or 3 reps per side.

HIIT Options like Les Mills Reebok Routine

20 Minutes of HIIT Cardio Options:


1 min on: Run 5.5-10 mph

1 min off: Walk 2.5-3.3 mph

Rinse and repeat for 20 min


1 min on: Resistance 5-10 and RPMs above 100

1 min off: Resistance 1-3 and RPM consistent 30-70

Rinse and repeat for 20 min

10 Minute or Less Options (Perform 1-3 of These)

10 Min or Less Plank and Jump

10 Min or Less Bodyweight Circuit

10 Min or Less Burpee Circuit

10 Min or Less Climb to Core

10 Min or Less Battling Ropes

10 Min or Less Sprints and Bodyweight

10 Min or Less Heavy bag

10 Min or Less Death by Burpees

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Any of us who watched Vampire Diaries know Nina Dobrev. And if you’ve kept up with this star, you’d see that she’s recently become quite the wellness guru. This past summer, she became the new spokesperson for Reebok and Les Mils. Now, she’s out to show the world just how fit she can be. And lucky for us, she’s super open about how she makes it happen! Let’s take a look at the ways Nina Dobrev stays in shape…

1. Varied Cardio

It’s easy to get bored with the same workout routine that you do every day. Nina has found that changing it up is a really great way to prevent boredom. This actress has done everything from running to surfing to volleyball to get her heart rate going. So go out and try something different! Maybe instead of running, go for a bike ride or play a team sport with some friends. You’ll be distracted since you’re learning something new, and your workout will go by that much faster.

2. Strength Training

Nicole Laszlo

The practice of strength training is something that Nina has only recently started. But her results have been amazing. In her own words, she feels “so much leaner and stronger” than she ever imagined she’d be. A lot of girls tend to shy away from strength training (I know I have). It’s hard to include weights when you are always focused on getting that cardio in. But believe it or not, using your muscles will help you so much in the long run that it’s worth taking some time out of your workout to do it. When you’ve worked out your muscles, your body’s resting metabolic rate increases and you continue to undergo energy breakdown throughout the day, even when you’re resting! So next time you’re at the gym, go give those weights a try!

3. Add Some Music

Denise Uy

Music is a great way to get yourself pumped up for a workout. Nina says that workout playlists are a great tool to use while running on a treadmill. She switches back and forth from sprinting to jogging depending on the beat of the music. This is a great way to enjoy your workout and push yourself. Obviously, everyone works out differently. But no matter what type of exerciser you are, you can use music to get yourself more into it.

4. Focus on Flexibility

Nina knows that it’s super important to have a well-rounded workout each day. She doesn’t just do cardio or just do strength training. She does all of the above. And any well-rounded workout schedule includes stretching. Nina is a huge fan of yoga, and she makes sure to incorporate stretching into her regular workouts. Stretching prevents our muscles from becoming tight and shortened, which can more easily lead to injury. It also strengthens them for a more beneficial workout.

5. Morning Workouts

Nina told Shape Magazine when discussing her workouts, “I do it first thing when I wake up because then I can’t make up an excuse for it, like being tired later on in the day.” I’m a total morning workout girl myself, so I can attest that it is so much easier than waiting until later in the day. By the time we’re done with classes, homework, and various club meetings, we’re too exhausted to even think about working out. Working out in the mornings is a great way to get energized for the day, plus you won’t have time to talk yourself out of it!

6. Get a Workout Buddy

Although some workouts are better done alone, there are a bunch of workouts that you can do with friends. Exercising with someone else adds some variation to your boring daily workouts, and chatting can distract you while going through tough parts of your routine. Plus who doesn’t love a little healthy competition? Nina is notorious for workout out with a group of friends. Some of her favorites include cardio and dance classes with friends.

7. Incorporate Carbs

Sarah Silbiger

Nina’s personal trainer, Steve Moyer, encourages a diet that is balanced, but not restrictive. A lot of diets these days blame carbs for weight gain and try to completely eliminate them. But the truth is, carbs are a huge source of the body’s energy, and not something that we should be getting rid of. Especially when you consider all the nutrients you might be missing out on without them. Moyer’s diet plan stresses the importance of consuming whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and trying to eat as little processed foods as possible.

8. Focus on Awareness

Mackenzie Barth

Nina’s trainer also recommends what he calls “calorie awareness” as opposed to calorie counting. This discourages you from limiting yourself, but rather encourages healthy choices. Knowing about calories can be beneficial; however, counting calories can easily lead to a calorie obsession, which is not healthy. Make sure that you educate yourself about calorie and nutrient content in various foods so that you can choose wisely throughout your day, without having to count. You may actually find yourself eating more than before, but with fewer calories and more nutrients!

