How badass Brie Larson buffed up for ‘Captain Marvel’
Most Popular Today
Brie Larson turned heads last month when she posted an Instagram video that showed her pushing a Jeep uphill with her back.
Get into super shape with Brie Larson’s ‘Captain Marvel’ moves
“Captain Marvel can move planets, so I was like, ‘I just want to be able to push your car,’ ” Larson, 29, explained on the show. “If I could push your Jeep, then I’ll feel like I was ready. So it happened.”
Walsh gives his star client praise for the now-viral vehicular victory: “This is a 5,000-pound machine. Give her some credit,” he tells The Post.
However, the trainer isn’t typically interested in such eye-catching social-media moments.
“It’s a bunch of crap to be honest,” he says of using moves like the Jeep stunt to get fit. “I don’t train people like that. We don’t flip tires. We don’t do burpees. Please don’t take [pushing a car] as a part of our training. We’re smart here.”
A post shared by JASON WALSH (@risemovement) on May 7, 2018 at 6:45pm PDT
The 43-year-old Walsh, who has transformed the bodies of Hollywood stars such as John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Alison Brie and Emma Stone, favors a long-term “systematic” approach that builds strength while avoiding overuse injuries.
And it clearly works. After nine months of working with Walsh, Larson was able to deadlift 215 pounds, do 10 pull-ups, hip thrust 400 pounds and perform most of her own stunts, including falls — a feat that made Walsh incredibly proud.
“That’s epic. It doesn’t happen — especially in Marvel movies,” he says. “The stunt coordinators and everyone around her was blown away with how athletic she became.”
How did they do it? By going back to basics.
‘The stunt coordinators and everyone around her was blown away with how athletic she became.’
Before his clients are allowed to even pick up a weight, they need to perfect fundamental moves such as hinging at the waist, squatting, lunging and even crawling.
“This was the way we were innately born to move, but as we get older, through sitting, bad training, postural stuff and injuries, it gets us away from these foundational movements,” he says. “People don’t want to do the groundwork. We do the groundwork.
“I make people earn the ability to do bad-ass exercises. You have to be really good at the technical aspect before we put weight into your hands.”
Once his clients master those movements, he adds in different variables such as heavier weights, more reps or faster tempos.
This is a philosophy Walsh learned from his previous career training college athletes and NFL players. The Missouri native has a degree in exercise and sports science from the University of North Carolina, where he became a strength and conditioning coach for the college’s athletes. He then worked under NFL strength coach Luke Richesson and prepared football players for the league’s combine.
In 2005, he went to Los Angeles because “I met a girl, and she lived in LA,” he says. “It sounds so cliche.”
While visiting the showbiz city, he checked out the fitness scene and was shocked by the lack of innovation.
“There was no real, true science being applied. It was like body building, aerobics and weird s – – t. I said, ‘There’s an opportunity here.’ ”
Brie Larson gained 15 pounds of muscle for the film, and has been showing off her sleek physique on the red carpet, promoting the film in Captain Marvel’s strong, patriotic hues. Getty Images; Reuters
His hunch panned out big time. Watch nearly any action, superhero or sci-fi flick, and you’ll spot a bod sculpted by Walsh. (Walsh created two weeks’ worth of free workouts inspired by Larson for the app Playbook.)
And so when Larson landed the role of Captain Marvel, she tapped him because of the work he did with Emily Blunt for “Edge of Tomorrow,” a movie that required the British star to wear an exoskeleton costume that weighed more than 70 pounds.
“Brie told me she was so inspired by the way Emily looked in that movie,” he says. “Emily trained very much like an athlete.”
Larson started every day — even when not training — with creatine, a supplement that is purported to help improve muscle strength and athletic performance.
“Every morning, I had her take a teaspoon of creatine, put it on her tongue and wash it down with water. That’s the cool way to do it. The creatine is our version of the ‘Rocky’ raw egg,” says Walsh.
She followed a paleo-esque diet, but as her training progressed, she added in healthy carbohydrates such as rice and sweet potatoes.
“She became ravenous,” he says. “If you have a better engine, and you are performing really well, you have to fuel the body.”
According to Walsh, they worked up to sweating four times a week, with two sessions a day.
Jason Walsh demonstrates a trap bar dead lift. Joe Kohen
In addition to strength training, Walsh added in bursts of “conditioning” moves, designed to raise the heart rate and work the whole body, such as pushing a sled or squat jumps. He also prescribed the 30-minute classes at his Rise Nation studio in West Hollywood. It’s a non-impact workout done on a VersaClimber, a machine that keeps the user upright and mimics a vertical climb, to dance-worthy beats.
Over the nine months she trained, Larson put on about 15 pounds of muscle.
“As we started ramping up the training process into high gear, she became stronger and heavier. She gained muscle weight but became smaller,” he says. “Her body really tightened up. She would go to the costume fitting, and they were freaking out and getting pissed off, because they had to keep taking the suit in.”
Still, even Captain Marvel needs a confidence booster. “She has to hold herself in a way that’s like, ‘F – – k yeah, I am strong. I’m a superhero,’ ” says Walsh. And there’s one move that he thinks does just that, both physically and mentally.
“Pull-ups are my favorite. It’s the one exercise that people say, ‘I can’t do it.’ I file that away, and when [we’ve progressed enough,] I say, ‘All right, let’s do this.’ And when they are able to perform their first pull-up, that’s epic.”
It took Larson about three months to reach that milestone, which Walsh says was a turning point in their training.
“When the body starts performing, it’s a thing of beauty and an art form,” he says. “You’re told you can’t for so long, but then when you do it, that’s when you start to really believe. That’s powerful.”