9. Incorporate Physical Activity Into Your Routine

A great way to stay active on days when you may not have time for a formal workout is to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Do you drive to class or work? Maybe consider walking or biking on nicer days. Or park in a spot a little further from the building to get some time outside. Use your lunch break to take a stroll or to run on the campus track. Do some sit-ups and squats while studying. There are so many other ways to get a little bit of extra exercise in during the day. What does Nina do? In the past, she’s made it a habit to bike to work.

10. Eat Less, More Often

Gabby Phi

Eating smaller portions is an excellent way to prevent overeating. You never feel starving and you never feel completely stuffed. In recent years, Nina has changed her diet so that her eating is more evenly spread throughout the course of the day. This helps her to avoid feeling tired in the middle of the day from eating a huge meal. She ends up eating more in volume since a lot of her snacks consists of fruits and vegetables.

11. Alcohol in Moderation

Caroline Ingalls

This can be a hard one to hear for us college students. But alcohol is actually fairly high in calories. Enjoying a glass of red wine or a Moscow mule can be beneficial in moderation. However, binge drinking on the weekends can be quite unsafe. Drinking less could definitely increase your hydration and get rid of those dreaded early-morning hangovers, which sounds like a win to me.

If you’re like me and have always been a fan of Nina Dobrev, these 11 tips from Nina herself will definitely get you motivated to be physically active and feel good! Obviously, everyone is different, and what works for some won’t always work for others. But with these general pointers, anyone can work toward eating a balanced diet and living a healthy and active lifestyle!

Recently I hosted an event in LA with Adidas & Nina Dobrev.


Not in a celebrity way, just a gem of a person.

She was warm, nice, kind, & sweet.

Really, really cool. In a friend-type of way. AND she was engaging & interesting. She came with two of her best friends & had an amazing, charismatic vibe.

We both sweat it out during a barre class & then I spoke to her about her healthy lifestyle…oh, & Vampire Diaries ( also I probably asked her one too many questions ):

| So what’s a healthy lifestyle tip for girls who are busy? I mean, obviously you’re VERY busy. What do you do to stay healthy? |:

Nina Dobrev: Well there are so many different things that you can do! Let’s start with healthy snacks.

I like KIND bars— I get angry if I don’t eat every hour. Or I have to get a juice or something…watch out if I don’t eat! I’m constantly snacking all day. Anyway, I always have KIND bars in my purse!

| Favorite fruit? |:

ND: For sure raspberries.

| Favorite protein? |:

ND: Umm honestly, because of my busy life I do A LOT of shakes. Herbalife shakes to be exact, because there are so many different flavors. I mix chocolate & strawberry. It’s a meal replacement. Typically I blend the powder with almond milk or banana— it feels like you’re having a dessert because it’s SO delicious.

| What’s your go to workout when you’re on set |:

ND: I switch it up a lot, just like food. It’s small portions through out the day. Working out & shocking your muscles is so important, because if you do the same thing over & over again your body will stop losing weight and toning.

I’ll have my friends come and when we’re talking during breaks we will be in plank position. In a triangle. Also, I had them build me a volleyball court on Vampire Diaries so we play at lunch break all the time. My crew members know how much I love playing volleyball so it was really sweet of them to put up a net for me. I always have a volleyball or a Bosu balance ball in my car. Sometimes in between set ups I’ll do push ups and sit ups.

| Favorite cocktail? |:

ND: If you’re trying to watch what you eat, you don’t drink! I think I had a cocktail after my last road trip, but really I haven’t had a drink in a while. I’ve been juicing a lot!

| Ok so, where do you go for juices in LA? |:

ND: I like Orchard Flats Cold Press Juicery.

| When you juice & cleanse, do you do food too? |:

ND: Both, I love food! I NEED it.

I have to work out harder because of it.

But I really, REALLY enjoy eating. It’s hard for me to do a cleanse without eating. I’ll do it through the day & eat dinner at night.

I can realistically do one maybe two days with the third day being a major cheat day.

| OK, last question, when you workout do you eat before or after? Like what’s your fave snack? |:

ND: They say you burn off the last meal you ate before you workout so usually I try to go on an empty stomach. Not completely empty, but not full.

Then afterwards I’ll have an Herbalife shake– my goal is to be healthy!

+ follow Nina on Instagram.

{ Also check out my interviews with actresses Julianne Hough and Amber Stevens }

Les mills grit diet

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